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2013 Subaru BRZ Limited Review

Classic Sports Coupe

A three-quarter front view of a silver Subaru BRZ Limited

In short: A quick and stylish rear-wheel-drive sports coupe.

Designed in conjunction with Toyota (who released its own version in America as the Scion FR-S), the Subaru BRZ is a marked departure for both carmakers. Featuring swift, stylish looks and a peppy Boxer 4 to match, this quick and agile new model offers a fresh update on the classic rear-wheel drive sports coupe. Light and built with a low center of gravity, the BRZ offers responsive handling which can be further fine-tuned by choosing from sport, winter or CSC sport modes. Although it got noisy at high revs, we felt our Sterling Silver Metallic tester could have benefited from a bit more power. Furthermore, we experienced an average of 23.9 mpg while driving the BRZ — significantly lower than Subaru's claims.

Inside, we found the instrumentation to be fairly basic and made of mostly cheap-looking plastic. However, we appreciated the sporty, heated bucket seats and push-button start. In keeping with the sporty theme, the automatic gear-shifter is reminiscent of a manual, while paddle shifters allow for increased driver control. An 8-speaker sound system with Sirius satellite radio and voice-activated GPS come standard in the BRZ, although we had some problems with the GPS connection. The trunk offers decent space for loading up on groceries, but fitting in luggage for an overnight getaway will be a bit tricky — and you can forget about the backseat. Nevertheless, if you're in the market for a quick-handling, decently priced sports coupe, the Subaru BRZ is a solid choice.

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Watch a video of the Subaru BRZ

Warranty/Service: 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty; 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty; 5-year/unlimited mile rust perforation warranty; 3-year/36,000-mile 24-hour roadside assistance

Base Price: $28,595 / As Tested: $29,365

Technical Specifications

Vehicle type: front engine, rear-wheel drive, 4-passenger, 2-door coupe

Engine: 2.0-liter 4-cylinder BOXER engine with Toyota D-4S direct injection
Horsepower: 200 hp @ 7,000 rpm
Torque: 151 lb-ft @ 6,400 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed automatic with manual shifting mode

Curb weight:
2,822 lbs
Wheelbase: 101.2 in
Length/Width/Height:166.7/69.9/51.2 in
Turning circle: 35.4 ft

4-wheel ventilated disc brakes with ABS, electronic brakeforce distribution and brake assist
Suspension: MacPherson strut front with lower L-arm; double wishbone rear

Traction: stability control with traction control; winter mode

0-60 mph: 6 seconds
Top Speed: 143 mph

EPA City: 25 mpg
EPA Highway: 34 mpg

driver and front passenger front airbags; front and rear side-curtain airbags; front seat-mounted side-impact airbags

Likes: sporty looks; handles well

Dislikes: interior mostly plastic; cramped back seat; could use more power


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Photography: AlphaMedia


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