2018 Subaru BRZ

MSRP $25,595 - $33,495

Ranked #7 in Coupe

6.6

Overall Rating

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2018 Subaru BRZ Price, Review, Ratings and Pictures

Updated on: September 10, 2021

Nathan Dyer's image
Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor


After two consecutive years of upgrades, the 2018 Subaru BRZ adds a new leaf with a sharper version BRZ tS with STI performance upgrades. This rear-wheel-drive sports coupe is lightweight, perfectly balanced, easy to drive, and a whole lot of fun around the corners. The 2018 BRZ is available in three trim levels with Limited and the new tS is a more popular choice. The pricing starts from $25,595 which undercuts most of the rivals.

The interior is relatively simple, however, for 2018, a new 7-inch touchscreen is complete with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Under the hood, the 2.0-liter flat-4 is responsive, if not overpowering. Co-developed by Toyota and Subaru, the BRZ is a better pick for enthusiasts than 86. There are still flaws and competitors to consider as the competitors are better in terms of power, refinement, noise, and even fuel economy. The alternatives include the Toyota 86, and Mazda MX-5 Miata.

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Pros

Well-tuned suspension for an easy and fun drive.

Responsive steering at higher speeds too

Comfortable front seating

Better tech than its Toyota twin

Cons

Short feature list

Significant highway noise

What's New?

New Trim BRZ tS with enhanced suspension and brakes

Upgraded infotainment system with a new 7-inch touchscreen

Navigation and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$28445

bodystyle

dr Coupe

passenger capacity

4

top speed

134 mph

drivetrain

rear wheel drive

engine type

displacement

122 cu.in.

horsepower

205 hp @ 7000 rpm

torque

156 lb.-ft. @ 6400 rpm

transmission

6 speed Manual

chassis

suspension front

Independent front strut suspension w/anti-roll bar

suspension rear

Independent rear double wishbone suspension w/anti-roll bar

capacity

passenger volume

76.5 cu ft.

cargo volume

6.9 cu ft.

towing capacity

5000 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

6.4 sec.

zero to 100 mph

16.3 sec.

rolling start 5-60 mph

7.2

standing 1/4-mile

14.8 sec.

braking (70-0 mph)

164 ft.

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.

corrosion warranty

5 yr./ unlimited mi.

roadside assistance

Yes


Pictures & Videos


Trims

Premium$25,595 onwards

Limited$28,445 onwards

tS$33,495 onwards

Colors and Styles

2018 Subaru BRZ in Crystal Black Silica color
Crystal Black Silica

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

7.0

Engine and Performance

8.0

Fuel Economy

6.0

Interior

6.0

Exterior

7.0

Safety

5.0

6.6

OVERALL RATING

Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide

6.6

Overall Rating


The 2018 Subaru BRZ has been a top-ranking sports car with one of the lowest estimated five-year costs of ownership. The 2018 BRZ's five-year cost for gas, insurance, repairs, and maintenance is around $27,800. It is a rear-drive sports coupe, which is not available with all-wheel drive. The Subaru BRZ is credited for its thrilling driving dynamics, good engine ratings, attractive cabin, and supportive front seats.

Still, there are downsides to the BRZ in comparison to its rivals such as Mazda MX-5 Miata and Toyota 86. At the price point, the Subaru BRZ is short on features and has a small standard touchscreen display. Most of the coupe in the segment does have tight rear seats, better left for kids or extra luggage.


7.0/10
Features

8.0/10
Engine and Performance

6.0/10
Fuel Economy

6.0/10
Interior

7.0/10
Exterior

5.0/10
Safety


2018 Subaru BRZ Features

7.0/10

The 2018 Subaru BRZ is available in three trim levels: Premium, Limited, and tS. The 2018 BRZ's pricing starts at an MSRP of $25,595 for the Premium trim and ranges up to $33,495 for the tS coupe. All BRZ models come with standard rear-wheel drive, a six-speed manual transmission, and a 205-horsepower four-cylinder engine. The BRZ Premium comes with a basic set of features such as cloth upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and shifter handle, a rearview camera, and a Starlink infotainment system.

