By Peter Perrotta
The best kept secret in the Subaru model lineup is that the Japanese car importer most famous for making good quality, rugged four-wheel drive vehicles, also offers up a rear-wheel drive sports car.
For almost ten years now, Subaru has produced the BRZ, a rear-wheel drive sports coupe.
To be honest, before it was put on my test drive schedule for February, I had never ever heard of this vehicle, nor seen it.
The 2022 BRZ Limited in Ice Silver Metallic that showed up for me to test drive for one week recently is certainly a good looking sports coupe.
In fact, it looks far more expensive than its $31,455 price tag.
For 2022, the folks at Subaru spruced up this second generation six speed manual sports coupe by giving it a more distinguished body look, freshening up the interior, lowering it down about 0.5 inches and making it about 1 inch longer.
The freshened up BRZ, featuring a more sculpted and sportier look is a head turner as well.
There were several occasions during my test drive week when passing motorists on the highway gave the BRZ the thumbs up signal as we passed each other.
Additionally, this new look BRZ has more power this year. Subaru scrapped the previous 2.0 liter engine and replaced it with a punchier 2.4 liter, flat four cylinder naturally aspirated Boxer engine that puts out 228 horsepower at 7,000 rpm and 184 pound feet of torque at 3,700 rpm.
The result is quite impressive.
This new look, more powerful BRZ is a really fun to drive sports coupe. It’s six-speed manual transmission shifts smoothly. The car is lightweight so even though it’s not of the muscle car variety, it moves rather swiftly and once you get it up to speed on the interstate it’s an admirable highway cruiser as well.
Even more outstanding is the BRZ’s athleticism. If you want to get frisky with it this car sticks to the road like glue. It performs extremely well when you drive it a bit aggressively staying very true and tight through tight cornering and turning.
The only caveat, for me at least, is that at 66 years of age and standing six-feet tall, I found it a bit of a chore to get in and out of this vehicle easily. The BRZ sits low to the ground and it’s not very big inside.
However, once you have tucked yourself neatly inside its cozy confines, it has more than enough leg room.
The base sticker price of the BRZ Limited I tested is $30,495 with an additional destination and delivery charge of $960. If you would prefer an automatic transmission, that option adds $1,600 to the price.
The BRZ has an overall EPA gas consumption rating of 22 miles per gallon – 20 miles per gallon in city driving and 27 mpg on the highway. It features a 13.2 gallon gas tank.
It has a rather short wheel base of 101.4 inches and is 167.9 inches long. Moreover it has light curb weight of 2,835 pounds.
The folks at Car and Driver gave the 2022 BRZ high marks for being strong and light, having a more responsive four cylinder engine and featuring “delightful” handling traits.
Car and Driver gives the BRZ low marks for its generic styling, not being overlay fast and for its firm ride quality.
However, overall Car and Driver tabs the BRZ as “true to its affordable nature and fun to drive.”
The interior technology on the BRZ is quite competent as well.
This tester featured an 8.0 inch touchscreen infotainment center mounted on the center dashboard.
I found this system easy to decipher and use and the voice command system is spot on – no need to repeat commands over and over that the system doesn’t understand.
Overall, I must say, I was quite impressed with getting to know the BRZ. If you are in the market for purchasing or leasing a rear wheel drive sports coupe, the BRZ should certainly be on your list of contenders to consider.
Peter Perrotta’s On The Road column appears bi-weekly. He can be contacted at email@example.com.
This week’s column is sponsored by Capital Motor Cars of Springfield, N.J.