2020 Subaru BRZ

#17
in Coupes
2020 MODEL
$25,795 - $29,745

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2020 Subaru BRZ Complete In-depth Review & Buying Guide


CARHP Editorial Updated on: November 28, 2019


You can have a lot of fun for a hundred thousand dollars. But what about a quarter of that money? Thankfully, Subaru has a brilliant car that offers you a lot of fun for the latter amount of money. It uses a small, naturally aspirated 2-liter engine and light yet tough chassis to build a fun and agile car. The Subaru BRZ is quite a popular option among young enthusiasts who don't have the money to buy a Porsche, or tuners who want a capable base for their project car.

What is fun? The simplest answer would be “enjoyment” or “amusement”. There are plenty of cars that claim to be “fun”. The BMWs and Porsches of the world will make you believe that power and handling make a car such. Muscle cars though have held the fancy of enthusiasts with only power. Then there are cars like the Subaru BRZ and Toyota 86 try to do it with only handling.

See detailed review »

Pros

Good cabin build quality

Classic Coupe styling

Brilliant handling

Good price to fun ratio

Cons

Weak power output

Lack of premium equipment

Cramped rear quarters

What's New?

No mechanical changes or upgrades


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$25795

bodystyle

2dr Coupe

passenger capacity

4

drivetrain

RWD

engine type

displacement

122 cu.in.

horsepower

205 hp @ 7000 rpm

torque

156 lbs.-ft @ 6400 rpm

transmission

6-speed manual

chassis

frame type

Unibody

suspension front

Independent front strut suspension w/anti-roll bar

suspension rear

Independent rear double wishbone suspension w/anti-roll bar

brake rotors (f/r)

59.8/60.6

dimensions

wheelbase

101.2 in.

length

166.7 in.

width

69.9 in.

height

52 in.

curb weight

2789 lbs.

ground clearance

4.9 in.

capacity

passenger volume

76.5 cu ft.

cargo volume

6.9 cu ft.

performance

zero to 60 mph

5.9 sec.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

21/24/29 mpg

highway range

382.8 mi.

warranty

basic warranty

3 yr. / 36000 mi.

drivetrain warranty

5 yr. / 60000 mi.

powertrain warranty

60 months. / 60000

corrosion warranty

5 yr. / unlimited

roadside assistance

3 yr. / 36000 mi.



Styles

 2020 Subaru BRZ in Pure Red color  2020 Subaru BRZ in Ice Silver Metallic color  2020 Subaru BRZ in Dark Gray Metallic color  2020 Subaru BRZ in Crystal White Pearl color  2020 Subaru BRZ in Crystal Black Silica color
Pure Red

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Features

5.5

Interior

7.5

7.1

OVERALL RATING

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


 2020 Subaru BRZ Premium

Premium

power
205 hp @ 7000 rpm
fuel
Premium unleaded (required)
mpg
24 combined

$25,795


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
Premium 2dr Coupe (2.0L 4cyl 6M) Starting at $25,795 MSRP (21/24/29) 205 hp @ 7000 rpm, 2 L, H-4, premium unleaded (required)
6-speed manual rear wheel drive 4

 2020 Subaru BRZ Limited

Limited

power
205 hp @ 7000 rpm
fuel
Premium unleaded (required)
mpg
24 combined

$28,645 - $29,745


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
Limited 2dr Coupe (2.0L 4cyl 6M) Starting at $28,645 MSRP (21/24/29) 205 hp @ 7000 rpm, 2 L, H-4, premium unleaded (required)
6-speed manual rear wheel drive 4
Limited 2dr Coupe (2.0L 4cyl 6A) Starting at $29,745 MSRP (24/27/33) 200 hp @ 7000 rpm, 2 L, flat 4, premium unleaded (required)
6-speed shiftable automatic rear wheel drive 4

Expert Review

7.1

Overall Rating


Until the Toyota Supra gets here, Subaru BRZ and Toyota 86 are the simplest performance cars on the market today. You can have a drift machine for just $26,455, which is an incredible value for money. To be honest, there isn’t any organic competition to the BRZ/86 twins. If you were to look for other options, you’d only find the toned-down versions of powerful performance cars, none of which were intentionally targeted towards the segment.

