Tested: 2015 Subaru BRZ Limited

We're totally smitten with this high-end performer with a low-end sticker.

In case you haven’t noticed, Subaru has been making huge strides in the American market lately, posting a banner year in 2014 by moving over half a million cars in the US alone. That’s a far cry from the 186,000 they sold back in 2008, and we credit cars like the Subaru BRZ that perfectly combine style, performance and value for Subaru’s popularity.

The first thing you have to notice about the 2015 Subaru BRZ Limited that we drove was the body. This is not the boxy, rally car like the WRX—a favorite model for young motorheads—but something infinitely more sporty right off the lot. STI trimmings and a pearl blue factory paintjob round out the performance flavor of the BRZ’s style. Drive it around L.A. for a day and, even among the supercars that burn up the 405, you’ll still turn heads.

The model we drove rocked a six-speed manual transmission and breezed down the Pacific Coast Highway at a solid clip. 0-60 acceleration was peppy enough but we were surprised to find the BRZ’s 200hp was well exhibited in the 60-110mph range. Dropping the hammer and slamming the gas rocketed us into triple-digit speed without a hiccup. If you’re the kind of guy who is looking for a base-model with a smaller price tag because you know you’ll be customizing everything under the hood, both the Limited and Premium editions of the BRZ should be in your wheelhouse when extra horsepower is just a mod kit away.

Of course, we can’t talk about the BRZ without acknowledging the cockpit of this little rocket ship. The Limited edition we drove had a super slick two-tone racing interior and a really nice stereo unit with all the bells and whistles, from Sat Radio and Nav to Bluetooth connections to our iPhone. Most surprising was the fact that we were actually able to turn down the rear seat and fit two medium-sized surfboards into the car without any discomfort for the driver or passenger in the front seats. That’s a level of versatility we simply didn’t expect from such a small vehicle, but that was welcome nonetheless.

If you’re looking for a supercar, look elsewhere. The Subaru BRZ is not going to hang with the ranks of the $100K+ cars, nor is it the next Toyota Supra where tuners will be pumping it up with performance parts to 1,000 horsepower. But when you look around cars comparable in its class and price range (eyeing you, Mini Cooper) there’s no way you’re going to get better bang for your buck or look better in the car you bought than plunking down for the Subaru BRZ.

Spec Check

Starts at: $25,695
Engine: 2.0-liter H-4
Horsepower: 200
0-60: 6.4 seconds
Top Speed: 139mph
Fuel economy (city/hwy): 22/30mpg

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