Next in line Limited trim is available with a six-speed automatic and upgrades to leather and Alcantara upholstery, heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, a 4.2-inch LCD driver information display, keyless access, a push-button ignition, and an upgraded Starlink infotainment system with Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay. The BRZ tS trim is a special edition with a limited production run of 500 cars and adds performance upgrades for a better driving experience.

Trims Premium Limited TS
MSRP (RWD/Manual) $25,595 $28,445 $33,495
MSRP (RWD/Auto) - $29,545 -
Key Features A 17-inch wheels, summer performance tires LED foglights STI-tuned Sachs dampers
  LED headlights Keyless ignition and entry Black 18-inch STI wheels
  A trunk spoiler, heated mirrors Dual-zone automatic climate control The Brembo high-performance brakes
  A height-adjustable driver seat Simulated-suede upholstery with outer seat portions in black leather Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tires
  Cloth upholstery Heated front seats A pedestal-style carbon-fiber trunk spoiler
  A leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel An enhanced trip computer display  Underbody spoilers
  A folding rear seatback A second USB port Special black finishings on various exterior components
  6.2-inch touchscreen A 7-inch touchscreen that brings with it integrated TomTom navigation Special Cherry Blossom Red accents exterior accents.
  Bluetooth Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.  

We Recommend

Most shoppers will be happy with the BRZ Limited model as you’ll get the best mix of features including LED foglights, keyless ignition, and entry, simulated-suede upholstery with outer seat portions in black leather, heated front seats, an enhanced trip computer display, and smartphone integration. Also, only the Limited can be equipped with the optional automatic transmission. Subaru also offers an optional Performance package that adds Sachs performance dampers, Brembo high-performance brakes, and gray-painted alloy wheels.

2018 Subaru BRZ Engine and Performance

8.0/10

The 2018 Subaru BRZ is a light sports coupe that’s exceptionally fun to drive, mostly thanks to a brisk engine and responsive handling from its composed suspension system. Drivers who prefer to row their own gears will especially enjoy the standard manual transmission. –cars.usnews

Subaru BRZ Engine and Transmission

All BRZ models come with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and rear-wheel drive. With the standard six-speed manual, BRZ's engine generates 205 horsepower and 156 pound-feet of torque while with the optional six-speed automatic transmission those figures dip to 200 hp and 151 lb-ft.

The BRZ’s four-cylinder engine offers satisfying power resulting in quick acceleration time. Among the transmission options, the standard manual gearbox is slick and feels refined, making it a joy ride. The gear ratios are well chosen and it is certainly the most fun to drive sports cars under $30,000.

Model 2018 Subaru BRZ 2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata 2018 Toyota 86
MSRP $25,595 $25,295 $26,255
Engine 2.0L DOHC 16V 4-Cylinder 2.0L SKYACTIV-G DOHC 16-Valve I4 2.0L H-4 DOHC D-4S
Transmission 6-Speed Manual 6-Speed manual 6-Speed Manual
Power 205 hp 155 hp 205 hp
Torque 156 lb-ft 148 lb-ft 156 lb-ft

The Subaru BRZ and Toyota 86 are identical twins with the similar powertrain. The differences between the 86 and BRZ are just the styling cues and suspension tuning. Mazda's MX-5 Miata is another enthralling option but it lacks power, rated at 155 hp.

Subaru BRZ Acceleration

The BRZ's four-cylinder pushes the coupe to 60 mph from a dead stop in 6.2 seconds, which isn't class-leading but ok. It is mostly because of the lacking midrange power, otherwise, the engine is quite responsive.

Model 2018 Subaru BRZ 2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata 2018 Toyota 86
0 – 60 mph 6.2 sec 5.7 sec 6.2 sec
Quarter Mile 15.0 sec 14.5 sec 15.0 sec
Engine 2.0L 2.0L 2.0L

The BRZ feels plenty energetic and is equally as fun but it's not easy to have an aggressive launch off the line. The Mazda Miata is quicker from zero to 60 even though it lacks the power in comparison to the BRZ and 86.

