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$19,623 - $21,781 $25,395 - $28,495

8.1

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 9.0
Performance: 9.0
Interior: 7.5
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.6
Safety: 9.2
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2016 Subaru BRZ Review

The 2016 Subaru BRZ has agile handling and an enthusiastic engine that combine for well-rounded performance. However, it has a tiny back seat and trunk, and its interior quality isn't up to snuff. The BRZ ranks in the lower half of the competitive sports car class.

Pros & Cons

  • Sharp handling
  • Responsive steering
  • Slick manual transmission
  • Good safety and reliability scores
  • Tiny rear seat and trunk
  • Low-rent cabin materials
  • Mediocre engine power

New for 2016

  • Starlink touch-screen infotainment system became standard
  • Rearview camera became standard
  • Navigation no longer available
  • Limited edition Series.HyperBlue trim replaces Series.Blue

2016 Subaru BRZ Overview

Is the 2016 Subaru BRZ a Good Used Car?

The 2016 BRZ is a good used sports car. Its snappy manual transmission and responsive steering make it a hoot to drive. Though its engine power is meager on paper, the BRZ still gets going quickly. Downsides include a tight second row and limited cargo space, which are common complaints for the class. While the BRZ has a decent reliability rating, many class rivals are better in that regard.

Why You Can Trust Us

We’ve researched 26 Subaru BRZ reviews, as well as hard data points like reliability scores and cost of ownership estimates, to help you make the best car-buying decision possible.

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking cars since 2007, and our team has more than 75 years of automotive industry experience combined. While we’re passionate about cars, we’re even more committed to providing helpful consumer advice. To ensure our reviews remain impartial, we refuse expensive gifts and trips from car companies, and an outside team handles the advertising on our site.

How Much Is the 2016 Subaru BRZ?

Prices for the 2016 BRZ range from about $19,000 to about $25,000, with the average price landing just above $21,000. This data comes from the few dozen listings for the 2016 BRZ on our site. Actual prices will fluctuate on the vehicle's features, mileage, condition, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2016 Subaru BRZ Cost to Own?

You can expect to pay around $26,300 over five years for gas, insurance, repairs, and maintenance expenses for the BRZ. By comparison, the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata has lower five-year costs by about $3,900.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New BRZ?

The 2016 and 2018 Subaru BRZ both belong to the car's inaugural generation, which began with the 2013 model year. For 2018, Subaru introduced a limited edition tS trim level, which comes with some performance upgrades and special design elements. An optional 7-inch infotainment system also debuts for 2018. It features navigation, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay, and navigation is available for the first time since the 2015 model year. A new 2018 Subaru BRZ also features revamped interior and exterior designs, a retuned suspension, an available Performance Package, a standard 4.2-inch driver information display, and a slight bump in horsepower and torque. If these changes are important to you, consider a 2018 model.

Read about the new Subaru BRZ »

Those who are also considering a new sports car won't find too many options that are within striking range of the 2016 BRZ’s average price. The 2018 Fiat 124 Spider and 2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata both start at around $25,000, a good jump from the 2016 BRZ's average price tag of around $21,000.

However, you may want to consider some sporty variants of other small cars. The 2018 Ford Fiesta ST has a base price of $21,285. It's a subcompact hatchback with a 197-horsepower turbocharged engine, a manual transmission, a sport suspension, performance brakes, and sport seats. The 2018 Mazda3 (MSRP $18,095) is one of the most fun-to-drive compact cars. It also provides some decent everyday utility, with nearly double the cargo space of the coupe BRZ and a second row that can adequately fit adults.

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How Reliable Is the 2016 Subaru BRZ?

The 2016 Subaru BRZ has a reliability rating of three out of five from J.D. Power, which is considered average across the industry.

Read more about BRZ reliability »

2016 Subaru BRZ Recalls

As of this writing, there are no open recalls that apply to the 2016 BRZ.

See more information on Subaru BRZ safety recalls »

Which Model Year of the Subaru BRZ Is Best?

The Subaru BRZ has seen some changes pretty much every year since its introduction, so you'll have to weigh those benefits against the savings you'd see by shopping for older models. For 2016, the BRZ gained a standard rearview camera and touch-screen infotainment system, but oddly enough, navigation was no longer available. The 2015 BRZ had its suspension upgraded from the 2014 model. The 2017 BRZ is very similar to the 2018 model. If a new model interests you, consider saving money with a 2017 model.

Compare the 2014, 2015, and 2016 BRZ »

Which Used Subaru BRZ Model Is Right for Me?

The Subaru BRZ comes in two main trims: Premium and Limited. The BRZ Premium includes a Starlink 6.2-inch touch-screen infotainment system, HD Radio, satellite radio, a USB port, Bluetooth, and an eight-speaker stereo.

The base model should be fine for most shoppers, but those who want more upgrades may want to consider the BRZ Limited. It adds Alcantara seat inserts with leather bolstering, heated front seats, heated exterior mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate control, a proximity key with push-button start, a security system, and a rear trunk spoiler. The limited-edition Series.HyperBlue BRZ has unique styling and design elements inside and out.

