2017 Subaru BRZ: Finding Joy and Happiness in Simplicity

2017 Subaru BRZ

The 2017 Subaru BRZ receives its most significant update since it was introduced in 2013. Highlights include a mild bump in power, revised manual transmission gearing and suspension tuning, updated styling, automatic LED headlights, an updated interior gauge cluster, a new standard hill-start assist system, and an available Performance package with bigger Brembo brakes, Sachs dampers, and wider wheels.

2017 Subaru BRZ

The front end wears most of the aesthetic touch-ups, including a new front bumper, new full LED headlights, LED fog lights and body colored winglets that aid in aerodynamics.

2017 Subaru BRZ

And not to be forgotten: a new track mode that will put a huge smile on your face. The track mode functions as a traction control system that gives permission for the rear tires to break loose and remain sliding longer before the electronic nannies are engaged to prevent the car spinning out.

2017 subaru brz track mode
Track mode is new for 2017

Reasons that we love the BRZ are its light weight, nimble handling, accurate steering, and rear-wheel drive dynamics.

Integrated into the instrument pod, Subaru has added a real-time dynamometer graph, in-car lap time stopwatches, G meters (for sideways shenanigans) and braking force and steering angle indicators.

2017 Subaru BRZ instrument pod
Photo Credit: Subaru of America

What the BRZ really needs is a power injection that amounts to more than 5 horsepower (only with the 6MT) and road adhesion that is closer to Velcro instead of Elmer’s Glue.

Inside the benign, yet predictable sports coupe, space is limited to two passengers and a finite amount of storage. Rear seats drop to extend the kid-size compartment posing as trunk space, but the opening is barely large enough for my 8-year old nephew to crawl through.

The Alcantara-covered seats are grippy and bolstered nicely in all the right places. Widebody individuals might find the sport seats a tight fit.

2017 Subaru BRZ

All-in-all, the Subaru BRZ is an affordable sports coupe that is “a fun car to drive.” We won’t do a point-by-point analysis here since that has been done many times over by other publications. Our advice to you is to try it out and see if it fits your personality and then go with your gut.

2017 Subaru BRZ
Photo Credit: Subaru of America

If you are not willing to let emotion guide you here, at least a little bit, then buying a driver-focused sports coupe won’t be your cup of tea.

MSRP $27,645
Price as tested $29,660
Engine 2.0-liter Subaru BOXER 4-cylinder
Power (hp) 205 @ 7,000 rpm (6MT only)
Torque (lb-ft) 156 @ 6,400 – 6,800 rpm
Transmission 6-speed manual
Drivetrain layout horizontally opposed Boxer engine / rear-wheel-drive
Curb weight 2,793 lbs.
EPA-estimated fuel economy mpg 21 / 29 / 24 (city/hwy/observed)
Ground clearance 4.9 in.
Wheelbase 101.2 in.
Wheels 17-inch aluminum alloy
Tires Michelin Primacy HP summer high performance, 215/45R17

Just a brother from another mother. Meet the BRZ’s Japanese cousin, the Toyota 86.