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The Toyota GR86 and Subaru BRZ are some of the best affordable sports cars on the market. Both vehicles take a low-frills, joy-of-driving approach to modern sports car ownership without a Toyota GR Supra price tag. However, you might have questions about the little Subaru sports car before buying it, like whether it has an automatic transmission. Here are many of the most common Subaru BRZ questions answered. 

Is the Subaru BRZ automatic?

Subaru’s little sports coupe offers both an automatic and manual transmission. First, the BRZ’s six-speed automatic transmission opens the car to non-manual-driving shoppers. Also, Subaru offers a six-speed manual transmission for customers who want a more involved driving experience. Furthermore, the joyful driving characteristics of the six-speed manual-equipped car make it a great budget driver’s car. 

A Subaru BRZ is a top tier pick for a driver's car, and even offers an automatic transmission if you don't want a manual.
Subaru BRZ | Subaru

Is the Subaru BRZ good on gas?

The BRZ gets its best fuel economy figures with the automatic transmission. According to Car and Driver, the diminutive automatic Subaru manages 21 mpg in the city and 30 mpg at highway speeds. That gives it an EPA combined rating of 25 mpg. However, fuel efficiency numbers drop slightly with the six-speed manual; the manual-equipped car returns 22 mpg combined. 

Does the BRZ have a boxer engine?

The Subaru BRZ packs a 2.4L flat four-cylinder engine. The flat, or “boxer” engine, produces 228 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. While that doesn’t sound like much, it doesn’t require a plethora of ponies to motivate its 2,843-lb curb weight. Plus, the boxer engine revs up higher than some lazy V8-powered alternatives. 

Still, the 228-horsepower total puts it squarely ahead of the Mazda MX-5 Miata. The little Mazda roadster produces 181 horsepower, making it less powerful than many motorcycles. Of course, the MX-5 offers a convertible top, which the BRZ does not. 

What does BRZ stand for?

“BRZ” stands for a string of descriptive terms reminiscent of a silly 1980s action flick. The three-letter-moniker stands for “Boxer engine, Rear-wheel drive, and Zenith.” Frankly, in terms of affordable sports cars, the Subaru model lives up to that claimed Zenith. 

Does it have AWD?

The Subaru BRZ offers quite a bit to potential sports coupe shoppers, but all-wheel drive (AWD) isn’t among its features. The Subaru’s basic formula rings true for driver’s car fanatics; it’s a front-engined, rear-wheel drive (RWD) coupe with an optional manual transmission. Of course, if you’re worried about the little vehicle’s performance in inclement weather, you could always shop for appropriate tires. 

The Subaru BRZ offers a manual or automatic transmission.
The interior showcases its manual gear selector and infotainment | Subaru

Should you buy one?

If you’re in the market for a lean, fun sports coupe, you’re looking at the right car. First, with a starting price of $29,615, it’s quite a bit cheaper than a Mazda MX-5 Miata. Next, the marque refreshed the BRZ’s design in 2022, making it much more attractive and responsive than the previous generation. Finally, with a stripped-back, sharp-handling, fun-focused demeanor, it’s difficult to top the BRZ in the affordable sports car market.    

However, if you don’t mind a larger, heavier car, the Ford Mustang EcoBoost has nearly the same starting price. Plus, the EcoBoost produces 310 horsepower and will outrun the BRZ to 60 mph by almost 0.3 seconds. Scroll down to the following article to read more about sports cars!


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