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Sunday, May 22, 2022

Review: 2022 Subaru BRZ 2.4 EyeSight AT

The 2022 Subaru BRZ is a case of what you see is what you get. Based on its sheet metal and proportions, it’s a careful evolution of a well-proven formula that’s helped it gather sportscar fans into its fold. Though Subaru is mostly known for sensible all-wheel drive crossovers and the WRX, the BRZ helped them knock on the door of greatness. The first-generation model fell short in certain aspects, but now, Subaru has managed to fix the well-known gripes. The result? The new standard in affordable sportscars.

The looks are familiar, dictated largely by the carryover platform. However, it’s been tidied up with a strong emphasis on improving aerodynamic performance. The result is a set of functional vents scattered throughout the car. Moreover, there are more noticeable aero elements such as the aggressive side sill spoiler and dramatic upturned ducktail spoiler. The wheels are also an inch bigger and finally come shod with proper sportscar rubber: Michelin Pilot 4 tires measuring 215/40R18s.

Being a joint product with Toyota, the Subaru BRZ’s interior is closer, at least looks-wise, to a Lexus. Things like the circular side air vents look like they’ve been nicked straight from a Lexus IS; ditto the signal stalks that return back to their original position when toggled. That being said, the interior still isn’t comparable to Toyota’s premium brand feel-wise, though it’s much better than before. The cabin draws away from needless tech and relies instead on smartly designed, easy-to-digest controls. In particular, kudos to Subaru for cleverly shaping its all-digital gauge cluster to look like a boxer engine even if the right-hand third of it is a dated monochromatic calculator-like display. Also welcome is the 8-inch StarLink infotainment system which finally comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto straight out of the box.

If there’s one complaint Subaru needs to address, it’s the steering wheel itself. The stitches are a bit too pronounced, making uncomfortable to hold after a long, continuous stint behind the wheel. Then there’s the layout of the controls too. Ergonomic commonsense dictates that the left bank of switches should control the all-digital cluster, while the right bank of switches should control the infotainment screen, right? Here, it’s the other way around. It could be a hold out from its right-hand drive to left-hand drive transition, but it’s worth noting that it’s the same layout globally.

Since the Subaru BRZ’s footprint stays close to the original, interior space hasn’t grown. This means that despite listing a 2+2 seating configuration on its spec sheet, it can carry three at the most, and that’s assuming the front passenger’s willing to nudge his knees on the dashboard. A 170-cm tall rear passenger will also have to crouch just to clear the back glass. The rear seats then are best left for backpacks. Drop the passenger count to two, and all the complaints disappear. The leather/suede combination seats are equal parts supportive and comfortable, with a nice array of adjustments available.

Over to the back, Subaru says the trunk can hold an extra set of tires for track days (assuming the rear seats are folded down), and that’s well and good. Plus, it’s got a full-sized spare tire and tools too. However, in reality, the trunk opening isn’t tall enough to clear a 1.5-liter bottle of Coke. Tall items must be coursed through the passenger compartment.

It’s very clear that practicality is never a strong suit for a sportscar, so it’s time to discuss the most important aspect: the drive.

Subaru ignored demands to plop in a turbocharged engine due to its increased packaging complexity and cost. Instead, they went for a normally-aspirated 2.4-liter flat-4 that makes 237 horsepower and 250 Nm of torque. These are up 37 horsepower and 45 Nm of torque from the first-generation model, and while they aren’t huge in absolute numbers, for a 1,300-kilogram car, it spells the difference between being barely acceptable and truly exciting.

The engine, like the old 2.0-liter, still loves to rev. It’s smooth, eager, and addicting. The sonorous engine note is half-fake (it’s piped through the speakers), but in the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t matter. Since peak torque arrives at just 3,700 rpm, there’s no need to mash the throttle anymore to get some sensible pace going. 100 km/h is achieved at a whisker below 2,000 rpm on sixth gear indicating that it’s a commendable grand tourer with surprisingly highway good mileage: 16.39 km/L (average of 63 km/h). This figure dips down to 7.46 km/L in heavy traffic, slightly lower than the outgoing Subaru BRZ.

Purists will surely gravitate towards the 6-speed manual, but for those who want a low-slung, two-door sportscar as a daily driver (and yes, it’s possible to commute with a Subaru BRZ), it’s best to head for the 6-speed automatic. The two-pedal set-up is slower to the century mark, but it’s responsive and adaptable for everyday traffic. Paddle shifters and adaptive cruise control come as standard.

The addition of adaptive cruise control is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to safety tech on the Subaru BRZ. The Subaru EyeSight system adds functionalities such as autonomous emergency braking and lane departure warning on top of blind spot indicators and rear automatic braking. That said, because it sits so low off the ground, the stereo cameras tend to get more riled up in this application compared to say, the Forester. Plus, it’s worth noting that the EyeSight system here has reduced functionalities. There’s no low-speed follow, for example.

