Prioritizing affordability and lightweight agility over high horsepower and high-priced exclusivity, the 2022 Subaru BRZ continues to be a pure sports car for everyone. The completely redesigned rear-drive-only coupe remains a unique entry in Subaru’s otherwise all-wheel-drive lineup. The same is in store for its mechanical twin, the Toyota 86. With a 228-hp naturally aspirated flat-four, the BRZ is more powerful than before, which at least partly addresses one of our biggest complaints. Combine that with a lower center of gravity as well as a feathery curb weight and this assertively styled 2+2 hatchback is set up to deliver the seat-of-your-pants feeling that defines all great sports cars. With a new interior design that brings modern tech but preserves its predecessor’s practicality, the 2022 BRZ leapfrogs affordable sports-cars favorites like the Mazda MX-5 Miata and earns a 10Best nod and a spot on our Editors’ Choice list.
What’s New for 2022?
The 2022 BRZ introduces the second generation of Subaru’s lightweight sports cars. Not only does the coupe sit about 0.5 inch lower and span about 1 inch longer, but its bodywork is also more distinguished than before. Its interior is reimagined with more technology without sacrificing practicality. Driving enthusiasts will also welcome a new 2.4-liter flat-four-cylinder engine that’s more powerful than the 2.0-liter version it replaces.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
Under the hood of the new BRZ is a naturally aspirated 2.4-liter flat-four-cylinder, otherwise known as a “boxer” engine. It generates 228 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. Power is still routed to the rear wheels through either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission. Along with improving acceleration times, the 2.4-liter feels more responsive than the previous engine, even if it’s not enough to make the BRZ the quickest car in town. Subaru says it now has a lower center of gravity, too, and a curb weight of just over 2800 pounds, which is nearly perfectly distributed between the front and rear. These characteristics, combined with a stiffer structure, make the BRZ even more entertaining to drive than before. Our driving impressions revealed tons of steering feedback, sure-footed cornering composure, and the ability to swing the tail out. Its ride quality is on the firm side and not very refined, but it contributes to the car’s playfulness. While every model comes standard with a limited-slip rear differential, the Premium model rolls on a set of 17-inch wheels while the Limited wears 18-inchers.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The ’22 BRZ is estimated to earn up to 21 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway. Those ratings are for automatic-equipped models; manual versions are rated at 20 mpg city and 27 highway. Once we have the chance to run one on our 75-mph highway fuel-economy route, which is part of our extensive testing regimen, we can evaluate its real-world mpg. For more information about the BRZ’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Inside, the BRZ retains its driver-centric design and 2+2 seating configuration, but the cabin now boasts a more modern aesthetic with improved technology. Facing the driver is a new 7.0-inch fully digital gauge cluster that makes the tachometer the main attraction, with the circular readout even switching to a linear graph in the Track drive mode. A pair of heavily bolstered front seats look to keep passengers securely in place during hard cornering, and they’re dressed up with red accents to promote the coupe’s racy intentions. In addition to the low seating position, Subaru says the BRZ has excellent forward visibility thanks to thin front roof pillars. A sizable cargo area that can hold four tires (for track days, of course) with the rear seats folded remains a pillar of the coupe’s practical nature.
Infotainment and Connectivity
Every BRZ features an 8.0-inch touchscreen mounted in the center of the dashboard that acts as the hub for its infotainment system. Thankfully, the display doesn’t rely solely on touch inputs, with physical knobs for volume and tuning functions as well as several hard buttons. The system comes standard with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and access to SiriusXM satellite radio.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
When it comes to driver-assistance technology, Subaru offers its EyeSight system on automatic-equipped models. For more information about the BRZ’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Available forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking
- Available lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist
- Available adaptive cruise control