Would We Buy a 2013 Subaru BRZ Again?

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Cars.com's 2013 Subaru BRZ long-term tester marked the first time we purchased the winner of our most prestigious annual award. Cars.com editors named the BRZ and Scion FR-S twins the Best of 2013 as leaders in value, innovation and quality for the 2013 model year. What better way to put our recommendation to the test than buy one and drive the wheels off of it year-round?

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The 14,352 miles and 11 months of ownership of the BRZ Limited with a manual transmission was a blast, but not uneventful. Our BRZ needed snow tires to survive winter, patience to survive the touch-screen multimedia system and damaged ears to survive the faulty fuel pump's loud chirping. After all those tribulations, we polled the voting editors to see if the BRZ is still a deserving winner.

In short, the answer remains an enthusiastic yes, though a few had reservations about the car after our extended experience.

Would you award the BRZ Cars.com's top honor again?

Joe Bruzek, road test editor: Absolutely. For the money, nothing is as dedicated to the sports car experience as the BRZ. Plus great gas mileage and more versatility than its roadster competition? Sign me up again.

Jennifer Geiger, news editor: No. On paper the performance for the money looks impressive, but behind the wheel, I wasn't as enthused. A cramped cabin, punishing ride and obnoxious controls sucked out a lot of the fun.

Mike Hanley, Research editor: The BRZ's blend of performance and driver involvement for the money is as rewarding today as when we gave it our Best of 2013 award almost a year ago. It's been an especially deserving winner.

Kelsey Mays, consumer affairs editor: No. Reliability problems and a wretched multimedia system hamper the BRZ — both significant trade-offs against its driving fun.

David Thomas, managing editor: Despite its quirks and above-average need to be serviced, the BRZ delivered on the promise of an affordable sports car for everyday drivers. There's no question I would vote for it again.

Joe Wiesenfelder, executive editor: I'd absolutely vote for it again. A convertible version could be my next car.

Related
Selling Our 2013 Subaru BRZ Wasn't Easy
Follow Our Long-Term Fleet
We Bought a 2013 Subaru BRZ

Comments 

bobdevo

So - the chick and the dork don't like it, but the guys do. Put me down for one.

Dan

+1 @bobdevo.

Yes, the Nav SUCKS. At least it is standard equipment.

"Punishing ride"??? Newsflash. This is a sports car. I had to laugh when I read that. I also don't think any other automotive editor docked it for that.

Khorlin

+1
"Cramped cabin..." She must have forgotten she's not in her minivan. Stick to reviewing car seats and leave the sports car reviews up to the big boys!

Fun to see that the reviews came back basicly 50/50. Seems like it depends on what you want out of your car.

legomyego

if you're reviewing a sports car, have a sports car mind frame/checklist. Cramped cabin, punishing ride ?!! gee, gimme a break.

Infosaur

Gee Jennifer way to act like a girl.

Personally I'm a Luddite and I think a dorky "going to be obsolete-before-the-car-is-paid-off" multimedia interface has no place in a budget sports car like this.

Could you imagine a TR-6 with,,, well whatever they could muster as multimedia in 1969? An on board 45 record player and CB radio?

One of the few vehicles left where driving IS the thing!

Bowrider

Although I'm late to the party with my comments, bobdevo is needs to take it easy with the name calling. It's uncalled for. And, I'm pretty sure Jennifer has driven more cars in her young life then you'll ever drive or have driven (assuming you're young because you're immature and quick to throw stones behind your computer screen).

A cramped cabin and a punishing ride are two traits that would make me never buy this car (among others).

J WILLETS

Wow these woman should be fired? Hampered it's fun driving by the NAV? AUDIO? you turn that screen off when you are really driving lady.

Basically if you want a better stereo (which all suck stock and good ones can be purchased aftermarket for a few hundo) but no lets spend 30k based upon these principles of the mechanical engineering and materials used to build the drivetrain.

#hashtag fire that broad and hire a real woman!

Mike

I've only had my BRZ limited a month. I'm coming from a 6 speed special edition 2002 Miata and I have to admit that the Nav/Entertainment System is occasionally frustrating but I've learned to like its ability to stream Google Play Music and podcast from my Android phone. To be fair I've NEVER come across an in-dash nav system that's as good as an Android phone was 4 years ago. I would love a sytem that would just act as a secondary screen for my Galaxy Note 3. Does anyone make anything like that? Someone should.

The ride is a tad harsher on speed bumps etc. compared to my old MX-5 but the steering, the steering is JUST WOW. And on the highway it's just an absolute pleasure compared to the Miata. Arriving at a destination after two hours at speed with my hearing intact is something I've really grown to miss over the last decade. I specifically got this car because it's NOT A CONVERTIBLE. It's so cheap that I'm going to sell my aging Porsche and get another Miata which, by the way, was BRILLIANT in the snow with a set of snow tires. I hope the BRZ is as good next winter when it's re-shod for the cooler months.

I have to say though that I'm astonished that someone would base a re-purchase decision on something so easily replaced as nav/entertainment head unit and as for the cramped cabin I've always been a fan of a cozy GT since my first '85 RX-7. This car recaptures that feeling better than anything I've experienced in recent years.

I'm only a month into this car and reliability/quality/dealer treatment could greatly color my perception but so far for this old man I think Subaru/Toyota have hit one out of the park and into orbit. This is clearly a niche product and I am SOOO glad someone makes it and even more glad that I bought it.

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