The Subaru BRZ’s flexible drivetrain isn’t the only wonderful thing here. The chassis, the original car’s high point, benefits from a redesigned structure that makes it stiffer than before. In conjunction with use of aluminum on the front fenders and roof, as well as the retuned suspension, makes it faultless over smooth or rougher tarmac alike. The ride is tuned towards real-world roads; it doesn’t fall apart as soon as it goes over surfaces such as the C5 truck lane. Bring it through twisties, however, and the setup proves to be excellent as well.

Many of today’s sportscars pack such prodigious power that finding a place to make the most of them can be an exercise in frustration. However, with the Subaru BRZ, it makes every drive a fun-filled one. This car simply gushes with feel. The quick steering and responsive throttle pedal make it a delight. Even better, its limits are low enough that it rewards drivers of varying skillsets. Beginners and veterans will extract tons of joy from this car with little danger that it’ll end up on its side. It’s tossable, but containable.

Sports cars are typically reserved for that special occasion such as weekend fun runs. But why drive it once a week, or heaven forbid, once in a blue moon when you can drive it every single day? With the Subaru BRZ, it’s possible to daily drive a one.

Among the Subaru BRZ’s competition, the most compelling would be the Mazda MX-5. It’s also free of complexity, brimming with feel, and comes with a relatively affordable price tag. These very adjectives now describe the all-new Subaru BRZ, and with that, the MX-5 may have met its match. Of course, the MX-5 is still the only choice for those who want a convertible, but for everyone else who’s after an approachable driving experience that puts the driver front and center, the Subaru BRZ has become the new class leader.

2022 Subaru BRZ 2.4 EyeSight AT

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Ownership 2022 Subaru BRZ 2.4 EyeSight AT
Year Introduced 2022
Vehicle Classification Sportscar
Warranty 5 years / 140,000 kilometers
The Basics
Body Type 2-door Sportscar
Seating 2+2
Engine / Drive F/R
Under the Hood
Displacement (liters) 2.4
Aspiration NA
Fuel Delivery Direct Injection
Layout / # of Cylinders F4
BHP @ rpm 237 @ 7,000
Nm @ rpm 250 @ 3,700
Fuel / Min. Octane Gasoline / 97~
Transmission 6AT
Cruise Control Yes, Adaptive
Fuel Economy @ Ave. Speed 7.46 km/L @ 17 km/h,
14.08 km/L @ 49 km/h,
16.39 km/L @ 63 km/h
Dimensions and Weights
Length (mm) 4,265
Width (mm) 1,775
Height (mm) 1,310
Wheelbase (mm) 2,575
Curb Weight (kg) 1,310
Suspension and Tires
Front Suspension Independent, MacPherson Strut
Rear Suspension Independent, Double Wishbone
Front Brakes Vented Disc
Rear Brakes Vented Disc
Parking Brake Manual
Tires Michelin Pilot Sport 4 215/40 R 18 (f & r)
Wheels Alloy
Safety Features
Airbags 7
Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS) Yes, with EBD
Traction / Stability Control Yes
Parking Sensors Yes, Rear
Parking Camera Yes, Rear
Front Seatbelts 3-pt ELR w/ pre-tensioners x 2
Rear Seatbelts 3-pt ELR x 2
ISOFIX Child Seat Anchor Yes
Other Safety Features Hill Start Assist
Pre-Collision Braking System
Pre-Collision Throttle Management
Lane Departure Warning
Blind Spot Indicators
Reverse Automatic Braking
Exterior Features
Headlights LED, Active
Fog Lamps No
Auto Lights Yes
Rain-sensing Wipers No
Tailgate Manual
Interior Features
Steering Wheel Adjust Tilt/Telescopic
Steering Wheel Material Leather
Seating Adjustment (driver) 6-way, Manual
Seating Adjustment (front passenger) 4-way, Manual
Seating Surface Leather/Suede
Folding Rear Seat Yes
Sunroof No
Trip Computer Yes
Convenience Features
Power Steering Yes
Power Door Locks Yes
Power Windows Yes
Power Mirrors Yes, w/ Fold
Rear View Mirror Day/Night
Proximity Key Yes
Climate Control Dual Zone
Audio System Stereo
Smartphone Connectivity Apple CarPlay
Android Auto
# of Speakers 8
Steering Controls Yes


  1. Uly, a comparo w the Toyota 86 once the latter arrives in our country. Thanks in advance.

  2. Nice review Uly as always.

    For the price though, would you consider an outgoing Nissan 370z manual discounted at Php2.2M or wait for the new Z with 400 HP and may be priced at less than Php3M for the base mt model?

