2014 Subaru BRZ

Pros: Lithe, agile handling; true sports-car personality; nice selection of standard equipment; good fuel economy for a sports car; relatively affordable pricing

Cons: Some enthusiast drivers will wish for more power; low-slung body and long doors make for tricky entry and exit; barely usable back seat; no options available

CG Says: For 2014, the Subaru BRZ adds Aha-based smartphone connectivity to its standard navigation system, and also gets knee pads on the doors and center console for improved occupant comfort. Like its near twin, the Scion FR-S, the Subaru BRZ attempts to blend the pure enthusiast appeal of a finely honed rear-wheel-drive sports car with the accessibility and everyday practicality of a compact economy car. It succeeds on most counts. The typical sporty-coupe demerits–most notably a somewhat stiff ride and a tiny back-seat area–are here, but they’re tempered by the BRZ’s respectable fuel-economy numbers and sprightly all-around performance. A BRZ costs more than an FR-S, but the price difference is offset by a higher level of standard equipment–and the top-line BRZ Limited model offers desirable comfort and convenience features that can’t be had on an FR-S.

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2014 Subaru BRZ