2020 Suabaru BRZ
2020 Suabaru BRZ

5.5/10
Features

 
 
 

7.5/10
Interior

 
 
 
 
 

2020 Subaru BRZ Features

5.5/10

You get a choice of two trims, the base "Premium" trim, and the upmarket "Limited" trim. Subaru offers all the necessary items on the base variant, 17-inch wheels, summer performance tires, LED headlights, a trunk spoiler, heated mirrors, a height-adjustable driver's seat etc. All of them come with a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine and rear-wheel drive. A special-edition BRZ was available, called Series Gray but only 250 were announced for the States and they’re apparently gone by now.

Trim

Premium

Limited

MSRP RWD

$25,795

$28,645

Key Features

Welcome lighting

Same as Premium, with additional features

 

Keyless entry system

Keyless Access with Push-Button Start

 

Engine immobilizer

Anti-theft security system

 

Leather-wrapped 3-spoke steering wheel with integrated cruise

Alcantara/leather-trimmed upholstery

 

Bluetooth, and audio controls and red stitching

Paddle shifters (optional)
 

Power side mirrors

Automatic transmission (optional)

 

Power windows with auto-up/-down

Keyless Access with Push-Button Start

 

Manually adjustable tilt/telescoping steering column

Dual-zone automatic climate control

 

Sun visors with concealed vanity mirrors

Brembo performance brake system (Optional)

 

Center console with 12-volt power outlet

SACHS Performance shock absorbers (optional)

 

Glove box with a 12-volt power outlet

 

We recommend

The Premium is good for a lightweight fun car and has a good standard equipment list too. It's replete with creature comforts and offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which are entirely absent from the BRZ's twin, the Toyota 86. No matter what trim you choose, your best bet will be the manual transmission.

2020 Subaru BRZ Engine and Performance

Don't let the boy-racer vibe deter you: The BRZ is perfect for purists on a budget. -Car and Driver

With 205 horses on tap, the 2020 BRZ isn't the strongest contender in the affordable performance segment. The little naturally aspirated mill is shared across many Subaru models, such as the Subaru WRX and WRX STI. The driver can aid the car by shifting the gears themselves, using the beautifully weighted slick shift stick that slots perfectly into the next gear upon command.

2019 Subaru BRZ engine bay

You could also choose a 6-speed auto, which comes with rev-matching and paddle shifters. The engine is also tweaked a little differently and has a decreased output by five measly ponies, which is about 2% decrement. There isn't much reason to consider the auto though, as it isn't as engaging as the manual, although driving stick is a pretty complicated business, and everyday commuting is best done without the left foot.

Models

Subaru BRZ

Ford Mustang EcoBoost

Dodge Challenger SXT

BMW 4 Series 430i

Chevrolet Camaro

MSRP

$26,455

$26,120

$27,295

$44,800

$25,500

Engine

2.0-liter Boxer-4

2.3L, Turbocharged 4-cylinder engine

3.6-Liter V6 24-Valve VVT Engine

2.0L Inline-4

2.0L Inline-4 Turbo engine

Transmission

6-speed manual

6-speed manual

8-Speed Automatic

8-speed automatic

6-speed manual

Horsepower

205 hp @ 7,000 rpm

310 hp @ 5500 rpm

305 hp @ 6350 rpm

248 hp @ 5200 rpm

275hp @ 5600

Torque

156 lbs.-ft. @ 6,400 rpm

350 ft-lbs. @ 3000 rpm

268 lb.-ft. @ 4800 rpm

258 lb.-ft. @ 1450 rpm

295lb.ft. @ 3000-4500

Different manufacturers have different formulae to build an affordable performance car. Ford and BMW use a small turbocharged engine to push out relatively massive power. Dodge uses a larger V6, hoping it doesn't feel like a cut-price V8.

