2020 Subaru BRZ

#5
in Coupes
2020 MODEL
$28,845 - $29,945
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7.9

Overall Rating

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2020 Subaru BRZ Complete In-depth Review & Buying Guide


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Karan Harit Content Writer Updated on: December 4, 2019


There were simpler times when a car delivering an exciting drive was enough to make a good deal. It didn’t matter if it won any more races than a stock Honda Civic, it was the sportiness and nimble dynamics that made it so well worth the price tag. With more advanced technology being standardized every day in the automotive world, it was a terrible thought that the affordable sports coupe would die out soon. However, the Subaru BRZ, along with its Toyota 86 cousin, proved otherwise.

See detailed review »

Pros

Agile and fun to drive

Comfortable and supportive front seats

Offers better technology than its Toyota counterpart

Lots of features for its price

Cons

Lackluster power

Rear seats are cramped

Very noisy inside the cabin

What's New?

The Premium base trim has been dropped

New tS trim with enhanced performance has been added the lineup


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$28845

bodystyle

2dr Coupe

passenger capacity

4

drivetrain

RWD

engine type

displacement

122 cu.in.

horsepower

200 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

2840 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

24/27/33 mpg

ev range

316.8 mi.

highway range

435.6 mi.

warranty

basic warranty

3 yr./ 36000 mi.

drivetrain warranty

5 yr./ 60000 mi.

powertrain warranty

5 yr. / 60000 mi.

corrosion warranty

5 yr. / unlimited

roadside assistance

3 yr./ 36000 mi.


Pictures

Exterior
 2020 Subaru BRZ Front View  2020 Subaru BRZ 3 Quarter View  2020 Subaru BRZ Front View  2020 Subaru BRZ Front View  2020 Subaru BRZ exterior
Interior
 2020 Subaru BRZ Steering Wheel  2020 Subaru BRZ Center Console  2020 Subaru BRZ Rear Seats  2020 Subaru BRZ interior  2020 Subaru BRZ Glove Compartment

Styles

 2020 Subaru BRZ in Crystal Black Silica color  2020 Subaru BRZ in Crystal White Pearl color  2020 Subaru BRZ in Dark Gray Metallic color  2020 Subaru BRZ in Pure Red color  2020 Subaru BRZ in WR Blue Pearl 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

7.7

Interior

7.5

7.9

OVERALL RATING

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


 2020 Subaru BRZ Limited

Limited

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

$28,845 - $29,945


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
Limited 2dr Coupe (2.0L 4cyl 6M) Starting at $28,845 MSRP (21/24/29) 205hp @ 7000 rpm, 2 L, flat 4, premium unleaded
6-speed manual rear wheel drive 4
Limited 2dr Coupe (2.0L 4cyl 6A) Starting at $29,945 MSRP (24/29/33) 205, 2 L, DOHC, Gasoline
6 speed Automatic all wheel drive 4

Expert Review

7.9

Overall Rating


While any casual shopper would be deterred by the lack of technology features and average interior quality, it is the performance purist that would appreciate the BRZ’s driving dynamics. It is about time that the 2.0L Boxer-4 underwent a major upgrade. That doesn’t mean it is any less fun to drive, though. It takes up the twistiest of corners with ease and, since it is not that fast, keeps its composure at full throttle. Additionally, the Subaru grants the BRZ a few infotainment features that make it maintain its appeal to a modern audience. Going for the Breeze, you are not left out of smartphone integration or a decent sound system.

The Subaru BRZ may be a driver-engaging sports coupe, yet there are several others that can perform just as good if not better for the same price range. Toyota has its own counterpart for the BRZ, the two being identical in almost all fields. There is also the Nissan 370Z that boasts a more powerful V6 engine. For the same price, you can also go for some American muscle in the form of the entry-level Chevrolet Camaro, a car that is much more practical and powerful. The Chevy has received a lot of updates in the past few years, while the Breeze has remained the same throughout its life.

