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Subaru BRZ 2014 Review

EXPERT RATING
8
Subaru launched sales of the BRZ here solely online, but improved supply from the Japanese factory means the sports coupe is now being retailed through dealers.

Subaru launched sales of the BRZ here solely online, but improved supply from the Japanese factory means the sports coupe is now being retailed through dealers. Cleverly, Subaru Australia hasn't succumbed to the temptation to make higher profits from the car - its recommended driveaway price remains at $37,150 for the six-speed manual, the six-speed automatic comes in at $39,730 – both in line with the internet prices charged since it launched 18 months ago.

Nick Senior, the managing director of Subaru Australia, said, "Production efficiencies at Fuji Heavy Industries, the maker of Subaru cars, have presented this opportunity to expand BRZ sales into our retail network. It's also great for our dealers, who have the opportunity to display one of Australia's most popular sports cars in their showrooms."

Such was the car's popularity on launch that the initial allocation of just 200 cars as sold out just three hours after going live on the web. Subaru has sold 1800 BRZs in Australia since its online launch.

The Subaru BRZ is built at the company's Ota plant in Japan as a joint venture with the company's part-owner, Toyota. The division of labour between the two companies saw Toyota looking after the product planning and styling while Subaru did the engineering development and build.

Subaru BRZ breaks new ground for the company in Australia in having rear-wheel drive. All other models sold here have all-wheel drive (AWD), though the company does build front-drive (FWD) cars, none make it downunder.

STYLING

The Subaru coupe has low-slung styling and short overhangs. The front is dominated by a large, hexagonal grille with sweeping headlights. The rear is tall and aggressive and has an additional brake light positioned between twin large tail pipes.

ENGINES / TRANSMISSIONS

Power for the Subaru BRZ comes from a 2.0-litre horizontally-opposed petrol engine. It generates 200 horsepower (147 kW) at a very sporting 7000 rpm. There's an impressive 205 Nm of torque, though the engine has to be all the way up to 6600 revs before this is produced it does have a decent spread beginning at about 2500 rpm. Both the six-speed manual and six-speed automatic transmissions were specifically developed for the BRZ.

SAFETY

Equipment levels are high with standard safety equipment that includes dual front, side and curtain airbags, ABS brakes with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution and Brake Assist, Vehicle Stability Control and a retractor brake pedal. It comes with a five-star ANCAP rating.

Also standard are cruise control, leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear lever, push-button start and stop, sports seats, front and rear foglights and power-folding door mirrors.

DRIVING

Once settled in the seat the driver will find it's firm but comfortable with plenty of legroom and surprisingly good head space. Our test car had a manual gearbox, a delightful short-throw unit which is fast and smooth and just asks to be used frequently. Who needs big power and torque when you have a gearbox like this to play with? Certainly not keen drivers who get their kicks from getting the very best from their cars.

Although there are four seats the BRZ's rear pair are minute units for emergency use only by anyone other than tiny tots. Surprisingly for a car where space is at a premium BRZ's boot is ruined by having a full-size spare wheel. The rear seatbacks do fold flat for extra storage space, but it's all a bit messy.

Steering is precise and direct with excellent feedback to the driver. As expected in a car of this type, the ride is firm with plenty of feel for the road yet comfortable enough for an extended trip. We've always loved the throaty sound of Subaru boxer engines. No more so than in this purpose-designed sports coupe.

VERDICT

The apparently astonishing success of the Subaru BRZ is less astonishing once you spend time behind the steering wheel. This car is a real delight to drive. The freeing up of supply should certainly see a continuation of big sales numbers.
 

Subaru BRZ

Price: $37,150 (man) $39,730 (auto)
Engine: 2.0-litre 4-cyl petrol 147kW/205Nm
Transmission: 6-speed man or auto; RWD
Warranty: 3 years/unlimited km
Safety: 5 star ANCAP
Dimensions: 4.2m (L); 1.8m (W); 1.2m (H)
Weight: 1216kg (man); 1238kg (auto)
Thirst: 7.8L/100km 181g/km CO2 (man); 7.1L/100km, 164g (auto)
Spare: 17-inch

Pricing Guides

$22,990
Based on 22 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$20,990
Highest Price
$24,990

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
(base) 2.0L, PULP, 6 SP AUTO $22,990 – 24,990 2014 Subaru BRZ 2014 (base) Pricing and Specs
S 2.0L, PULP, 6 SP MAN $22,330 – 27,610 2014 Subaru BRZ 2014 S Pricing and Specs
STi SE 2.0L, PULP, 6 SP AUTO $22,550 – 27,830 2014 Subaru BRZ 2014 STi SE Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
8
Pricing Guide

$19,990

Lowest price, based on 27 car listings in the last 6 months

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