Our colleagues at Consumer Reports, when not professing their love for all things Toyota, have recently taken a real shine to Subarus. First they crowned the 2012 Impreza the top small sedan, while elevating the Subaru brand to the top of the 2012 CR ratings. Now comes this surprisingly entertaining "first look" video featuring the 2013 BRZ.

CR loved hot-shoeing the BRZ around the track, of course. As we've seen, this car is fun enough that anyone with a pulse should be able to enjoy it. But more importantly, the magazine answered a few important questions about the car's suitability for the low-budget racing crowd. Those that might be interested in campaigning a BRZ in local autocross events or track days will be happy to know that a helmeted, six-foot-tall driver can fit inside the car with proper head clearance. Equally as important, the BRZ's stability control can be switched entirely off, enabling the kinds of power slides that are great fun but sure to place you last in your SCCA Solo II class behind all the Miatas, Z cars and E36 M3's.

Go ahead and scroll down to watch the whole video.


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  • 245 Comments
      jutman1776
      • 2 Years Ago
      people who complaining about it being underpowered so was the Miata when it first came out.......... we all know how that story ends.
      ponycargt
      • 2 Years Ago
      Why is it always fashionable in automotive enthusiast circles to bash consumer reports? For car shoppers that publication is a valuable source of info on things like reliability, cost of ownership and safety. The dedicated car magazines are mainly concerned with acceleration and sporty handling, which we all care about, of course, but aren't everything. When deciding on a car, a smart enthusiast would check several sources to get the info they need, including CR.
        Worx2749
        • 2 Years Ago
        @ponycargt
        As a lifelong car lover, I agree that too many "enthusiasts" dismiss CR as "biased," when in fact, it's anything but. Consumer Reports tells it like it is, No advertisers to answer to. People today keep cars a lot longer, and CR is a good resource to look at.
        Jonathan Arena
        • 2 Years Ago
        @ponycargt
        Because most enthusiasts have enough experience with cars to doubt the reliability of CR's "valuable information"
        Eddie Burke
        • 2 Years Ago
        @ponycargt
        Consumer Reports is hands down the most biased source for automotive "reviews"
      gork
      • 2 Years Ago
      It's the car we thought it would be, and should be. :D
      James
      • 2 Years Ago
      I am really impressed with the amount of rubber that thing put down when he took off, power steering from a dead stop. That's exactly what I want this kind of car to do ... And the sustained drift angle on the sweepers was really impressive, too. When I heard InsideLine's 7.2s to sixty, and AutoWeek's 7.5, I was concerned. But I have a renewed interest after seeing this video. If an intake and headers can bring this to mid sixes, then I can forgive the stock performance. I don't really want to get inside the engine, though. I'd sooner get an S2000 used if I have to go into cams and pistons to get this little guy to breathe better. I want a cheap car I can thrash, and when you get into internals 'cheap' goes out the window.
      Stephen Liu
      • 2 Years Ago
      Hold on. Did I just watch a video from Consumer Reports with their tester trying out how drift-able a car is? What is this world coming to?!?
      bonehead
      • 2 Years Ago
      All my anticipation for the BRZ actually led me to purchase an S2000 instead. All the things they praise about the BRZ reminded me how the s2000 is that and more. Plus they can be had for a great price. They are of course not as practical but are just fine if not your primary vehicle.
        jboogiezx6
        • 2 Years Ago
        @bonehead
        the s2000 is a fine automobile…nothing like owning a new car though
          bonehead
          • 2 Years Ago
          @jboogiezx6
          Agree with that. But also seeing the price of the BRZ land north of where I personally was hoping, reminded me how much i can save with a used car. Sure its not new but you can find like new if you look. You can find an s2000 with low miles for between $15-20k. But saving money on depreciation is my preference, i will likely never purchase a new car.
      sdvictor
      • 2 Years Ago
      Once again, people like to bash CR for whatever reason; but the car folks there are known to be enthusiasts, and quite a few of them are SCCA racers.
      Chuck Reynolds
