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Subaru BRZ manual 2015 review

Chris Riley road tests and reviews the 2015 Subaru BRZ and answers the big questions.

We turn the spotlight on the car world's newest and brightest stars as we ask the questions to which you want the answers. But there's only one question that really needs answering would you buy one?

What is it?

The Subaru equivalent of the Toyota 86, a four cylinder, rear-wheel drive, two-door sports car with four seats but in reality room for only two adults. They come off the same production line as the 86 but only one in four are BRZs.

How much?

$37,150 will get you into one of these babies and that is a driveaway price including on road costs. This compares with Toyota's introductory price of $29,990 - but be sure to do your homework.

What are competitors?

2015 Subaru BRZ

Explore the 2015 Subaru BRZ range

The Toyota 86 obviously and perhaps the Mazda MX-5. Apart from the obvious cosmetic differences, pricing and equipment - the choice between the Toyota and Subaru is largely a matter of personal preference. The Mazda on the other hand is a very different car but offers the same kind of drive experience. 

What's under the bonnet?

A 2.0-litre flat four that delivers 147kW of power at 7000 revs and 205Nm of torque at 6600 revs. Deciphered this is a high revving engine with not much torque and it doesn't really get going until you have 4500 revs on the dial. Keep it there and it will perform wonders. In our test vehicle it was paired with a short-shifting six-speed manual.

How does it go?

Great and not so great. It's not that quick out of the gates at 7.6 seconds for the 0-100km/h dash. And overtaking requires some planning, otherwise you might find yourself caught short. But once its up and running, the note from the artificially enhanced engine/exhaust note is raucous and mid-range performance is good to excellent.

Is it economical?

For a performance car yes. Rated at 7.8 litres/100km were getting very close to this at 8.1 despite thrashing the pants off the car, so it's not going to eat you out of house and home - but note it takes the good stuff 98 RON Premium.

Is it green?

Surprisingly so. Gets a very creditable four out five stars from the Government's Green Vehicle Guide, with CO2 emissions of 181g/km.

Is it safe?

Yes sir. Full five stars. Comes with a full battery of safety features including electronic stability control and seven airbags, including a driver's knee bag - although you have to wonder where they fit them?

Is it comfortable?

Once you're tucked in it's reasonably comfortable, with form hugging sports seats that in the case of our test car were heated and trimmed in suede leather - a $1500 option. The suspension has been tweaked to deliver a smoother ride, but it's relatively light at 1200kg and still moves around a lot on back roads.

What's it like to drive?

Fantastic. You'll hear a lot of claims that it needs more power and more power would certainly be nice, but that's kind of missing the point. This is not a red light racer, but a finely balanced, responsive rear wheel drive sports car with direct, communicative steering that is a joy to drive along a winding, mountain road.

Is it value for money?

The update has added three new colours and a "shark fin" style antenna. Inside there is a frameless rear-view mirror and matte carbon fibre-type trim. It's a bit short of equipment however and really needs a distance to empty display which you only get with the satnav upgrade priced at $1800.

Pricing guides

Based on 13 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
Highest Price

Range and Specs

(base) 2.0L, PULP, 6 SP AUTO $14,900 – 21,010 2015 Subaru BRZ 2015 (base) Pricing and Specs
Premium 2.0L, PULP, 6 SP MAN $17,400 – 24,200 2015 Subaru BRZ 2015 Premium Pricing and Specs
Premium Hyper Blue 2.0L, PULP, 6 SP MAN $19,300 – 26,840 2015 Subaru BRZ 2015 Premium Hyper Blue Pricing and Specs
STI SE 2.0L, PULP, 6 SP MAN $19,300 – 26,840 2015 Subaru BRZ 2015 STI SE Pricing and Specs
Pricing Guide


Lowest price, based on 12 car listings in the last 6 months

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