2023 Subaru BRZ is the last affordable sports car
In a world where everything gets more complicated, more expensive, more electrified, and ultimately more boring, there is a true sports car with a reasonable price tag. The all-new 2023 Subaru BRZ offers a great balance of performance, fun, and affordability with fewer compromises than the previous generation.
2023 Subaru BRZ is finally here, but it is more of an evolution of the first generation. The first generation was a huge success all around the world, therefore both Subaru and Toyota had to come up with an updated version. Although it is not considered a facelift, the chassis is the same with a bigger engine and a totally new look.
If you look closely, you’ll see that it’s an evolution of the first generation. There are significant changes and it looks new, but not that different. At the end of the day, there is no need to reinvent the wheel, and Subaru did a good job keeping the main design language very similar.
There are differences when you get closer, a new front fascia gave the 2023 Subaru BRZ a more modern but less aggressive look. The new generation comes with an aluminum hood, fenders, and roof for weight reduction and better weight distribution. It also means a lower center of gravity from a car that already has quite a bit of a low center of gravity.
The rear design is more controversial as most enthusiasts think that it looks similar to other cars, and it is obvious that it just doesn’t look as unique as the previous generation, and definitely does not have sharp body lines.
2023 Subaru BRZ comes with a completely new interior design, and they did an excellent job keeping it simple and easy to live with. Overall quality matches the price tag, you get some hard plastics all around the interior, but they really don’t look cheap, or feel flimsy.
All essential features have physical controls, including the head unit and infotainment screen. The infotainment system is easy to use, and the rear-view camera has good resolution. 2023 Subaru BRZ also comes with a digital gauge cluster, though it is not very customizable. The screen layout can be changed by choosing normal and track modes.
As a front passenger or a driver, you get a decent amount of space. If you track your car, it has an adequate amount of headroom for helmets. However, like the previous generation, the rear seats are more for storage, or emergency situation. Getting in and out is not easy at all.
Though it is a 2-door coupe, it has significantly more interior and trunk space than something like MX-5 Miata, and that’s the biggest advantage that BRZ offers. It is so much more livable in any circumstance. It can even be a great daily driver if you are a single, or couple while still being a weekend warrior or a track toy with the right tire setup, and that’s why it is the most versatile sports car for the budget.
Before we go through the technical details, we need to understand why it still has a naturally aspirated engine. We all wanted BRZ to have a forced induction engine, but that adds complexity. It is true that turbos add more power, and more torque but also it also means more cost for the end user. That’s the main reason why the new generation BRZ still has a naturally aspirated engine.
The new platform is an evolution of the previous gen, and it is still developed by both Subaru and Toyota, but the drivetrain is engineered and built by Subaru. This time though we have a displacement bump. The new 2.4L boxer engine puts out 228 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque, now the engine is named FA24 instead of FA20 due to the displacement increase. It’s still very similar to FA20, but it’s bored out with updated cylinder heads.
Like the previous generation, the boxer engine still has its unique exhaust rumbling sound, but Subaru improved the torque dip that the previous 2.0L engine was notorious for. The torque dip is still there, but much less noticeable than before. The new engine has significantly more torque, but you still have to keep the engine at high rpm to be in the powerband, which is inevitable for any type of naturally aspirated engine.
Even the base trim comes with a feature that makes any type of driving more fun. It is the only sub-35k (CAD) rear-wheel-drive vehicle that comes with a standard limited-slip differential. However, having LSD is not the only factor that makes BRZ blast to drive. It comes with 6-speed manual gearbox with short gear ratios to make it feel more alive, but there is also an automatic transmission option available.
The short gear ratios are great for spirited driving, but it makes the BRZ less fuel efficient and noisier at higher speeds, especially on the highway or long-distance driving. Overall fuel consumption is slightly worse than the previous generation due to increased engine displacement. Our average was 9.5L / 100 km with a lot of highway miles, which is not very impressive and something to keep in mind if you are planning to put a lot of miles on the highway.
The steering feedback is also very precise and there is no unnecessary fake heaviness to make it feel sportier. It is quite rare to see this type of steering feeling unless you go to exotic entries with a 6-figure price tag. Of course, having a short wheelbase and sticky Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tires offers a high level of grip. Most importantly, the car communicates with you very well, you easily feel which wheel is doing what.
The communication between the new BRZ and the driver makes it unique and special, rather than the straight-line acceleration and the spec sheet, and that is what makes the BRZ the ideal choice for multiple different types of drivers. It is a great car to learn how to drive a rear-wheel-drive vehicle in a spirited fashion, it can be a great backroad corner carver, autocross–track car, and most importantly a fun daily driver.
2023 Subaru BRZ just starts at $30,495 and the higher “Sport-tech” trim sets you back an additional $3000. Both trims have an automatic transmission option, for which you need to pay an extra $2400. It’s really hard to find a better bang for the buck if you want a buy an affordable rear-wheel-drive sports car in a world where everything gets less affordable.
For more details – please visit www.subaru.ca