So, my car is listed for sale. All I can do now is wait for the offers to pour in. Just so happens that my best gal pal is also in the market for a vehicle, so we decided to do the conventional thing and head out on a sweltering Saturday for some test drives.
Following an unsuccessful attempt to kick the tires of a 6-speed manual Volkswagen GTI (or any VW model for that matter) at Kuhn, Paul and I moved on to investigate the focus of his car search: the Subaru BRZ.
For those unfamiliar, this is not a typical, family-friendly Subaru. It was jointly developed with Toyota as a purist two-door sports coupe, somewhere between the discontinued Supra and Celica…and is sold in the US as both a Scion (as the FR-S), and a Subie.
The BRZ brings a sharky snout (vs. something like a catfish for the FR-S), and fistful of more upmarket options and features, and is priced accordingly. Paul is particularly interested in some of the tech, like xenon headlamps and keyless access/start…so though he has been a loyal Toyota customer, his sights were on the more expensive and…grown up…version.
Of course, during the test drive, Paul swapped with me so I could give ‘er a whirl. I was surprised at how nice the leather felt in my hands, how clear and crisp the gauges were, how German-heavy the steering was, and how meaty and short the throws were on the manual shifter. Metal pedals and Alcantara seats embellished the sporty, high-quality feel.
The engine is neat too. It’s unique Boxer design and layout mean it is lower to the ground, makes uncommonly low, growly rumbles, and responds differently. I found it to have good response from a stop, a dip in 2nd and 3rd gear, and then a surge of overtaking power in 4th and 5th gears. I pushed it harder and more aggressively than Paul did, and I was not disappointed.
Despite my allegiance to Mini, VW, and the rest of the Euros, I was honestly impressed by the BRZ. It’s not a practical vehicle, and not one I would consider a contender in my own car search. It’s back seat is nearly microscopic, and its trunk is small. I’ve enjoyed relative utility with my current extended-body Mini, and I’d get something similar out of a GTI. But, from a driving enjoyment perspective, I can see why Paul is so excited.
Or, if you just want to go drive one, I’m sure George Hios at Mastro Subaru will indulge you. Check it out!