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Roseville, CA – For driving enthusiasts who want to own a light, agile car that provides an elusive fun factor while also looking cool, the smartly designed Subaru BRZ deserves a good look.

That’s right, this is a Subaru, which has a history of creating unimaginative vehicles. But the Japanese auto manufacturer decided to gamble a bit and the result is a surprisingly fun sports car.

Actually, Subaru can’t take all the credit for the Subaru BRZ. It shares development with Toyota, whose version is the Scion FR-S. What both these sports cars have in common is a light (2,800 pounds) sporty vehicle with rear-wheel-drive and a flat-4 “boxer” engine.

The BRZ, the only Subaru that’s not equipped with all-wheel-drive, is a four-seat compact coupe that sits low to the ground and was designed more for its handling capability on curvy roads than straight-ahead acceleration. Modest changes for 2016 include an updated touchscreen infotainment system and a standard rearview camera.

Although not a huge fan of shifting gears any longer, the ease of the BRZ manual transmission enhanced the driving experience. The BRZ is capable of making agile turns on any challenging road while also demonstrating enough speed to maneuver in freeway situations, and showing very good braking capability.


2016 Subaru BRZ

* Performance: 2.0-liter, four-cylinder, 200 horsepower
* Mileage estimate: 22-34 mpg   
* Estimated price: $25,395 to $27,690
* Warranty: 3 years/36,000 miles; drivetrain: 5 years/60,000 miles; roadside assistance: 3 years/36,000; corrosion: 5 years/unlimited


The BRZ has a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine that features 200 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque. The six-speed manual transmission is standard for the BRZ and goes 0-60 mph in 6.8 seconds. The automatic is quite a bit slower, clocked at 7.9 seconds over the same distance. Gas mileage is 22-30 mpg in the manual and increases to 25-34 mpg with the automatic.

While there is no variety with the lone engine, the BRZ does have three trim models – Premium, Limited and the new limited-edition HyperBlue.

Although the BRZ is a throwback to sports cars of old, that also includes the limited interior makeup that historically typifies the class. Forget about storing much of anything, because outside of the glove compartment there is a general lack of storage areas and no center console. The BRZ does come equipped with high-tech features like navigation, HD radio and Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity.

Unlike some sports cars, the BRZ seats provide comfortable support and the leg and head room is more than adequate for front seat occupants on long trips. Of course, it’s just the opposite if you happen to be stuck in the cramped back seat. Leg room is practically nonexistent and back seat folks will find their heads very close to the back window. A plus with the BRZ is the trunk space is better than anticipated with 6.9 cubic feet that can store several travel bags and other items.

If you’re a fan of old-school sports cars, give the Subaru BRZ a test drive. It supplies the fun factor that sports cars typically deliver and it’s offered at a reasonable price, starting at around $25,395.