Discover the Best and Worst Subaru BRZ Years to Avoid

Patrick Oziegbe
Updated On:

Are you considering a Subaru BRZ for your next sports car? While this stylish and performance-driven vehicle has gained popularity since its debut in 2013, there are certain model years you might want to avoid.

In this article, we will discuss the Subaru BRZ years that are known for common problems or lower overall satisfaction.

To make an informed decision, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the specifics of each model year.

So, let’s dive in and explore the best and worst Subaru BRZ years based on industry reviews and owner feedback.

Subaru BRZ to Avoid

Years to Avoid

2013 Subaru BRZ

When it comes to the 2013 Subaru BRZ, this is a year you should be cautious about. As one of the first models, it had some issues that were later addressed in newer models.

Although it was a groundbreaking car for Subaru at the time, it faced a few shortcomings. So, if you’re considering a used BRZ, you might want to skip the 2013 model.

2015 Subaru BRZ

The 2015 Subaru BRZ doesn’t have any significant problems or issues that make it a year to avoid.

However, keep in mind that when shopping for a used car, it’s essential to check the vehicle’s maintenance records.

For the 2015 model, there is no specific issue that would deter you from purchasing it, as long as it has a good service record.

2016 Subaru BRZ

According to various reviews and consumer feedback, the 2016 Subaru BRZ is considered one of the better years for the model.

So, you can feel confident in purchasing a used 2016 BRZ as it stands out as a reliable and well-received year.

2017 Subaru BRZ

Lastly, the 2017 Subaru BRZ is another excellent year for the model. With refinements and improvements over previous years, the 2017 model offers a dependable and enjoyable driving experience.

You can trust that this model year will provide you with a great ride, as it’s considered one of the best years for the Subaru BRZ.

Common Problems and Reliability Issues

Engine Stalling and Rough Idling

Your Subaru BRZ may face some engine-related issues such as stalling and rough idling. The flat-four engine, specifically in the 2013 model year, can demonstrate these problems.

Engine stalling can be a dangerous situation, especially when driving on busy roads. In contrast, rough idling might cause extra wear, increase fuel consumption, and generate excessive emissions.

Maintain your engine to reduce the risk of such problems and ensure your BRZ’s reliability.

Transmission Issues

Another aspect of the Subaru BRZ to consider is the potential occurrence of transmission issues. Some reported problems include the clutch wear and difficulty shifting gears.

The 2013 and 2018 model years are more prone to these issues, which can lead to more costly repairs. Regular car maintenance and inspections will help detect and prevent transmission problems in your BRZ.

EDITOR’S TIPS:  Our unrelenting writers recently published a listed most reliable models for the all-wheel drive sport compact, the best WRX models to own.

Safety Features and Ratings

NHTSA Ratings and Recalls

When considering the Subaru BRZ, it’s important to note its safety features and ratings.

The NHTSA has not yet provided a rating for this vehicle, so it’s crucial to stay updated on any future announcements about recalls or other concerns.

Traction Control and Stability Control

For driving confidence, the BRZ is equipped with crucial safety features: traction control and stability control.

These systems work together to improve your handling and maintain control during challenging conditions.

The BRZ also includes side curtain airbags for enhanced protection in side-impact collisions, and anti-lock brakes to prevent skidding when braking hard.

Staying informed about available safety features, ratings, and potential recalls helps you make an informed decision about which car might be the best fit for your needs.

Performance and Driving Experience

Acceleration and Braking

As a Subaru BRZ owner, you’ll appreciate the thrilling acceleration with the choice between a 6-speed manual and a 6-speed auto transmission.

Your sports car will let you experience swift gear changes, especially when using the paddle shifters with an automatic gearbox. With impressive braking, you can stop confidently whenever needed.

Sports Car Handling and Speed

The BRZ offers remarkable handling and agility due to its sports car design and low center of gravity.

Your car’s traction control allows you to tackle corners with ease while maintaining grip on various road surfaces. Enjoy the exhilarating speed of your premium Subaru BRZ, solidifying it as a true driver’s car.

Additional Features and Issues

Infotainment System and Connectivity

The Subaru BRZ offers an infotainment system with Bluetooth connectivity for added convenience.