2020 Subaru BRZ front view
2020 Subaru BRZ front view
2020 Subaru BRZ rear view
2020 Subaru BRZ rear view

7.7/10
Features

 
 
 

7.5/10
Interior

 
 
 
 
 

2020 Subaru BRZ Features

7.7/10

You would find the 2020 Subaru BRZ not that different from the 2013 version. It has the same engine, suspension, transmission, and most of the exterior. The interior has received a few minor updates which make the BRZ more comfortable to sit in over extended durations. Still, it is not that practical of a car as any regular hatchback like the Mazda 3. For those who couldn’t get their hands on the limited-edition tS, Subaru offers a performance package that grants it improved handling. The package includes Brembo performance brakes, a stiffer suspension, and Michelin Cup sports tires.

Trim

Subaru BRZ Limited

MSRP (Mannual)

$28,845

MSRP (Automatic)

$29,945

Key Features

Sport-Tuned Suspension

 

Torsen Limited-Slip Rear Differential

 

Alcantara/Leather-Trimmed upholstery

 

Heated Front Seat

 

Leather Wrapped Steering Wheel and Shifter Knob

 

StarLink Multimedia and Navigation System

 

Dual-Zone Automatic Climate Control

What would we recommend?

The Subaru BRZ starts with the Limited trim. It gives a decent package that includes most of the features. Although there are no engine upgrades, enthusiasts can go for the Performance package to make the car more engaging.

2020 Subaru BRZ Engine

The Boxer-4 engine that sits beneath the hood of the Subaru BRZ was developed jointly with Toyota. Though most of the parts were put together by Subaru, the fuel injectors and cam heads were supplied by Toyota. The engine produces 205 hp and 156 lb-ft of torque. It doesn’t make the Breeze capable of winning any drag races but is enough to get your adrenaline fix around the track. Since there are no turbos hampering the delivery, the throttle response is immediate and loud.

2020 Subaru BRZ engine
The Subaru BRZ automatic capable of only 200 hp and 151 lb-ft of torque.

There are two options for the transmission, both with six gears. The automatic is more convenient whereas the manual offers better control. Going for the automatic also reduces the power numbers, with the BRZ automatic capable of only 200 hp and 151 lb-ft of torque.

Models

Subaru BRZ

Toyota 86

Nissan 370Z

Chevrolet Camaro 2LT

MSRP

$28,845

$26,985

$30,090

$28,495

Engine

2.0L Boxer-4

2.0L Boxer-4

3.7L V6

2.0L Turbocharged inline-4

Transmission

6-Speed Close Ratio Manual

6-Speed Close Ratio Manual

6-Speed Manual

6-Speed Manual

Drive

RWD

RWD

RWD

RWD

Power output(hp)

205

205

332

275

Torque(lb-ft)

156

156

270

295

The Toyota 86 is the only car that shares the same power output as its BRZ twin. For 30 grand, you can get more powerful V6 on the Nissan 370Z that makes the acceleration more intense. Even the base trim of the Chevrolet Camaro has more punch than the BRZ, though the turbo might be a turn-down for some.

Is it fast?

Power doesn’t help the Subaru BRZ get ahead in terms of performance. Yet, as soon as you pin the throttle, there is a surprising thrust that gets your back stick to the seat. It is just for a split-second and the car allows you to gain your bearings once you shift up. Taking more than 6 seconds to reach 60 mph is not going to win the Breeze any drag races. Nevertheless, it is capable of pulling out of apexes with speed.

2020 Subaru BRZ acceleration
2020 Subaru BRZ Acceleration

Model

Subaru BRZ

Toyota 86

Nissan 370Z

Chevrolet Camaro 2LT

0-60 mph

6.3 sec

6.4 sec

5.0 sec

5.2 sec

Quarter mile

14.7 sec

14.8 sec

13.6 sec

13.9 sec

Engine

2.0L Boxer-4

2.0L Boxer-4

3.7L V6

2.0L Turbocharged inline-4

Emissions(Tons/yr of CO2 at 15k mi/yr)

6.2

6.2

6.7

6.3

The Toyota 86 is even slower due to its less refined suspension that takes away a bit of traction. The Camaro LT and the Nissan 370Z lead the pack with their more powerful engines. The 370Z gains an edge with a bigger powertrain and shorter wheelbase.

