It's hard to find fault with the Subaru BRZ. Redesigned for 2022, the small sports car is fun to drive, reasonably priced, and available with a manual transmission for enthusiasts to row like crazy. It has just enough power to be exciting, and now it has something else that both driver and passengers will appreciate: a Top Safety Pick + rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
In the driver-side overlap crash test video posted above, the BRZ is dealt a brutal hit but the passenger compartment holds strong. Notes from the IIHS on the aftermath state "the driver's survival space was maintained very well." Intrusion into the footwell was also low, and the airbags provided good protection for the head against injury. Watching the video, it appears the windshield even stayed largely intact, suggesting minimal flex on the cabin structure.
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The IIHS awarded good ratings for the 2022 BRZ in all crash metrics. That includes the small driver overlap test seen in the video as well as small passenger overlap, moderate overlap, side impact, roof strength, and seats/head restraints. To achieve a Top Safety Pick + rating, vehicles must also rank well with headlights and crash avoidance systems. The BRZ's headlights garnered a good rating, while vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian crash prevention systems earned superior ratings.
Gallery: 2022 Subaru BRZ: First Drive
There were just two metrics in which the Subaru didn't rank at the top. A deep dive into the criteria for side-impact evaluation revealed an acceptable rating for torso injuries. Everything else was good, leading to the overall good rating for that category. An acceptable rating also went to the child seat anchors, which the IIHS says are a bit too deep in the seat to latch and unlatch easily.
With 228 horsepower and a six-speed manual transmission sending power to the rear wheels, the BRZ is widely regarded as one of the best sports cars available today. Despite its small size, it's nice to know that safety isn't sacrificed for fun.