2019 Subaru BRZ Raiu Edition
Price range: $33,795.
Engine: 2.0L four-cylinder.
Transmission/drive: Six-speed manual/rear wheel.
Why it matters: As the sole vehicle in Subaru’s range not equipped with all-wheel drive, you’d expect the BRZ to be hampered by a lack of traction. On the contrary: This lightweight little two-plus-two coupe makes the most of its 205-hp naturally aspirated flat-four, harkening back to the days when sports cars were about nimble handling rather than outright speed.
Now in its seventh model year, the BRZ has benefitted from a host of minor engineering tweaks that have refined its driving characteristics. The special Raiu edition is a Canada-only special, limited to 100 units, and while there's no additional power, Subaru has sharpened up the BRZ's performance a little. SACHs dampers help keep Subaru's coupe planted, while upgraded Brembo brakes haul things down after the straightaway.
With a unique blue-grey paint and a host of special cosmetic add-ons from the STI catalogue, the BRZ Raiu is a limited edition track-special for around the same price as a mid-grade WRX. Outright power isn’t everything.
The return of a three-row crossover is, quite literally, a huge addition to Subaru’s lineup. Previously, families who outgrew their Forester outgrew Subaru as a brand, perhaps returning as empty-nesters to buy an Outback.
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