Test Drove a BRZ

Saturday, after doing much domestic stuff, then hanging out a bit in the afternoon, I decided to do something car related. So I went and test drove a Subaru BRZ (and also explored the inside of a new Corvette).

In 2015, as I was assessing what should be my next car (I ended up the next year with a 2016 VW GTI) I test drove a Scion FRS. I don’t think that I got it above 40 mph on crowded local roads, but even with that it felt underpowered.

However, so many people love to autocross the car (and I intend to continue to autocross) I felt that I should give it another chance, this time in the Subaru flavor. I’m sure anyone who is interested in hearing about these cars already has by now, but below is my take.

I actually test drove a very dirty silver example, but I would have to have the red (no grayscale cars!)

In short, I really like the BRZ version: rear-wheel drive with limited slip diff, nice suspension, great seats, gearbox and clutch felt fine, interior finish is pretty liveable particularly for the price . . .

But I just am not a fan of the engine. I am spoiled for torque in my GTI at 2,000 RPM, while in the BRZ the engine doesn’t feel responsive under 5,000 RPM. [Edit: I should be clear that I would be unlikely to modify a car engine because of autocross class impacts.]

And above 5,000 RPM, this engine is LOUD. Also, I don’t particularly like the sound.


It’s a shame, because I’d be willing to make compromises regarding space, etc., to get the rear-wheel drive and terrific handling if it weren’t for the engine. I should still probably borrow one at an autocross event just to remove my tiny amount of lingering doubt.

Smol opening, but can fit a spare set of wheels with the rear seat down
Lovely seats, and, hey! frameless windows like the Integra that I once owned
I could live with this, I think - better materials than the FRS

I came home and explained to my wife that I think that the BRZ is off the list of possible future cars, to which she replied, “But you aren’t shopping for a new car, ARE YOU.” (No, that punctuation is correct, it was not a question.)

Chrome wheels would have to be replaced, and I’d actually try to find another example anyway because BLACK.

I also told her that I sat in a new C7 Corvette at the dealer next door, since they had a 2014 that was almost reasonably priced, but that I didn’t think that it would work as a daily driver, which was good news as far as she was concerned.

The key problem is that I’m not sure that my dog could see out of the passenger seat, and yet he is big enough that there’s not quite enough room for him under the hatch, unlike a C5 (I don’t really like the look of the C6, although it might work). I’m ignoring the low fuel economy, very little interior storage, massive tires that will be used up quickly, etc., because that beautiful LT1 sound makes all that unimportant. It IS a bit flashy for my preferences.


This is how I started my holiday weekend: Caught up on chores and looked at cars that I don’t really need. Good times.

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