By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 7.9
Driven by its rear wheels only, the Subaru BRZ for 2014 is a departure from Subaru's other all-wheel-drive (AWD) offerings, but to purists it's the only way to build a true sports car. Whether carving out a winding road or spending a day at the track, the BRZ delivers in a way few cars in this price range can. Precise steering, a brilliantly balanced chassis and taut suspension bring back memories of early Mazda RX-7s and Datsun 280Zs, only with all the modern safety and traction-control features expected of a 21st -century performer. Although it's nowhere near as powerful as the Chevy Camaro or Ford Mustang, the BRZ also doesn't carry their hefty weight, which means what it lacks in punch it more than makes up for in poise.
If you're looking for a rear-drive sports car that is quick, fun to drive and affordable, the 2014 Subaru BRZ is matched only by its twin, the Scion FR-S. Sultry styling, two modest rear seats and impressive fuel economy make the BRZ a very livable daily driver.
If raw power and brutal helpings of torque define "sports car" in your playbook, the BRZ won't impress you. A V6 or V8 is likely to be more satisfactory, so look to the domestics and you'll be fine.
Aha infotainment smartphone app integration is made standard, and the Limited trim gets a redesigned remote key fob for the keyless-start feature
Driving Impressions If the Chevy Camaro and Ford Mustang are oversized power lifters, think of the Subaru BRZ as a lean but equally capable distance runner. Its brilliantly balanced suspension and limited-slip...... differential allow the 2014 Subaru BRZ to slice through twisting pavement like a seamstress' shears through silk. The BRZ doesn't just go where you point it, it reacts instantly to every blip of the throttle, every modest adjustment to the steering wheel. Once you leave the corners, you'll find the BRZ is no one-trick pony, offering up excellent braking, brisk acceleration and a wonderful manual transmission that slips effortlessly into the next gear. The 2.0-liter engine isn't a power dynamo, but the car's lightweight body allows the engine's 200 horsepower to do their job without disappointment. Best of all, the BRZ sips fuel, has a smooth and compliant ride and is nicely equipped, making it a very livable car for everyday use.
VOICE-ACTIVATED GPS NAVIGATION SYSTEM
While the BRZ's competitors can be equipped with a navigation system, none of them offers one as 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.
Billed as a 2+2 sports car the 2014 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
Eye the Subaru BRZ for 2014 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 2014 BRZ and FR-S are identical twins (we'll leave you to figure out which is the evil one). A long hood, an 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.
Anchoring the BRZ's standard equipment list are a Torsen limited-slip differential, a navigation system with 6.1-inch touch screen, six airbags and an 8-speaker audio system with auxiliary and USB inputs.
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.
We have hopes for a turbocharged engine option in the future, but for now the sole engine available in the 2014 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.
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)
The 2014 Subaru BRZ Premium trim has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) just shy of $26,500 with the fancier Limited trim adding another $2,000 to the total. It's priced a little higher than its competitors – the Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro and Hyundai Genesis Coupe – but keep in mind that the BRZ offers an all-inclusive package unlike the others whose many options and trim variations can drive up the bottom line. Be sure to check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what other BRZ buyers in your area are paying for their cars. Over a 5-year period, we expect the Subaru BRZ to retain its resale value much more than its American and Korean rivals.
By Mick on Tuesday, February 24, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Handles great, great shifter and seating position"
Cons: "Noisy at hwy speed, radio not great"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"This car would be more fun if I lived in an area with curvy roads and hills etc. If your driving is mostly done on highways or on straight roads you really will not be able to enjoy this car to the fullest, though you will still have to put up with the engine and tire noise at highway speeds. That said, I don't plan to sell mine. It's that much fun to drive, even without the hills and curves. Radio sounds better at low speeds. Once you're on the highway you'll notice it's not that great."
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By Ckeck09 on Wednesday, January 28, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Love it"
Cons: "Storage space"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This is a great car. I went from a bmw to subaru and never thought I would like this car but it's great. Great gas mileage."
5 people out of 9 found this review helpful
By AZnavy on Wednesday, September 24, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"My Mazda mx5 drove just as well but the BRZ style one ups it! Also, my BRZ limited was cheaper. No regrets 16 months later...."
5 people out of 8 found this review helpful