How well do the brakes work?

The lightweight chassis makes the brakes very substantial in panic stops. The Subaru BRZ comes to a full halt from 60 mph in 104 feet. There is not much travel on the pedals but the bite lets you easily predict the car’s behavior just as the corner turns up. ABS and stability control lend enough traction, which can be turned off to get the rear end sliding out.

2020 Subaru BRZ wheel
The Subaru BRZ comes to a full halt from 60 mph in 104 feet

Model

Subaru BRZ

Toyota 86

Nissan 370Z

Chevrolet Camaro 2LT

Front Brakes(in.)

11.6

11.6

12.6

12.6

Rear Brakes(in.)

11.4

11.4

12.1

12.4

Curb Weight(lbs)

2798

2776

3333

3374

60-0 mph(ft.)

104

104

111

111

Only a twin could match the BRZ’s braking performance. True enough, it is the Toyota 86. The Nissan 370Z and Chevy Camaro might have bigger brakes, but their bodies are carrying too much dead weight to be any more effective than the Breeze.

What is the handling like?

Handling is one of the strongest suits of the Subaru BRZ. It is not only enjoyable for hardcore drift fans but also provides a gateway for budding enthusiasts to handle much more powerful sports cars. The steering has a ratio of 13.1:1, which means the car switches directions with a slight flick at command. The driver never feels out of control and the car goes exactly where you want it to.

As for the ride, it is understandably harsh. The Subaru BRZ will go over uneven roads with ease, though rough tarmac and bumps are hard to ignore. That being said, its stiff suspension gives an undulating feel of the road to the driver, which enhances the experience much on the track. The cabin is filled with noise road and wind noise all the time, more so at highway speeds. Even the sound system doesn’t allow for toning it down since there is no active noise cancellation.

2020 Subaru BRZ Fuel Economy

The tiny engine size does have its advantages. One of them is offering a lot of miles per gallon of premium fuel. For all its sports coupe expertise, the BRZ can return a combined EPA rated mileage of 24 miles to the gallon. Taking that into account, the 13.2-gallon fuel tank doesn’t seem that small. It is enough for doing more than a few laps around the track or take in days of commute without having to refill.

Model

Subaru BRZ

Toyota 86

Nissan 370Z

Chevrolet Camaro 2LT

MPG(City)

21

21

17

20

MPG(Highway)

29

28

26

30

MPG(Combined)

24

24

20

23

Fuel Tank Capacity(ga.)

13.2

13.2

19.0

19.0

Even if the Camaro and the Nissan 370Z have an inferior fuel economy, they more than makeup for it with a larger gas tank, thus granting them more range. There are very little details that differ from the 86, therefore both the Subaru and Toyota have a similar gas mileage.

2020 Subaru BRZ Interior

7.5/10

For all its agility, the Subaru BRZ has very comfortable front seats. They are 6-way adjustable for the driver and 4-way adjustable for the passenger, both with heating functions. There is enough room for a lot of adjustments, so the front passengers would never feel too restricted. Not the same story in the back. The rear seats are best used as a storage shelf.

2020 Subaru BRZ Seating
2020 Subaru BRZ has very comfortable front seats

In terms of quality, the leather upholstery and Alcantara headliner give way to a smooth aesthetic of the cabin. The build is good, albeit a few panel gaps and plasticky bits are noticeable up front. The dual-zone automatic climate control helps with maintaining a constant temperature in the cabin regardless of the weather outside. A 3-spoke steering wheel with tilt-and-telescopic adjustments and cloth finish comes as standard. Both the steering wheel and shifter knob can be upgraded to a leather or faux suede cover.

Model

Subaru BRZ

Toyota 86

Nissan 370Z

Chevrolet Camaro 2LT

Passenger Capacity

4

4

2

4

Front Room(Head/Shoulder/ Leg)(in.)

