Subaru BRZ 2.0i SE

Lux

Subaru BRZ, front
Subaru BRZ, front
Subaru BRZ, side
Subaru BRZ, side
Subaru BRZ, rear
Subaru BRZ, rear action
Subaru BRZ, interior
Subaru BRZ, front
Subaru BRZ, rear

THE Subaru BRZ sports coupe has had a fairly mild exterior facelift to give it a fresh look.

The interior was also worked on to give it a needed lift and there have also been improvements to the engine, suspension and safety features.

The coupe was developed in partnership with Toyota's GT86 which was refreshed at the start of 2017 so it was no surprise when the BRZ went under the knife.

Subtle tweaks have improved the cars looks and there is a new front bumper and grille, full LED headlights and new rear lamps. A chunky rear spoiler and new 10-spoke alloy wheels complete the visual package.

The BRZ's cabin was a disappointment when the car was launched so the refresh is more than welcome. The new multifunction steering wheel is a big improvement and better materials have also helped improved the ambience.

A new addition is a 4.2-inch trip display set in the dials which features a G-force meter, a lap timer and a torque power curve graph.

The cabin certainly has a sporty feel to it but sadly it still lags behind most hot hatches and feels slightly dated. It is mainly let down by the fiddly and difficult to master infotainment system and satnav still costs extra. It is a £1,250 option.

Thankfully the driving position is perfect and the sports seats are very comfortable.

The BRZ's real appeal is based on its great driving experience which is now even better than before.

Subaru's iconic 2.0-litre flat-four Boxer engine has been revised to improve response and lower emissions, although sadly there is no extra power. New dampers have improved ride comfort and you can still have great fun working the gearbox to extract all the 197bhp on offer.

It is good enough to take you to 62mph in 7.6 seconds and on to a top speed of 140mph.

It is a shame there is no extra power as the excellent chassis could certainly cope with it.

The BRZ is extremely agile and corners as if it was on rails, while the new dampers help it to deal with difficult road surfaces.

The steering is sharp and accurate, while the gearchange has a lovely action that makes you want to use it even more than you need to.

Subaru now only offers the BRZ in SE Lux trim and it offers good value over its Toyota GT86 cousin. You can buy an entry GT86 for less but at this trim level the BRZ is considerably cheaper.

The specificaiton includes heated Alcantara clad seats, keyless entry and Bluetooth, as well as a raft of safety features.

The BRZ is billed as a 2+2 but the rear seats are frankly useless for anyone larger than a small toddler. The boot does offer decent space but you won't buy this car for its practicality.

FAST FACTS

Subaru BRZ 2.0i SE Lux

Price: £26,050

Mechanical: 197bhp 1,998cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving rear wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 140mph

0-62mph: 7.6 seconds

Combined MPG: 36.2

Insurance Group: 31

C02 emissions: 180g/km

Bik rating: 35%

Warranty: 5yrs/100,000 miles

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