Reality Check: Why the Subaru BRZ 2.4 Eyesight is all the performance car you really need

When it comes to the realm of performance and power it can get quite confusing. Compared to normal vehicles the decisions and choices are harder, gone are the days when we only had a handful to choose from, we are blessed that in recent years manufacturers have spoiled us.

I’ve been blessed as well that because of my line of work, I’m able to sample some of these performance confectionaries, and the latest one has given me the ‘humble pie’ in return; the 2023 Subaru BRZ 2.4 Eyesight.

Subaru Brz 4

Subaru BRZ 2.4 Eyesight Exterior

When this all-new BRZ generation came out at first I was apprehensive, gone are the sleek touches found in the previous design. The brand has completely reworked the looks with rounder touches like the headlights and taillights, other than those changes the silhouette more or less remains the same.

Subaru Brz 2

Notable exterior bits are the LED headlights that also follow the movement of the steering wheel for better night vision, functioning air intakes on the lower side of the fenders, and nice 18-inch alloy wheels wrapped in sticky Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tires.

As time went on, the BRZ started to appeal to me more, I deduced that the design was more mature than the previous model making an impression that this is slightly more grown-up.

Subaru Brz 8


The inside also more or less resembles the previous model’s layout and panel placement. Notable differences are the new and improved infotainment screen now with Apple Carplay and Android Auto, and a fully digital instrument cluster (although I prefer the analog one).

Subaru Brz 11

The various touch panels in the car are I’m happy to report soft to the touch, the seats and parts of the doors are wrapped in Alcantara material that most sports cars come with nowadays. What I liked most about the interior was the ergonomics, everything was placed strategically well for ease of access.

Subaru Brz 9

Although I must warn people, even if the BRZ does have 4 seats you’d be hard-pressed to find anybody who would truly fit in the 2nd row. I made my (5’0) wife sit in the back for one short journey, and let’s just say she was less than impressed.

Subaru Brz 7

Performance and Safety

Powering the Subaru BRZ is a naturally aspirated 2.4-liter gasoline boxer 4 engine that makes 230 hp and 290 Nm of torque. The unit I got had the 6-speed automatic transmission, but a manual is also available. Since this is a BRZ power is sent to the rear for optimal fun.

One of the newest additions to this all-new model is the inclusion of Subaru’s Eyesight safety tech, so despite its sporting tendencies, it has adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and many more.

Subaru Brz 5

Driving Impressions

Now, before I tell you what it’s like to drive let me be clear that I won’t be talking about anything specific in terms of dampers, suspensions, and other intricate details. This is for the simple reason that I wouldn’t know where to start, but instead, I will be telling you how it drives based on my observations.

The first generation BRZ was and remains one of my favorite vehicles to drive ever. This new generation takes the same formula and takes it up just a notch providing me with a familiar but improved driving experience.

What I noticed first was how approachable the car is to drive in the city, I love how the proportions mimic small compact sedans, enabling me to weave through traffic with grace and confidence. The steering is the perfect balance of weighted but not bicep-burning, not to mention that the response is spot on, the slightest of inputs and the car steers immediately.

I can also feel that Subaru was keen on improving the comfort of the BRZ because the engine is quite mute at normal revs, while the ride is easier to live with and doesn’t require a full-body massage after every journey.

Subaru Brz 10

Of course, puttering around the city during holiday rush hour traffic is an injustice to the BRZ, lucky for me my family had booked a few days in Talisay Batangas. I set off for the journey well into the evening at around 11:30 pm, the traffic was light and I was amazed at just how behaved the Subaru BRZ felt on the Skyway, SLEX, and even the often poor surface of the Star Tollway.

It was when I turned off the highway and drove deep into the backroads that the BRZ unleashed itself. The long sweeping corners and smooth road enabled me with confidence to push and boy did the car respond in kind.

It was confidence-inspiring how the BRZ was so planted, so composed, and utterly responsive in every way. 230 HP isn’t a lot these days but the lightness of the chassis made it feel like it had more than enough, not to mention the reworked engine dynamics allowing for more torque at the lower revs, which made the BRZ better at powering out of corners. Even up the treacherous steep roads of the Tagaytay-Talisay route, the car was adept at keeping pace and staying in line, just a few chirps from the rear tires but no fuss even at the limit.

The 6-speed automatic was also decent, while it wasn’t lighting fast shifts it was capable of maintaining the sporty feel throughout. I also need to point out that a naturally aspirated boxer engine wails and screams at high revs, a sound so intoxicating I found myself entranced every time I bounced it off the limiter.

In terms of sheer enjoyment, the Subaru BRZ is better than ever, it provides the thrills, elicits the giggles, and fulfills the sports car fantasy.

Subaru Brz 1


At PHP 2,649,000 for the automatic and PHP 2,549,000 for the manual, I believe that the BRZ is the proper value for money in this segment. Yes, there are other options, the rally-bred GR Yaris, the front-wheel drive Savant Civic Type-R, the loveable MX5, and even the WRX. The BRZ though for me represents the very essence of a sports car.

2-seater, rear-wheel drive, lightness, engine upfront, and pure unadulterated driving experience, I often asked myself “What more could I possibly ask for?” while driving the BRZ.

The Subaru BRZ may seem like the smart choice, the heartless choice for those who just want speed, but the fact is the BRZ has more heart and character than most give it credit for.

Pablo Salapantan

Pablo Salapantan

Pablo's first word was probably "Car", and this has developed into a personal passion that has consumed his professional life as well.

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