2020 Subaru BRZ

Performance


#6 out of 8 in Sports Cars

MSRP
$28,845
U.S. News Best Price Program

2020 Subaru BRZ Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 8.0

The 2020 Subaru BRZ favors dynamic handling over brute power. It’s a lot of fun to drive, but passenger comfort may be dampened by the BRZ's firm ride. Fuel economy is mediocre for models with the manual transmission, but it's not so bad for ones with the automatic. Unlike other Subarus, the BRZ comes standard with rear-wheel drive with no option to upgrade to all-wheel drive.

  • "The BRZ is wonderfully playful, and it's refreshing to drive a car that doesn't demand triple-digit speeds to return triple-digit heart rates." -- Edmunds (2019)
  • "The BRZ's real gifts are the way it corners -- and the way it makes you feel when you're tossing it around. If carving roads, wringing out an engine for all its worth and manually shifting through gears is your idea of fun, you'll enjoy driving the BRZ." -- Kelley Blue Book (2018)
  • "This is arguably the car business' last best hope for a fun, inexpensive sports car. It puts an exclamation point on the notion that a car without a gazillion horsepower or a six-figure sticker is fun to drive." -- Autoweek (2017)

Acceleration and Power

Powering every BRZ is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. Horsepower ratings vary depending on the transmission. Models with the standard six-speed manual gearbox generate 205 horsepower, while those with the six-speed automatic transmission drop to 200 horses.

This Subaru's naturally-aspirated four-cylinder engine is capable. The BRZ may not sprint quite as quickly off the line as the Subaru WRX or Chevrolet Camaro, but it’s lively enough to satisfy most shoppers.

With the automatic transmission, the BRZ gets decent EPA-estimated fuel economy ratings of 24 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway. Figures with the manual gearbox are unimpressive, at 21/29 mpg city/highway for the Limited trim and 20/27 mpg for the Subaru BRZ tS.

  • With only 156 lb-ft of torque, the manual BRZ isn't going to deliver the same neck-snapping acceleration as the WRX or the WRX STI. But if you get the revs up over 5,000 rpm and really work the 6-speed manual, the BRZ will bring a smile to your face every time you take it for a spin, thanks to its lightweight chassis." -- Autotrader
  • "Acceleration isn't lightning quick, but it is plenty responsive. 0-60 times in the low seven-second range are nothing to scoff at and the drivetrain's character is well matched to the car. Most of our enthusiast drivers didn't think the car needs more power. The engine delivers a satisfying and deep-throated growl over 4500 rpm." -- Consumer Reports (2018)
  • "The six-speed manual that came in my test vehicle was still a delight, with tight throws and a well-weighted clutch pedal." -- Cars.com (2017)

Ride and Handling

Sports cars are expected to be agile, and the BRZ delivers in spades. Sharp steering, strong brakes, great road grip, and a sport-tuned suspension help this sporty coupe tackle turns with confidence. However, that same firm suspension makes the car feel a bit unsettled when you're just cruising, hurting the BRZ's appeal as a daily driver. Rear-wheel drive comes standard. All-wheel drive is not available.

  • "Wonderfully neutral in the curves, with precise steering, great brakes and tenacious traction, the BRZ is the kind of car you want to push through winding mountain roads for hours on end." -- Autotrader
  • "When it comes to feel, precision and handling, the BRZ is near the top of the class. It's an absolute blast to drive this car down a good road, and its quick but communicative steering rewards smooth and minimal inputs. The brakes feel great and are easy to modulate, both around town and at higher speeds. But they can't take too much abuse before the pedal starts to lose most of its feel." -- Edmunds
  • … the ride is stiff but not too punishing by sports car standards. The suspension is compliant enough to take most bumps while providing some isolation, but ride motions are short and quick, making it feel busy and choppy on any type of road. The BRZ feels slightly harsher than the Toyota, with a firmer suspension setup." -- Consumer Reports (2018)
U.S. News Best Price Program

2020 Subaru BRZ

MSRP: $28,845 - $31,495

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