“The speed limit is 50 miles per hour!” Said Matron, as I nicknamed her…I was settling into my drive in the new Subaru BRZ through the Cotswolds when her voice told me to watch it and not exceed the local limit.
Tom Scanlan tries to keep his speed down in the Subaru BRZ 2.0i SE Lux Auto
I was doing 52 mph at the time, but I didn’t mind her very prompt warning because I had immediately felt at home and comfortable in Subaru’s latest and updated version of their two-seater coupe. And, anyway, once you study the owner’s handbook, you can switch matron off.
Two-seater? Yes, there are four seats, but I can’t think of anyone I know who could fit into the back, except my two-year-old grand-daughter.
The BRZ is the only Subaru not to be 4-wheel drive (a touch unusual from a manufacturer that leads the world with 965,000 4WD cars built). So why not 4WD -or All-Wheel Drive as they call, being not exactly the same technology? Well, by eliminating the need for a front differential, allows the gearbox (a very nice automatic in the test car) to be mounted lower in the chassis and closer to the centre of the car and so a 53/47 weight distribution.
The new Subaru BRZ is most easily distinguished from the outgoing version by its neat rear spoiler.
Many other improvements and refinements are claimed by Subaru: the suspension has been tweaked in several ways. Driving the car was certainly most enjoyable; the ride is very comfortable and the BRZ handled undulations and some fairly uneven and testing road surfaces with aplomb.
The steering is precise — an important part of providing the sort of driving experience that buyers of this sort of car are after and the steering wheel itself has been re-designed smaller and with a better leather.
In an emergency stop, the brakes performed faultlessly.
Adding to the fun is a pleasant exhaust note not to be found in any other car, especially when you wind the engine up to 7000 revs. The boxer engine has also been much worked over, generating 200 PS at maximum revs and giving acceleration of 7.6 seconds for the 0-62 mph sprint, with a claimed top speed of 140 mph.
The new instrumentation does the job very well and the seats are now in Alcantara and leather, very comfortable, although I did find myself re-positioning after sharp corners, so possibly a bit more support at the sides would not go amiss. The cabin has a stylish look and appears to be very well finished.
My drive on the launch was along about sixty five miles of Cotswold country roads, I achieved an indicated fuel consumption of 43.8 mpg, which compares very favourably with the official combined cycle figure of 36.2 mpg.
The car was priced at £26,050, superb value. There is a long list of standard features, including Starlink infotainment. This is operated through a nice touchscreen, but the optional satellite navigation is a whopping £1250 plus VAT…in fact, if it keeps the car’s price down, leave it out of the standard features list, that’s no bad thing. Navigation can so easily be done now on your smartphone.
The Subaru BRZ is a rare bird with around only a hundred and twenty sales a year…I can’t help feeling that a lot of people are missing out on a very special Subaru.
Car reviewed: Subaru BRZ 2.0i SE Lux Auto – Price on the road £26,050 0-62mph 8.2 secs Top speed 130mph limited Fuel Economy combined 36.2mpg CO2 emissions 164g/km Engine 1998cc Horizontally opposed 4-cylinder DOHC Boxer engine Max Power [email protected] Torque [email protected] Transmission 6-speed auto
If you love driving you will love the BRZ
Positive and precise handling
Great overall value
Expensive SatNav system