However, some drivers have reported complaints about the system’s performance. Be sure to test it during your test drive to ensure it meets your expectations.

Bodywork and Design

As a sporty, two-door coupe, the Subaru BRZ stands out with its sleek bodywork and design.

While older models like the 2014 Subaru BRZ may have more issues than newer ones, the 2018 Subaru BRZ is among the best years to consider.

With its 2.4-liter engine, the BRZ offers an engaging ride for an affordable price. Try to opt for the Limited trim for additional features and improved performance.

Best Subaru BRZ Year

Great news! You’ll find that some of the best Subaru BRZ model years to consider are 2023, 2020, 2017, and 2016.

These years have been praised for their performance, reliability, and overall consumer satisfaction.

2023 model – The all-new 2023 Subaru BRZ boasts impressive upgrades, such as enhanced power and features, making it a top pick to consider. With its fresh design, your driving experience will be more engaging and enjoyable.

2020 model – The 2020 BRZ offers a comfortable interior and commendable performance thanks to its lightweight structure and perfectly-tuned suspension.

In case you desire a fun sports car that’s also practical for daily use, 2020 Subaru BRZ might just be your perfect match.

2017 and 2016 models – If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option, you can’t go wrong with the 2017 and 2016 Subaru BRZ.

Despite being older models, they still provide remarkable performance and handling, demonstrating Subaru’s commitment to offering captivating sports cars.

These years have been distinguished as the best based on auto industry reviews, NHTSA statistics, reported problems, and consumer feedback.

Comparison with Competitors

Scion FR-S and Toyota 86/GR86

When comparing the Subaru BRZ to the Scion FR-S and Toyota 86/GR86, you’ll notice that they share many similarities, as they were jointly developed by Toyota and Subaru.

All three have rear-wheel drive, sporty styling, and offer a fun driving experience. They differ mainly in exterior design, with the FR-S having slightly sharper lines, while the 86/GR86 has updated headlights and taillights.

Ford Mustang

The Ford Mustang is another competitor to consider. While it has more horsepower and a bigger engine than the BRZ, its larger size might make it feel less nimble on the road.

Additionally, the Mustang has a higher starting price compared to the BRZ, making it potentially less budget-friendly. Unfortunately, 5th gen Ford Mustang suffered faulty transmissions, hood-area corrosion, poor paint quality and frequent battery discharge issues.

C6 Corvette

If you’re into American muscle, the C6 Corvette is worth a look. It offers a powerful V8 engine and a sporty driving experience, but it comes with a higher price tag and potentially higher maintenance costs than the BRZ.

However, the Corvette’s performance capabilities may make it an appealing option if you’re willing to spend extra. Also, the C6 Corvette 2005 and 2008 years suffered many recalls and massive complaints.

Chevrolet Camaro

The Chevrolet Camaro is another American muscle competitor, offering a powerful engine and classic muscle car styling.

However, some Camaro years has recalls and expensive mileage, in addition to its bulkier size might make it harder to handle than the more agile BRZ. Additionally, the Camaro’s higher base price could be a deal-breaker for some buyers.

Subaru WRX

Interestingly, the Subaru WRX is a competitor within the same brand. With a similar starting price and performance specs, the WRX offers all-wheel drive, which could make it a more practical choice in certain climates.

However, the BRZ stands out with its rear-wheel drive and sporty handling, better suiting those looking for a purist driving experience.

By comparing these competitors, you can better understand the pros and cons of each model and make an informed decision about which car best suits your needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

BRZ Reliability over Years?

Most Subaru BRZ model years have proven quite reliable, with the exception of a couple of problematic years. It’s best to avoid the 2013 and 2022 model years due to issues reported by owners and industry reviews.

Subaru BRZ Common Issues?

One common issue that the Subaru BRZ may encounter is related to the fuel delivery system. The low-pressure fuel pump can become prone to premature failure, leading to lean conditions and engine problems.

Life Expectancy of BRZ?

With regular maintenance, a Subaru BRZ can have a long lifespan. Remember to follow the recommended oil change interval of every six months or 6,000 miles, depending on your driving habits. Properly maintaining your car will help ensure its longevity.


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