    1. I prefer a bit of luxury in these things, so I'd wait for the new Z. The clincher for me with the 370Z is that it doesn't even get a touchscreen infotainment system (no Apple CarPlay/Android Auto). There's a dealer installed option, but meh.

      I can imagine though people who'd go for the current's a good base for a tuner setup. Tons of parts available in the market because it's been around for such a long time.

    2. Between the 370Z though and this one, I'd go for the BRZ. The 370Z is great as a weekend car, but it's not that great as a daily. The BRZ is more of a daily driver.

    3. RG, the Ford hater/poser who haven't owned any Ford. Why aren't you bashing subaru when their engines are known to more likely blow up than an ecoboost hmm?

    4. Thanks Uly for your insights. Yeah the 370z interior and features are crap, but that NA V6 though ๐Ÿ˜. Better wait for the new Z I guess.

      Like with Nissan, I never had a HORRIBLE experience with Subaru, and last time I checked, these 2 brands rank consistently way ahead of Ford in terms of reliability. Unlike with Ford ecobomb engine that blows up immediately after 3 years of ownership. Scary. Quite recently Consumer Reports rated the all-new Ford Exploder (ooops ๐Ÿ˜‚) 1 / 5 on reliability with 2 recalls. No wonder Ford PH quietly launched it and you can barely see one on the road. Either more people are becoming aware that Ford is crap or there are a plethora of better choices, I think both ๐Ÿ˜…

    5. You do realize that Ford is still one of the top sellers in the Philippines right?

    6. Yes. Thanks largely to Ford Territory. Unfortunate for 10K+ souls who bought that crap.

    7. Oh the hypocrisy. Sabi niya well known daw issues ng ford pero ayaw niya maniwala sa reported issues ng nissan at subaru. Look up subaru blown engines and nissan cvt issues on google.

    8. Just for caution, not all we watch n read online are true. N it include our comments/commenters here. Anyway to each his own, h juz freedom if specs!

    9. Nissan CVT failure:

    10. Can you actually say that Ford is a better brand than Nissan and Subaru?

      And that's my point all along - for me Ford is the most UNTRUSTWORTHY mainstream car brand right now because of their schemes (which I explained before) coupled with my own stressful ownership which Ive never experienced before.

      Still puzzling (but mostly funny) to me why an anonymous online account like mine is able to elicit strong emotions and anger from other account/s and just rabidly attack with nonsense and inconsistent arguments.

      Dude, for nth time, just relax - Ford doesn't care about your feelings, neither do I ๐Ÿ˜‚

    11. No, you're UNTRUSWORTHY. You can't even answer what ford you suppsedly owned lol. such a shady character

    12. Hahaha. Why not spoil the fun and reveal which car I had when I know it consumes you

    13. Ford vehicles has never been known for reliability, for gas guzzling... it is!

    14. If ford were that bad, it wouldn't be one of the top selling manufacturers in the world.

      @RG why not reveal your "ford"? It could be educational what ford model that is so buyers could avoid it in 2nd hand market... you could be useful and narrate your story in detail instead of bashing ford in general.

    15. We have a used car buy n sell as a side business. We don't usually accept Ford vehicles lalo na yung powershift or ecoboost - equipped units like focus, fiesta, ecosport, escape, explorer. Kahit bilhin mura and hirap ibenta ๐Ÿ˜“

    16. Not because Ford is one of the biggest brands it does not mean they are not one of the worst.

    17. Ford is not that bad n surely not d worst...h just that other brands are more reliable n more fuel efficient. Dear unreliable powershift dual clutch has hit dear reputation vry hard. Anyway they hav already ditch it

    18. Super annoying na tong si RG. Mag sumbong ka sa DTI kung totoo yang experience mo. wag ka magkalat dito. Bwisit.

    19. Anonymous May 25, 2022 at 2:34 PM is RG pretending to be another anonymous. Pathetic.

    20. Hi to all my emo Fans. Relax lang. For the nth time, Ford doesn't care about your feelings, a schemer and untrustworthy brand with after sales service and reliability that suck b****. So don't buy Ford.

      Poser, Sinungaling, Pathetic, Shady, hypocrite, Ford Hater who never had Ford, Used Car Dealer, etc. ๐Ÿ˜‚

    21. RG reminds me of Autoactiv back in the day

  3. Wow, it took a 400cc increase in engine displacement to finally catch up with the Civic RS and MX-5/Miata. ๐Ÿ˜ฌ Still looks boring though.

  4. Sir Uly, any news on Toyota brining in the GR86?

    1. Supposedly a June/July release window.

    2. Thanks for the info. Then I better wait first before jumping for the BRZ

  5. Si Uly lang naman ang same anon troll


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