2019 Subaru BRZ: Still Lacking Power, But Still Good Enough

  • Nice as it would be, the 2019 Subaru BRZ does not see a horsepower increase.
  • But maybe that’s okay? There are lots of other things to love about this new Subaru.   

Subaru is upping the ante with the introduction of the 2019 BRZ. More power right?! No, just kidding. Instead of tooling around with the 2.0-liter Boxer engine, Subaru decided a limited edition trim was enough.

The new “Series.Gray” includes wheel upgrades, a new paint color, and blacked-out exterior badges.

2019 Subaru BRZ Breakdown

The base BRZ Premium comes with LED headlights, power door locks and side mirrors, rear vision camera, engine immobilizer, and keyless entry. The Premium model adds a welcome lighting system to greet you when approaching the vehicle. Dual USB ports, a 6.2-inch touchscreen audio display with eight speakers, and Bluetooth capability are standard across the range.

Don’t forget the leather steering wheel, and leather accents for the door trim, shifter, and center console.

All in all, not bad. The 2019 Subaru BRZ Premium starts just under $26,000. In truth, I would pay more in exchange for a more powerful and responsive Boxer motor. For the money, the Limited trim offers better value for $28,000 and change. It adds LED fog lights, keyless access with push-button start, Alcantara seats with leather-trimmed bolsters and heating, courtesy lights, and an illuminated vanity mirror for passengers.

Standard on the Limited is Subaru Starlink. It comes with a larger seven-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The system supports SiriusXM radio and a voice-activated navigation system.

2019 Subaru BRZ. Photo: Subaru of America, Inc.

By The Numbers

Also standard is the 4.2-inch display screen next to the tachometer. It provides information about the steering angle, oil and coolant temperatures, and lateral G-forces. There is also a stopwatch function so you can measure your lap times, which we assume won’t be blisteringly quick given the lack of power.

But for $1,195 more, the Limited can be optioned with the Performance Package. That adds Brembo brakes with four-piston front and dual-piston rear calipers, SACHS shock absorbers, and new 17-inch black alloys. This package is only applicable to manual models. Sadly, there is no power upgrade.

New for 2019 is the exclusive Series.Gray trim in khaki gray paint, different 17-inch black-finish alloys, and blacked-out exterior badges. The interior gets red stitching, frameless rearview mirrors, and a combination meter visor. Only 250 Series.Gray models are allotted for the 2019 model year with prices starting at $30,140.

And no, you can’t get a more powerful engine in this trim either.

2019 Subaru BRZ Series.Gray. Photo: Subaru of America, Inc.

Enough! How Does It Drive?

Same as before, and unsurprisingly similar to the Toyota 86. Look, if you are considering the Toyota 86 or Subaru BRZ, you aren’t exactly looking for balls-out power and acceleration, right? You buy these cars for the sporty driving experience, and not for the boundless rush of torque from the motor. Compared to the Mazda MX-5, the Subaru BRZ is more accurate and more precise, although it is less forgiving than the Mazda.

Do it right, it will blow your mind. Do it wrong, however, and you might end up in a ditch.

Seriously now, both the Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ are excellent in the hands of an experienced racing driver. Of course, you need to get the six-speed manual when shopping in this category. Unless you don’t enjoy driving (then it’s perfectly okay to get the automatic).

More About That Engine

Powering all trim levels of the 2019 Subaru BRZ is the familiar 2.0-liter Boxer-four that produces 205 horsepower. Peak torque of 156 lb-ft. comes between 6,400 and 6,800 rpm. The automatic variant gets five less horsepower and a smidgen less torque. The new Subaru BRZ also comes with a TORSEN limited-slip differential to make the most of the close-ratio manual gears.

Now, it’s not as if the BRZ (and the 86 for that matter) is screaming for more power. It’s how the chassis feels it can handle more than a measly 200 horsepower. The car feels quick but you need to squeeze the throttle to get the adrenaline rush.

Maybe a BRZ STi is in the works? Probably not.

Photo: Subaru of America, Inc.

Do it right, it will blow your mind. Do it wrong, however, and you might end up in a ditch. Click To Tweet

The Verdict

Despite the absence of a tuned engine, the 2019 Subaru BRZ is still good enough. The funny thing is the 2019 Mazda MX-5 RF (yes, the one with the folding metal roof) feels faster than the BRZ. This is despite the MX-5 having a SKYACTIV motor with only 155 horsepower.

But when it comes to precision, agility, and a fun-to-drive demeanor without spending crazy amounts of cash, the new Subaru BRZ is still worthy of consideration.

Alvin Reyes is the Associate Editor of Automoblog. He studied civil aviation, aeronautics, and accountancy in his younger years and is still very much smitten to his former Lancer GSR and Galant SS. He also likes fried chicken, music, and herbal medicine. 

Photos & Source: Subaru of America, Inc.

2 Comments on "2019 Subaru BRZ: Still Lacking Power, But Still Good Enough"

  1. Terry Adams

    It is enough that we have a semi-affordable rear driver that is fun to drive… For those thirsting for more power there is always the aftermarket with turbos and superchargers.. For what it is, it is a very good DRIVERS car.. and we can always use more of them..

    • Alvin Reyes

      We totally agree with you. Although it is hard to deny the chassis can handle more power, we can’t help but think what could have been if Toyota/Subaru shoehorned a turbo in that Boxer motor. Still, both the 86 and BRZ are great fun to drive.

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