Is Subaru Trying To Intentionally Kill The Manual BRZ?
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Is Subaru Trying To Intentionally Kill The Manual BRZ?

The Subaru BRZ and the Toyota GR86 fail crash testing for the dumbest reason

The Toyota GR86 and by extension its twin, the Subaru BRZ, have been highly anticipated for 2022. While driver involvement is the main purpose of the compact Japanese sports car, safety is another key aspect of any modern car, and now, we know how the GR86/BRZ performs on the J-NCAP crash tests. Unfortunately, the results are less than satisfactory, but not for the reasons you may think.

Is Subaru Trying To Intentionally Kill The Manual BRZ?
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Because of the lacking systems, the manual versions scored 2 of 82 points in safety testing - a sharp contrast to the crash test’s 86 of 100 score

While Euro-NCAP is said to have the most stringent tests, the J-NCAP safety standard is believed to be one of the next strictest. Recently, they tested the 2022 Toyota GR86 and Subaru BRZ, which were given only two of the five stars, for safety.

What you will find interesting is that it is the manual version of the GR86/BRZ that performed “poorly”. The two-star rating has nothing to do with the structure of the car, however. In fact, the full, front overlap test showed zero flexing behind the A-pillar, suggesting all the crumple zones performed as intended. The Japanese sports car scored 86 out of 100 points. Results from the physical crash were good with the exception of the neck injury from being rear-ended.

Is Subaru Trying To Intentionally Kill The Manual BRZ?
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Subaru could not make some of the active safety systems work with the manual transmission - 3 of them are drivetrain-related

The lack of active safety systems for the manual version of the car is the reason for the poor safety rating. If you opt for the six-speed manual (which is what you should do), you don’t get the benefits from Subaru’s EyeSight 3 system.

If you want to shift the gears yourself, you are not getting the following: Pre-collision braking, Adaptive cruise control, Pre-collision throttle management, Lane departure warning, Sway warning, Lead vehicle start assist, and automatic high beams. Apparently, Subaru could not make the first three systems (which are drivetrain-related) to work for the manual, but that still doesn’t explain why the rest of the systems are missing. This resulted in 2 of 82 points score.

Is Subaru Trying To Intentionally Kill The Manual BRZ?
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Subaru BRZ and Toyota GR86 score poorly on crash tests, and the reason behind it will make you mad
This only concerns the manual-equipped models, which lack some active safety systems

While we cannot say whether this is part of a plan to, eventually, stop offering a manual transmission, the notion of an automatic-only BRZ/GR86 is a grim one. The car is meant to be an involving driver’s machine and the manual transmission is a key aspect of that. While new cars are mandated to have a comprehensive suite of active safety assists, we wouldn’t call the lack of them a loss in a car like the GR86.

It’s also worth noting that the six-speed automatic takes 0.5 seconds more for the 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h) and quarter-mile times, compared to the six-speed manual. To see the full crash test results, swipe up to see the video, provided by DPCCars. We can, probably guess the answer, but would this dissuade you from getting the BRZ/GR86 with the manual (correct) transmission?


Dim Angelov
Dim Angelov
Born in 1992, I come from a family of motoring enthusiasts. My passion for cars was awoken at the age of six, when I saw a Lamborghini Diablo SV in a magazine. After high school I earned a master’s degree in marketing and a Master of Arts in Media and Communications. Over the years, I’ve practiced and become skilled in precision driving and to date have test driven more than 250 cars across the globe. Over the years, I’ve picked up basic mechanical knowledge and have even taken part in the restoration of a 1964 Jaguar E-Type and an Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint. Lately, I’ve taken a fancy to automotive photography, and while modern cars are my primary passion, I also have a love for Asian Martial Arts, swimming, war history, craft beer, historical weapons, and car restoration. In time, I plan my own classic car restoration and hope to earn my racing certificate, after which I expect to establish my own racing team.  Read full bio
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