      • 2 Years Ago
      SO.... I do LIKE that 1) it's so cheap, and 2) you can completely turn OFF all traction control. BUT.. and hear me out... the PROBLEMS are .... 1) it's so cheap (meaning every dumb ass $30k millionaire will buy one) and 2) you can completely turn off all traction control, (meaning every dumb ass $30k millionaire will do that on the streets thinking they can actually drive, but we know they can't)... so... *shrug*
      k_m94
      • 2 Years Ago
      Thing I notice about the BRZ and FRS is that while they can be flicked sideways without too much difficulty, the tires barely squeal and are smokeless, almost as if driving on wet track when it's bone dry. I guess with a non sport/long lifetime tire and very little power combined with low weight, there is of a battle between friction and torque. While the lack of drama makes watching a drifting BRZ less exciting, from the driver's seat it's probably something really fun that you could do all day, cheaply, without going through a set of big expensive sticky hoops every 10 laps like something with more grip and grunt might. Of course, the low power actually means going around sideways requires more effort than extracting good lap times, this isnt a car where you just plonk your foot down mid corner and add suitable lock, apparently you have to really chuck it. Either way, I can see why it's so fun. Of course, I can also see that it wont be for everyone, the low power means it's a momentum car.
        Rob Gomes
        • 2 Years Ago
        @k_m94
        >I guess with a non sport/long lifetime tire and very little power combined with low weight, there is of a battle between friction and torque Is that the case though -- non-sport tires? The reality is the 2.0L puts out about 150lb-ft. No different than the Honda S2000 or a Mazda MX-5. I think the S2000 had Brigestone S-03 Pole Positions OEM, and the Mazda MX-5 has Bridgestone Potenza RE050As OEM -- same as a Porsche 911. 150lb-ft is plenty to chirp the tires going into second on a very well-executed shift. I think the lack of smoke is more a function of having a smaller contact patch, but that contact patch still having a lot of grip despite the lack of width.
        k_m94
        • 2 Years Ago
        @k_m94
        For the record, seeing a wide, sticky tired car with lots of power drift for a long time makes me cringe slightly at the wasted tire. I guess overexposure to Top Gear (where it's the only way around a corner with RWD) does that to you. Might as well take a lighter to a stack of $20 bills.
        James
        • 2 Years Ago
        @k_m94
        Exactly what hard, long life tires can do. Which I think is a good thing for this car. I'd wager with some much stickier summer rubber this car could gain several tenths to sixty, but then you lose all of the fun of the car. One could dump this thing at 7k rpm and really dig in with some sport tires. But I think I'd prefer the harder rubber. Overall I think this Scionaru is going to be a fun little car. One I'll be test driving when they get enough of them produced.
      snap_understeer_ftw
      • 2 Years Ago
      I have to imagine the SCCA will make this car a G Stock car (current civic si, etc) or maybe D Stock (Mazdaspeed3, DC2 Integra-R, BMW 135i, Mini Cooper S, WRX, Cobalt SS) <----I listed the known competitive cars from those classes............to which I say the point of last in Solo II class is moot since the Miata, Z cars and E36 M3s are not G or D stock cars E stock is a possibility but I''ve got soem kind of gut reservations for that class, where the Miata and the Z3 are) E36 M3 is a C-stock car along with the 370Z and RX8 Street Touring Sport is also gonna be a possibility where the miata is king with the CRX.
        Pinhead
        • 2 Years Ago
        @snap_understeer_ftw
        That car should be WAY too fast for GS. It's lighter than anything in the class, by a lot, and is not particularly low on power, either. I think even if it winds up in DS, it'd still be fast.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Zero 1
      • 2 Years Ago
      A lot of people can't fit in a Miata with a helmet? At Solo2 events you are required to run in a miata with the top down for safety purposes. I raced one for 4 years and they never permitted use of the top.
        k_m94
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Zero 1
        With the top down, a Miata has unlimited headroom:)
          Rob Gomes
          • 2 Years Ago
          @k_m94
          And a ton of legroom. 43 inches, in fact. That's better than nearly every SUV.
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