All BRZs come with stability control and traction control and each can be turned off completely. You're going to want to do so for truly enthused driving; the systems have Normal and Sport modes that intervene with the subtlety of Metta World Peace's elbow. But with those systems off, beware that this Subaru is engineered to perform and if you're careless, it's just as possible to put it into the bushes as something more powerful.
Hence a significant source of this car's honesty; it isn't one you can pound on with the grace of a drugged elephant and expect it to iron out your mistakes. Instead, the BRZ compounds talent and skillful inputs with one of the highest dollar-per-fun ratios in the automotive landscape.
This honesty is also important to remember in daily driving. While the suspension setup is remarkably balanced and devoid of body roll during any kind of cornering, it's a very firm ride around town. It's also noisy. Your Aunt Gert's 1989 Cadillac Brougham this isn't.
Subaru has wisely kept options for the loud cabin to a minimum. A base BRZ starts at $26,265 and comes with items such as the manual transmission, a limited-slip differential and six air bags. It also has a slow, 6-inch touch-screen navigation system with iPod control, 196-watt amplifier, Bluetooth and XM satellite radio and traffic alerts.
The BRZ I tested added the Limited package (the only one available). For the additional $2,000 you get wonderfully bolstered Alcantara and leather seats, dual-zone climate control, keyless entry, fog lights and an ugly rear spoiler.
Whether that's a good value depends on how you prioritize the fun you expect to wring out of your purchase. This car is undeniably down on power to other performance cars of its ilk. But to dwell on this deficit misses the point of the BRZ. It has a balance of old-school thrills and connectivity to the road that additional power would probably upset.
Fortunately, it's honest about its purpose. And your waistline.