See 2016 Subaru BRZ trims and specs »

Certified Pre-Owned Subaru BRZ Warranty

A certified pre-owned model gives you added peace of mind over an uncertified used vehicle. For its certified pre-owned vehicles, Subaru extends the original new-car powertrain warranty to seven years or 100,000 miles. To become certified pre-owned, each vehicle must pass a 152-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Subaru warranty page carefully. The model's original sale date determines whether it is eligible for the CPO program.

Subaru has a decent CPO program, but it’s not as good as programs offered by Chevrolet, Toyota, and Mazda.

See the best CPO programs »

Read more about the Subaru certified pre-owned program »

How Safe Is the BRZ?

In four Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash tests, the 2016 BRZ received the top rating of Good. In the small overlap front test, it got the next highest rating of Acceptable. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the BRZ five out of five stars overall, in addition to five stars in the side and rollover tests. It received four stars in the frontal crash test.

A rearview camera is the BRZ's only available driver assistance feature.

See BRZ safety scores »

2016 Subaru BRZ Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2016 Subaru BRZ or 2016 Scion FR-S?

The Scion FR-S (currently made as the 2018 Toyota 86) has an excellent reliability rating. Aside from that, it shares many similarities with the BRZ. These cars were engineered alongside one another, so they share the same powertrain, fuel economy, and performance tuning. They have identical crash test scores, but both are plagued with cramped rear seats and minimal trunk space. While the list of features is mostly comparable between the two, the FR-S comes with a 7-inch screen and offers available navigation. Its cabin is also a little nicer too, so it may be the better buy.

Which Is Better: 2016 Subaru BRZ or 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata?

Many consider the Mazda MX-5 Miata to be the quintessential sporty roadster. The 2016 Miata boasts go-kart handling, a smooth ride, and exciting acceleration. A refined manual transmission also helps give the Miata some of the most engaging driving dynamics on the market. This little convertible gets better gas mileage than the BRZ, and it's available with more safety features than most other sports cars. If you can live with having two seats, there are few reasons to pass up a Miata over a BRZ. We named the Miata our 2016 Best Sports Car for the Money.

Compare the BRZ, FR-S, and MX-5 Miata »

2016 BRZ Performance

How Does the 2016 Subaru BRZ Drive?

The 2016 Subaru BRZ's four-cylinder engine generates a modest 200 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque. However, the BRZ still feels zippy, thanks in part to its lightweight body.
Though most other sports cars are faster, the BRZ emphasizes handling agility. It has communicative steering and feels right at home on twisty roads and around fast turns. The BRZ's ride is also fairly composed over bumpy roads, so it's a solid option for daily driving as well. A six-speed automatic is available, but for a more engaging driving experience, stick with the silky smooth and quick manual six-speed transmission.

Does the 2016 Subaru BRZ Get Good Gas Mileage?

The BRZ's light weight and tame engine contribute to great fuel economy of 24 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway with the automatic transmission. With the six-speed manual, those numbers drop to 21/29 mpg city/highway. The 2016 Scion FR-S gets identical mileage, while the 2016 Mazda Miata earns up to 27/34 mpg city/highway.

Read more about BRZ performance »

2016 BRZ Interior

How Many People Does the 2016 BRZ Seat?

The BRZ coupe seats four, but don't put any adults in the back, especially on long drives. The front seats have excellent support with plenty of side bolstering, which will keep you in place when driving around curves. Visibility is also great up front. The rest of the interior is dull-looking, and many cabin materials are of low quality.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2016 Subaru BRZ?

The BRZ has a complete LATCH car-seat connection on both of its second-row seats. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety noted that the lower anchors are too deep in the seats and there's a lot of force required to attach the clips. Additionally, it's difficult to maneuver your hands around the lower anchors for the passenger-side seat.

2016 Subaru BRZ Features

The Subaru BRZ doesn’t come with much advanced technology. However, its infotainment system and dashboard controls are user-friendly. Standard features include Bluetooth, a USB port, an eight-speaker stereo, a rearview camera, satellite radio, HD Radio, and a 6.2-inch touch-screen Starlink infotainment system. Available features include proximity key entry, push-button start, and dual-zone automatic climate control.

See 2016 Subaru BRZ specs »

Read more about BRZ interior »

2016 Subaru BRZ Dimensions

Subaru BRZ Cargo Space

The 2016 Subaru BRZ has 6.9 cubic feet of trunk space. While that's not a lot of space, it's about average for a small sports coupe.

2016 BRZ Length and Weight

The 2016 BRZ is 13.9 feet long. Curb weights range from 2,764 pounds for a base Premium model with the manual transmission, up to 2,824 pounds for a Limited model with the automatic transmission.

Where Was the 2016 Subaru BRZ Built?

Subaru built the 2016 BRZ alongside the Toyota 86/Scion FR-S at the Gunma plant in Ota, Japan.

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