Subaru BRZ Ride and Handling

The 2018 BRZ is the only rear-wheel drive in the Subaru's lineup. The revised suspension tuning and extra power in manual transmission models are much appreciated. The cornering limits of the BRZ are what stand out from the rest of the class. Handling is responsive and precise, and the BRZ is extremely nimble.

The suspension is compliant enough to absorb most road imperfections but feels firm. Though the ride isn't punishable in daily driving scenarios. The Subaru's ride feels slightly harsher than the Toyota. 

Subaru BRZ Braking

The Subaru BRZ's brake delivers good feedback and has a very good first impression. In the emergency stopping test, the 2018 BRZ stops from 60 mph in 120 feet, which is an average performance in the sports car class. As you foot down the pedal, it feels firm but easy to modulate, however, during spirited driving, the pedal feels a bit wooden firm.

Model 2018 Subaru BRZ 2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata 2018 Toyota 86
60 – 0 mph (ft.) 120 124 120
Curb Weight (lbs.) 2789 2332 2774
Brake (Front) 11.6 11.0 11.6
Brake (Rear) 11.4 11.0 11.4

For improved braking, Subaru also offers optional Brembo brakes, which are standard on the tS trim. The Toyota 86 needed a similar distance to stop. If we look at the curb weight, both BRZ and 86 are almost 400 pounds heavier than the MX-5 Miata, still, Mazda needed a longer distance to stop from 60 mph.

2018 Subaru BRZ Fuel Economy

6.0/10

The 2018 BRZ with manual transmission returns 21 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway, which is the average fuel economy estimate for a sports car. You’ll get the best gas mileage if you opt for the automatic transmission, rated at 24/33 mpg. The new 2018 Subaru BRZ tS gets EPA estimated fuel economy of 20/27/23 mpg that's due to stickier tires.

Model 2018 Subaru BRZ Premium 2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata Sport 2018 Toyota 86
MPG (City) 21 26 21
MPG (Hwy) 29 33 28
MPG (Combined) 24 29 24

The Subaru’s main competitor - the Mazda MX-5 Miata manages 26/33/29 mpg while the Toyota 86 which is mechanically identical to the BRZ delivers a similar gas mileage.

2018 Subaru BRZ Interior

6.0/10

You sit low in the 2018 Subaru BRZ in a well-bolstered bucket seat. The 3-spoke steering wheel, shifter and pedals are perfectly placed for performance driving. – Kelley Blue Book

Subaru BRZ Seating and Comfort

The 2018 BRZ's interior gets mixed reviews as it offers ergonomic controls, perfect driving position, and good visibility. The coupe offers seats for four people but the rear seat is cramped with a little legroom. However, it is more than the Miata, for that matter. At the front, the seats are comfortable and are well-bolstered to keep you firmly in place through turns.

You will find a standard near-horizontal steering column placed perfectly, though more telescoping range would be nice. The dashboard wears faux suede but there is a lot of black plastic, which makes the BRZ's cabin look a bit dated. 

Model 2018 Subaru BRZ Premium 2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata Sport 2018 Toyota 86
Passenger Capacity 4 2 4
Passenger Volume (Ft.3) 76.5 N/A 76.5
Headroom (Front/Rear) (in.) 37.1/35.0 37.4/N/A 37.1/35.0
Legroom (Front/Rear) (in.) 41.9/29.9 43.1/N/A 41.9/29.9
Shoulder Room (Front/Rear) (in.) 54.5/51.7 52.2/N/A 54.5/51.7

Subaru offers the base BRZ model wrapped in cloth upholstery along with a six-way manually adjustable driver’s seat and a four-way manually adjustable front passenger seat. Steeping up will add leather and Alcantara upholstery with heated front seats.

Subaru BRZ Infotainment System

The BRZ's infotainment system features a standard 6.2-inch touch screen powered by the Starlink interface. The display is small and the dated graphics isn't competitive in the class. On the Limited and tS trim, you will get an upgraded system with a slightly larger 7.0-inch display, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto.

