2019 Subaru BRZ Review

BRZ

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2019 Subaru BRZ Overview

The Subaru BRZ hit the scene for 2013 as an entry-level sports coupe that valued balance and good handling over speed. In its seven-year tenure, it has maintained that position, getting incremental improvements. For 2019, there are a few changes.

The BRZ is a beautiful blend of form and function, as every line, surface, and vent opening serves a purpose. It lends the car a restrained, handsome appearance, with just enough edge to keep things interesting. The interior is well laid out, with all the car’s primary functions within easy reach of the driver. There’s room for 4 people, but the back seats are best reserved for small children and short trips; Subaru calls this a 2+2 arrangement. Still, the back seat does fold for additional cargo space.

Every BRZ is powered by a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder boxer engine. Mounted deep in the chassis, this distinctive engine arrangement lowers the car’s center of gravity for added levels of balance. In true sports-car fashion, this is the only vehicle in Subaru’s lineup with rear-wheel drive (RWD) in place of all-wheel drive (AWD). With the standard short-throw 6-speed manual transmission, there’s 205 horsepower and 156 pound-feet of torque. Select the optional 6-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters and those figures decrease slightly, to 200 hp and 151 lb-ft. In either scenario, the engine sings all the way to a 7,400-rpm redline.

Beyond those things, Subaru equips the BRZ with a sport-tuned suspension, a limited-slip differential, and a quick steering ratio, giving it optimal maneuverability. If that isn’t enough, you can opt for a Performance Package that includes unique wheels, Brembo brakes, an upgraded Sachs suspension, and exclusive wheels. It’s rated for 24 miles per gallon city, 33 highway, and 27 combined with the automatic transmission. For the manual transmission, expect 21, 29, and 24 using premium-grade fuel.

This year, the Premium and Limited trims return. The base Premium trim comes with 17-inch black wheels, LED headlights, a rear spoiler, heated side mirrors, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter handle, and a 6.5-inch touchscreen audio system. The Limited trim adds alcantara-and-leather upholstery, keyless access and start, and automatic climate control. Additionally, it unlocks access to the automatic transmission and the Performance Package. 2019 brings a new version of the Limited trim’s standard 7.0-inch infotainment and navigation system, which supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and can now take updates over the air.

Also new this year is the Series.Gray model. All 250 limited-edition units come in a unique Cool Gray Khaki color and feature unique interior and exterior trim, special wheels, black exterior badges, and black mirrors. Inside, the Series.Gray comes with a special instrument-panel visor, red stitching, and a frameless rear-view mirror.

The BRZ is adept at avoiding accidents in the first place, but unfortunately there’s no safety technology on offer other than the requisite reversing camera and airbags. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) rates it well for crashworthiness, apart from an Acceptable small-front overlap score.

The 2019 Subaru BRZ is a unique proposition for those that want a livable sports car with reasonable levels of power and practicality at an affordable price.

Updated

Kyree is new to the automotive journalism scene, but has voiced snarky public opinions about cars for quite some time. When he's not drooling over the latest European luxury sled, he's designing web experiences or writing backend code.

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