The 2022 Subaru BRZ looks better on the inside, but is it more practical?

The long awaited second-generation Subaru BRZ is finally here with notable inside and out, as well as a brand-new engine under the hood. The redesign is far from dramatic, but it brings the relatively old BRZ into the 2020s in every aspect. Performance aside, the 2022 BRZ comes with a heavily updated interior that looks fresh and packs more technology than before. Let’s find out how it compares to the outgoing model.

Design and layout

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The 2022 BRZ boasts a fresh cabin design, but it’s not a massive departure from the old model. We could say that it’s an evolutionary upgrade, but even so, the new cabin looks decidedly more modern and attractive.

The first thing that catches the eye is the clear, more rectangular design of the dashboard.

This is especially visible on the passenger side, where the upper section is clean and featureless and almost perfectly rectangular. By comparison, the old BRZ features a more organic looking insert that trickles to the right from the infotainment display emulates the shape of the upper dash.

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Moving over to the center, Subaru dropped the arched shape of the upper A/C hood. Now sporting a rectangular shape, the A/C vents are perfectly integrated into the dashboard and no longer peak on top of the perfectly flat unit. The infotainment display, on the other hand, has been moved a bit lower and it’s no longer perfectly integrated into the stack.

It looks as if it’s been slapped onto the center dash, but it still feels at home in that area. The old layout with the A/C knobs and buttons below the display remains similar, but the cluster is now smaller and features fewer control, with many functions having been integrated into the infotainment display. Both the knobs and buttons look modern now. Down below, the front center console that includes the shifter, handbrake, and small control unit sports minimal changes, but it’s a bit wider.

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Onto the driver’s side, we can notice that the steering wheel is actually almost identical to the old one. It features the same round center section and three-spoke design, as well as similar controls on the side spokes. The rim may be a tad thicker, though. The round A/C vents at the corners carry over with a similar design, but they’re larger now. Subaru also abandoned the old vent system with horizontal slats, opting for a turbine-inspired design. It’s not very original, having seen it in production models from other brands, but it’s a new trend that looks cool.

The door panels sport a cleaner design now that somehow makes the BRZ feel closer to a race car.

The big handles have been moved lower by a few inches, which is a good thing, but you still get storage bins at the bottom.

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The seats look beefier than before, which means additional lateral support for spirited driving. Yes, the old seats also offer plenty of support, but the new seats are wider in the shoulder area and the headrests have been optimized. The seating area includes more horizontal stitching, which improves the design and contributes to the BRZ’s race inspired look. The rear seats look just about the same as far as design goes.

Technology and features

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Subaru didn’t elaborate much on the new BRZ’s functions, but there is some new tech to talk about. One big change lies behind the steering wheel, where the old analog cluster has been replaced with a digital one.

The new seven-inch display isn't particularly massive, but it's fully customizable so it makes things easier to read.

Of course, the focus remains on the rev counter and speedometer, both projected in clear sight, but there’s also a programmable meter that can show water temperature, a g-meter, and other things like that. There’s also a brand-new display mode for the Track setup, which shifts the rev counter to a linear graph with a color display so you can hit those perfect gear changes.

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The high resolution infotainment touchscreen is also new a bit bigger than before. The old BRZ came standard with a 6.2-inch display, while the more expensive trims were available with a seven-inch screen. The new touchscreen measures eight inches. Not a big upgrade and still a rather small unit compared to most cars out there, but it’s more than enough for a relatively simple sports car.

Unlike the previous BRZ, the new coupe comes standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration.
Subaru BRZ Interior Comparison: Old vs. New Interior
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Previously, these features came standard on the more expensive Limited trim. Bluetooth connectivity with audio streaming, rear vision camera, and SiriusXM services are also standard, as before. The BRZ is still operated by Subaru’s Starlink multimedia system, but the 2022 model comes with the latest version with improved functionality and extra apps.

Opt for the Limited trim and you get a few extras, such as telematics and the EyeSight Driver Assist Technology. The latter requires that you select the optional automatic transmission, though.

Practicality

Subaru BRZ Interior Comparison: Old vs. New Interior
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The 2022 BRZ is only 1.2 inches longer than the old model, but none of that goes into the wheelbase. Width remains unchanged, so there's no extra room inside the cabin.

Sure, packaging is usually better for new-generation models, but Subaru did not release passenger space data and things look about the same. So expect the usual from the new BRZ. The front seats should be as comfortable as they can be in a sports car, but the rear seats aren’t roomy enough for adults. They may also cramped for children, as there’s not much legroom available, even with the sliding front seats.

Subaru BRZ Interior Comparison: Old vs. New Interior
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No cargo capacity to talk about either, but the 2022 BRZ retains the foldable rear seats of its predecessor. This means you can expand the small rear trunk into the cabin, which also enables you to carry longer items. Subaru says there’s enough space to carry a mountain bike, golf clubs, or even four racing tires and tools for a day at the track. The trunk alone doesn’t exceed seven cubic feet, so expect it to hold a few small suitcases or luggage for a short trim.

Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read More
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