The Subaru BRZ’s cabin is a noisy place at motorway speeds…


A long day in the Subaru cockpit yesterday. Don’t expect trim quality the same as a Volkswagen – it’s best described as hard-wearing with a dash of flair.

And the cabin can be a noisy place if you are travelling anywhere at motorway speeds. Perhaps that’s why there is noise Bluetooth as standard because you wouldn’t be able to hear anybody anyway!

The driving position itself is perfect. You sit low in the seat and the steering column adjusts for reach and height too. But what’s disappointing are the hi-fi controls. There are no buttons on the steering wheel and even operating the volume is awkward because the dial is too sensitive.

Those back seats are useless for people of any size but they do allow a good deal more luggage space. For a sub £25,000 car, the BRZ is still great value – but if I had to live with one day in, day out, the cabin would no doubt prove trying…

The Subaru BRZ is the perfect answer to over-complicated, over-priced sports cars


Let’s get the name out of the way first. BRZ stands for Boxer, Rear-wheel drive, Zenith. Imagine trying to squeeze that lot onto the boot of a cute little coupe?

I think Toyota came out in front by calling their version of the BRZ the GT 86, although neither car is blessed with a memorable moniker.

So we are, starting the first day of another Tory government in something much more exciting than a Mini Cooper S or a VW Scirocco. Not least because you won’t see many BRZs on the road in the UK.

This is a major plus for BRZ owners – their car has novelty value. And because it doesn’t have a turbo, it’s also one of the few, cheap sports cars that gives rather old-fashioned, high-revving thrills.

The BRZ looks full of promise. I’m thinking Mazda MX-5 with a roof. Perfect.

Wednesday – Two Cars In One


Don’t live near a Toyota garage but like the idea of a GT86? There is one option – buy a Subaru BRZ. The cars are identical apart from the badge on the bonnet.

In this era of shared platforms and technology, the two manufacturers have teamed up to create a brilliant coupe. If you are in the market for an Audi TT or a Nissan 370Z, the Toyota is the better value option too.

The GT86 can’t compete with them for outright performance as the 2.0-litre boxer engine is gutless by comparison. However, you can beef up the looks by opting for the TRD model, which has the same performance but has wider wheels, extra body trim and a tweaked exhaust.

You can also opt for an automatic gearbox in the standard car, although flicking through the six-speed manual gearbox is the best part of this brilliant handling 2+2.