2012 saw the arrival of two virtually identical twin sensations, the Subaru BRZ and Toyota 86. The joint effort was hailed as one of the most entertaining drives around with the potential to reach iconic status. Waiting lists blew out and for Subaru you could only secure one by buying online until January 1, 2014. Fast forward to 2015 and EFTM has sampled the Subaru BRZ, let’s see if it still holds its own.
The 10 Minute Test Drive
Yep, still a bloody fine drive. Finding a twisty mountain circuit will leave you in no doubt about the extraordinary combination of balance, poise and that vital organic interaction between human and machine.
The BRZ steers like a true sports orientated car should with an ability to dart through corners like a slot car, this chassis was born for chicanes, s-bends and cambered turns like few others.
The gruff sounding Boxer engine initially feels quite agricultural and sluggish, it won’t see you rocketing off the line like a crazed turbo hot-hatch. But after developing a little pace it becomes a wonderfully willing little unit, it loves hitting the redline and keeping it in that sweet spot brings untold potential once you learn how to manipulate the short throw manual gear stick.
But for all its sporting prowess the BRZ has an interior that falls short of what is expected in 2015. It’s spartan and very low tech. But with such a sizeable dose of fun factor built in, this normally glaring fault is overlooked in a second once you take one for a decent spin.
Ins and Outs
The 2015 Subaru BRZ does score a handful of minor but nonetheless noteworthy improvements. The suspension has been fiddled with providing for a less jarring experience. The small adjustments are said to allow the BRZ to have a more compliant attitude on uneven surfaces. It’s hard to detect to be honest, but the ride is certainly far from ever being bone rattling, making for a liveable day to day drive.
Keen eyes will spot the shark fin style antenna mounted on the roof and a frameless rear vision mirror, which is still manually adjustable for dimming.
Formally silvery interior highlights are now a matte carbon fibre-type trim and an exclusive WR Blue pearl paint scheme exclusive to Subaru
The feisty little 2.0-litre boxer engine remains the same with 147kW/205Nm. The six-speed manual as mentioned is a hoot and makes revving the unit close to 7000rpm a must for optimum acceleration. Drive is sent to the rear wheels and one could only imagine the real fun this car is really capable of when pushed hard….
The Tech Inside
This won’t take long. Smart key technology has been updated and Bluetooth is available but is very basic in operation. An aftermarket looking module sits in the top right hand corner of the windscreen. It’s a simple process to pair, but don’t expect music streaming, it’s purely for hands free operation.
An optional infotainment satellite navigation screen was fitted on our test car along with heated seats. The former is almost as basic as the Bluetooth.
There’s cruise control via a stalk which protrudes from the steering column, self-levelling Bi-Xenon dusk sensing headlights and power folding door mirrors.
The BRZ has a national driveway price starting from $37,150. A six-speed auto will set you back $39,730, although this car is tailor-made for the joys of a manual. Warranty is 3 years / unlimited kilometres. It sips only premium unleaded fuel at a claimed rate of 7.8L/100km although expect closer to 8.5L/100km consistently. You don’t want to walk into a dealer when you can still purchase one online.
The EFTM Rubber Stamp
Be it the Subaru BRZ or Toyota 86 this is still one hell of a drive. There are plenty of drawbacks like the noisy cabin, dated interior and limited boot which includes an exposed spare wheel. But the purists would argue that’s the deal when it comes to a stripped back sports machine such as this. Far more sophisticated hot-hatches are much more spoilt at least on paper, but the sheer unbridled joy of piloting this little low-slung creation at speed is very hard to replicate. The Subaru BRZ earns the EFTM Credit Rubber Stamp.