Nuts & Bolts: The 2014 Subaru BRZ Limited

April 25

Bottom line: The Subaru BRZ, pretty much the same in 2014 as it was when introduced in 2013, is a sports car in the truest sense of the term. It just wants to put a smiley face on the rudiments of driving. It is nobody’s racer, nor does it pretend to be. What you see is what you get, and what you get is a subcompact sports car that will take you where you want to go and have fun doing it. If you are looking for something practical, something all-wheel-drive, kindly shop elsewhere.

Ride, acceleration and handling: Good marks in all three. It’s one of the best-handling small cars available.

Head-turning quotient: It is attractive without being stunning. It has a simplicity that says: “Hey, I’m a car. Want to drive?” It does not flex muscles, do a “Real Housewives of Who Cares” pout or any of that stuff.

Body style/layout: The Subaru BRZ is a front-engine, rear-wheel-drive subcompact sports coupe from Subaru and Toyota. It has two side doors and a rear hatch. The trim levels Premium and Limited. Word is, a convertible is on the way. That ought to be a winner.

Engine/transmissions: The BRZ comes standard with a 2-liter, 16-valve flat four-cylinder gasoline engine with variable valve timing, linked to a six-speed manual transmission. A six-speed automatic that also can be operated manually via paddle shifters is optional.

Capacities: There are comfortable seats for the driver and passenger. Two small people can fit in the rear two seats. Cargo capacity is 6.9 cubic feet. Estimated fuel capacity is 10.5 gallons (premium is recommended).

Mileage: I averaged 30 miles per gallon in highway driving.

Safety: Standard equipment includes front and rear ventilated disc brakes, four-wheel anti-lock brake protection, emergency braking assistance, electronic brake-force distribution, traction and stability control, tire-pressure monitoring, and side and head air bags.

Pricing: The 2014 Subaru BRZ starts at $25,595. The BRZ Limited starts at $27,595, with a dealer’s invoice price of $26,205. Add $706 in options to fill out the Limited package, which includes onboard navigation and heated seats. Add a $795 factory-to-dealer transportation charge. Price as tested is $29,139. Dealer’s price as tested is $27,484.

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