$19,053 - $21,004

2016 Subaru BRZ Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2016 Subaru BRZ was new.


Performance: 9.0

The 2016 Subaru BRZ's tight handling and sharp steering make it a joy to drive, according to auto writers. It lacks the horsepower of some rivals, though critics say the BRZ's 200-horsepower four-cylinder engine can still get the car going quickly.

  • "Wonderfully neutral in the curves, with precise steering, great brakes and tenacious traction, the BRZ is the kind of car that you want to push through winding mountain roads for hours on end." -- AutoTrader
  • "Power is not neck-snapping, but the car has just enough to make it exceptionally responsive. My frequent Mazda MX-5/Miata references are no mistake; the BRZ is definitely in that Zoom category of vehicles that deliver grins from pinning occupants to the side bolsters rather than seatbacks." -- Motor Trend (2013)
  • "Like the Mazda RX-8 and Miata, the Porsche 944 and original Boxster -- and all of those cars from decades ago -- the BRZ is fun because of handling, not because of a sledgehammer that hits when you mash the gas pedal." -- Automobile Magazine (2013)

Acceleration and Power

The 2016 Subaru BRZ is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that generates 200 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard and a six-speed automatic is optional.

According to the EPA, the 2016 BRZ gets 22/30 mpg city/highway with the six-speed manual, which is typical for the class. The BRZ earns 25/34 with the automatic transmission, which is good for a sports car.

The BRZ is not a good choice if power is your top priority, according to reviewers, but they say the engine is still peppy enough to move this lightweight sports car with ease. Auto writers note that the manual transmission is easy to shift smoothly. They add that ordering the optional automatic doesn't diminish any of the fun.

  • If you're the sort of driver whose car must be able to hammer down freeway on-ramps with its tires ablaze, the 2015 Subaru BRZ is not for you. Its power is sufficient but not thrilling." -- Edmunds (2015)
  • "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." -- Kelley Blue Book (2015)
  • "The clutch pedal is a touch light-and a touch light on feel-but snaps to attention right off the floor and engages smoothly, and the stubby shifter snicks between gates with ease." -- Car and Driver (2013)
  • "At risk of sounding heretical here, you can have just as much fun with the automatic. Paddle shifters are standard, and when you shift the mode from D to M for manual, the mapping tightens up. Nice rev-popping to match downshifts and, again, the torque minimizes the amount of shifting you'll be doing." -- Road and Track (2013)

Handling and Braking

Reviewers say the 2016 Subaru BRZ is fun and easy to pilot around corners thanks to its nimble handling, responsive steering and strong brakes. Test drivers add that the BRZ has a balanced ride that is not too jolting on imperfect roads.

  • "Best of all, for everyday drivers, the BRZ is easy to live with. Its ride isn't too harsh or jarring." -- AutoTrader
  • "Rather than use sheer muscle from a powerful engine, the lean and mean Subaru BRZ uses a beautifully balanced suspension and chassis, a limited-slip differential, razor-sharp steering and quick reflexes to turn any twist in the road into a driver's playground." -- Kelley Blue Book (2015)
  • "The BRZ's limits are approachable and easily controlled, which makes it a wonderfully engaging sports car. The steering practically telegraphs the front tires' grip status right to the driver's hands. What's more, the brake pedal is firm and consistent in feel, and the chassis remains composed even when the road surface doesn't." -- Edmunds (2015)

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