Infotainment System Features

  • Android Auto
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Navigation
  • HD radio
  • Satellite radio
  • Auxiliary audio input

Subaru BRZ Cargo Volume

The BRZ has a small trunk with 6.9 cubic feet of cargo space, which is about average for the class. The trunk opening isn't wide but it can hold quite some small-sized items. The cramped rear seatback folds to help you slide in longer items.

Model 2018 Subaru BRZ Premium 2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata Sport 2018 Toyota 86
Trunk Vol. (Ft.3) 6.9 4.6 6.9

Interior storage options include door pockets and a center console tray with removable cupholders. There's no armrest over the center console but there is a small bin forward of the shifter.

2018 Subaru BRZ Exterior

7.0/10

The BRZ takes cues from sports cars of the past, with a modern spin. Its profile is sharp and nose-first, with sculpted flanks, an elegant roofline, and flared fenders that may well be a greatest hits compilation. – The Car Connection

Subaru BRZ Dimension and Weight

The 2018 BRZ adorns the traditional sports car look with a modern twist. the coupe has a long hood, small cockpit, and low sporty stance. If we look t the front profile, the Subaru looks sharp with sculpted flanks. The sloping roofline and flared fenders add to its athletic tone.

Subaru updated the exterior styling last year by adding a new front bumper cap and LED lights. This sports coupe runs on 17-inch wheels. However, going for the top trim would fetch you 18-inch alloys.

Model 2018 Subaru BRZ Premium 2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata Sport 2018 Toyota 86
Curb Weight (lbs.) 2789 2332 2774
Wheelbase (in) 101.2 90.9 101.2
Length (in) 166.7 154.1 166.7
Width (in) 69.9 68.3 69.9
Height (in) 50.6 48.6 50.6
Ground Clearance (in) 4.9 4.9 4.9

Most of the sports coupes in the class ride low, and both the BRZ and Miata have a similar ground clearance. At 101.2 inches, the BRZ's wheelbase is neither the longest nor the shortest in its class. The car comes equipped with standard features like fog lamps, power mirrors, and auto-leveling headlights.

Exterior Features

  • LED headlights and tail lights
  • Power windows
  • LED fog lamps
  • Rear Spoiler
  • Auto-leveling headlights

2018 Subaru BRZ Safety

5.0/10

The Subaru BRZ scores the highest rating of Good in four crash tests and the second-highest rating of Acceptable in the driver-side small overlap front evaluation from the IIHS. The NHTSA gave the 2018 BRZ four-star rating on the front crash test and five stars on the rollover test. Subaru does not offer any active safety features o the 2018 BRZ. However, a rearview camera comes standard on all models.

2018 Subaru BRZ Competition

2018 Subaru BRZ vs Mazda MX-5 Miata Sport

Both the cars are priced almost similarly (BRZ costs $300 more). The BRZ has a mightier engine compared to the 155hp engine of the Mazda. The Mazda has better acceleration and fuel economy. The braking and boot space of the BRZ is superior to the Mazda.

Further, Mazda has a sitting capacity of only 2 people which can be a huge disadvantage when choosing a car. Subaru BRZ is the car to go for.

2018 Subaru BRZ vs Toyota 86

Toyota 86 is known as the twin of the Subaru BRZ as both the cars have the same four-cylinder engine and slick 6-speed manual transmission. Also, with similar acceleration and braking figures, both the 86 and BRZ are strong performers. However, the taut suspension in the BRZ result is a slightly firm ride than the 86. The fuel economy is almost similar too. The major differences between the two identical twins pertain to styling, suspension tuning, and standard features.

The 86 doesn't have Android Auto or Apple CarPlay while Subaru offers that on the BRZ. Both the sports cars rank similarly but 86 has a slight edge as it has a higher predicted reliability rating. It all depends upon the preference of the buyer. Go for the car that appeals to you more.

2018 Subaru BRZ Final Verdict

The 2018 Subaru BRZ is a cheap and comfortable sports car with a joyful ride experience. It has a lively engine and a very controlled and athletic handling. The infotainment system could have been better but the roomy interiors and convenient controls make up for it. What’ll appeal to most buyers is the beautiful sporty body of the Subaru BRZ. Go for this car if you want a stylish and hip looking, cheap yet comfortable sports car.

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