Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

A blue 2023 Subaru BRZ Limited is shown rounding a race track.

Why the New Subaru BRZ Is the Best Sports Car Bargain

What if we told you that you could buy a brand-new sports car with plenty of features for under $30,000? This price point isn’t common, but if you check out your local Subaru BRZ dealership, you can find it. The 2023 Subaru BRZ is an affordable, fuel-efficient, and well-liked sports car that is available in two different trims. Typically, finding a good sports car can be quite pricey, so you may think that you’re settling for less with this one. But the BRZ’s suspension, chassis, engine, and transmission are just part of what makes it such a great bargain.

The main aspects you want to look for in a budget-friendly sports car are performance, aesthetic appeal, and safety. Performance and aesthetic appeal are essential for sports car owners. There’s no reason to buy a sports car if it isn’t peppy and pretty. That said, safety goes hand-in-hand with these features as well. While sure you’re not looking for a family model, safety is still very important––especially for those who plan on participating in track racing, which is something you can do in a BRZ.

Intrigued to learn more about this well-rounded model yet? Let’s look closer at each of these main categories to see why the BRZ is the best new sports car if you’re on a budget.

Let’s Talk Performance

There are many reasons to buy a sports car, but arguably the top reason for most people is its performance specs. And it’s not just about speed; it’s about how the car feels on the road, its cornering capabilities, and even gear shifting. The BRZ’s impressive track-tuned suspension means cornering is sharp and efficient. The BRZ also comes with either 6-speed automatic or 6-speed manual transmission options. The automatic system comes with paddle shifters, giving you manual control if you choose to use it, while the manual system comes with a traditional short-throw shifter.

The 2023 BRZ comes with a 2.4-liter direct and port injection engine. More specifically, this is a brand-specific Subaru Boxer engine known for reliability and exceptional handling. The engine’s design leads to a lower center of gravity which makes for more efficient cornering. It’s also lighter weight because it doesn’t require additional vibration-cancellation components.

Let’s quickly touch on safety as well. If you’re going to be going fast, then owning a safety-forward car is important. The Boxer engine is safer than other sports car engines due to its awesome lower center of gravity. If the BRZ were to be in a front-end accident, the engine would not fall into the cab but below it instead. The BRZ also comes with a standard fast-stopping braking system that’s track-ready. When combined with the vehicle’s light weight, the BRZ has an impressively short stopping distance.

Finally, let’s talk about fuel efficiency. Sports cars are not exactly renowned for their fuel-consumption ratings, as many sports cars still use V6 and V8 engines. While these engines are powerful, they’re also very fuel-hungry. The BRZ is different in that it offers plenty of pep while remaining as fuel-efficient as many commuter sedans and crossovers. The engine pumps out up to 228 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque and can get up to 25 MPG combined when you choose the automatic transmission. The manual transmission will get you slightly less with a 22 MPG combined fuel economy rating.

Stylish (And Comfortable) Design

The second most important feature to look for in a sports car is the aesthetic appeal. Remember that this is a sports car, not a muscle car, so its design is compact. The BRZ has a chiseled exterior design with side scoops and available 18-inch alloy wheels paired with Michelin Pilot Sport tires that aid in the BRZ’s impressive handling.

In addition to exterior design, the BRZ includes a race-ready interior aesthetic as well with a digital instrument cluster, red and black front bucket seats, and a black interior with red stitching. Drivers can also appreciate some 2000s nostalgia with drilled aluminum brake and gas pedals. If you go with the higher-end Limited trim, you will get standard leather seating to give the cockpit a more luxurious feel.

While cargo room is not typically something you find in a sports car outside of the trunk, the BRZ provides flexibility here. One of our favorite BRZ interior features is its fold-down rear seats. When it’s just you or one other passenger, and you could use some extra space, simply fold down the rear seats to access additional cargo space. This feature is standard on all models, including the base-level Premium trim.

 A silver 2023 Subaru BRZ Limited is shown driving down a road after visiting a Subaru BRZ dealership.

Great Technology Features

It’s not a true bargain unless there are technological features. The 2022 Subaru BRZ includes standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto streaming technologies, along with Bluetooth phone connectivity and an 8-inch touchscreen. The digital instrument cluster is entirely digital and houses important specs like your speed, engine temperature, and fuel tank level, to name just a few. It even includes a G-Force meter and Sport and Track modes for those who like to hit the track.

Best of all, the BRZ offers Subaru Starlink Safety and Security. Through this smartphone application, you can access remote vehicle controls such as remote start and remote unlock/lock. You can even adjust your climate control from here. In addition to these convenience features, you’ll notice safety enhancements as well. For example, Advanced Automatic Collision Notification will automatically connect you with an operator if you have an accident. You can press the SOS button at any time as well if you need any type of emergency assistance––accident-related or otherwise.

The automatic BRZ comes with EyeSight Driver Assist Technology which monitors the surrounding area as you drive. It will send alerts and make adjustments to help prevent accidents. This security suite will help keep you in your intended lane, and it can even automatically stop the BRZ when you have a close encounter with another object or vehicle.

Bonus Features: Luxury!

While we’ve reviewed the top reasons to buy a budget-friendly sports car like the BRZ, let’s not forget that there are some cool luxury features you can add on for an affordable price. The Limited trim comes with heated front seats, LED steering-responsive lights, and leather/Ultrasuede upholstery. Even the lower-level Premium trim has standard LED headlights, push-button start, and keyless entry. None of these features are “available”––they’re all included standard within the trim’s regular pricing.

A red 2023 Subaru BRZ Limited is shown from the side against a black background.

It’s a Great Time to Buy a 2023 Subaru BRZ!

As prices continue to skyrocket, finding an affordable vehicle is becoming more and more important. This is especially true for those in the sports car niche. We recommend this model to anyone who’s on a budget, not just because it’s affordable, but because of how much standard equipment it includes for such a low price. In fact, there are many sports cars that are much more expensive even though they don’t include many of these standard features, such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, or a safety suite, for example.

Ready to win some races and save some cash? Check out your local Subaru BRZ dealership pronto. You’ll be glad you did.