Acceleration

The 2-litre boxer is a great engine in itself and manages to time some competitive acceleration numbers. The BRZ races ahead initially, but the lack of top-end power sees it lose to the more powerful rivals. For the stock car, there isn't much to talk about here. Thankfully, you need not limit yourself as the manufacturer does.`A popular enthusiast car always attracts the aftermarket crowd. There are plenty of customization options, and nearly half of those are only breathing apparatus for the engine. There are aftermarket superchargers, turbochargers, cold air intakes, etc.

Models

Subaru BRZ

Ford Mustang EcoBoost

Dodge Challenger SXT

BMW 4 Series 430i

Chevrolet Camaro

0-60 MPH

6.2

5

6.3

5.5

5.4

Quarter mile

15

13.0

14.8

NA

14

Engine

2.0

2.3

3.6

2.0

2.0

Emission

(Tons/yr. of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/year)

7.4

7.1

     

The premium BMW 4-series uses the clever dual-clutch shifter to gain a considerable advantage over its rivals. The Dodge Challenger, with its V6 heart, is quite noisy, but not fast. The EcoBoost Mustang doesn't have the bark from its dual exhaust, but it certainly has the bite.

Braking

The Subaru has great braking performance, much better than acceleration. It registers a distance of 120 feet to come to a halt from 60 MPH. The ventilated brakes work great, and the braking pedal feel is great, even on the standard car.

2019 Subaru BRZ Brake rotors and alloys

Model

Subaru BRZ

Ford Mustang EcoBoost

Dodge Challenger SXT

BMW 4 Series 430i

Chevrolet Camaro

Brake Front (in.)

11.6

12.6

12.6

12.3

N/A

Brake Rear (in.)

11.4

12.6

12.6

11.8

N/A

Curb Weight (lbs.)

2776

3532

3894

3574

3354

60-0 MPH (ft.)

120

128

176 (70-0 mph)

NA

129

Ride and Handling

In simple terms, the BRZ is not a car you should buy for the family. The intentions of buying the car should be entirely selfish, only to indulge in your wild automotive fantasies. The little car is extremely calm and composed, but only if you're gentle on the curves. If you drop that demeanour and be a little aggressive, the excited BRZ might give you a little some sideways action. This car is, in the truest meaning of this word, fun.

While every BRZ encourages aggressive driving thanks to its terrific balance and high-fidelity steering, the optional Performance package retunes the suspension and brings upgraded Brembo brakes as well as wider wheels and tires. The BRZ was created to put a grin on your face, whether you're an experienced driver with track experience or a first-time sportscar buyer; the ability of the BRZ to make any driver feel like a pro is what makes it so great .

2020 Subaru BRZ Fuel Economy

The 2-liter Subaru boxer is quite a frugal drinker, sipping a gallon every 21 miles in the city. Out on the open roads, you could stretch that to 28 miles. The auto offers additional 3 miles every gallon, although that varies as per individual driving style. If you love to keep the revs high, the fuel bills go high as well.

Model

Subaru BRZ

Ford Mustang EcoBoost

Dodge Challenger SXT

BMW 4 Series 430i

Chevrolet Camaro

MPG (city)

21

21

19

24

22

MPG (highway)

28

31

30

34

31

MPG (combined)

24

25

23

27

25

The EcoBoost Mustang has great economy figures, the same as the BRZ in the city, and even higher on the highway. The Beemer manages to be the most efficient car here, stretching a gallon for up to 34 miles on open roads.

2020 Subaru BRZ Interior

7.5/10

Comfort takes a back seat to performance in the 2020 Subaru BRZ. That's assuming anyone can get back there, too.  -The Car Connection

Seating and Comfort

Let's get the obvious facts out of the way. The BRZ is a proper two-door coupe, same as the more premium performance coupes on the market. The seating capacity, therefore, is in line with those couples. Two adults can be seated in comfort in the front seats. The rear seats are only there for show, and not even children would properly fit in there. That said, the front seats are quite comfortable and accommodating. The cabin quality is robust, and there isn't much to complain about.

