Unlike other websites and magazines, our ratings are not based solely on a singular road test, but rather a more encompassing batch of criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value. When comparing vehicles using our Rating System, it's important to note that the rating earned by each vehicle correlates only to the models within its class. For example, a compact car cannot be compared to a SUV—They are different vehicles altogether.
You can interpret our ratings in the following way:
5-Star: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.
4-Star: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.
3-Star: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.
2-Star: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.
1-Star: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.
2018 Subaru BRZ OVERVIEW
These days, any buyer with a penchant for performance will find a cavalcade of sports cars on the market that are ready to devour road courses and crush the quarter-mile. But a quick look at the window stickers of these road machines and the old trope rings true: Speed costs money - how fast do you want to go?
Luckily with the Subaru BRZ, there's no exorbitant entry fee. Starting at well under $30,000, the cheap and cheerful BRZ puts a smile on the face through the age-old trick of combining light weight, rear-wheel-drive balance, and a willing chassis. Fun and affordable, the BRZ is a breath of fresh air in a market where most sports cars run for a respectable yearly salary.
What's New for 2018
The biggest news for 2018 is the new tS package, which will be limited to only 500 units. Short for "tuned by STI," the tS includes a number of suspension tweaks, such as specially tuned coil springs and dampers, along with stiffeners for the front subframe and chassis. Under the hood, buyers will find a V-brace for additional rigidity, and an upgraded brake system handles stopping duty. To visually differentiate the tS, exclusive lightweight 18-inch wheels and a number of cosmetic touches are also accounted for, including a manually-adjustable carbon fiber wing that provides downforce as well as stylistic panache.
ALl 2018 BRZs now have a one-touch signal stalk, heated mirrors and a 'Track' mode that will banish the traction control and stability control systems unless the need for their intervention is dire. On the top two trims the Subaru Starlink infotainment and navigation system, which includes Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility, is now standard.
Choosing Your Subaru BRZ
All BRZs - even the new tS - make do with a naturally aspirated, 2.0-liter four-cylinder boxer-style engine. With the standard six-speed manual transmission, this motor makes 205 horsepower and 156 lb-ft of torque. Match up the boxer-four with the available six-speed automatic, however, and power output falls by five horsepower and five lb-ft of torque - another reason to stick with the three-pedal, short throw gearbox. While the power output may sound underwhelming, it is important to remember that the rear-wheel-drive BRZ weighs a scant 2800 pounds. That gives the car a lithe and tossable quality that larger and heavier cars lack - even those with significantly more power.
EPA-estimated fuel economy varies for each of the three available trims, but buyers can expect up to 24 miles per gallon city and 33 highway with the auto transmission and 21/29 with the stick shift.
A smattering of exterior hues are available, including the Subaru classic WR Blue Pearl (you're out of luck on the gold wheels, though). The interior follows the old Henry Ford mantra - any color you like, as long as it's black.
It should be noted that Toyota sells a carbon copy of the BRZ, called 86. The two cars are wholly identical but for a few comfort and convenience features and badging, so it may be worth it to cross-shop the 86 and see if a better deal can be brokered at the Toyota dealership. The few dollars saved by getting the 86 could fund that first set of autocross wheels and tires that you'll be sure to want after spending some time in this low-buck, lots-of-fun sports car.
If you're planning to buy a Subaru, expect to see rates as low as 0% APR on models like the 2019 Outback. The Impreza features one of the best deals involving 0.9% financing... View All Subaru Lease Deals