Will the 2022 Subaru BRZ Drive Circles Around the Ford Mustang EcoBoost?

The 2022 BRZ is bringing some significant updates to Subaru’s entry-level sports car. Not least of which is more power, albeit not through turbocharging. However, while the Miata may seem like the Subaru BRZ’s closest competitor, there are other sporty 4-cylinder cars available. For example, the Ford Mustang EcoBoost, which now offers the High Performance Package. But which one should driving enthusiasts turn to?

The 2022 Subaru BRZ is eyeing the 2020 Ford Mustang EcoBoost’s level of speed

While some may find the Subaru BRZ vs. Ford Mustang EcoBoost comparison a bit off, given their differences in size, the two are often cross-shopped. Enough that when Subaru was putting the final touches on the 2022 BRZ, it had a Mustang EcoBoost on hand, The Drive reports. So, while the Mustang is technically a pony/muscle car, and the BRZ a sports car, they’re genuine rivals.

A silver 2022 Subaru BRZ on a mountain road
2022 Subaru BRZ front 3/4 | Subaru

Despite the 2022 Subaru BRZ’s upgrades, though, the Ford Mustang EcoBoost still has the power advantage. The BRZ has a 2.4-liter flat-4 with 228 hp and 184 lb-ft, Road & Track reports. Not only is that more power and torque than the outgoing car, but the torque arrives significantly lower in the rev range, Motor Trend reports. However, the Mustang EcoBoost’s 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder makes 310 hp and 350 lb-ft. And in HPP trim, it has 332 hp, The Drive reports.

An orange 2020 Ford Mustang EcoBoost High Performance Package in a white-painted warehouse
2020 Ford Mustang EcoBoost High Performance Package front 3/4 | Ford

However, the 2022 Subaru BRZ has a weight advantage over the Ford Mustang EcoBoost. With a 6-speed manual, the Mustang weighs just under 3560 pounds, Car and Driver reports. And the HPP-equipped model is closer to 3630 pounds, Motor1 reports. In contrast, even the heaviest 2022 BRZ weighs less than 2900 pounds, Automobile reports. That’s thanks in part to greater use of aluminum, Petrolicious reports. The previous-gen car had an aluminum roof, while the 2022 model pairs that with an aluminum hood and front fenders.

How do the 2022 Subaru BRZ and 2020 Ford Mustang EcoBoost compare in terms of performance features?

The 2022 Subaru BRZ has more than just a new engine, though. It’s lower, wider, and longer than the outgoing car, which means a lower center of gravity. That new engine also sits lower in the chassis. The BRZ’s platform isn’t all-new, but it is significantly stiffer.

As with the 2020 model, a limited-slip differential is standard. It’s unknown if the tS trim, with its sportier STI-tuned suspension, Brembo brakes, and Sachs shocks will return, MT reports. But the 6-speed automatic now offers a Sport Mode setting.

The standard Ford Mustang EcoBoost is a decent handler, but R&T found the previous-gen BRZ’s twin, the Scion FR-S, was even better. The optional Performance Package, which adds a limited-slip differential, larger brakes, stiffer springs, retuned electronics, and a larger rear sway bar, goes some way to rectify that, Car and Driver reports.

The HPP and Handling Package, though, turn the Ford Mustang EcoBoost into a “legitimate performance car,” Car and Driver reports. The HPP grants the Performance Package’s goodies with the additional horsepower. The Handling Package, meanwhile, further stiffens the rear sway bar and adds even larger brakes. It also gives the Mustang adaptive dampers and wider wheels with Pirelli P Zero Corsa4 performance tires.

Which one should you consider?

A silver 2022 Subaru BRZ drifts on a racetrack
2022 Subaru BRZ drifting | Subaru

Subaru hasn’t released official 2022 BRZ pricing, but Car and Driver estimates it will start around $30,000. In comparison, the 2020 Ford Mustang EcoBoost starts at $26,670. But, if you want the HPP and Handling Package, the price tag jumps up to $37,500.

Unfortunately, as of this writing, it’s too soon to tell how the 2022 Subaru BRZ and Ford Mustang EcoBoost compare in terms of handling. The BRZ won’t arrive in dealerships until fall 2021, R&T reports.


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

However, MT reports that, from the passenger seat, the 2022 model feels “as balanced and neutral as ever,” only faster. That’s not to say the Ford Mustang EcoBoost HPP isn’t fun to drive. It is, MT reports, but it’s not quite as sharp as, say, the Toyota Supra 2.0.

In short, then, these two 4-cylinder sporty cars suit different driving styles. But that’s just good news for driving enthusiasts on a budget.

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