37.1/54.5/41.9

37.1/54.5/41.9

38.2/54.4/42.9

38.5/55.0/43.9

Rear Room(Head /Shoulder/Leg)(in.)

35.0/51.7/29.9

35.0/51.7/29.9

-

35.6/50.3/29.9

Passenger Volume(ft.3)

76.5

76.5

51.6

77.0

What about infotainment?

The infotainment on the Subaru BRZ is managed by a 7-inch central touchscreen on the console that runs a StarLink system. It is easy to operate though not as swift as other contemporary systems you may find on Chevys or Hondas. For more convenience, you can utilize smartphone integration through Android Auto or Apple CarPlay, while the StarLink navigation system provides an excellent backup when you are out of cell range. Some other infotainment features include:

2020 Subaru BRZ Infotainment display
The 2020 Subaru BRZ is managed by a 7-inch central touchscreen
  • AM/FM Radio
  • SiriusXM Satellite Radio with 4 months complimentary subscription
  • 196-Watt 8-Speaker Sound System
  • 2 USB Ports
  • AUX Cable Input
  • Bluetooth Connectivity

Can it carry some cargo?

The small wheelbase does not provide a lot of room in the back of the car. This is reflected in the small trunk on the back of the BRZ. With only 6.9 cubic feet of storage space, there is not much you can store in the back of the Breeze other than a couple of backpacks. If you own a BRZ, you are much better off traveling light. There is also no option to operate the trunk remotely nor does the trunk lid open wide to allow for taller cargo.

Model

Subaru BRZ

Toyota 86

Nissan 370Z

Chevrolet Camaro 2LT

Storage Volume(ft.3)

6.9

6.9

6.9

9.1

Other sports coupes in this segment don’t offer much in terms of cargo capacity, either. The Toyota 86 and Nissan 370Z have identical storage options to the BRZ. The Camaro has a bigger trunk, allowing for larger suitcases to be carried.

2020 Subaru BRZ interior
2020 Subaru BRZ interior
2020 Subaru BRZ steering
2020 Subaru BRZ steering
2020 Subaru BRZ center console
2020 Subaru BRZ center console
2020 Subaru BRZ music system
2020 Subaru BRZ music system
2020 Subaru BRZ instrumental cluster
2020 Subaru BRZ instrumental cluster

2020 Subaru BRZ Exterior

If you remove the badges, there is not a lot of difference between the Subaru BRZ, Toyota 86, and the Scion FR-S from the outside. It was a great design back in 2013 but, without a lot of changes over the years, it has gotten obsolete for today. Still, it helps with keeping these cars iconic. The LED headlights and the low grille give the car its aggressive look. The side skirts contain elegant curve that merge with the fender lining of the rear wheels towards the back.

2020 Subaru BRZ side view
The 2020 Subaru BRZ comes with 17-inch wheels with 7-inch aluminum-alloy

At the back of the car, the dual tail lights go for simplicity, while the rear diffuser and spoiler bring out the sporty look of the car. The 2020 Subaru BRZ comes with 17-inch wheels with 7-inch aluminum-alloy finish as standard. The alloys can be optionally expanded to 7.5 inches with a black or gray finish.

Is it appealing to look at?

The Subaru BRZ is a small car. Even then, most of its length is taken up by the hood. This allows for a short driveshaft to the rear wheels, giving the BRZ its unique agility. The chassis sits very close to the ground which provides a good feedback to the driver for the tarmac conditions. Moreover, the Breeze is narrow enough to not let the driver worry once he/she enters a crowded parking lot.

Model

Subaru BRZ

Toyota 86

Nissan 370Z

Chevrolet Camaro 2LT

Curb Weight(lbs.)

2798

2776

3333

3374

Length(in.)

166.7

166.7

167.5

188.3

Width(in.)

69.9

69.9

72.6

74.7

Height(in.)

52.0

52.0

51.8

53.1

Ground Clearance(in.)

4.9

4.9

4.8

3.5

Wheelbase(in.)

