2022 Subaru BRZ
by John Davis
Many people were skeptical we’d even see a 2nd generation of the Subaru BRZ. But, this reworked sport coupe has arrived for 2022 and we couldn’t be happier. Not only is there a new version of the Subaru-Toyota rear-wheel drive joint venture, but the BRZ-GR86 engineering team kept the spirit of the original design fully intact, only making subtle changes and notable improvements. Still tidy, nimble, and lightweight feeling, so it remains a very fun car to drive, only now with more power, more refinement, and more style.
Starting with the engine, it grows from 2 to 2.4-liters; gaining 15% more torque. There is a slight bump in horsepower as well. The new numbers are 228-horsepower and 184 lb-ft. of torque. Available in Premium and Limited trim, both come with a 6-speed manual transmission as standard. A 6-speed automatic is available if you must. Both the shifter and the clutch are the best we’ve tried in a Subaru; good feel in the pedal, short throws and positive engagements through all gears.
Safety enthusiasts will be happy to know Subaru’s EyeSight Driver Assist Technology is now available on the BRZ, but only with that automatic.
Next, Subaru focused their efforts on stiffening up the chassis and subframe to get the most out of the MacPherson strut front and double wishbone rear suspension. Then, went a step further by applying Michelin Pilot Sport 4 summer performance tires on Limited trim BRZs. That delivers quick steering with adequate feel, and basically zero body roll. There is a playful amount of oversteer that is a bit easier to coax with the throttle than before.
The new BRZ has the same basic shape as before, but wears a more aggressive face, has a smoother take on the double bubble roof concept, and there’s a little more attention to detail when it comes to aero. There are now comprehensive underbody panels, air extractors in the front fender, and extended rockers. In back, an integrated deck-lid spoiler replaces the tacked-on wing of the previous gen, and looks much better.
The BRZ sits about as low as anything on the road, so it’s not the easiest of cars to get in and out of if you’ve lost your youthful limberness. But plenty of room for all shapes and sizes once you’re in the comfortable and supportive front seats. There is, however as before, much less room in back of course.
A 7-inch digital driver display is new, as is an 8.0-inch touch screen for Subaru’s Starlink infotainment; all a little more oriented to the driver.
For our complete road test of the all-new Subaru BRZ, be sure to catch MotorWeek episode #4131 that begins airing on PBS April 8, 2022. For a listing of the PBS public television stations that broadcast MotorWeek, go to motorweek.org and click the “About the Show” tab at the top. You can also watch weekly episodes of MotorWeek on our cable partner MAVTV with new episodes airing each Saturday at 7:30 PM. Check their entire schedule at MAVTV.com. MotorWeek can also be streamed in its entirety on PBS.org/MotorWeek, as well as on PBS Living, a part of Amazon Prime Video. Road Test videos are also available at motorweek.org and on youtube.com/motorweek.
It’s great when cars live up to our lofty expectations. The 2022 Subaru BRZ, along with its Toyota GR86 design mate, are throwback thrills to drive no matter the speed or the road you’re on. Drive either one and you’ll understand why they are our Drivers’ Choice pick for Best Sport Coupe of the year.