First Drive: Subaru BRZ

The new Subaru BRZ isn't drastically different in any way from its predecessor. The Japanese manufacturer have made a few minor changes to styling and attempted to improve the handling.

AOL Cars went to find out if these changes are improvements or not.

What is it?

The BRZ is Subaru's entry into the affordable sports car market. Opinions of the car are mixed, with some people saying it's underpowered and ugly, while others think it's fun to drive and great to look at.

The newest version has undergone some aesthetic tweaks and while no more power has been added, work has been done on the suspension and drivetrain in order to enhance the BRZ's already excellent handling.

What's under the bonnet?

The updated BRZ has the same engine as before, a 2.0-litre four-cylinder boxer engine with 197bhp and 205Nm of torque, enabling it to sprint from 0-60mph in eight seconds flat and on to a top speed of 130mph.

The six-speed manual transmission allows for a combined fuel consumption figure of 36.2mpg and CO2 emissions of 164g/km, compared with 39.8mpg and 164g/km for the automatic.

What's the spec like?

Subaru only offers the BRZ is one trim level – SE Lux. The manual version of the car starts at £26,495, while the automatic is priced at £27,995.

For this money, you get features such as Alcantara-upholstered seats and dual-zone climate control as standard. However, satellite navigation will set you back an extra £1,250.

Any rivals?

The most obvious rival for the BRZ is its sister car, the Toyota GT86. The two cars are identical in every conceivable way, so which one you choose depends on which badge you prefer.

Another dynamic duo that stands to oppose the BRZ is the Mazda MX-5 and Fiat 124 Spider. These two cars are built in the same factory in Japan and have an advantage over the Subaru in the fact that they are convertibles.

What's it like to drive?

While the BRZ doesn't feel particularly quick, the way it corners is fantastic. The thin tyres mean that kicking the tail out is easy, allowing for maximum levels of fun.

While the amount of power available can't exactly be described as plentiful, this is only noticeable on straight-line runs. On a road with lots of corners, the BRZ is guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

AOL Cars Verdict

The Subaru BRZ is a great little car, and incredibly fun to drive on a challenging road. The interior still might not be the nicest place to sit, and there is still an argument for a touch more power from the 2.0-litre Boxer engine, but on the whole the BRZ is a brilliant little sports car.

The Knowledge

Power (bhp): 197
Torque (Nm): 205
Max speed (mph): 130
0-60mph: 8.0 seconds
MPG: 39.8
Emissions (g/km): 164
Base price: £26,495

First Drive: Subaru BRZ

First Drive: Subaru BRZ