2020 Subaru BRZ TS Coupe

2020 MODEL
$31,495
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6.9

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2020 Subaru BRZ tS Coupe Complete In-depth Review & Buying Guide

Updated on: July 10, 2020
Karan Harit's image

Karan Harit

Content Writer

The STI is a designation that is deserved by only the best coupes and sedans made by Subaru. It denotes that the car has been tuned enough to let the tuners gain ground on power without having to worry about the car getting out of control. With the success of the WRX sedan in mind, Subaru gets the same treatment to perhaps one of the purest, most affordable sports cars in the market, the BRZ. If you think that the BRZ Limited was an agile car, then the BRZ tS would seem next to telepathic.

See detailed review »

Pros

Agile and quite 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 tS is a limited-edition trim for the BRZ, brand new for 2020


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$31495

bodystyle

2dr Coupe

passenger capacity

4

top speed

165 mph

drivetrain

RWD

engine type

displacement

122 cu.in.

horsepower

205 hp @ 7000 rpm

torque

156 lbs.-ft. @ 6400 rpm

transmission

6-Speed Close-Ratio Manual

chassis

frame type

Unibody

suspension front

Independent front strut suspension

suspension rear

Independent rear double wishbone suspension

brake rotors (f/r)

12.8/12.8

dimensions

wheelbase

101.2 in.

length

166.7 in.

width

69.9 in.

height

52 in.

curb weight

2833 lbs.

ground clearance

4.9 in.

capacity

passenger volume

76.5 cu ft.

cargo volume

6.9 cu ft.

towing capacity

5000 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

6.3 sec.

standing ¼-mile

14.7 sec.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

21/29/24 mpg

highway range

382.8 mi.

warranty

basic warranty

3 yr./ 36000 mi.

drivetrain warranty

5 yr./ 60000 mi.

corrosion warranty

5 yr. /unlimited

roadside assistance

3 yr. / 36000 mi.


Pictures & Videos

Exterior
Interior
Videos
2020 Subaru BRZ tS Coupe Detailed Review video

Styles

2020 Subaru BRZ tS Coupe in Blue Metallic color
Blue Metallic

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

Engine And Performance

8.0

Fuel Economy

5.0

Interior

7.5

Exterior

7.4

Safety

5.0

Competition

8.0

6.9

OVERALL RATING

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


2020 Subaru BRZ tS Coupe BRZ tS

BRZ tS

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

$31,495


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
2dr Coupe (2.0L 4cyl 6M) Starting at $31,495 MSRP (21/24/29) 205 hp @ 7000 rpm, 2 L, flat 4, premium unleaded (required)
6-Speed Close-Ratio Manual rear wheel drive 4

Expert Review

6.9

Overall Rating


Instead of being called the BRZ STI, this edition is named the BRZ tS which stands for “tuned by STI”. With a dedicated sport-tuned suspension that improves even more on at-the-limit control, the tS may be the best handling BRZ to date. Equipped with Michelin Sport performance tires and Brembo performance brakes, the car can go to great lengths to ensure that you remain at speed through the toughest of corners.

Whatever the handling might be like, the Subaru BRZ tS faces some stiff competition from a few rivals. Toyota has its own trim for the 86 that enhances the performance in a similar way, named the 86 GT. At this price range, there are a couple of sports coupes that offer much more powerful V6 engines that skyrocket their performance to another level. The Camaro is the one that really starts showing its ‘muscle’ in the ‘muscle car’, without compromising much in handling or comfort.

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

5.5/10
Features

 

8.0/10
Engine and Performance

 

5.0/10
Fuel Economy

 

7.5/10
Interior

 

7.4/10
Exterior

 

5.0/10
Safety

 

8.0/10
Competition

 
 

2020 Subaru BRZ tS Coupe Features

5.5/10

The tS brings in the STI Performance package as standard for the 2020 Subaru BRZ. It makes the car more nimble and engaging. Going around a corner, you can feel the enhanced suspension and Michelin Sport tires at work. With the traction control on in Track mode, the grip is almost unbelievable. In more tame conditions, you can admire the exclusive red custom stitching and upscale interior. The same StarLink system and 7-inch touchscreen carry forth from the Limited trim along with a 4.2-inch driver-side display just beside the tachometer. A few streaks of red and bigger 18-inch wheels make a definitive statement that this is no ordinary BRZ.

Trim

Subaru BRZ tS

MSRP (RWD)

$31,495

Key Features

Sport-Tuned STI Suspension

 

Torsen Limited-Slip Rear Differential

 

Brembo Performance Brakes

 

Heated Front Seat

 

Leather Wrapped Steering Wheel and Shifter Knob

 

StarLink Multimedia and Navigation System

 

Configurable 4.2-inch Driver-side TFT Display

What should you go for?

