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Driving Impressions:
2013 Subaru BRZ



(Curvy) Road Trip



I had struggled with deciding where to drive. With only 48 hours in the BRZ, I wanted to experience as many different types of roads as possible.


Right away the first evening I drove south out of Roanoke to the Blue Ridge Parkway. The section of the road that I traveled offered climbing and descending turns, but, while particularly scenic, they were more of a sweeping type of turn than sharp and challenging. They did give me a sense of the car’s deftness and tight suspension system, which was proven in the descent from the parkway on Highway 221 – Bent Mountain Road. The turns were stacked one after the other, and they demanded downshifting to third. If you’re in the area, this road is worth the drive!


The BRZ’s light weight, strong braking capabilities, and balanced suspension became apparent on that evening run. I’ve driven a number of lightweight cars in the past. Some of them reveal their lack of weight through loose front grip. Not the BRZ! It provides the driver with solid steering control; the car always feels connected.


At the same time, the car is not overly isolated from the road. You can feel it through the steering system and the seat of your pants.


In any car, taking your eyes off the road can get you into trouble. The BRZ’s quick steering makes attention to the road at all times a requirement. A lapse will put you off the road in a hurry! It’s that quickness that helps give the BRZ its sports-car feel.


So does the suspension. The BRZ is imminently toss-able. I found that out the morning of the second day.


I chose a route out of Roanoke into West Virginia, expecting the West Virginia roads to be the most fun to drive. Well, the fun started immediately on Highway 311, going north. If you like traveling twisty, curvy, demanding roads, drive this one! It doesn’t stop grin-producing turns for dozens of miles between Roanoke and Interstate 64. At one point, a warning sign on this 55-mph highway posted a curvy-road symbol marked at 15 miles per hour. It doesn’t get any better!


Once into West Virginia, my route took me to the New River Gorge National River and some of the roads around and under the New River Gorge. Stop at Babcock State Park to take in the grist mill.


Waterways and waterfalls are all within this drive, and so are one-lane roads and still more curves and hills!


Since I was running out of time, I hopped on the interstate highway system going toward Subaru headquarters in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. On the way, I stopped to give a friend a ride to the Philadelphia airport. That’s when the BRZ showed its cargo-carrying capabilities. My friend travels with a large, rectangular duffel bag, and I didn’t think it would fit in the trunk. But it plopped right in without a problem. (I had the rear seatback folded down to handle my luggage.)




Great All Around


The Subaru BRZ is a livable sports car, with wonderful handling credentials, that can be driven every day. Miserly on fuel, it handles the fun roads with aplomb and everyday highways with a matter of course. It deserves all the buzz!


Find more information about the BRZ in Drive Performance Version 9.1 and at

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