2019 Subaru BRZ Cockpit

Model

Subaru BRZ

Ford Mustang EcoBoost

Dodge Challenger SXT

BMW 4 Series 430i

Chevrolet Camaro

Passenger capacity

4

4

4

4

4

Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

37.1/54.5/41.9

37.6/56.3/44.5

39.3/58.5/42

39.8/55.3/42.2

38.5/TBD/43.9

Second (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

35.0/51.7/29.9

34.8/52.2/30.6

37.1/53.9/33.1

36.1/51.7/33.0

NA

None of the cars here have decent rear-seat space, as there is no place for your legs to go. The Beemer and the Dodge have the most accommodating rear seats, enough to fit two children for a school run.

Interior Features

  • Front Seatback Storage
  • Leather Steering Wheel
  • Dual Illuminating Vanity Mirrors
  • Front And Rear Cupholders
  • Cargo Floor Mats
  • Front And Rear Door Pockets
  • Electric Power Steering
  • Rear View Camera
  • Tilt And Telescopic Steering Wheel

Infotainment System

The BRZ's cabin is very straightforward and depends on physical knobs and buttons rather than distracting touchscreen's.  You get a standard 6.2-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability provides the necessary hub for audio, phone, and vehicle functions. A larger 7.0-inch touchscreen with an extra USB port is standard on the Limited model. It comes equipped with the following features :

Infotianment System

  • Apple car play and Android Auto
  • HD Radio
  • Satellite radio
  • USB ports
  • Navigation
  • Bluetooth

Cargo volume

Trunk space in the BRZ is barely enough for a week's worth of groceries. Thankfully, the rear seats can be folded down to accommodate much more luggage or even four full-sized spares for your track day antics. There are smartly placed cubby holes in the centre console and on the inside door panels.

Model

Subaru BRZ

Ford Mustang EcoBoost

Dodge Challenger SXT

BMW 4 Series 430i

Chevrolet Camaro

Cargo Volume with rear seats up (ft.3)

6.9

13.5

16.2

15.7

9.1

Dodge wins this category by offering the best space in the boot, courtesy its gigantic dimensions. The 4 series BMW is right on its tail, with EcoBoost following behind a little.

2020 Suabaru BRZ Interior
Cabin
2020 Suabaru BRZ Interior
Cockpit
2020 Suabaru BRZ Interior
Instrument cluster
2020 Suabaru BRZ Interior
Racing seats
2020 Suabaru BRZ Interior
Steering wheel controls

2020 Subaru BRZ Exterior

The BRZ isn't coy about stealing inspiration from sports cars of the past. It adds modern touches like LED lights and sharp sculpting that cars from yesteryear couldn't, but the Subie keeps the same elegant roofline and flared fenders like a greatest hits compilation.  -The Car Connection

For immense gains in manoeuvrability and nimbleness, the BRZ holds under just under 1.4 tons of metal and plastic together in a compact package. With length under 170 inches and width under 70, you could drive this car on the sidewalk if you wanted to, not that its recommended, ever. The 101-inch wheelbase is tiny, and with the slide happy tail, you could pull out stunts worthy of Hollywood features. In terms of design, the little Subaru offers a brilliant package. It is a handsome little car and could be easily mistaken for a much faster car by the uninitiated. The aerodynamic styling is both aesthetically pleasing and functionally relevant. The sharp coupe line adds character to the side profile, as do the 17-inch wheels. The simple yet elegant tail section completes the look.

2019 Subaru BRZ

Model

Subaru BRZ

Ford Mustang EcoBoost

Dodge Challenger SXT

BMW 4 Series 430i

Chevrolet Camaro

Curb weight (lbs.)

2,776

3532

3894

3543

3354

Length(in)

166.7

188.5

197.9

182.7

188.3

Width(in)

69.9

75.4

75.7

71.9

74.7

Height(in)

50.6

54.3

57.5

54.2

53.1

Ground clearance (in)

4.9

NA

5.2

5.1

TBD

Wheelbase (in)

101.2

107.1

116.2

110.6

110.7

Track width (in) F/R

59.8/60.6

62.3/64.9

63.4/63.8

60.8/62.8

62.5/63.7

The Challenger hauls the most metal and consequently is the heaviest and the largest in here. The Mustang is quite compact, not to the extent the Beemer is, which is the closely matched to the Subaru. The Camaro holds a comfortable middle ground here, being neither tiny nor enormous.

