And I was underwhelmed. Maybe I was expecting too much, but it wasn't amazing. Oh sure, it drove really well. You can tell the CG is super low, it's very stable. I'm sure on a track or nice winding road my opinion would be different, but here in Wichita, there's just nowhere to go to really get it moving. So frankly, driving it here, it wasn't much more fun than my Koup. I know what you're thinking, fucking fanboy, comparing a BRZ to a Kia but seriously, the Koup has been complimented on it's handling and frankly, it does pretty damn well. The BRZ is certainly better, but here? There's nowhere that I could see that.
The BRZ sounds awesome, I'll give it that. I LOVED the exhaust note, but it sounded so much faster than it was. It's not really underpowered, it's just not very fast. It has enough power, but lacks excitement in a straight line. I feel like it's smoke and mirrors: it sounds fast, the skinny tires get loose easily, so you feel like you're going a lot faster than you are. I guess I just didn't fall for it...
I drove the auto, and it was great. The paddles feel great, it shifts super fast, I'd even consider one over the manual. The seating position is fantastic, and the shape of the hood makes you feel awesome. The seat, too, I was pleasantly surprised. I'm kinda fat, and when I drove the Focus ST the Recaros made me uncomfortable, but in the BRZ I actually liked the seats. Maybe sitting lower helps. The steering wheel and steering feel are perfect. Overall though, it's small. It feels a bit cramped if I'm honest. I'm sure you get used to it, but it bothered me a little bit.
I didn't dislike it, in case you read into my post that way. It's a great car, I'd recommend one to someone looking for a fun sports car. But for me, as a whole package, it falls short. It falls short because while it's fun and cool, it's not fun or cool enough to overcome how small it is, and how impractical it would be for me. I somewhat expected to drive it and then want to trade in my Koup, but I have zero interest in doing that. The real question is had the BRZ or FRS been available when I bought the Koup, would I have had one over the Koup? That is a really hard question. It would have been close, it would have come down to those two, but honestly, I probably would have gone for the Koup.
The experience today tells me what I'm looking for in a DD, and the BRZ isn't it. I think I'm more of a 'grand tourer' type of person. I like my car to be fun and sporty, but I also like a certain level of luxury and sophistication that the BRZ can't provide. There was a 2007 Cayman next to the BRZ I drove, and for $3,000 I would have that. There was a 2008 Boxster down the row, and for $4,000 more I would have that.
Sorry for the long post, but today's experience was interesting, and since I feel like my opinion differs from most, I'd love to open a discussion about it.
In other news, I stopped by Kia to look at the new Forte sedan. Very nice. The proportions are a bit off on the exterior, but it looks damn good for a cheap sedan. Kia stepped up their game in the interior, it's miles ahead of my Koup. The materials are much better, the leather is significantly better, the layout is nicer, and it feels more upmarket than it is. I had the salesman put me on a list of hot leads for the new 5 door, I'm very interested in seeing it and driving it when it arrives. If the price is right, it might be a good fit for me. When the Forte 5 and Fiesta ST arrive, I will be strongly cross shopping them along with the Focus ST.