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2022 Subaru BRZ: First Look

The 2022 BRZ is the completely new version of Subaru’s sports car. The BRZ is a 2-plus-2, so it has two front seats and two small ones behind. And here, those rear seats fold flat. The new BRZ looks more sophisticated and athletic and yet still retains the general shape of the previous model. The BRZ is generally the same size as before but rides on stiff new chassis that Subaru says increases the car’s handling poise. The capable rear-drive BRZ is the kind of car that provides a lot of fun on a tight, winding mountain road.

The BRZ is slightly larger than its archrival, the Mazda MX-5 Miata, and that helps make the Subaru a bit more practical for daily use. For example, a BRZ driver could carry a mountain bike in the cargo hold by simply removing the front wheel. However, those small rear seats make for a cramped ride. Both the larger and more powerful Chevrolet Camaro and Ford Mustang offer slightly roomier rear seats.

The two BRZ models, Premium and Limited, both use a new 2.4-liter flat 4-cylinder engine that develops 228 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. The flat or “boxer” engine is typical of all Subarus. And the company claims that the more compact design helps to lower the car’s center of gravity. The new engine provides 23 more hp and 28 more lb-ft of torque than the old model’s 2.0-liter engine. The BRZ is available with a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission.

The BRZ’s sleek exterior design is complemented by the modern interior. It features supportive bucket seats and a 7-inch digital gauge cluster as well as a standard 8-inch infotainment touchscreen with standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

What’s new for 2022?

The second-generation BRZ sports car is all-new for 2022 with a clean, muscular design and a suspension geared to deliver great performance on curvy roads. The new 2.4-liter engine adds a bit more power and torque, while the fresh and contemporary interior has a digital dashboard. See the 2020 Subaru BRZ models for sale near you

What We Like

  • Stiff new chassis means increased driving fun
  • More-powerful 2.4-liter engine
  • Sleek new design
  • Previous model had solid reputation for reliability

What We Don’t Like

  • Rear seat still tight for adults
  • Not as quick accelerating as some competitors
  • No convertible model offered

How Much?

The 2022 BRZ goes on sale in the fall of 2021. And pricing will become available closer to that date. But Subaru says the new BRZ won’t carry a large price premium over the current models. And that’s good news. A 2020 BRZ with a 6-speed manual starts at $28,845. So, we imagine the 2022 models to range from $29,000 to $32,000.

Fuel Economy

The Subaru BRZ is equipped with a 2.4-liter flat 4-cylinder engine delivering 228 hp at 7,000 rpm and 184 lb-ft of torque at 3,700 rpm. The 2022 car has an all-new engine, and while the BRZs weight as well as its two transmissions, the 6-speed manual and 6-speed automatic, are similar to that of the current car, it still takes a hit in fuel economy. A 2022 BRZ with the 6-speed manual delivers 20 mpg city and 27 mpg highway. An automatic returns 21 mpg city and 30 mpg on the highway.

Standard Features & Options

Since pricing hasn’t yet been announced, the final list of standard and optional equipment hasn’t either. But here’s the thing about the BRZ, even the base car is going to deliver just what it’s supposed to—a thrilling drive. Unlike the outgoing car, which had an optional 7-inch display, the new BRZ’s 8-inch unit will come standard. And that infotainment system comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto too. That’s good news. We’ll have a full list of the important standard features when the list becomes available.

The full list of optional equipment for the new BRZ hasn’t been finalized. We’ll know more when it gets closer to the on-sale day next Fall. But we do know that the BRZ will be available in both Premium and Limited trims and that the automatic transmission is likely to add around $1000 to the base price, as it does on today’s car. Subaru says automatic-equipped cars will come bundled with Subaru’s EyeSight system, which typically includes safety features like adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, and pre-collision braking.

Safety

Although no safety ratings have been published, the chassis has been designed to perform well in current and future small overlap crash tests. And that’s good news. Because the 2022 BRZ is so new, Subaru has yet to reveal all the information about the car. However, we do know that Subaru’s Eyesight suite of safety technology will be available on the BRZ. The package should include tech like lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking, and more. When other Subaru cars are equipped with the EyeSight safety tech package, they tend to carry a high safety rating by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Stability control certainly isn’t a tech breakthrough. But having five separate modes is certainly new for Subaru. These modes are diverse enough to provide fun and safety for just about any driver skill level or road condition. Aside from turning the system completely off (which Subaru lets you do), a specific Track mode allows the driver quite a bit of freedom to slide the BRZ on a closed course. Eventually, the system will intervene to save the car if the driver puts a wheel wrong. LED Headlamps come on the BRZ as standard equipment. LEDs consume less energy and often provide a brighter light than traditional halogens.

Behind the Wheel

Autotrader hasn’t driven a 2022 Subaru BRZ yet, but we did get some time in the passenger seat, being driven by none other than Subaru rally racer Scott Speed. During our hot laps on a racecourse, the BRZ was easily slid and drifted around the tarmac. Speed said the extra power was notable and that the new BRZ is grippier than the outgoing model.

Check back later for our own impressions from behind the wheel.

Other Cars to Consider

2021 Chevrolet Camaro—Most Camaros won’t provide the same level of connection as the BRZ on a twisty road, but it delivers classic muscle car design mixed with potent engine offerings that range up to an incredibly powerful supercharged V8.

2020 Ford Mustang—The Mustang is a great performance car alternative that can be optioned with many great engines and suspension packages. The Mustang is a bit larger than the BRZ, and so it does offer more room in the backseat.

2020 Subaru BRZ—The new BRZ is more like an evolution than a revolution. So why not get most of the same sports car experience from an older one? A used BRZ may be slower and a bit dated, but it’s sure to save you a few bucks.

2020 Mazda MX-5 Miata—The Miata has been the purist’s sports car since it debuted over 30 years ago. It’s the BRZ’s closest rival and offers a highly rewarding backcountry drive. The Miata proves you don’t need a lot of power to have fun. Downside? The Miata has limited luggage space.

2014 Porsche Boxster—Just because a new Porsche Boxster has a sticker approaching $60,000, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be considered as a viable used sports car. A used Boxster can be picked up for around the same price as a new BRZ and deliver a twofold increase in thrills.

Autotrader’s Advice

The Subaru is a great affordable sports car wrapped in a clean and handsome design. The well-balanced machine promises to deliver lots of fun when the road begins to twist. And it’s particularly good for drivers that will use it as their only form of transportation. That’s because unlike competitors like the Mazda MX-5 Miata, the Subaru has a roomy trunk that can handle weekend getaways as well as active lifestyle pursuits, like the occasional mountain bike ride. The new BRZ’s interior packs an excellent level of features that come standard, including a digital dash as well as an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system. And it’s comforting to know that Subaru’s EyeSight suite of safety gear is optional. But here’s the thing, you can get the purest essence of the BRZ by skipping most of the options. The least expensive BRZ will provide just as much fun as a fully-loaded model. Find a Subaru BRZ for sale.

Ben Stewart
Ben Stewart is an author specializing in automotive testing and technology. He has a unique perspective—as a lifelong 4WD enthusiast Ben has driven just about every production 4X4 on road and off for the last 20 years. But his expertise and experience goes deeper. Ben has had the opportunity to drive and report on a wide variety of vehicles ranging from pre-production fuel cell cars to... Read More about Ben Stewart

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1 COMMENT

  1. “No convertible option” ????

    Do you not understand what this car is supposed to be? You’re clueless. Stick to reviewing civics and camrys.

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