Everyone’s favorite driver’s car is getting a small update for 2016. The BRZ is receiving an updated touchscreen infotainment system as well as a rearview camera now as standard. The HyperBlue version has been launched too, and it introduces a unique exterior look along with custom interior elements. Although it feels like the BRZ was launched just yesterday, the fierce competition means that Toyota and Subaru have had to update the GT86/BRZ just to stay competitive. And for the most part, we’re going to have to say that it worked like a charm.
The Subaru BRZ has always been one of the best options for those that are looking for simple, basic and cheap sporty coupes in the U.S. The sport coupe segment in the U.S. is so small that it’s a niche. If you want a lightweight, fun, and affordable vehicle, however, you’re stuck with only two options (three if you count the now defunct FRS): The Subaru BRZ and the Mazda Miata MX-5. Now we’re not ones to judge but the MX-5 is not our cup of tea, and we suppose a lot of other people’s. It’s better than the BRZ in a lot of areas, but when it comes to looks, you can’t beat the aggressiveness of it. The MX-5 goes for a cute and happy look whereas the BRZ does not.
2016 Subaru BRZ Exterior Design
The exterior is the second best thing about it, after its driving dynamics of course. In terms of direct competitors, it doesn’t have any besides the ones we just named. Sure, the Focus ST and the Golf GTI can more than match it regarding practicality and even speed (even surpass it), but that’s not what the BRZ is about. It’s a car that’s meant to be driven. A car in which you should do nothing but drive and enjoy it fully, it’s not that practical like some of the hot hatchbacks. It brings a distraction from everything else in the world. Your very own piece of heaven, a place to relax and calm down. Or if the mood takes you, get even more excited with adrenaline pumping ride.
The BRZ is available in two main trim levels: the premium and the Limited. The new limited-edition HyperBlue is special for 2016.
The Premium trim gives you 17-inch alloys, summer tires, automatic bi-xenon lights, LED running lights, a limited-slip diff, keyless entry, air-con, cruise control, a steering wheel which tilts and telescopes, a rearview camera and a height adjustable driver’s seat. The infotainment system is Subaru’s very own Starlink unit. It’s displayed on a 6.2-inch touchscreen, and it offers Bluetooth phone connectivity along with audio connectivity, a navigation system, smartphone integration, voice controls, sound system with eight speakers, HD radio, satellite radio and the accompanying USB jack and audio port.
The Limited trim gives you all of the things the Premium does but also includes fog lamps, a rear spoiler, dual-zone climate control, keyless ignition and entry, leather upholstery, higher interior quality and the All-Weather package with the heated mirrors and the heated front seats.
The HyperBlue edition we mentioned gets everything from the top-level Limited plus the special blue paint, aero body styling tweaks, black wheels and special exterior badges. The rearview mirror becomes frameless; the interior has blue stitching, and the black and blue color combination continues on the inside too. A unique combination that we like and will move you slightly in the company of other BRZ’s.
The interior is as simple and pretty much basic but still likable. The actual design of the cabin is wonderful, however. It’s a mix of Toyota and Subaru parts; we can see the influence of both of these car makers. Compared to few competitors it has this one can seem a bit dull and not up to par with other vehicles in its price range but then again, that’s not the point. If you’re getting (or not getting) the BRZ just because of its cabin and materials inside it, you’re completely missing the point of this wonderful car. In all actuality, there’s no shortage of gadgets. The base Premium trim gives you virtually everything you need and want from a car such as the BRZ, anything else you specify is a just additional luxury, not crucial to enjoying the car in its purest form.
The most important thing in the cabin has been done correctly: the seats. They are very supportive even for hard driving up on the twisty roads or the track. They still maintain a good comfort level. We think that even a longer journey wouldn’t be an issue for any BRZ owner. The driving position is great, and it offers lots of visibility thanks to the low hood. The roof is relatively low, but just about anyone can find a comfortable position in the driver’s seat. The pedals are well placed, perfect for heel and toeing, something that most drivers will be doing especially when pushing it hard. The steering wheel is decently adjustable, and it brings a great shape and size for sport driving.
There is a backseat but unless you’re driving small children or someone with next to no feet you’ll struggle to get an adult in. If you’re going to use the backseat, just remember that it’s either for kids or belongings. Speaking of stuff, the BRZ can fit 6.9 cubic feet of luggage in the trunk which might not be enough but again this is not a vehicle for a family vacation.
Engine and Transmission
Under the hood of the BRZ, you’ll find a 2.0-liter flat-four four-cylinder (also called a Boxer engine). It develops 200 hp and 151 lb-ft of torque and is mated to a six-speed manual transmission as standard, but you can fit it with a six-speed auto, along with shift paddles and rev-matched downshifts. The BRZ is able to hit 60 miles per hour in 6.8 seconds in manual guise and the same time in 7.9 seconds in auto form. We know that the times appear slow, but the BRZ is not trying to hide that. The fact that it only has 200 hp should hint at that right away. Still, it’s not that far off the Miata. It returns 25 mpg on the combined run, an excellent result. Turbo version would be just fantastic, small and agile car like this would be a real blast with 300 hp engine under the hood.
As always, the fun with the BRZ starts when you start cornering. You can play with it all day. Enter at any speed and you can either drift and catch it or just carry the momentum all the way throughout the corner. We often describe a car like a go-kart when it’s nimble and agile, but the BRZ is not even that. It’s so much more. It’s the perfect go kart, being able to slide, grip and hop depending on your input. It really is the great driver’s car this side of anything above $50k+. Speaking of price, the basic BRZ starts at $25k or to be more precise at $25,995 and goes all the way up to $28,495 for top trim.