Exterior Features

  • Projector low-beam and multi-reflector high-beam halogen headlights
  • Front and rear under spoilers
  • Rear bumper with integrated diffuser
  • Trunk spoiler - low profile
  • Exhaust system with quad stainless-steel outlets
  • Body-colour power side mirrors

 

2020 Suabaru BRZ
Angular front view
2020 Suabaru BRZ
Rear tailight
2020 Suabaru BRZ
Headlight
2020 Suabaru BRZ
Fog light
2020 Suabaru BRZ
Brake pads

2020 Subaru BRZ Safety

For 2020, the BRZ's IIHS scores showed best available Excellent results for most tests, while the small front overlap came in at an acceptable level.The BRZ comes with most of the safety features you'd expect to see in a modern sports car, which is as follows :

  • Vehicle Stability Control with Track mode
  • 4-wheel Anti-lock Braking System
  • Brake Assist
  • Daytime Running Lights
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring
  • Dual-stage deployment airbags
  • Seat-mounted front-seat side pelvis/torso airbags
  • Side-curtain airbags protecting the front and rear outboard occupants
  • Height- and tilt-adjustable active front-seat head restraints
  • Height-adjustable 3-point front seatbelts
  • LATCH system: Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children

NHTSA Ratings unavailable for now

2020 Subaru BRZ Competition

Subaru BRZ vs Ford Mustang EcoBoost Fastback

 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Fastback

With the EcoBoost engine, Ford was able to downsize the Mustang engine without a penalty in power. The result was a frugal yet sprightly tiny engine that feels unique, instead of a downsized V8, which the previous V6 used to feel. The EcoBoost has its own distinct feel and returns wonderful gas mileage as well. It isn't as compact or drift-happy as the BRZ, and when the two are driven back to back, the baby Mustang even comes off as bulky.

Subaru BRZ vs Dodge Challenger

Dodge Challenger

Dodge Challenger is everything the Subaru isn't; large, slow in corners, and capable of seating people in the rear seats. That said, they have a lot of similarities too. The base model Challenger SXT or SE is still a muscle car, but with less power, while the BRZ is a proper sports car, but with less power. The only problem with buying a lower variant Challenger is that you don't get the V8, only the V6.

2020 Subaru BRZ Final Verdict

With the Impreza and the WRX, Subaru proved to the world that fun and practicality can indeed go hand in hand. With the BRZ, they let go of the practicality by a fair amount and dialled up the fun to 11. The BRZ is one of the purest cars you will ever drive, and even if you don't already own one, you should at least drive one, if not buy one. The biggest pea under the mattress is the tiny engine. If you aren't a young enthusiastic driver, you'll outgrow the car pretty soon. You could go for aftermarket upgrades, but those void the warranty, and aren't really foolproof. A stock car will last longer, but your interest in it might not.

FAQ's about the Subaru BRZ

Is Subaru BRZ and Toyota GT 86 similar?

The deal to build the 2+2 two-door sports car sees Subaru supply the chassis and base 2.0-litre flat-four engine infrastructure, while Toyota supplies its fuel injection system and design. 

How much power does the BRZ produce?

A naturally aspirated 2.0-liter horizontally opposed SUBARU BOXER engine is tuned to provide up to 205 horsepower, combining balance with power and efficiency.

What is the Subaru BRZ top speed?

The BRZ can get to 60 mph from standstill in 6.2 seconds and tops out at 143 mph.

Which is better Subaru 86 or BRZ?

The Toyota 86 gives 24/32 mpg while the Subaru BRZ gives 24/33 mpg fuel economy. If you are looking to drive in the city the 86 or BRZ are both favourable however if you are looking to drive more on the highway the BRZ is a better option.