With a single special edition trim in place that comes loaded with most of the features, there are not many packages to choose from. However, you could opt for some exclusive red stitching for the interior and red accents for the fenders to make the tS stand out. But be quick as the production is limited to 33 units.

2020 Subaru BRZ tS Coupe Engine and Performance

8.0/10

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.

The engine in the BRZ has a modest power output

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 tS

Toyota 86 GT

Nissan 370Z Sport

Chevrolet Camaro 3LT

MSRP

$31,495

$30,115

$33,820

$32,495

Engine

2.0L Boxer-4

2.0L Boxer-4

3.7L Premium unleaded V6

3.6L Premium unleaded V6

Drivetrain

RWD

RWD

RWD

RWD

Transmission

6-Speed Close-Ratio Manual

6-Speed Close-Ratio Manual

6-Speed Manual

6-Speed Manual

Power (hp @ rpm)

205@7,000

205@7,000

332@7,000

275@5,600

Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)

156@6,400

156@6,400

270@5,200

295@3,000

With the same engine, the Toyota 86 GT doesn’t do any better. But you can get a whole lot of power just above the price tag of the BRZ tS. Both the Nissan 370Z and the Chevrolet Camaro have much more powerful V6 engines developing more than 330 horsepower. These two sports coupes also work better on power delivery with the help of a robust transmission and limited-slip rear differential as standard.

Does the tS badge make the Subaru BRZ tS any quicker?

Power doesn’t help the Subaru BRZ tS 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.

2020 Subaru BRZ tS has a blissful acceleration

Taking more than 6 seconds to reach 60 mph is not going to win the Breeze any drag races but at least the BRZ tS is quicker than the Limited trim. Nevertheless, the car is capable of pulling out of apexes with speed.

Model

Subaru BRZ tS

Toyota 86 GT

Nissan 370Z Sport

Chevrolet Camaro 3LT

0-60 MPH (sec)

6.2 

6.4 

5.0 

5.2 

Quarter Mile (sec)

14.5

14.8 

13.6 

13.8 

Top Speed (MPH) 143 140 155 155

Engine

2.0L Boxer-4

2.0L Boxer-4

3.7L Premium unleaded V6

3.6L Premium unleaded V6

Emission

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

6.2

6.2

6.7

6.6

Even with their handling prowess, both the BRZ tS and 86 GT are not able to keep up with the bigger V6 powertrains. The Camaro and 370Z perform almost neck-and-neck, but the Nissan gains the edge due to its lighter chassis.

How good is the Braking setup?

With bigger Brembo performance brakes, the Subaru BRZ tS has enhanced its braking over the Limited trim. Although the car’s heavier body takes away a portion of the advantage, it is still capable of going up against most sports coupes out there.

The 2020 Subaru BRZ tS comes to a halt from 60 mph in 103 feet 

WIth four-piston calipers up front and dual-piston calipers in the rear discs, the 2020 Subaru BRZ tS comes to a halt from 60 mph in 103 feet. The brakes are responsive and give you the confidence of granting complete control of the car no matter where you are driving.

Model

Subaru BRZ tS

Toyota 86 GT

Nissan 370Z Sport

Chevrolet Camaro 3LT

Brake Rotors Front (in)

12.8

11.6

12.6

12.6

Brake Rotors Rear (in)

12.4

11.4

12.1

12.4

Curb Weight (lbs)

2833

2776

3386

3448

60-0 MPH (ft)

103

104

111

103

While most of the other sports coupes fail to match up to the BRZ’s braking performance, the Chevrolet Camaro is the one that gives it a run for its money. It also has Brembo performance brakes behind its alloys, though its heavy muscle car body has some dead weight.

How well does it handle?

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. More so in the tS that has STI suspension with Sachs performance dampers in the suspension. You can’t enjoy this car unless you have good tarmac. The cabin is filled with wind and road noise most of the time. Sadly, there is not even active noise cancellation with the sound system that can help quiet things down. While it may not bother the performance purists, casual drivers may not appreciate the constant groan during drive time.

2020 Subaru BRZ tS Coupe Fuel Economy

5.0/10

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 tS can return a combined EPA rated mileage of 23 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 tS

Toyota 86 GT

Nissan 370Z Sport

Chevrolet Camaro 3LT

MPG (City)

20

21

17

16

MPG (Highway)

27

28

26

27

MPG (Combined)

23

24

20

20

Fuel Capacity (Gallons)

13.2

13.2

19.0

19.0

Range (City/Hwy/Combined) (mi) 264/356/303 277/370/316 323/494/380 380/570/380

Even if the Camaro and the Nissan 370Z have an inferior fuel economy, they more than make up for it with a larger gas tank, thus granting them more range. Since the 86 shares the same engine as the BRZ tS, it consumes gas at almost the same pace. The difference comes because the 86 GT has a lighter body than the BRZ tS.

2020 Subaru BRZ tS Coupe 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.

The 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 upfront.

