Subaru BRZ: Underpowered, under-tech, but overwhelmingly fun (CNET On Cars, Episode 16)

Experience a real sports car, get blinded by what's next in headlight tech, and meet five cool, connected cars you can actually afford.

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Few cars have inspired as much hope as the Subaru BRZ : Hope that cars can still be unvarnished, affordable, and directly connected to the road and the driver. The BRZ isn't overwhelmingly powerful, it doesn't raise the bar on tech -- hell, it barely meets it in many areas -- but it's a lot of fun to drive in a classic fashion that harkens to the 240Z, 2000GT, and S2000.

2013 Subaru BRZ

We did a video on the Scion FR-S a while back, but waited for a BRZ to arrive for the real performance romp because these stablemates are more Subie than Toyota: Boxer engine and basic Impreza platform are its DNA. I think you'll enjoy our hopeful video.

I've detected a lot of confusion over the array of new headlight tech that has cropped up in the last few years, so that's our Car Tech 101 this time around. On the other end of the car is your rear-view camera, which is common today, possibly ubiquitous tomorrow if a new federal law takes effect. That's of interest to the smarter driver.

Plenty of high-tech cars in the $40K to $60K range, but how about something that isn't a huge investment? After all, in an age when a $200 phone leads in innovation, a car starts looking like the lowest value way to get tech. This episode, I run down my Top 5 cheap connected cars, all in the $15K to $25K range.

As always, reach me at oncars@cnet.com.

About the author

Brian Cooley joined CNET in 1995 and always comes at technology from the real consumer's point of view. He brings his high energy, often skeptical style to all avenues of CNET coverage, with an emphasis on car tech. You'll also find him frequently on television, radio and the TV screens at Costco!

 

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