FINAL REPORT - scroll down for earlier reports
“It’s not very fast” was the opening remark a friend made after seeing the specification of our Subaru BRZ.
True, 197bhp and a 7.6sec 0-62mph time are nothing to shout about in 2018, but, after six months with the car, I am very aware of how little those things matter.
What matters is the way the BRZ makes you feel as a driver. Anyone can boot a throttle and let their car do the work, but few will be in something so confidence-inspiring that they can balance it on the edge of grip for a dozen or more laps on a drizzle-covered Brands Hatch. The BRZ is very good at that.
Thing is, we knew all that before our WR Blue Mica coupé arrived on the Autocar fleet. It’s a five-star road test car, after all.
What we didn’t know was how running a sub-£30k 2+2 sports car that prioritises driver engagement above all else would leave us. Would its low-slung body chin-slap every speed bump on my urban commute? Would a lack of torque from its naturally aspirated 2.0-litre flat four leave me trailing in the wake of electrified minicabs? I had six months to find out.
When the BRZ photobombs the pre-wed photo pic.twitter.com/PUKuGiTnIs
— Sam Sheehan (@autoSamSheehan) September 27, 2017
In what is fast becoming a tradition for my long-term cars, the opening test involved squeezing three best friends and myself into the BRZ and hauling ourselves up to Leeds for a university reunion. This was a bad decision. In a hot hatchback, such a task should be easy, but in the BRZ, it was a challenge. Anyone taller than 4ft will find the back seats offer no leg room unless the person in front is coaxed into edging forward.
This was the option we took, and although it wasn’t unbearable, let’s just say we frequented more service stations on the 225-mile drive than ever before.