2014 Subaru BRZ Comfort & Quality

7.0
Comfort & Quality

Following suit with so many other focused sports cars on the market, the BRZ sacrifices some comfort in its quest for thrills. It's spacious enough for two passengers and their weekend bags, and comfortable enough to zip through the mountains or commute to work, though we can think of several ways to spend those commutes more comfortably.

The driving position is a little more upright than most other sports cars, but it's reasonably good, with firm, bolstered seats. Limited models get Alcantara seats with even more bolstering. While there is a back seat, it would take a contortionist to fit an adult back there, and it's not unreasonable to expect that many children may be uncomfortable in the rear as well.

The rear seats are there for looks only: the BRZ doesn't have an excess of interior space.

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.

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.

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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