Subaru BRZ Years to Avoid and The Best Years

Subaru BRZ Years to Avoid – Are you considering purchasing a Subaru BRZ? Well, it’s always wise to do your research before investing in a car. In this article, we’ll explore the Subaru BRZ’s history and highlight some specific model years that you might want to avoid.

Whether you’re a car enthusiast or a first-time buyer, understanding the worst Subaru BRZ model years can help you make an informed decision.

So, let’s delve into the details and discover which years of the Subaru BRZ may not live up to your expectations.

Subaru BRZ Years to Avoid

The Subaru BRZ has been captivating driving enthusiasts since its introduction in 2012. Known for its sleek design, agile handling, and enjoyable driving experience, the BRZ has gained a reputation as an affordable sports car option.

However, like any vehicle, not all model years are created equal, and it’s crucial to be aware of any potential shortcomings or issues before making your purchase.

When it comes to the Subaru BRZ, there are a few model years that have garnered a less-than-stellar reputation among car enthusiasts.

These “worst years” are associated with certain problems or concerns that buyers should be aware of. By identifying these years, you can make a more informed decision and potentially avoid any headaches down the road.

Subaru BRZ Years to Avoid

Subaru BRZ Years to Avoid

Throughout this article, we’ll highlight some of the Subaru BRZ’s worst years, discussing their specific issues and the reasons behind their less favorable reputation.

Remember, this information is meant to guide you, providing insight into potential problems that have been reported or experienced by owners of specific model years. It’s important to note that Subaru has continuously made updates and improvements to the BRZ over time, so newer model years may have addressed these issues.

So, if you’re curious to know which Subaru BRZ model years to avoid and why, let’s explore the details.

By the end of this article, you’ll have a clearer understanding of the Subaru BRZ’s history and which years may not live up to your expectations. Let’s get started!

2013 Subaru BRZ

The 2013 model year, which marked the BRZ’s introduction in the U.S., experienced several issues. It is recommended to avoid this particular year due to a higher number of reported complaints compared to other BRZ model years.

Owners have reported numerous transmission problems, primarily characterized by noisy operations.

Additionally, engine-related issues such as leaking gaskets and various engine troubles have been documented.

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NHTSA received multiple reports concerning engine problems, including valve spring failure and engine stalling, leading to a recall that affected all 2013 BRZ vehicles.

Subaru issued a significant number of TSBs (287) for the 2013 BRZ, further indicating potential reliability concerns.

2014 Subaru BRZ

The 2014 model year shows a significant improvement in reported issues compared to its predecessor.

Complaints for this year include minor issues like broken sun visors and door hinge problems, as well as a few engine-related concerns reminiscent of the 2013 recall, although no recall was issued for the 2014 BRZ.

This model year is relatively free of recalls, demonstrating better overall reliability. The number of TSBs also decreased, covering a range of mechanical systems, airbags, and lighting.

2017 Subaru BRZ

The 2017 BRZ continues the trend of being mostly problem-free, with a decline in reported issues and TSBs (now at 125). However, a few isolated reliability patterns have emerged for this year.

Notably, brake issues have been reported, along with incidents of the car stalling traced back to a loose engine valve spring, a problem similar to the 2013 BRZ recall.

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2018 Subaru BRZ

The 2018 BRZ has only one reported issue, which involves Bluetooth connectivity problems with the infotainment system. Additionally, certain BRZs experienced a software issue affecting the rearview camera display while reversing.

This model year had a recall, the first in several years, and saw an increase in the number of TSBs to 232.

2019 Subaru BRZ

As of now, there are no reported consumer issues with the 2019 BRZ. However, due to its relative newness and lower sales volume, potential problems may arise in the future.

Subaru released 209 TSBs for the 2019 model year, primarily addressing electrical and fuel system concerns.

2020 Subaru BRZ

The 2020 BRZ, being the last year for the first-generation BRZ, has had zero reported issues to date. With modest sales and limited time on the market, this model year shows promise in terms of reliability. Subaru released 96 TSBs for the 2020 BRZ.

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Best Subaru BRZ Year

Best Subaru BRZ Year

Finding the best year is a key consideration for any prospective buyer. The BRZ is known for its exhilarating driving experience and affordable price tag, but it’s important to choose a model year that offers both performance and reliability.

Let’s explore two Subaru BRZ model years that have stood out as some of the best and most reliable options in the lineup.

2015 Subaru BRZ

Best Subaru BRZ Year

The 2015 Subaru BRZ is widely regarded as a reliable choice with minimal reported issues. Owners have had positive experiences with this model year, and there have been no recalls associated with it. shows only one reported problem, which is a vibrating rearview mirror.

While a potential engine oil leak onto the exhaust system has been mentioned in a report to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there is no substantial evidence of this issue being widespread.

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Subaru issued 147 Technical Service Bulletins (TSBs) for the 2015 BRZ, addressing various repair and service matters, particularly related to the drivetrain. Overall, the 2015 Subaru BRZ is considered a reliable choice and an excellent option for enthusiasts.

2016 Subaru BRZ

For those seeking an exciting driving experience at a great price, the 2016 Subaru BRZ is highly recommended. This model year has received acclaim for its raw driving dynamics, thanks to its low center of gravity, lightweight construction, and well-balanced chassis.

Auto critics have particularly praised its responsive steering and comfortable, supportive front seats. In 2016, Subaru introduced updates to the BRZ, including an enhanced touchscreen infotainment system and a standard rearview camera.

