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Quit Complaining About a Lack of Manual Sports Cars, and Get a Subaru BRZ

The car dorks (myself included) are constantly belly-aching about how there  are “no cool manual sports cars anymore.” Look, I get it. The rate a which we are losing manual transmission cars and trucks sucks. It does. But we have several killer options right under our nose like the ever-present Miata, Nissan Z cars, and maybe the coolest of all, the Subaru BRZ

The BRZ is all we need 

Car and Driver wrote about the BRZ being a throwback to the simpler sports cars of our past that we can’t seem to stop bleating about. It’s a light, rear-wheel-drive, affordable, manual sports car. Being a Subaru, it can have gold wheels. I mean, come on now, y’all. What else are we looking for? 

Sure, it has no back seats to speak of and can be loud and rough at times, but it’s a sports car; that’s what they do. So, none of those complaints count. Moving on. 

The Subaru BRZ powertrain 

I understand that the BRZ isn’t the fastest car in the world, but there’s much more than raw power that makes for a great car. So far, all BRZs have been fitted with a naturally-aspirated 2.0-liter flat-four engine that makes 205 hp. All Subaru BRZs come from the factory with a six-speed manual transmission but can get an automatic transmission as an option. 

RELATED: Here’s the Race-Ready Subaru BRZ STI That You Can’t Have

So far, the BRZ is knockin em down on what we want to see for a great sports car. To keep the party going, the Subaru BRZ is also rear-wheel drive. Come on now! The BRZ is batting a thousand. 

How does the BRZ take the twisties?

Although the Subaru doesn’t have an excess of power, the balance, and handling reported by Car and Driver on the 2020 Subaru BRZ they tested, was simply remarkable.

Toshiki Yoshioka, driver of the #104 Subaru BRZ, practices for the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb
Subaru BRZ Pikes Peak racer | Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images)

They say even the base model encourages spirited driving. But the fancier tS model comes with tuned suspension, Brembo brakes, and wider wheels to fit wider tires. Subaru’s STI division also re-tuned the chassis allowing the driver to use all 205 hp. Everyone knows this is the best way to drive. The cliche that proves the greatness of cars like this is, “It’s more fun to drive a slow car fast than a fast car slow.” Amen.

The Subaru BRZ is fun and fuel-friendly

Car and Driver reports that the standard 2020 BRZ is rated for 21 mpg city and 29 mpg highway. The automatic version is said to do a little better on gas mileage, but who cares? We aren’t talking about that one. The manual BRZ is fun and plenty responsible. 

2019 Subaru BRZ is on display at the 111th Annual Chicago Auto Show
2019 Subaru BRZ | Raymond Boyd/Getty Images)

The BRZ interior 

Ok, look; the interior is fine. It’s not great by any means, but it has seats, AC, and a stick that lets you change gears when you see fit. For our purposes today, that is all we really need to know. 

But, if anyone is interested, it can be a little loud in there, says Car and Driver. Subaru skipped on sound insolation to cut weight and cost. There are back seats in the BRZ, but they aren’t a good time. I once crammed my 6’5 ass back there, and it was nothing short of a circus sideshow watching me try to get in about out. Again, not the point, but this is a hard-hitting journalistic piece of reporting, after all. 

The BRZ is exactly what we’ve been fussing about not having

Obviously, the Subaru BRZ is not a new car. We first started seeing them in the US in 2012. But if we have had these around for so long, why are us car nerds whinging about the state of sports cars so much? The BRZ hits the mark on all counts. You can even buy a new 2020 starting at $29,745. That’s slightly more than a base model Toyota Camry. 

Quit whinging, buy a Subaru BRZ, and burn the road up.