2013 Subaru BRZ Expert Review

4.0 Overall Score
Performance 4.2 Comfort 3.2 Styling 4.2 Value 4.0

Editor's Overview

The Subaru BRZ is a compact rear-wheel-drive sports car that delivers high-performance thrills and an engaging drive. Tight steering, a well-tuned suspension and a spritely engine all contribute to the dynamic fun that the BRZ provides.

You'll Like The 2013 Subaru BRZ If...

If you're looking for a relatively inexpensive and fun-to-drive rear-wheel-drive compact sports car, it's hard to beat the all-new Subaru BRZ. That it has a gorgeous form factor, two (albeit small) rear seats, and good fuel economy are icing on an already delectable cake.

You May Not Like The 2013 Subaru BRZ If...

If your idea of a sports coupe is one with a V6 or V8 engine and a larger overall size for the money, you might be better off with a Chevrolet Camaro, Ford Mustang or Hyundai Genesis Coupe.

What's New

A Subaru without all-wheel drive seems like sacrilege, but considering the kind of holy fun offered up by the 2013 BRZ we're willing to overlook its rear-drive sin. While it's a technical twin of the Scion FR-S, the BRZ adds a bit of luxury to the performance equation by offering a more upscale interior.

Interior Features

Billed as a 2+2 sports car the 2013 Subaru BRZ is best thought of as a 2-seater thanks to elfin rear bucket seats sized for emergency use only. Up front, occupants enjoy more human-like comfort with reasonable head space and comfortable yet incredibly supportive sport seats. The plastic-clad interior isn't fancy, but it offers simple functionality with minimal distraction, smartly keeping the driver focused on the joy of driving.

Exterior Features

Eye the all-new Subaru BRZ up and down and you might notice it bears a striking resemblance to the recently introduced Scion FR-S. The fact is, besides some minor details, the 2013 BRZ and FR-S are identical twins (we'll leave you to figure out which is the evil one). A long hood, abbreviated trunk, and a squat, planted stance all hint at the BRZ's sporting credentials. In person Subaru's coupe has a more charming presence than in pictures due to its small, athletic dimensions.

Driving Impressions

If the Chevrolet Camaro and Ford Mustang are large broad swords, then the Subaru BRZ is a finely balanced samurai blade. Its well-sorted suspension and limited-slip differential allow the BRZ to tackle curvy roads with precision and every steering and throttle input from the driver is met with immediate response. Diving into and out of corners may be the BRZ's forte, but the Subaru's sports-car performance appeal extends to its responsive braking and a 2.0-liter engine with smooth, linear power delivery all the way up to its 7,000-rpm redline. And while it may look and feel like a racecar, the BRZ is comfortable enough for your daily commute.

Pricing Notes

The 2013 Subaru BRZ Premium trim has a starting price of $26,265 with the fancier Limited trim adding another $2,000 to the total. It's priced a little higher than its competitors – the Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro and Hyundai Genesis Coupe – but keep in mind that the BRZ offers an all-inclusive package unlike the others whose many options and trim variations can drive up the bottom line. Be sure to check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what other BRZ buyers in your area are paying for their cars. Over a 5-year period, we expect the Subaru BRZ to retain its resale value much more than its American and Korean rivals.

Notable Equipment

Anchoring the BRZ's standard equipment list are a Torsen limited-slip differential, a navigation system with 6.1-inch touchscreen, six airbags, and an 8-speaker audio system with auxiliary and USB inputs.

Notable Options

Buyers looking to enhance the basic Subaru BRZ premium trim can step up to the Limited trim, which adds heated seats with Alcantara inserts and leather bolsters, dual-zone automatic climate control, fog lights, keyless entry and engine start, and a rear spoiler.

Favorite Features


While the BRZ's competitors can be equipped with a navigation system, none of them have one on their lists of standard equipment.


We really like that the Subaru BRZ is able to achieve up to 34 mpg highway (with an automatic transmission, no less) while providing all the fun of a sports car.

Under the Hood

We have hopes for a turbocharged engine option in the future, but for now the sole engine available in the 2013 Subaru BRZ is a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder producing 200 horsepower and 151 lb-ft of torque. Thanks to the engine's horizontally-opposed layout the Subaru BRZ boasts an extremely low center of gravity, enhancing the vehicle's handling abilities. Engine power is sent to the rear wheels via a standard 6-speed manual or optional 6-speed automatic transmission.

2.0-liter flat-4

200 horsepower @ 7,000 rpm

151 lb-ft of torque @ 6,400 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/30 mpg (manual), 25/34 mpg (automatic)

Editors' Notes

The 2013 Subaru BRZ is a compact rear-wheel-drive sports car that exists solely to engage its driver and deliver high-performance thrills on the streets and at the racetrack. That's the kind of simple mission statement we can get behind. Tight steering, a well-sorted suspension and firm, capable brakes help the BRZ deliver ample dynamic fun, while a comparatively modest price tag makes that fun accessible to passionate drivers of common means The BRZ competes in the same rear-drive ring as the Chevrolet Camaro, Ford Mustang and Hyundai Genesis Coupe, but proves itself to be a formidable opponent with its lightweight body and high-strung attitude.

Road Test Video Reviews

2013 Subaru BRZ Owner Reviews

14 Reviews
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It's an affordable sports car that's great on gas.

2013 Subaru BRZ Premium

I would highly recommend buying this car if it fits your lifestyle. It's very fun to drive and looks amazing. All models have very up to date features such as Bluetooth, heated seats, and GPS. My favorite part is the amazing gas mileage. It's hard to find a car that looks cool and is good on gas but I average 30 mpg. There is also plenty of legroom in the front seat and a good size trunk considering the size of the vehicle. I have personally owned it over 3 years and have had zero problems. The seats are comfortable bucket seats but it is very low so it is kind of hard to crawl out of and you can feel some of the bumps on the road. Like with most vehicles there are some blind spots that you have to be cautious of. It's very easy to wash due to the size and a great car for anyone who does not have to take kids anywhere and for people who have to commute.

- Jennifer D

The brz is a great car for the price!

2013 Subaru BRZ

My favorite feature of the brz is the handling. It has great pickup and hugs the curves well. Also very comfortable driver’s seat and loads of storage for a sports car! Only drawbacks are the rear seats are ridiculous with absolutely no leg room. Not sure what the point was since it is impossible to fit an adult back there. Also no controls for the stereo on the steering wheel. That should be standard in any car in this day and age.

- Dorothy S

The look of the car does not make it look smaller than it really is.

2013 Subaru BRZ

Car is not for families. I love that it is small because I don't have to tote around the kids! Fast, fuel efficient, higher maintenance bills, comfortable seating for 2. It does have a backseat but I do not recommend anyone trying to cram back there. Trunk is rather large for such a small car.

- Rebecca S

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