Additionally, a limited-edition HyperBlue variant was launched, boasting unique exterior and interior styling elements.

In terms of fuel efficiency, the EPA estimates the 2016 BRZ to achieve 25 MPG in combined driving, 22 MPG in the city, and 30 MPG on the highway.

Standard safety features include anti-lock brakes, traction control, stability control, front-side airbags, and side curtain airbags.

The 2016 Subaru BRZ has garnered positive ratings from respected automotive sources, such as Edmunds (4.5/5.0), Kelley Blue Book (4.6/5.0), and JD Power (81/100).

By considering the 2015 and 2016 model years, you can explore some of the best and most reliable options within the Subaru BRZ lineup. These years have demonstrated a strong track record in terms of performance, dependability, and overall owner satisfaction.

Take the time to thoroughly research and consider your specific needs and preferences, and ensure that any used vehicle is thoroughly inspected before making a final decision.

It’s important to note that the 2021 model year was skipped, with Subaru introducing the all-new 2022 BRZ. This redesigned model boasts a larger engine, improved suspension, and other upgrades.

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As of now, there are no reported reliability issues for the 2022 BRZ, given its limited time on the market.

However, it’s always prudent to stay updated on potential issues by checking reputable sources such as and monitoring cases filed with NHTSA.

Common Subaru BRZ Problems

Common Subaru BRZ Problems

The Subaru BRZ has earned its reputation as an affordable and enjoyable sports car, but like any vehicle, it is not without its flaws.

It’s essential to be aware of some common reliability issues that have been reported by owners.

With highlight a few of these problems, providing you with valuable insights before making your purchase.

1. Noisy Transmission

One of the most frequently mentioned issues with the Subaru BRZ is a noisy transmission. Owners have reported hearing grinding and rattling noises when shifting gears, and some have even noted a feeling of looseness in the transmission.

While this problem doesn’t seem to affect the car’s performance, it can be an annoyance for those seeking a quieter driving experience.

2. Infotainment Problems

The Subaru BRZ’s infotainment system, known as STARLINK, has been a source of frustration for many owners. Issues include freezing backup cameras, erratic radio controls, blank display screens, and unexpected increases in radio volume.

Subaru has acknowledged these problems and has released service bulletins and software updates to address them.

However, it’s worth considering these past issues when evaluating the BRZ’s infotainment capabilities.

3. EyeSight Issues

Subaru’s EyeSight, a suite of driver-assist technologies, has also encountered its fair share of complaints. Among the reported problems is a defective switch that can deactivate the brake lights, potentially posing a safety concern.

As a result, Subaru had to recall over 72,000 vehicles equipped with EyeSight.

While Subaru has taken action to resolve these issues, it’s important to be aware of them, especially if you are considering a model with EyeSight.

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4. Power Steering Loss

Some Subaru BRZ owners have reported experiencing sudden power steering loss, making it harder to steer the vehicle. This issue is typically caused by premature wear of the power steering assembly.

While it’s not a widespread problem, it is something to watch out for, as losing power steering assistance can significantly impact the driving experience and safety.

By familiarizing yourself with these common problems, you can approach your Subaru BRZ purchase with greater knowledge and understanding.

As always, it’s recommended to thoroughly inspect and test-drive any used Subaru BRZ to ensure its condition meets your expectations.

Remember, every car model can have its share of problems, and individual experiences may vary.

Is the BRZ reliable?

The Subaru BRZ has a long-term quality rating of 54.3, which is higher than the average rating of 43 for the Makes and Models examined. This suggests that the BRZ is considered relatively reliable compared to other cars across various categories.

However, it’s important to note that this rating is not compared specifically among cars of the same body style, class, or size.

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Does BRZ need premium gas?

Yes, the Subaru BRZ, along with the Subaru WRX and the Subaru WRX STI, requires the use of premium gas. These vehicles have engines designed for higher compression and feature powerful turbochargers, which can lead to issues if regular fuel is used.

To ensure optimal performance and avoid potential problems, it is recommended to use premium gasoline.

Is Subaru BRZ expensive to fix?

The cost of maintaining and repairing a Subaru BRZ can vary widely, ranging from $95 to $6,604, with an average cost of $315. It’s worth noting that these estimates are approximate and can vary based on factors such as the specific repair or maintenance needed, location, and labor rates.

Overall, while the average cost falls within a reasonable range, it’s always advisable to budget for potential expenses associated with car maintenance and repairs.


When considering a Subaru BRZ, it is important to be aware of specific model years that may have had reliability issues. The 2013 Subaru BRZ stands out as a year to avoid due to numerous reported problems, recalls, and a significant number of Technical Service Bulletins (TSBs).

The 2014 model year shows improvement with fewer reported issues and a lack of recalls. Subsequent years, such as 2017, 2018, and 2019, generally exhibit fewer problems, though isolated reliability patterns can still be observed.

The 2020 Subaru BRZ marks the last year of the first-generation model and shows promising reliability with zero reported issues. Finally, the introduction of the 2022 Subaru BRZ brings a redesigned model with no reported reliability issues thus far.

By being informed about the Subaru BRZ years to avoid and focusing on the more reliable model years, potential buyers can make better decisions when it comes to purchasing a Subaru BRZ. Always consider factors such as reported issues, recalls, and Technical Service Bulletins to ensure a more satisfying and trouble-free ownership experience.