Double Feature! Connor and I were both given the opportunity to drive the 2013 Subaru BRZ with permission to see just how much fun it really is. Here’s what we found…
This is a real sports car. Getting into the 2013 Subaru BRZ felt like climbing into the cockpit of a jet. It’s low to the ground, the seats are designed to strap you in, and the center gauge is dominated by the tachometer. All of these features scream drive me! But before we get to that, let’s back up a bit.
I had my reservations about the BRZ. Yeah, it looks sweet and has rear wheel drive with a proper gear box but is it really worth it? At $25,000 it seems hard to imagine great sports car features and performance but this car did not disappoint.
As I slid into the cockpit, Dan Pankonin, our Schulte Subaru representative and trained racing driver, walked me around the cabin. The interior did not disappoint. The BRZ came with heated seats, digital gauges, and a few other features I did not expect on such an affordable sports car. Dan promptly flipped off the traction and stability control so we could let the car do its job.
Moving around tight turns proved to be the BRZ’s sweet spot. I pushed the car but was certain there was plenty of room for improvement. At no point did the rubber even question the turn and more importantly, I was grinning ear to ear the whole time. This is where the bucket style seats really help as well. Holding on into the turn is simple, allowing you to worry about what matters, driving.
The BRZ is definitely a track-worthy car. In fact, it would be a shame to buy one and not take it to the track regularly. On the downside, the seats would be difficult to sit on for longer trips and the rear +2 seating is cramped at best. However, this may be one of the best looking cars on the road right now. This was the most exciting car I have driven yet this year and definitely rivaled the BMW 3-series for road holding.
It’s not every day that someone hands me the keys to a performance car and says, “Here, I’ll have my trained racing driver take you out with my permission to give it the beans.” Well that’s exactly what the nice folks at Schulte Subaru allowed me to do for my review. I didn’t want to, but this was for science.
When I got inside the BRZ my pulse increased because I could immediately tell that this was a purpose built machine. It had large, visible gauges, a digital mph readout, and seats that hugged you so tight, you’d think they were your mother. Like Connor said earlier, this isn’t a family carrier, this is a car that you turn on and let off its leash.
Now even though there is a Scion FR-S and a Toyota GT86, this car was designed by Subaru. The signature Subaru Boxer engine is mounted lower and further back giving it the lowest center of gravity on any Subaru ever. It is also rear wheel drive so it screams “drive me around corners!”…which I did.
The BRZ dons a hair over 200 HP but the car is fairly light so the acceleration is quick and direct. But that’s not the impressive thing about this Subaru, it’s the handling. While on an unnamed curved on-ramp, I had my foot planted and I could not believe the amount of grip I was getting for how fast the car was going. I stayed brave and and didn’t lift off until I was well past the “follow through” on the interstate. If I had the opportunity to drive this car on the track, I think I would hit my limit before the BRZ hit its.
The 2013 Subaru BRZ is a rare car where once you’ve had a taste, you don’t want to get out. I honestly could have driven this car all day. It’s poised, quick, it handles like a go-kart, and it is relatively comfortable. There are very few cars under $30,000 that are this much fun to drive. Subaru has produced a real winner here and I suggest that anyone should drive this if they’re in the market for a new sports car.
*Photos from when we were Sioux Falls Auto Reviews