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2015 Subaru BRZ: handsome, fun, not so fast

The 2015 Subaru BRZ is a four-seat coupe sports car.

Now in its third year, the 2015 Subaru BRZ, a four-seat compact coupe, has a few updates and the new limited “Series.Blue” edition.

The BRZ acronym name means: “B” for boxer engine. “R” for rear-wheel drive. And “Z” for zenith. It remains the Japanese manufacturer’s only model without the brand’s well-received symmetrical all-wheel drive system.

Beyond the new trim, updates for 2015 Subaru BRZ include a retuned suspension, new exhaust tips, a “shark fin” antenna and a higher quality interior.

The Weekly Driver Test Drive

Like all of the carmaker’s models, the 2015 Subaru BRZ has vast list of standard features.

The Premium comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, summer tires, a limited-slip rear differential, automatic bi-xenon headlights, LED running lights, keyless entry, cruise control, air-conditioning, full power accessories, a tilt-and-telescoping leather-wrapped steering wheel, a height-adjustable driver seat and a fold-down rear seatback.

The 2015 Subaru BRZ is a four-seat coupe sports car.
The 2015 Subaru BRZ is a four-seat coupe sports car. Images © James Raia/2015

Electronic features include a 6.1-inch touchscreen; Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity; a navigation system; voice controls; smartphone app integration (Aha Radio); and an eight-speaker sound system with a CD player, HD radio, satellite radio, an auxiliary audio jack and an iPod/USB audio interface.

The Limited edition adds foglamps, a rear spoiler, keyless ignition and entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, simulated suede and leather upholstery and an All-Weather package that includes heated front seats and heated mirrors.

My weekly driver was the “Blue.Series” edition. Only 1,000 were manufactured for 2015, and the top-line offering includes a more sporting rear-wheel driver layout and a handful of other items sporty amenities:

Side and side rear under spoilers, black finish wheels, a leather-trimmed interior with blue highlights and stitching, red-painted brake calipers a carbon-fiber patterned trim and an undercover insulator. The package total is $1,795 (after a manufacturer’s $750 discount) and it’s one of the better-priced, high-end packages available in the auto industry.

The BRZ, co-devoloped with Toyota (its version is the Scion FR-S), is the carmaker’s answer to other current and former fairly priced and moderately performance-oriented sports cars — the current Mazda MX-5 Miata to the Datsun 240Z.

Driving the Subaru BRZ defines fun, if you like the gritty feel of driving a sports car. No bump goes unfelt. The BRZ isn’t particularly fast and it doesn’t shift with any degree of refinement. But it’s lightweight, has responsive steering and advances down the road with authority. While not turbo-charged the BRZ is at it best as it approaches freeway speeds.

Since my test vehicle is a limited edition, it attracted a lot of attention, including from a few young drivers who wished to test their respective sports car against mine. The BRZ has the looks but not the power for such antics.

And at least for one week, its driver wasn’t interested in any road competition, either. The Subaru BRZ is fun to drive. It’s handsome. And it costs about $30,000. Those are three strong reasons for many drivers seeking a sports car to buy it.


Handsome exterior design.
Comfortable seats.
Responsive steering.


Difficult entrance and exit.
No back-up camera.
Not particularly quick.

Facts & Figures: 2015 Subaru BRZ

Acceleration: 0-60 mph, 6.8 seconds.
Airbags: 6.
Fuel economy: 22 mpg (city), 30 mpg (highway), 25 mpg (combined) six-speed manual transmission.
Horsepower: 200.
Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price: $27,695.00
Manufacturer’s Web site:
Price As Tested: $30,285.00
Warranty: Bumper to bumper, 3 years/36,000 miles; Powertrain, 5 years/60,000 miles; Corrosion, 5 years/unlimited mileage; Roadside assistance: 3 years/36,000 miles.

What Others Say:

“But if you’re looking for a fun sport coupe with great road manners, a wonderful 6-speed manual transmission and sleek good looks, the 2015 Subaru BRZ deserves at least a couple of test drives.” — AutoTrader.

“If you think you need 300 horsepower to have fun, think again. A test-drive in the 2015 Subaru BRZ will prove you wrong. Sleek styling, rear-wheel drive and sharp handling make it one of the most appealing and attainable performance cars sold today.” — Edmunds.

“If you want quick, agile, affordable fun, there’s little out there that can match the 2015 Subaru BRZ, save its twin, the Scion FR-S. The styling is spot on, it has serviceable rear seats, and it even gets good fuel economy, making it a livable daily driver.” — Kelley Blue Book.

The Weekly Driver’s Final Words:

“The Subaru BRZ is fun to zip around in, shifting gears, riding low-to-the-ground and a getting a good fix of the overall experience of driving a reasonably priced sports car. It shouldn’t be considered on any level as a practical choice for a daily driver.”


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