2022 Subaru BRZ
2022 Subaru BRZ
The Subaru BRZ is a sports car with 2+2 seating, brilliant handling, and not too much power for its size, which makes it more fun to drive than just about anything on four wheels, except its fraternal twin the Toyota 86. The BRZ (and the 86) arrives for 2022 with major changes, including a stiffer structure, revised suspension, and bigger and more powerful engine, a 2.4-liter flat-4.
The body shows a bit more character with added air intakes and vents, and it’s a pinch longer, wider and lower. The models have been reduced to two: Premium and Limited.
The 2022 BRZ is almost one inch longer, on a wheelbase that grows by a mere 0.2 inches; the rear track also widens a bit, and the roof drops by 0.5 inches.
The cabin has a simple instrument panel with a good-sized 8.0-inch touchscreen. It feels very sports-car-like, with a small steering wheel, aluminum pedals, and snugly bolstered seats.
Despite the downright begging from BRZ owners for a turbo, it doesn’t happen in 2022. But at least the new engine adds 23 hp and 25 lb-ft of torque, for totals of 228 hp and 184 lb-ft. To do that, it grows from 2.0 liters to 2.4 liters. It comes with either a 6-speed gearbox or 6-speed automatic.
The rear suspension has been tuned for more traction to handle the increased power to the rear wheels, and sticker tires are optional: 18-inch Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tires.
With a weight of less than 2,900 pounds and a very low center of gravity thanks largely to the horizontally-opposed cylinders of the engine, the BRZ is radically nimble, in addition to now being fairly fast. There’s excellent feedback from the quick steering, and the firm ride doesn’t sacrifice too much comfort.
The BRZ is EPA rated at 21 mpg city, 30 highway, 25 combined with the 6-speed automatic, and drops to 20/27/22 mpg with the manual.
It hasn’t been crash-tested yet, but the previous BRZ tested well, and the stronger chassis in the 2022 might improve results. Automatic emergency braking only comes on the Limited model with the automatic transmission, along with adaptive cruise control. Every Limited gets adaptive headlights, blind-spot monitors, and rear cross traffic alerts.
Made in Japan, the $28,955 BRZ Premium comes with cloth upholstery, an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a 7.0-inch digital instrument cluster, satellite radio, keyless start, LED headlights, a manual 6-speed gearbox, a Torsen limited-slip rear differential, and 17-inch alloy wheels.
The BRZ Limited is $31,455 with the 6-speed manual, and $33,255 with the automatic . It adds the safety features mentioned above, plus heated front seats, leather bucket seats with synthetic suede inserts, synthetic leather trim, Subaru’s Starlink connected services, and the Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tires on 18-inch wheels.
The shape isn’t sensuous like a Jaguar, iconic like a Porsche, or even perky like a Mazda MX5. But it’s cohesive, and it’s right.
The low grille hasn’t changed much, but the air intakes that frame it are taller. There are new vents behind the front wheels that draw hot engine air from under the short hood, while sharper side sills flow from the vents.
Muscular fenders give it an athletic stance, and the double-bubble fastback roof rolls back over the long deck to a trim spoiler.
The cabin embraces simplicity, including the 8.0-inch touchscreen that feels bigger because of the context. The BRZ sports a small racy-feeling steering wheel, tight bucket seats (with available synthetic suede inserts), tidy aluminum pedals, and straightforward gauges. There’s decent space in front, and the buckets are comfortable enough, while the bolstering keeps passengers in place during hard cornering.
The 2+2 seating doesn’t offer a realistic perch for passengers, just packages, and the trunk under the fastback is just 6.9 cubic feet; a romantic road trip for two will have to travel light. But when the bench is folded down, two wheels with tires can fit in there for track days.
With its new engine, the BRZ can accelerate from 0-60 in 6.5 seconds with the manual transmission, and 7.0 seconds with the automatic. That half-second difference to 60 mph might be reason enough to go for the gearbox, as if keeping the sports car experience pure weren’t enough. The engine loves to rev, and the gearbox has short, positive throws, so it’s fun even before you get to the corners. Where it’s a blast.
The superlight curb weight of 2,884 pounds makes everything possible.
About those tires; the Premium’s 17-inch Michelin Primacy HP tires provide less traction for a reason, that being to allow the rear end to drift, which it can do with beautiful confidence. The Limited’s 18-inch Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tires are much stickier, for faster cornering and lap times on track days or an autocross.
The steering is quick and responsive, providing great feedback even though power assisted. That low center of gravity enables beautiful balance and agility along with the light weight. Neutral handling allows those controllable drifts. If track days are faster than you want to go, you’ve got the ideal turnkey autocross car.
The brakes are small but big as they need to be, with front calipers of 2 pistons and 1-piston rears. Stopping is steady and predictable on the street, but on the track aftermarket pads, at the least, will be needed.
The light weight allows the BRZ to have a suspension that’s soft enough to be comfortable, while still being firm enough for aggressive cornering. And it gives some warning before that neutral drift begins.
The 2022 Subaru BRZ brings it all on a performance level: power, a love for revs, a tight gearbox, a cool cockpit, and best of all, perfect balance.
—By Sam Moses with driving impressions by The Car Connection