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2013 Subaru BRZ

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2013 Subaru BRZ Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 8.0

The 2013 Subaru BRZ is a compact rear-wheel-drive sports car that exists solely to engage its driver and deliver high-performance thrills on the streets and at the racetrack. That's the kind of simple mission statement we can get behind. Tight steering, a well-sorted suspension and firm, capable brakes help the BRZ deliver ample dynamic fun, while a comparatively modest price tag makes that fun accessible to passionate drivers of common means The BRZ competes in the same rear-drive ring as the Chevrolet Camaro, Ford Mustang and Hyundai Genesis Coupe, but proves itself to be a formidable opponent with its lightweight body and high-strung attitude.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're looking for a relatively inexpensive and fun-to-drive rear-wheel-drive compact sports car, it's hard to beat the all-new Subaru BRZ. That it has a gorgeous form factor, two (albeit small) rear seats, and good fuel economy are icing on an already delectable cake.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If your idea of a sports coupe is one with a V6 or V8 engine and a larger overall size for the money, you might be better off with a Chevrolet Camaro, Ford Mustang or Hyundai Genesis Coupe.

What's New for 2013

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.

Driving the BRZ
Driving Impressions

If the Chevrolet Camaro and Ford Mustang are large broad swords, then the Subaru BRZ is a finely balanced samurai blade. Its well-sorted suspension and limited-slip differential allow the BRZ...

... to tackle curvy roads with precision and every steering and throttle input from the driver is met with immediate response. Diving into and out of corners may be the BRZ's forte, but the Subaru's sports-car performance appeal extends to its responsive braking and a 2.0-liter engine with smooth, linear power delivery all the way up to its 7,000-rpm redline. And while it may look and feel like a racecar, the BRZ is comfortable enough for your daily commute.

VOICE-ACTIVATED GPS NAVIGATION SYSTEM
While the BRZ's competitors can be equipped with a navigation system, none of them have one on their lists of standard equipment.

IMPRESSIVE FUEL ECONOMY
We really like that the Subaru BRZ is able to achieve up to 34 mpg highway (with an automatic transmission, no less) while providing all the fun of a sports car.

2013 Subaru BRZ Details
2013 Subaru BRZ photo Interior

Billed as a 2+2 sports car the 2013 Subaru BRZ is best thought of as a 2-seater thanks to elfin rear bucket seats sized for emergency use only. Up front, occupants enjoy more human-like comfort with reasonable head space and comfortable yet incredibly supportive sport seats. The plastic-clad interior isn't fancy, but it offers simple functionality with minimal distraction, smartly keeping the driver focused on the joy of driving.

Exterior
2013 Subaru BRZ photo

Eye the all-new Subaru BRZ up and down and you might notice it bears a striking resemblance to the recently introduced Scion FR-S. The fact is, besides some minor details, the 2013 BRZ and FR-S are identical twins (we'll leave you to figure out which is the evil one). A long hood, abbreviated trunk, and a squat, planted stance all hint at the BRZ's sporting credentials. In person Subaru's coupe has a more charming presence than in pictures due to its small, athletic dimensions.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Anchoring the BRZ's standard equipment list are a Torsen limited-slip differential, a navigation system with 6.1-inch touchscreen, six airbags, and an 8-speaker audio system with auxiliary and USB inputs.

Optional Equipment

Buyers looking to enhance the basic Subaru BRZ premium trim can step up to the Limited trim, which adds heated seats with Alcantara inserts and leather bolsters, dual-zone automatic climate control, fog lights, keyless entry and engine start, and a rear spoiler.

Under the Hood

We have hopes for a turbocharged engine option in the future, but for now the sole engine available in the 2013 Subaru BRZ is a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder producing 200 horsepower and 151 lb-ft of torque. Thanks to the engine's horizontally-opposed layout the Subaru BRZ boasts an extremely low center of gravity, enhancing the vehicle's handling abilities. Engine power is sent to the rear wheels via a standard 6-speed manual or optional 6-speed automatic transmission.

2.0-liter flat-4
200 horsepower @ 7,000 rpm
151 lb-ft of torque @ 6,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/30 mpg (manual), 25/34 mpg (automatic)

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