2023 Subaru Brz Limited 6mt Lt Intro 214 1669913818

2023 Subaru BRZ Limited Long-Term Road Test: Introduction

Introduction

It was a given. The new Subaru BRZ has been redesigned for the 2022 model year and has already carried around a 10Best trophy. -mile test. That’s 2839 pounds of affordable rear-wheel drive fun. Meat and potatoes driving pleasure. Why did we choose the BRZ over its also fresh Toyota GR86 counterpart? It’s a tougher call, but this platform is still the Subaru engineering team’s baby. That the BRZ also drives better on bumpy Midwestern roads than the Toyota and is slightly less tail-happy in corners should make it that much easier for us to enjoy over the next year or so.

Subaru makes it easy for drivers to configure their BRZ. All versions have a significantly stiffer chassis and a 2.4-liter flat-four good for 228 horsepower—a 23-hp increase over the previous 2.0-liter mill. Most importantly, the new engine’s beefier 184 pound-feet of torque now peaks at a lower 3700 rpm, resulting in smoother power delivery. A Torsen limited-slip differential is standard, as is one of the most satisfying six-speed manual setups available. Good with us.

2023 subaru brz limited

Michael Simari|Car and Driver

The BRZ’s Premium trim level starts at $29,615, underscoring this car’s budget-conscious positioning. An intuitive 8.0-inch touchscreen, a 7.0-inch digital instrument cluster, dual-zone automatic climate control, keyless entry, a push-button ignition and other goodies are all included. But we’d be foolish not to step up to the $32,115 Limited, if only for the 18-inch Michelin Pilot Sport 4 summer tires that replace the base car’s 17-inch Michelin Primacy HP rubber. The heated front seats, blind spot monitoring and microsuede upholstery with red contrast stitching that the Limited also adds are a welcome bonus. The BRZ’s optional six-speed automatic transmission, which comes with a suite of Subaru EyeSight driver aids, was never considered, although we decided to tempt fate with road tax collectors by opting for bright Ignition Red paint (at no cost).

An early road trip from Michigan to Virginia International Raceway (VIR) in support of our Lightning Lap event knocked out our car’s 1000-mile break-in period and helped establish its current average fuel economy of 26 mpg – 4 mpg better than its EPA combined estimate. We also ran it on our 75-mph highway route, where its 31 mpg result beat its federal rating by a similar amount.

On its initial visit to the test track, a tire-spin launch pushed the BRZ to 60 mph in 5.4 seconds and through the quarter mile in 13.9 seconds at 102 mph, making it about a second faster than its predecessor in both measures. It also posted a solid 0.95g of grip around the skidpad and stopped from 70 mph in 162 feet and from 100 mph in 318 feet. We’re more than happy with this updated car’s bang for the buck. “It only took five miles to convince me that this is a fantastic sports coupe,” said senior technical editor Dave Beard, who added that he would “110 percent buy one.”

Some familiar nits have already popped up in the BRZ’s logbook. Even though it’s nicer and more comfortable inside than before, this updated car’s steering column still doesn’t telescope as far as some taller drivers would like. And the intimate cabin—while pleasingly simple when you’re peak-hunting—is stingy with useful places to stash our stuff while commuting. Folding down the rear seats should at least help it swallow an extra set of tires and wheels for track days, which we look forward to confirming.

2023 subaru brz limited

Michael Simari|Car and Driver

Considerable road and engine noise inside the car—91 decibels at full throttle, 74 decibels at 70 mph—is also part of life with the BRZ. While the song the new 2.4-liter engine sings is easy enough on our ears, those sound measurements are even louder than what we recorded in our previous-generation long-term player, which we said is “100 pounds of sound deadening material away from greatness.” Part of that increased noise stems from the fake engine note the new car plays through its stereo speakers—a feature Subaru doesn’t let you control, though the owner’s manual notes that your dealer can disable the added sounds upon request. A quick internet search reveals a more practical solution: Simply disconnect the system’s control module via an access panel on the far right side of the dashboard. Voila, no more flat-four backing track.

We won’t know exactly how much that correction dampened our Subaru’s voice until its return visit to the test track. But our initial impression is that we just blew the racket inside the car rather than changing the tone. Walk down the highway and you can barely hear the engine. Drive it hard, though, and plenty of flat-four grunt can still be heard through the firewall. And we can always plug the system back in when it suits us. Next up is fitting a set of winter tires, which will not only help our BRZ survive Michigan’s annual snowpocalypse, but make its rear-wheel-drive goodness even more exploitable.

Months in Navy: 1 month Current mileage: 3097 miles
Average fuel consumption: 26 mpg
Fuel tank size: 13.2 gal Observed Fuel Range: 340 miles
Service: $0 Normal Wear: $0 Repair: $0
Damage and destruction: $0

Specifications

Specifications

2023 Subaru BRZ Limited
Vehicle Type: Front Engine, Rear Wheel Drive, 4-Passenger, 2-Door Coupe

PRICE
Base/As Tested: $32,115/$32,115

ENGINE
DOHC 16-valve flat-4, aluminum block and heads, port and direct fuel injection
Displacement: 146 inches32387 cm3
Power: 228 hp @ 7000 rpm
Torque: 184 lb-ft @ 3700 rpm

TRANSMISSION
6-speed manual transmission

CHASSIS
Suspension, F/R: struts/multilink
Brakes, F/R: 11.6-in ventilated disc/11.4-in ventilated disc
Tires: Michelin Pilot Sport 4
215/40R-18 85Y

DIMENSIONS
Wheelbase: 101.4 inches
Length: 167.9 inches
Width: 69.9 inches
Height: 51.6 inches
Passenger volume: 77 feet3
Cargo volume: 6 feet3
Curb weight: 2839 lb

C/D TEST RESULTS: NEW
60 mph: 5.4 sec
100 mph: 13.3 sec
1/4-mile: 13.9 sec @ 102 mph
130 mph: 25.9 sec

Results above show 1 foot deployment of 0.2 sec. away.
Roll start, 5–60 mph: 6.6 sec
Top Gear, 30–50 mph: 8.9 sec
Top Gear, 50–70 mph: 8.0 sec
Fastest speed (C/D east): 140 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 162 ft
Braking, 100–0 mph: 318 ft
Road holding capacity, 300-foot skid road: 0.95 g

C/D FUEL ECONOMY
Observed: 26 mpg
75 mph highway driving: 31 mpg
75 mph highway range: 400 miles

EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/City/Highway: 22/20/27 mpg

GUARANTEE
3 years/36,000 miles bumper to bumper
5 year/60,000 mile power source
5 year/unlimited mile corrosion protection
3 year/36,000 mile roadside assistance

C/D TEST EXPLAINED

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