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Subaru BRZ S manual and automatic 2013 review

EXPERT RATING
7

Subaru's BRZ has been a huge hit with enthusiast drivers who no doubt revel in the classic front engine/rear wheel drive layout, razor sharp dynamics and stunning style.

They've chalked up 1000 sales of BRZ in the 18 months since it arrived probably the entire Aussie allocation. But to give more sizzle to the sporty Soob and keep the BRZ front of mind with the right people, Subaru has introduced a Sports Pack priced at $7995 for the manual BRZ, less for the auto, that adds a swag of goodies to enhance the cars looks and feel. Not the performance though.

DESIGN

You get trick STi branded black alloys, black body aero spoilers all the way around and a rear diffuser, lowered springs, quicker gear change mechanism on the manual, push button start and a strut bar. It makes a stand out car stand out even more but thankfully is not over the top. Everything else about BRZ remains the same.

ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION

There's a reasonable amount of go from the 2.0-litre naturally aspirated boxer four,  rated at 147kW/205Nm - for general traffic driving under about 4000rpm but nothing to really light you up anywhere else. Rev it out to the 7000rpm plus redline and it goes OK, makes more noise but...Where's the turbo?

DRIVING

The point we would make right now is that it needs more herbs from under the bonnet. The car doesn't have the performance required, nay, commanded by its looks. Any half decent hatchback would stay on the BRZ's tail in a straight line. Not around the corners though.

We would spend the eight grand on a decent turbo installation and leave the car stock. It's already well ahead of the pack dynamically in standard spec'. We had a good old drive of the beast, commuting, highway cruising and corner carving. Needless to say, everything gels during the latter except for the fact that you have to keep the right foot planted and the engine percolating about five grand plus to make it sing.

It has the same kilowatt output as the old Nissan 200SX but less torque and is slower. An 200SX would give the Soob a really hard time on the straights and around the corners, even an old one and especially if it had a helical limited slip diff'. But the Soob is flavour of the month together with Toyota's equivalent 86.

The Sport's suspension is pretty hard for everyday use too though that could be because we are getting soft in old age. There's no lumbar support adjustment that causes curvature of the spine on a longish drive. The engine/exhaust note is a mere wuffle. The front apron hangs up easily on driveways or parking buffers. And we would point a finger at the lack of satnav in a sports coupe costing $45,150. There … we are ready for the hate mail, but it's all true.

VERDICT

They look the ‘biz’ and we reckon the Sooby goes a bit better because they pick all the 00 tolerances from the components department. They do after all make both cars.

Subaru BRZ S 2.0-litre two-door coupe

Price: from $45,145 (manual), $46,925 (automatic)
Engine: 2.0 litre four cylinder, 147kW/205Nm
Transmission: 6-speed manual or automatic, RWD
Kerb weight: 1256 kg (manual), 1278 kg (automatic)
Turning circle: 10.8 m kerb to kerb
Fuel tank capacity: 50 litres
0-100 km/h: 7.6 seconds (manual) 8.2 seconds (automatic)
Thirst: 7.8L/100km CO2 181g/km (manual), 7.1L/100km 164g/km (automatic)
Wheels: 17-inch alloys

Pricing Guides

$21,888
Based on 56 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$15,990
Highest Price
$25,990

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
(base) 2.0L, PULP, 6 SP MAN $15,990 – 25,990 2013 Subaru BRZ 2013 (base) Pricing and Specs
S 2.0L, PULP, 6 SP MAN $19,986 – 23,995 2013 Subaru BRZ 2013 S Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
7
Pricing Guide

$19,986

Lowest price, based on 11 car listings in the last 6 months

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