Best Subaru Australia Sports Cars
Based on 14 reviews
4.5 (14) Summary
- Starting Price $37,490 to $49,690
- TransmissionAutomatic and Manual
- Drive TypeRear Wheel Drive (RWD)
- Fuel TypePetrol
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Cameron NSWSydney, NSW 110 postsZ1
Updated in all the right waysThis new BRZ has more power, new styling and other mechanical updates that make it appealing on paper for those looking for an upgrade from their old BRZ.
It’s a rare beast too. There’s no turbocharger, it's rear-wheel driv... Read moree, and it's a two-door sports car, all for a reasonable asking price. The BRZ was never known for being built like a luxury vehicle. It’s an affordable sports car that puts it’s R&D budget towards driving dynamics first, followed by everything else in this car. The second generation BRZ has seen a big step up in quality in the form of additional padding, leather/cloth seats, new screens and even more stitching. The new BRZ starts from $40,290 for the entry-level manual transmission model through to this model. This is the BRZ S - it’s the automatic, and it tops the range at $45,390 before on-road costs. Despite recent price increases, the BRZ is a sharply priced product. There’s a suite of safety features added to the new car and there are meaningful mechanical upgrades thrown in there too. I wouldn’t recommend buying this specific model, unless you really want the few safety features the automatic transmission brings to the BRZ. All Subarus come with a 5 year/unlimited kilometre warranty and a capped price service program. Surprisingly, Subaru’s sports car has better coverage over its capped price service program than the Forester. You’re covered for 5 years or 75,000km (whichever comes first) and the total cost of servicing during this period is $2,474.70. The speaker system in the new BRZ is a fine way to enjoy phone calls, music or podcasts. It’s not going to create a sense of total immersion, but at least these speakers resist rattling or distorting the sound they produce. Something you need to be acutely aware of is that road noise is very apparent on the highway. There aren’t many cars that I make a point to inform potential buyers about excessive road noise, but the BRZ is one of them. If you’re looking for a shouty exhaust note, you’ll need to go aftermarket. There’s an artificial engine sound that can only be disabled at a Subaru dealership. This is all done to compensate for that extremely quiet exhaust sound, despite there being two very real exhaust exits. Braking is a little more important in a car like this. I’m pleased to say that although these brakes look basic, they perform with few flaws. The set up and initial bite is a smooth transition, allowing for steady control without upsetting the car's chassis, even at high speeds. For day-to-day use, and even track use, the BRZ’s brakes are extremely in tune with what this car is trying to achieve. The stereo cameras behind the rear vision mirror - known as Subaru’s ‘EyeSight’ camera system - also offer a safety net in the form of autonomous emergency braking. Initially this system will be only offered in cars fitted with the automatic transmission and omitted from manual transmission cars. Power and acceleration have always been a controversial point in Subaru’s sports cars. The original 2.0L flat four motor produced a mediocre amount of power, and struggled to put power to the ground with its skinny economical tyres. The big news with the new BRZ is its new motor. We now have 2.5L on hand, 174kW and 249Nm of power! It’s not just power that’s good about this motor, it’s the fact that Subaru flattened the torque dip around 4,000rpm to avoid any unnecessary impact to performance. That torque dipped has been flattened and raised so that its trough is higher than the peak torque produced by the previous engine. Acceleration is quoted at 6.3 seconds for the manual, and 6.8 seconds for the automatic - yet another reason to buy the manual. The automatic 6-speed transmission isn’t the most engaging option you can pick to complement the BRZ. It’s easy to use day to day, and it’s a comfortable drive. There’s even a set of paddle shifters on the steering wheel to add a little more engagement. Yet, this is still the dull transmission option for this car. It’s slow to change gears, semi-responsive on downshifts and doesn’t even have a sequential shifting pattern for manual mode. Regardless of how improved the automatic transmission feels, I'd only be opting for the manual if I was buying a new BRZ. The underlying reason why anyone would buy a BRZ over any sports car below $100,000 would be its chassis’ design and construction. There’s been a rework in rigidity - so much so that the new BRZ is 50% more stiff than the previous generation. Add in the fact this has one of the lowest centres of gravity in any front-engined sports car and you have a recipe for handling success. Sending power solely to the rear wheels allows the front wheels to focus on steering, and encourages the driver to exit corners at a higher rate of speed. The BRZ is able to translate what’s happening with the car and how it’s interacting with the road through to your seat and steering wheel. It’s a sensation that’s so rare to find in cars these days, as more and more cars become disconnected from the actual drive and focus more on comfort. I was especially fond of the suspension setup in its ability to keep the car flat through hard corners, while also being softly sprung enough to not feel like a weekly trip to the chiropractor was needed. This is an addictive car to drive, and you’ll want to find roads with plenty of turns to exploit what makes the new BRZ so great. When you combine the added power, a naturally aspirated motor, a rigid chassis and rear-wheel drive, you end up with a recipe no other car can match at this price point. That is, unless you want two fewer seats and a soft top convertible. With a claimed consumption of 9.5L per 100km, the BRZ is relatively fuel efficient if you’re not heavy on the throttle. With no turbocharger on hand, fuel consumption might look a little high on occasion. However, we achieved figures around 9-10L per 100km of driving during our week with the BRZ. What’s not so appealing is the fact this motor only accepts 98 octane fuel, so you’re going to be buying top shelf fuel. It’s a little strange considering higher output engines from other brands can accept lower octane and cheaper fuels. The interior design of the new BRZ is sparse, but not without meaningful changes. A digital driver’s instrument cluster in the shape of a boxer engine design starts the experience with a unique starting animation. There’s a centre touchscreen that looks like it came straight from 2008, however it sports Subaru’s infotainment software, which is wildly useful. I especially appreciate how you can turn off the screen to focus solely on the drive. Seat design up front is excellent for a stock seat. There’s plenty of lateral support, and adjustability to get comfortable for a range of conditions. Add in the fact that you have Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity, heated seats and radar cruise control, and you can see why the BRZ appeals to such a broad range of owners. Fold the rear seats down, and you have one of the best features of the BRZ. The car is designed to house another set of wheels and tyres with the space the boot and folded seats provide. Although, I really wish there was a cover for the spare tyre that’s bolted and exposed in the rear boot. I’m certain that this is the pure benchmark for driver engagement and enjoyment for under $100,000. There’s only one other car doing the same thing, and that’s the Mazda MX-5. Amongst a plethora of turbocharged hot hatches, the BRZ is the driver's choice, as you’re able to feel connected to it in all the right ways. I hope just as many buyers order the new one as they did with the previous generation, as we need to send a message to automotive manufacturers to continue to make affordable sports cars just like this - just make sure you order it as a manual. *Disclaimer - I work for ProductReview as their independent car and motorbike expert. I borrow new cars and motorbikes from manufacturers and owners to review. I am not paid or incentivised by these brands to post reviews. I write and create content to provide insight and information about any new or used vehicle I can get my hands on.