DRIVEN: 2017 Subaru BRZ SE LUX Review
Following a short test of the new and improved Subaru BRZ SE LUX, here are my thoughts about this exciting sports car.
What’s the 2017 Subaru BRZ all About?
The Subaru BRZ SE LUX is a back-to-basics sports car featuring the brand’s boxer engine at the front and rear wheel drive. This is designed to create an exciting driving experience in a sporty package.
Updates to the car include improved styling with a sportier front look, with the new lower front bumper and new LED light signature. At the rear you will spot a sharply designed spoiler that instantly ages the previous generation car. You will notice that the car now sits on a nice set of 10 spoke alloy wheels. The car incorporates a comprehensive media system that is very suiting to the Subaru BRZ SE LUX. The driver’s instruments also house a 4.2 inch digital screen offering driving information such as MPG and trip figures.
One of the big updates to the car is that you can now purchase the BRZ with an automatic gearbox that can be controlled by the paddle-shift control at the wheel. It is likely to be a small percentage of people that choose it for this back-to-basics car, but after testing out both the manual and automatic, the automatic gearbox is a very viable solution. It will meet the needs of those wanting this car, but don’t want the hassle of the manual gearbox.
The car we drove was powered by a 2.0 litre, 200 PS engine, matched with a 6-speed manual gearbox that puts the power to the rear wheels. This means that the car can do 0 to 60 mph in 7.6 seconds and will do a top speed of 140 mph. The car also only weighs 1,242 kg improving the handling and fuel efficiency figures. This means that high figures of 36 mpg combined can be achieved.
How Does it Drive?
We have said before that the BRZ provides all of the driving thrills that you want and expect from a rear wheel drive 2.0-litre car. The new version of course is just as good, but there has been no power hike. The car still has the 2.0 litre, naturally aspirated engine, so there isn’t loads of power on tap. The BRZ isn’t about outright power, the enjoyment of this car comes in the handling sensation of this nimble sporty car.
For me the real joys of the BRZ come from a very raw mechanical feel through the steering. This helps to establish exactly what all four corners of the car are doing at any one point. The mechanical feel that the car has also hugely benefits the handling of the car and is further benefited by the weight distribution. The weight is balanced to 53% front and 47% at the rear making the car relatively well balanced, ideal for a sports car.
The 2017 version of the car has seen improvements to suspension dampening to reduce body roll and increase precision when cornering. You can still feel the road below you but it is comfortable to live with and I wouldn’t say it is too hard.
The 6-speed manual gearbox in this car has a really nice short throw and works well with the 2.0 litre N/A engine. The gearbox has very short ratios meaning you are either always working your way up that gearbox or back down. That being said, it is actually quite a fun experience in the BRZ. The automatic option available is also a suitable solution for people that want to be less involved in the driving experience but still want all the other elements of the car and without a doubt gives a lot of relief on busy commutes.
The BRZ does deliver the back-to-basics sensation that it was designed to do. The car is lots of fun even at low speeds and offers big thrills.
What’s it Like Inside?
The first thing you will notice getting into the BRZ is that the car does feel incredibly low. Of course this won’t please everyone, but it does help deliver that sporty driving feeling. The 2017 BRZ feels a lot fresher and up to date over the previous car. The red stitching in the car lights up the interior and is the first thing that is noticeable to give the car a sporty feel.
The materials used in the car are of a good quality. The seats are supportive and well made, the leather steering wheel feels great in your hands and the gear stick is also well crafted out of leather, which feels premium when switching those close ratio gears.
The car now has a 6.2 inch touchscreen Starlink infotainment system which is a great update. The system uses a 6 speaker system and includes everything you expect like a CD player, USB port, AUX in and Bluetooth connectivity.
The Subaru BRZ is all about the driving experience and the latest version is just as good as the last. It offers a low to the ground sporty adrenaline rush, and it’s not an experience that you will get bored of quickly. The BRZ is a car that will let you work on your driving skills and let you get the most out of your car without the need for a racetrack. It is hugely rewarding to drive and leaves you feeling very engaged.
The updates to the 2017 Subaru BRZ SE LUX have addressed all the improvements needed to the car and the additional styling touches have brought this car bang up to date. I think the car looks and goes really well. The engine in the car is a great balance in regards to performance and efficiency, but might leave some people wanting more. The 2017 Subaru BRZ SE LUX is certainly a car for the focused driver looking to explore the road.
- Price: £26,050
- Engine: 2.0-Litre Petrol
- Power: 200 PS
- Torque: 205 Nm
- Transmission: 6 Speed Manual
- 0-62mph: 7.6 Seconds
- Top speed: 140 mph
- Weight: 1,242 kg
- Economy combined: 40mpg
- CO2: 181 g/km
Author: Paul Hadley