2013 Subaru BRZ Comfort & Quality

7.0
Comfort & Quality

Focused sports cars often end up sacrificing some comfort and usability in favor of better dynamics, lighter curb weights, and stronger performance—and the 2013 Subaru BRZ is no exception. While the BRZ isn't exactly roomy, it's spacious enough for two and weekend bags, and comfortable enough for a commute or a jaunt out on the backroads; although we can think of many better choices for a long plod on the Interstate.

The BRZ offers up a reasonably good driving position—a little more upright than most other sports cars—with seats that are firm and pretty well bolstered. In Limited models, there are slightly upgraded bolsters as well as Alcantara (suede-like) trim. There is a back seat, but this is strictly a 2+2; adults aren't going to be able to get into it easily, or even manage to wedge their legs behind the front seat.

The 2013 Subaru BRZ isn't such a good choice if you do long freeway drives, or value comfort. And think of it as a two-seater—that backseat is just a tease.

From the side or even the back, the BRZ looks like it could be a hatchback, with its long, sloping rear glass, but there's actually a small trunklid; it helps keep the body structure stiff, but results in a narrow load opening. That said, there's quite a bit of space back there—enough for a couple of laptop bags and a small suitcase. Subaru also says that with the rear seatbacks folded forward (and using the pass-through), you can load four race tires plus tools.

And in a nod to one common issue for taller drivers who weekend race, there's an abundance of headroom—enough for getting the helmet on, and being comfortable with it.

Overall, if you're about average height or shorter, you might find the BRZ's seats to offer decent enough support for a longer trip. But taller drivers will find their legs splayed out, against the center stack, with the lower cushions feeling all too firm after a few hours. The seats are also missing the kind of middle-back support that's quite common even in inexpensive cars now, the short lower cushions could be more workable if they were more adjustable.

There’s really no such thing as feeling detached from the driving experience in the Subaru BRZ, and while that’s mostly a good thing, it turns into a burden at those times when you would rather shut off your inner racer for a few hours and set the cruise control. Unless you’re on a nearly perfect highway surface, the BRZ tends to bound up and down with highway patchwork, and although it tracks straight and you’re seldom pushed off course, the experience can be fatiguing.

Otherwise, 'simple is good' holds for most of the BRZ's interior and its controls and displays. We also found the orange-red displays and instrument needles to be very easy to read with polarized sunglasses. About the only ergonomic issue we had was with the mandatory touch-screen system for audio and navigation. For some audio functions it leaves you reaching for small 'buttons' on the touch-screen that can be much harder to find quickly than the real thing.

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