2017 Subaru BRZ Review | Asian Car Guide
January 20, 2021

2017 Subaru BRZ Review

2017 Subaru BRZ Review

The name BRZ stands for Boxerengine, Rear-wheel drive, Zenith, in other words, sporty. Changes to this updated 2017 Subaru BRZ include increased power and torque, lifting the manual to 152kW (up 5) at 7,000rpm and 212Nm (up 7) between 6,400- 6,800 rpm.

The BRZ hardly looks quirky and unusual, Subaru stays away from quirky and strange these days. The BRZ is basically the same two door fastback coupe as Toyota’s 86, the outcome of a joint project between the two Japanese car makers at Subaru’s Gunma plant in Japan and often referred to as the Toyobaru pair.

BRZ styling differs a little from the 86, mainly with the BRZ hexagonal shaped grille versus the 86’s inverted trapezoid and with the alloy wheels and side air vents on the front wings.

Personally I prefer the BRZ’s front grille treatment. One of the most notable characteristics of the BRZ interior is the low and well-judged driving position, perfect for fast and sporty driving.

Other sporty touches include a compact steering wheel, instrument binnacle with rev counter taking centre stage, as with Ferrari and Porsche models, with a shift indicator as well as audible reminder, and body hugging sports seats that are supportive when cornering.

The boot is also a small affair (218 litres) and due to the full-sized spare wheel does not even have carpeted floor. On the upside rear seat backs can be folded to extend boot area when needed.

The BRZ offers two six – speed transmissions – a slick shifting manual and more convenient torque converter based automatic.

I drove the manual, which features a downshift throttle blipping system for improved driver satisfaction.

With emphasis on weight being placed low (aided by the flat horizontally opposed boxer engine), lightweight, rigid body and rear-wheel drive fun, the BRZ has the right ingredients for a dynamic and agile sports car.

The coupe has the lowest centre of gravity of almost any vehicle, with half the BRZ’s mass sitting below knee height.

The latest BRZ is wonderfully agile and quick to swap direction whilst steering is accurate, pin sharp and responsive to driver input, making it wonderfully enjoyable and rewarding to drive enthusiastically.

The engine’s lack of torque makes rear-wheel drive antics like oversteer and burn outs a tad hard to come by though.

Going round corners sideways is still possible but you do have to try harder than with a torque laden motor to overcome rear traction.

The BRZ differs from the Toyota 86 in rear suspension stiffness, the latter car’s being stiffer overall.

A car with such dynamic qualities usually suffers from compromises in comfort and overall usability, and that is the case with the BRZ – the ride can be bumpy and for most, a little tiring and draining over long periods.

Safety has not been compromised. In addition to the stiff and rigid body shell, the BRZ has eight airbags (including knee bags) and also comes equipped with VSC electronic stability control to ensure that driving pleasure and safety are delivered hand in-hand.

The new BRZ starts from $32,990 (plus on-road cost) for the manual, $1,230 less than previous model, while the auto is now $34,490 (plus on-road cost), $1,735 less.