Since BRZ's debut in 2013, fans and critics alike have been begging for some updates, but the automaker resisted until now. For 2017, the BRZ gets a slight uptick in power, an updated look, and a new Performance package.

Are these changes enough to keep the fans happy and the critics quiet?

Pricing and Equipment

The Subaru BRZ represents one heck of a value in the sports car segment, mostly due to its simple design. It starts at $26,315 and comes standard with a respectable number of features, including:

  • 17-inch alloy wheels
  • Automatic LED headlamps
  • Keyless entry
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Eight-speaker audio system

Buyers looking for additional features can opt for the Limited model, which starts at $28,465. The Limited trim also has an available Performance package ($1,195) that adds black alloy wheels, four-wheel Brembo brakes, Sachs performance dampers, and a retuned suspension.

Performance Pros

Subaru BRZ

The 2017 BRZ gets a nice horsepower boost to 205 ponies on models with the manual transmission. Automatic models remain at 200 horsepower. What’s more, this engine is plenty happy to hit the higher revs. We found the six-speed manual transmission to be precise and easy to use when ripping through the gears.

  • Rev-happy 2-liter boxer engine
  • Precise six-speed manual transmission
  • Well-tuned steering and suspension systems

Performance Cons

Low torque output has plagued the BRZ since its debut, and this continues with the 2017 model, which produces just 156 pound-feet (or 151 pound-feet with the automatic). This low torque doesn’t lend itself well to quick acceleration, meaning you have to hang in the 4,500 to 6,500 rpm range to have real fun. While many folks crave the old sports car formula, the BRZ seems to rely a little too heavily on this. It lacks any real modern performance bits.

  • Low torque output
  • Reduced horsepower with auto transmission
  • Old-formula sports car

Interior Pros

Subaru BRZ

The upright driving position makes for great vision on the track. We also noted that, for its class, its 6.9 cubes of cargo room is respectable. Sure, you won’t want to take a cross-country trip in it, but it’s fine for shorter trips.

  • Upright driving position delivers great visibility
  • Roomy front seats
  • Decent cargo room for its class

Interior Cons

While the front seats have plenty of room, the rear seats are tiny and offer only 29.9 inches of legroom. This would cramp even young children. The audio system’s lack of physical buttons makes it hard to operate by feel.

  • Tiny rear seat
  • Very firm front seats
  • Audio system lacks physical buttons

The Most Pleasant Surprise

The BRZ’s handling on the track is nothing short of incredible. Sure, it’s an old-style sports car, but this is somewhat refreshing in competition. The engine is also tuned for track use, as it seems most comfortable at higher revs.

The Least Pleasant Surprise

Subaru should just make the BRZ a two-seater. It's quite clear that only the front-seat occupants matter to this tiny sports car. The rear seat is utterly useless for anyone over eight years old.

The Bottom Line

The BRZ is exactly what Subaru intended it to be: a tried-and-true sports car that follows an old-school formula. This doesn’t lend itself well to competing against modern sports cars, but it does fit certain niche buyers like a glove.