At this point we all know that the Subaru BRZ is a little hoot of an automobile. The analog driving experience will take anyone over 35 years of age back to a time when piloting a sports car meant you had to really know how to drive. The good news is that with the 2017 model year Subaru has decided to give the BRZ a few little upgrades. And while it still may not have the distinction of being a super car, the 2017 BRZ Limited, when equipped with the Performance Package, remains one of the best sports cars you can buy because of its basic nature and off the charts fun factor.
For the full 2017 Subaru BRZ Limited review, specs, pricing and data, read on…
2017 Subaru BRZ Limited Exterior:
When it comes to sports cars, the BRZ goes back to basics with a tried and true design that gives a serious nod to the enthusiast crowd. The long bonnet is flanked on both sides by large fender arches. The windshield is raked and leads the eye to a stubby rear deck. There are big chrome-tipped exhaust ports housed in a blacked rear diffuser. And the trim – all the trim – has been blacked out.
Not to leave well enough alone, Subaru decided to further enhance the BRZ for 2017 by including a new aluminum rear wing, LED taillights and a revamped front fascia that allows for a more aggressive overall look with projector beam headlamps with LED surrounds. Rims are smoke gray 17.5-inch aluminum alloys wearing 215/45-series Michelin rubber. At 166.7-inches in length and only 69.9-inches wide, the BRZ is not a large vehicle. However that lack of size and a low curb weight (2,750 lbs), when combined with a great chassis and peaky power plant, means the 2017 BRZ Limited translates to a hilariously fun car to drive in the real world.
2017 Subaru BRZ Limited Interior:
Technically, the BRZ is rated as a four-passenger automobile. The reality, though, is that the rear seat can be used for only the smallest of occupants and is more akin to a parcel shelf than a means of transporting additional adults. However, the good news is that, like the exterior, the interior has been given a few updates. Sure, it’s still basic (and we like that), but thanks to a couple of tweaks, it now feels a bit more modern.
Our BRZ Limited sported highly bolstered bucket seats that were a combination of black leather and alcantara with red stitching. The door panels were nicely padded and feature a perfectly placed armrest. For 2017 the steering wheel gets new leather, is smaller in diameter and also houses new buttons that allow one to scroll through the different readouts on the new 4.2-inch performance display that resides in the updated gauge cluster. And, as per previous cars, we’re still digging the large center mounted and easy-to-read tachometer and speedometer.
The BRZ also comes complete with dual climate controls, heated seats and a large 6.2-inch touchscreen placed center dash that allows access to the Infotainment system for items such as Bluetooth functions, audio controls and vehicle settings. Outward visibility was better than expected, yet interior noise at highway speeds continues to be on the high side. Honestly though, that 6-speed shifter and the three pedals below the dash are really all we care about as it tells us this car is still all about the fun of driving.
2017 Subaru BRZ Limited Performance:
Equipped with the new-for-2017 performance package, the BRZ now benefits from large four-piston Brembo calipers on 12.8-inch rotors up front and two-piston Brembo units out back on 12.4-inch rotors. There are also new Sachs dampers for better handling, a 5-hp and 5-lb.ft of torque gain (205-hp / 156 lb-ft) from the 2.0L Boxer flat-4 cylinder engine, and structural reinforcements to the chassis and stiffer springs. What this all means is that compared to the 2016 model, this BRZ felt much more planted at the limit.
The steering is remarkably direct with great feedback and allows the driver to place the car wherever they wish. Pedal feel under braking was spot on, plus in SPORT Mode, the traction control system and enhanced VSC (Vehicle Stability Control) are less intrusive. Could the BRZ benefit from an extra 50 horsepower? Sure – but the best part is that the driver is able to utilize 100% of what the BRZ has to offer. Mileage is EPA rated at 29-mpg highway, 21-mpg city and 24-mpg in combined driving.*
It should also be said that the 6-speed manual transmission (a 6-speed automatic with paddles is also available) is accurate with short throws and allows one to kick the tail out whenever they choose when combined with a little clutch kick.
2017 Subaru BRZ Limited Safety:
Safety is paramount when creating a sports car and to that end, Subaru does not disappoint. Some of the safety features include Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Advanced Frontal Airbag System, Side Seat and Side Curtin Airbags, Anti-lock Brakes, Traction Control, a Rear Vision Camera and a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS).
2017 Subaru BRZ Limited Overall:
With the addition of the 2017 Performance Package, Subaru has elevated the BRZ to a level that even advanced drivers will fully embrace. The addition of larger brakes and updated suspension combined with the stiffer chassis and quick ratio steering make the BRZ one of the best performance values of the day. In addition, this is one of the few cars that will make you a better driver due to its analog nature. Thankfully, the BRZ isn’t ruined by an overabundance of technology and instead provides drivers with the analog driving experience they’ve been looking for. Drop by your local AutoNation Subaru dealer today to check one out!
*Fuel economy values (mpg) are EPA estimates. Actual mileage will vary and depends on several factors including driving habits and vehicle condition.
**Vehicle MSRP of $29,660.00 excludes taxes, title, transportation, options, and dealer fees.