Synergy is a funny thing. It allows several somewhat benign things to come together to become something greater than the sum of those parts individually. Sure, peanut is great, and sure, chocolate is great too. But combine the two and you have a combination of flavors that has become one of the most lusted after flavor combinations for candies and protein shakes in history. It may seem weird to compare peanut butter cups to the new Subaru BRZ, but trust us, this car is a real treat.
Despite being criticized for lacking power for most of its life, the Subaru BRZ has continued to stay true to its original formula. A small, naturally-aspirated, high-revving engine combined with a manual transmission and rear wheel drive. That being said however, Subaru did address the power issue within those parameters by inflating the engine size up from 2.0-liters to a more respectable 2.4-liter DOHC flat-4 “boxer” engine that makes an improved 228-horsepower at 7,000 RPM and 184 pound-feet of torque at 3,400 RPM. Those numbers represent an increase of 23 and 28 respectively over the previous iteration of the BRZ. From there, power is sent through a standard issue six-speed manual transmission or an optional six-speed automatic transmission that comes at a $1,600 premium. A limited-slip differential waits to help send that power to just the rear wheels in true purist sports car fashion.
While the max figure of 228-horsepower might still have some clamoring for more power, the other important number of note is the curb weight of the BRZ. Despite having enough protection to qualify for the top safety rating for front crash prevention by the IIHS, the trim BRZ tips the scales at a slim-and-trim 2,815 pounds with the manual transmission, and 2,881 pounds for the automatic. That allows the Subaru to have an excellent power-to-weight ratio, and helps catapult the new Subaru BRZ from 0-60 MPH in just 5.4 seconds, which is a full second faster than the car it replaces, while topping out at a robust 140 MPH.
The interior of the new Subaru BRZ offers up more head and cargo space than you might think looking at the car from the outside. A six-foot human can sit comfortably in either of the front seats, while the rear seats can fold down to allow for a significant amount of luggage, or track gear to be stored. The rear seats are somewhat claustrophobic, but then, if you need a car with an expansive back seat, perhaps the BRZ isn’t for you anyway. A 7-inch digital gauge setup sits front and center of the driver, while an 8-inch touchscreen handles all things infotainment and is both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatible. The aforementioned top safety rating comes due in no small part to Subaru’s optional EyeSight Driver Assist Technology, which is their umbrella name for a litany of features like pre-collision braking and throttle management, adaptive cruise control, and lane-keeping assist to help everyone get to their destination in one piece.
Strangely, the base trim for the BRZ is known as the Premium trim, while the upscale trim is known as the Limited. This seems a bit backward compared to some other car company’s trim-lingo, but in any event, the extra money for the Limited seems well worthwhile as it includes things like bigger 18-inch matte gray wheels, heated front seats and side mirrors, leather, and steering-responsive LED headlights.
With an MSRP of around 30 grand, the new Subaru BRZ represents a diminishing, but beloved, segment of the automotive landscape – an affordable, fun, low-slung sports car that offers a honest-to-goodness manual transmission with a naturally aspirated engine and rear wheel drive. Sure, gear heads will always yell about more power, but that is exactly why the aftermarket was created. The BRZ is every bit as brilliant a combination of features as peanut butter and chocolate, and after just one jaunt down a winding road, we can assure you, it will feel just as sweet.
Related: 2022 Subaru BRZ: At $28,955, The BRZ Is a Great Bang For The Buck