A Subaru without all-wheel drive seems like sacrilege, but considering the kind of holy fun offered up by the 2013 BRZ we're willing to overlook its rear-drive sin. While it's a technical twin of the Scion FR-S, the BRZ adds a bit of luxury to the performance equation by offering a more upscale interior.
The 2015 Subaru BRZ is the only Subaru you can buy that isn't all-wheel drive. This rear-drive sports car is for purists who want something they can drive every day, but also take to their favorite mountain roads, or even to a weekend race event, without changing a thing. The BRZ delivers in a way few cars in this price range can. The precision steering, excellent chassis and suspension, and sheer playfulness remind drivers of early Mazda RX-7s or Datsun 280Zs, but with all the modern safety, technology, and traction-control enhancements you can find on a 21st-century car. While not the most powerful car out there, what it lacks in punch, it makes up for with poise.
By sakeneko on Tuesday, February 09, 2010
overall rating 8 of 10rating details
"We have a late-in-the-year 1999 Forester S. It has been an excellent car all around. We bought it in 2007 at 44,000 miles; it had been a lightly used executive loan car for a big company that had probably never been taken off road. That changed after we bought it; we enjoy going offroad. It is currently at 90,000 miles. The car is comfortable to drive, with crisp steering, decent acceleration, and excellent brakes. It is not a sports car, but it is fun to drive even on paved city streets or highways. On bad roads or offroad it comes into its own; you can go almost anywhere in this car without getting stuck if you know what you are doing. Gas mileage is decent for a small SUV, but not great, as is the case with most Subarus. In the city, we average between 20-22 MPG. On the freeway we average between 23 and 25 MPG. Offroading, we get between 18-22 MPG depending on the type of terrain we're driving through. The only non-maintenance repairs that we've needed to make so far have been to the rear wheel bearings (a known issue with these models) and to fix damage that we inflicted when driving off-road. Last fall we finally had to have the rear brakes rebuilt and rear struts replaced. The car is now 10 years old, and our mechanic is seeing the first signs of minor leakage around the head gaskets. They will need replacing within the next 10K-20K miles, a major and fairly expensive repair that Subarus of this vintage are somewhat prone to needing. NOTE: The 1998 and early model year 1999 DOHC engines have a serious design problem that causes blown head gaskets and expensive engine repairs. The late 1999 and early 2000's models have some head gasket leakage issues, but these are much less serious and not prone to damaging other parts of the engine. For what is essentially a street car with AWD and a few offroading modifications, the Forester does extremely well off-road. We have taken it on Forest Service roads, on jeep tracks, across dry lake beds, and up washes into canyons. It handles gravel, dirt, sand, mud, and shallow streams (< 5" deep) with aplomb. It also handles snow very well; we have chains for the car but have never needed them despite living in the Sierra foothills. Subaru doesn't offer an adequate skid plate for the bottom of the Forester so we installed a Primitive Racing skid plate shortly after buying it. That has saved our bacon a couple of times, and we strongly recommend that anybody planning to take this car offroad very much install something of that type. All in all, this is an excellent car. If you like the outdoors and want a car that can handle city, highway, and dirt roads equally well, you'll go far and pay a great deal more to improve upon what this car offers."
30 people out of 30 found this review helpful
By Rickey on Wednesday, August 08, 2007
overall rating 9 of 10rating details
"This what the Subaru is: great vehicle all season suv with a lot to offer. It's my 3rd. Subaru (Legacy, Outback & Forester) and I love them. Great gas mileage, very good AWD system, just perfect size. I have a very good private machanic good w/ Subaru's and the only thing you will have to do to it if you'll buy an used from 97 up to 02' is the HEAD GASKETS. Very expensive job, so, bargain the price because if it's need to be done, it'll hit you good in the pocket! Now Subaru is contacting all customer in order to do a "COOLING SYSTEM CONDITIONER" Recall, it's just a way to have your car checked for that Head Gasket Issue (poor material). They now are using a total re-design gasket w/ new material that will last "forever". I really recommend to any one because it's a very good car, comparing w/ good reputation Honda CRV & Toyota RAV4, Subaru's offers you more for your money and overal it's a better vehicle."
25 people out of 25 found this review helpful
By YankeeGirl on Friday, July 27, 2007
overall rating 8 of 10rating details
"As a young driver, I've driven this car for just over 2 years, but my family has owned it for over 3. Mine is a 2001 L edition with 104k miles. It's fast: it definitely goes when you hit the gas, better than some v8's I've been in. It's roomy, to the point where I've had 5 adults in the car and no one has complained. It gets warm quickly in the winter and cools off quickly in the summer. It's very good in the snow, thanks to the AWD feature, and it gets good gas mileage for a car of its size and class. However, I have had some of the same problems as other Subaru owners, which is why I only gave it 4/5 stars. The first problem I had was that the thermostat got stuck in bad traffic on a hot July day, to the point where I overheated and the thermometer was in the danger zone. I had to pull off the highway and turn the car off because I was afraid of doing damage to the engine. The thermostat had to be replaced. I find that mine loses coolant quickly, for whatever reason, and therefore you have to check your fluid levels often. Also, the plastic undercarriage fell off and rubbed against my front driver's side tire, and that had to be replaced. Also, my one of my axles and its axle seal needed to be replaced, and it was a costly fix. Most recently, my knock sensor needed to be replaced, at only 100k miles. The problem that I have with Subaru is that it's hard to find a mechanic who knows them well, and when something breaks the repairs are expensive. It's usually the parts that are so expensive. As for the sound system, I agree with another Subaru reviewer who says that the quality could be improved. Overall, however, when it runs well, it's excellent. And I have never worried about not being safe."
17 people out of 17 found this review helpful