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STYLING | 8 out of 10
Only the front fascia, badges, and maybe wheels separate the BRZ from its Toyota—and Scion—sibling.
Car and Driver
Not only is the graceful coupe a surprise from bland Toyota, it also is a knockout on the street, yanking heads around in double-takes the whole test period.
The Subaru BRZ was an all-new model for last year, and a different approach for Subaru's otherwise wagon-heavy lineup. It's a 2+2 sports car with a few very modern design cues, but underneath those, it's a driver's car with minimalistic design. That's especially true inside, where its instrument panel follows a simplified cockpit with relatively basic materials, but special textures and details keep it interesting.
Inside, we like the 2014 BRZ's basic, down-to-business cockpit look, and how a few of the controls follow industrial inspiration—with the nut-and-bolt design of the climate-control knobs, for instance, or the textured material that looks like corrugated metal surrounding them. Some of the materials used could have been more exciting, though; in front of the passenger seat is a large, continuous slab of light-silvery-colored plastic (more of the soft grained material would have been better), which doesn't quite match the more metallic trim alongside the center stack.
It has classic sports-car proportions from its silhouette, and its flashy five-spoke wheels, flared fender lines, sculpted flanks, arched roof and long hood help complete the look. That hood looks especially low from the front–hinting at its low engine mounts and center of gravity–with its low grille only below the bumper and headlights, which are spread wide into the fenders. Those headlights may well be the only thing the BRZ has in common with other Subarus in the lineup. Some of those design cues are replicated with the taillamps, but the blacked out rear valance, dual exhaust and carved-out sheetmetal are unique to the BRZ. The only things that are a little harder to warm up to are the side fender vents just ahead of the doors; even from ten feet away, they look like a Pep Boys add-on, and badging (like what the nearly identical Scion FR-S gets) could have avoided that eyesore.
The BRZ's classic sports-car outline has a few, fine details; the cockpit's efficient.