Model

Subaru BRZ tS

Toyota 86 GT

Nissan 370Z Sport

Chevrolet Camaro 3LT

Seating Capacity

4

4

2

4

Front Row (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 Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)

35.0/51.7/29.9

35.0/51.7/29.9

N/A

35.6/50.3/29.9

The BZ tS has more to it with custom red leather stitching and faux suede on the dashboard. The dual-zone automatic climate control helps with maintaining a constant temperature in the cabin regardless of the weather outside.

What about the Infotainment setup?

The infotainment on the Subaru BRZ tS 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.

The Subaru BRZ tS is managed by a 7-inch central touchscreen

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:

  • AM/FM Radio
  • SiriusXM Satellite Radio with 4 months complimentary subscription
  • 196-Watt 8-Speaker Sound System
  • 4.2-inch Driver-Side TFT Digital Display
  • 2 USB Ports
  • AUX Cable Input
  • Bluetooth Connectivity

How much Cargo can you carry?

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.

The BRZ doesn't have a lot of cargo space

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 tS

Toyota 86 GT

Nissan 370Z Sport

Chevrolet Camaro 3LT

Cargo Capacity (ft3)

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 Ts front seat
2020 Subaru BRZ Ts front seat
2020 Subaru BRZ Ts
2020 Subaru BRZ Ts
2020 Subaru BRZ Ts steering
2020 Subaru BRZ Ts steering
2020 Subaru BRZ Ts engine start button
2020 Subaru BRZ Ts engine start button
2020 Subaru BRZ Ts center console
2020 Subaru BRZ Ts center console
2020 Subaru BRZ Ts rear seat
2020 Subaru BRZ Ts rear seat
2020 Subaru BRZ Ts rear seat folded
2020 Subaru BRZ Ts rear seat folded

2020 Subaru BRZ tS Coupe Exterior

7.4/10

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 curves that merge with the fender lining of the rear wheels towards the back.

2020 Subaru BRZ tS Side View

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 tS comes with 18-inch wheels with 7.5-inch STI aluminum alloys. A few red streaks on the fenders and sides make it stand out from a regular BRZ, conveying that this is a car that means business.

What about the proportions?

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 close to the ground which provides 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 tS

Toyota 86 GT

Nissan 370Z Sport

Chevrolet Camaro 3LT

Curb Weight (lbs)

2833

2776

3386

3448

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

Other sports coupes in this segment are very close in dimensions and weight to the Subaru BRZ tS, 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.

What are the highlights on the outside?

The all-new 2020 Subaru BRZ tS, packs quite a punch when it comes to the features on offer. Here is a small list of a few of the highlights

  • LED Headlights
  • Crystal-Black Silica Finish Side Mirrors
  • Heated Side Mirrors
  • Two-speed windshield wipers with variable-intermittent mode and mist feature
  • 18-inch wheels with 7.5-inch STI aluminum-alloy finish
2020 Subaru BRZ tS
2020 Subaru BRZ tS
2020 Subaru BRZ tS side view
2020 Subaru BRZ tS side view
2020 Subaru BRZ tS top view
2020 Subaru BRZ tS top view
2020 Subaru BRZ tS headlight
2020 Subaru BRZ tS headlight
2020 Subaru BRZ tS wheel
2020 Subaru BRZ tS wheel
2020 Subaru BRZ tS taillight
2020 Subaru BRZ tS taillight

2020 Subaru BRZ tS Coupe Safety

5.0/10

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's side, which didn’t have enough restraint to prevent the driver from 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 on board

  • 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 tS Coupe Competition

8.0/10

Subaru BRZ tS vs. Toyota 86 GT

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 GT

Subaru BRZ tS vs. Nissan 370Z Sport

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 smartphones.

2020 Nissan 370Z

Subaru BRZ tS vs. Chevrolet Camaro

With a 3.6L V6 roaring under its hood, the Camaro has enough grunt to scare the pants off any BRZ back to Japan. While the back seats may not be as comfortable, occupants in the front would enjoy a lot of creature comforts in the Chevy. Moreover, the Chevrolet Infotainment 3 Plus is more up-to-date than the BRZ’s StarLink system, making it more appealing to a millennial audience. The handling is comparable as well, as both cars feature Brembo performance brakes and a sport-tuned suspension. The Chevrolet Camaro is the better pick because, even for petrolheads, more power gains it a lot of ground.

2020 Chevrolet Camaro

 

2020 Subaru BRZ tS Coupe Final Verdict

With a limited edition in the lineup, there is some exclusivity that finds its way to the 2020 Subaru BRZ lineup. Its subtle differences separate it from a regular Breeze. With only 300 units to be produced, it is unlikely that any of these would find its way to a showroom. Those who couldn’t get their hands on one might have to make do with the BRZ Limited supplemented by a Performance package.