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Is Subaru BRZ Still Relevant? Why The Sports Car Hits An Impressive Sweet Spot

Is the recently-remodeled BRZ sports car still relevant? The 2023 Subaru BRZ is the automaker's slowest seller in the lineup, but see why the small rear-drive coupe hits the sweet spot. Check out the BRZ report here.

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The redesigned Subaru BRZ is Subaru of America's slowest-selling model to start the new year. Is the BRZ sports car still relevant, and should Subaru keep the rear-drive sport coupe in the all-wheel-drive lineup? Recent model sales say it should be dropped.

Subaru of America says the 2023 BRZ sports coupe had 332 sales in January, up 0.3 percent from January 2022, when it sold one fewer with 331 models delivered to customers.

2023 Subaru BRZ
photo credit: Competition Subaru

The next-generation coupe should be selling better, but it is winter when sports car sales typically drop. Still, is the BRZ worth keeping around when all-wheel-drive SUVs sell so well?

BRZ is the most loved Subaru model

But according to owner surveys from Consumer Reports, the most loved Subaru of any model in the all-wheel-drive lineup is the slowest-selling model, the 2023 Subaru BRZ sports coupe.

2023 Subaru BRZ

Consumer Reports says its latest most loved models are measured by the answer to this crucial question: "Given the opportunity, would you buy or lease this vehicle again?" This year they received responses from owners of more than 300,000 cars, SUVs, trucks, and vans.

Customers who own the Subaru BRZ said if they had it to do all over again (considering the price, performance, reliability, comfort, enjoyment, etc.), they would buy or lease the sports coupe again. The BRZ has the highest ratings and scores of any Subaru model based on the percentage of owners who said they were "very satisfied" with their vehicle.

The BRZ is not only relevant, but it's also more critical for Subaru to keep it now. The BRZ is the most satisfying model in Subaru's lineup for some important reasons. The BRZ hits the sweet spot. It's affordable, fuel-efficient, and fun to drive.

Do you love to ride in your everyday driver? BRZ owners do.

The BRZ is powered by a non-turbocharged FA24 2.4-liter Boxer engine with 228 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. of torque. It comes mated with a six-speed close-ratio manual gearbox or a six-speed electronic direct-control automatic transmission, making it the most fun-to-drive model in Subaru's lineup.

The BRZ is also affordable

You don't have to spend $50,000 or $60,000 to get a great sports car. What is the 2023 BRZ pricing? The 2023 Subaru BRZ comes in two trim levels with two transmission options. The BRZ Premium with a 6-speed manual gearbox has a starting price of $29,615. BRZ Premium with an automatic transmission starts at $33,115. The Limited (6-speed manual) has a starting MSRP of $32,115. The Limited with an automatic transmission starts at $33,255.

BRZ is fuel efficient

Most BRZ buyers use the BRZ as an everyday commuter, and fuel efficiency is essential. The 2023 Subaru BRZ with the 2.4-liter naturally-aspirated Boxer engine gets an EPA-estimated 20/27 city/highway mpg and 22 combined mpg with a 6-speed manual gearbox. The BRZ with a CVT automatic transmission gets 21/30 city/highway mpg and 25 combined mpg.

Did we mention safety?

The Subaru BRZ rides on a new platform, and it comes with EyeSight safety technology. Both helped the sports coupe earn the 2023 Top Safety Pick+ award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). It’s the first time the BRZ achieved the highest safety score.

Why is Subaru BRZ still relevant?

It's not the top-selling model, but the slowest-selling 2023 BRZ sports coupe is the Subaru model, with the most owners who said they would buy it again. It's because the BRZ hits the sweet spot.

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Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role working with every major car brand. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press. Check out Subaru Report, where he covers all of the Japanese automaker's models. More stories can be found on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Photo credit: Subaru

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Comments

Scott (not verified)    February 11, 2023 - 1:28PM

“The BRZ with a CVT automatic transmission…”

Denis, the BRZ’s automatic is a geared 6 speed transmission, NOT a CVT.

Jonathan (not verified)    February 11, 2023 - 10:34PM

Maybe if dealerships didn't raise the prices 20k or more people would buy more of them. I just went to look at the new gr corolla, base model $45,000 Canadian according to the website. Dealership has it listed at $66,999 plus tax. Can't test drive until you sign ( driving it home is your test drive ) same goes for any gr vehicle.

Phillip Moon (not verified)    February 12, 2023 - 3:23PM

BRZ would be worth buying of they corrected RTV issue, or at least make oil pick up tube easy to clean out. Plus they need to add oil pressure gauge.

deja (not verified)    June 15, 2023 - 9:44AM

They'd sell more of them if they were actually available in dealerships. I had to special order mine (BRZ) last summer for a January 2023 delivery. I've heard of large markups on both the Toyota and Subaru sides if one actually lands in a dealership. The RTV issue is irritating and I'll likely drop the pan at around 3-4K miles to clean up, but the pickup tube in the Gen 2 cars has a lot more surface area. (It's sort of a cube missing a face instead of a flat screen.) Probably not a big deal unless you're intending to do some really serious tracking.