101.2

101.2

100.4

110.7

Track Width(in.) F/R

59.8/60.6

59.8/60.6

61.0/62.8

62.5/63.7

Other sports coupes in this segment are very close in dimensions and weight to the Subaru BRZ, with the exception of the Chevrolet Camaro, which has a big muscle car shell. It is heavy, long, and occupies a lot of the road, just as you would expect an American muscle car to be.

Exterior Features

  • LED Headlights
  • Body-Colored Side Mirrors
  • Heated Side Mirrors
  • Two-speed windshield wipers with variable-intermittent mode and mist feature
  • 17-inch wheels with 7-inch aluminum-alloy finish
2020 Subaru BRZ front view
2020 Subaru BRZ front view
2020 Subaru BRZ
2020 Subaru BRZ
2020 Subaru BRZ
2020 Subaru BRZ
2020 Subaru BRZ fog lamp
2020 Subaru BRZ fog lamp
2020 Subaru BRZ headlight
2020 Subaru BRZ headlight
2020 Subaru BRZ taillight
2020 Subaru BRZ taillight

2020 Subaru BRZ Safety

The Subaru BRZ scored a near perfect score with the IIHS, receiving the highest rating of ‘Good’ in most areas. The exception was the safety cage of the driver side, which didn’t have enough restraint to prevent the driver making contact with the dash during a collision. The NHTSA has partially tested the Breeze, giving it a good score for Rollover and Front crash tests. 

As far as collision prevention is concerned, it is purely up to the driver to keep the BRZ out of dangerous situations. The car does help the driver with a few assists such as electronic stability control and ABS. However, it is the nimbleness of the BRZ that is its last line of defense in avoiding an accident.

Safety Features

  • Electronic Stability Control(ESC)
  • ABS And Driveline Traction Control
  • Side Impact beams
  • Dual-Stage Driver And Passenger Seat-Mounted Airbags
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring System
  • Dual-Stage Driver and Passenger Front Airbags
  • Curtain 1st and 2nd Row Airbags
  • Airbag Occupancy Sensor
  • Outboard Front Lap And Shoulder Safety Belts with Pretensioners
  • Rear-View Camera

2020 Subaru BRZ Competition

Subaru BRZ vs Toyota 86

The Subaru BRZ and Toyota 86 were developed jointly. Therefore they share a relationship of identical twins. There are a few differences, though, that causes a bit of competition between the two. The 86 is less expensive but lacks the brains of the BRZ that grants the latter full smartphone integration. While both cars handle pretty much the same, a keen driver would notice the extra weight of the BRZ that makes the 86 gain an edge around corners.

2020 toyota 86
2020 Toyota 86

Subaru BRZ vs Nissan 370Z

With a bigger engine that serves it well for delivering a thrilling drive, the Nissan 370Z has an up on almost every aspect of the Subaru BRZ. It is faster and has more driving range. Even so, the Subaru BRZ is more practical since it actually has back seats and a bigger trunk. The Nissan’s aged infotainment system also takes away some flair, while the BRZ is advanced enough to support all smartphones.

2020 Nissan 370z
2020 Nissan 370z

Subaru BRZ vs Chevrolet Camaro

Comparing the Subaru BRZ with the Chevrolet Camaro is like comparing Michael Phelps to Connor McGregor. While the BRZ is about sleek looks and sporty driving experience, the Camaro is all about brute force. In fact, you can get a Camaro with a V6 or even a V8 just above the price range of a Subaru BRZ. In terms of interior, the Camaro offers better features, even for infotainment. Both the cars have cramped rear seats, yet the Chevy offers more cargo space in the trunk.

2020 Chevrolet Camaro
2020 Chevrolet Camaro

 

2020 Subaru BRZ Final Verdict

You should go for a Subaru BRZ if you want a dedicated sports coupe without burning a hole in your pocket. It is not a car to compete but something that can deliver the excitement of a spirited drive when you want it to. It is mostly practical, as long as you are not carrying much cargo. The BRZ is also a perfect pick for those young track license aspirants who have not yet gotten behind the wheel of a sports car.