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2022 Subaru BRZ Review: A Test Drive Cut Short… But Still Plenty Instructive!

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2022 Subaru BRZ, three-quarters rear
Photo: D.Boshouwers
2022 Subaru BRZ, three-quarters rear

On the road
As mentioned, earlier peak torque and a stiffened chassis result in a notably improved drive from the new BRZ in relation to before. Other cars in this category will deliver more raw power and devastating acceleration, the main results of which will be to get you into trouble with the authorities if you use them to their maximum potential. Instead, what you get here is a BRZ that delivers enough power for the car, for Canadian speed limits and for your needs.

Especially, you get a car that handles dreamily when you can let loose on country roads and such. The BRZ hugs the road nicely, while the auto transmission is more than competent, and it lets you take over if you want via the paddle shifters on the wheel.

You cannot set drive modes in the 2022 BRZ (though there is Track mode, for a freer rear end), and that means there’s no way to sharpen the steering or throttle intake. In general, the edges of the BRZ aren’t quite as sharp as in the new GR 86, the steering of which is heavier and the accelerations of which are more exhilarating, but the Subaru proves more practical in day-to-day use.

2022 Subaru BRZ, front
Photo: D.Boshouwers
2022 Subaru BRZ, front

There are obvious caveats to that statement, of course: 2+2 configuration aside, this is basically a two-seater for practical purposes, so if you regularly have to transport more than one person, it’s not really tailor-made for that. Another one involves the suspension, which is pretty stiff and will cause your back problems if it’s wonky (your back that is, not the suspension). Everything’s fine on smooth roads, especially the highway, but road surface imperfections make themselves felt. There are roads in the Montreal area that are pretty post-apocalyptic this time of year, and taking this car over them is a memorable experience, and not in a good way.

There are also irritants that you would expect from any small sporty car, like minimal cargo space and impractical storage spaces and cup holders. But hey, that’s not what shoppers in this segment are looking for. They’re looking for fun, and that, the BRZ delivers in spades.

One last point to be made involves that mishap, which unfortunately took the BRZ we were test-driving out of commission. In a nutshell, we were the collateral damage resulting from a large truck deciding to back out of a row of parked cars at speed, likely without the driver having checked the myriad camera angles available to them. Impact was severe enough to push the car back several feet, and you can see there was significant damage to the right front end.

2022 Subaru BRZ, post-accident
Photo: D.Boshouwers
2022 Subaru BRZ, post-accident

The point of this anecdote, however, is that none of the effects of the impact made its way into the cabin, even less to the driver’s position. In other words, this small, lightweight car’s chassis and frame provided more-than-adequate structural protection and did what it should, which was to protect the human inside. We can tell you it was very highly appreciated in the moment! I even avoided getting a face-full of airbag, another silver lining in that cloud. And, speaking of which...

See also: Subaru BRZ, Toyota 86 Earn Top Safety Marks from the IIHS

We like

Great handling
Fun factor
Comfortable driver’s seat, position
Competent auto transmission, if you don’t want the manual

We like less

Suspension can be unforgiving
Second row is not really fit for habitation
Cabin noise
No drive modes (other than Track)

The competition

Chevrolet Camaro
Ford Mustang
Hyundai Veloster N
Mazda MX-5
Nissan Z
Subaru WRX
Toyota GR 86

2022 Subaru BRZ, rear
Photo: D.Boshouwers
2022 Subaru BRZ, rear
Photos:D.Boshouwers
2022 Subaru BRZ pictures