Subaru BRZ / Toyota 86 - really rough gearbox - is it normal?

Hi, so like this Tuesday I picked up brand new 2020 Subaru BRZ Final Edition.

Something that really caught my attention is how extremely rough gearbox is - I can feel all engine forces on gears lever. Not to mention gears are quite difficult to engage, sometimes up to extreme point where I grinded gears few times already since I couldn’t engage gear despite clutch being fully disengaged while downshifting 2->1.

It’s not my first car but before that I was driving really old diesel econo box so I don’t have experience with brand new sports cars during break-in period - so is there anyone who could tell me whether it’s okay or whether I should take it to service for checkup?.. This extreme roughness is especially noticeable on cold oil, when it gets to ~70 deg it’s starting to be fine but right after startup it’s real PITA to drive, even though I don’t drive hard (since manual told me to not do so during first 1600 km). I’m driving between 2 and 3k rpm on average.

inb4 I’m offended because this website doesn’t recognize such car as Subaru BRZ xD

Asked your dealership to let you drive another BRZ to see if it shifts the same.

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Unfortunately I purchased last new BRZ Final Edition in Poland :expressionless: Had to drive over half of country to pick it up. So there’s no more new ones to drive I’m afraid. Not to mention registered one. I could probably drive used one but they’re still super rare here, only couple of offers in the internet like 3-4, all from private people. But then again it could be due to it just being new so 7 years old BRZ could feel different

I can’t comment on your exact model, but I have driven the US-SPec BRZ a few times, always new (media cars). I’ve also drive the Toyota version, now called '86 in our market. The gearbox of the BRZ was “normal” in its feeling and “good” like that in a Miata or any Honda. Smooth, not grinding, no resistance other than what is normal in any cold-started vehicle. It sounds to me like your vehicle has a problem and that it is not normal. Hope that helps.

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Yeah it feels quite extreme for properly working car, evevn if it’s sports car. I mean eg. when I’m adding throttle, gearbox lever tilts left and in general whole lever is shaking all the time in different directions depending on how I operate gas pedal. I’ll try to record that and upload here next time I’ll be driving it

Completely normal for a RWD car with the transmission directly under your right hand. Much different that a transverse engine in a FWD car with the shifter operated by cables.


That offends you ? Get serious , you can’t expect a wed site to list every variation of vehicles . Plus this is a US based site and you are in Europe somewhere.

Your new vehicle has a warranty so use it.

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Hmm indeed I have never driven RWD car before nor even 4WD/AWD. That might affect my perception of those forces. Good to know.

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The shift lever is attached directly to the transmission in your BRZ. Great for precise gear changes with a little bit of vibration as a consequence.


I would bet a new car with no miles would be normal. It wasn’t the dealer demo? Uh, 1/4 mile test runs only?

I would have walked away after the test drive.

See if you can find a low mileage used one for comparison. The dealer doesn’t need to know you have one already. If Toyota sells the comparable car in Poland, that is an alternative for a test drive too.

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Resistant shifts in cold weather (around 30 F) is pretty normal until the oil warms up but lever shaking and not going into gear (grinding) with the clutch fully down isn’t.

Take it back immediately.

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No, it wasn’t even registered. When I picked it up it had 10km (6 miles) on odo which I believe is standard value for all new cars here (probably some legislation bs because eg. formally you can’t insure car with 0km on odo, it’s just not possible, all systems will reject such car as invalid spec so all new cars here seem to have 10km on odo). It stayed for around half a year in saloon as “presentation” car and was never in running condition. So the only thing to worry about is that a lot of kids could enter it and fiddle with gearbox (with engine off, tbh even I did that when entered it in dealership xD). When I was picking it up it didn’t even have “zero checkup” yet (not sure how it’s called in english but basically engine wasn’t operational yet because it didn’t even have initial inspection etc so car didn’t start at all showing error that engine is in service mode, so there’s no chance anyone could drive it before I believe.

I didn’t have test drive. Like I said car wasn’t registered nor even inspected. Kinda purchased black box, hoping it’s gonna be fine xD I was a bit in a rush because there will be no new 2022 BRZ in EU and car I purchased was (when I started entire formal procedure which was about month ago) one of last new 3 available in Poland (none of them was registered, all of them were displayed in dealerships as presentation cars and as of today I believe all of them have been already sold because they’re all delisted).

It can be difficult shifting to first gear at speeds greater than 10 MPH, requires a firm shift lever movement. It is easier to wait until nearly stopped to shift to first.

I know you drove 500 miles to get it. But no other dealers near you now? Is there a premium on new cars in Poland? Like $30k US but it’s special “fees” in Poland? So, 120k zloty? Or is it a reasonable price?

You really have few choices . You can return to the dealer and see what they say or call them and see if they will let you take it some where near you to have it looked at. You can pay a local shop to look at it but not do any repairs that might void your warranty . A Subaru BRZ specific forum might be more help ’

Also stop with the text stuff like XD because a lot of people on this site have no idea what that means.

There’s a lot of factors contributing to why cars like BRZ have virtually zero sales in Poland and thus they’re not available for test drives, rarely even available to see in person in dealership. For starters it’s not German car and like I described in other thread some time ago ( Is new Mustangs (2021) handling really this bad? - #53 by jtsanders ) everyone here is driving German cars because it just makes more sense financially and it’s more practical choice from parts availability standpoint. Also people don’t change cars here too often. Car I was previously driving stayed for 14 years in family. My dad was driving it for 12 years, then I did for 2. Also most of people can’t afford more than one car (it’s not just about car itself but also storage - we rather live in flats than homes so we have 1 garage slot per flat). So everyone kinda buys car for “everything” which they will use for years because they see car as an “investment”. Which typically results in getting some turbo diesel wagon (combi), crossover or SUV, or something like that. Thus impractical sports cars are rarity.

We have standard EU 23% VAT tax and expensive insurance (especially for young people). At the end of the day I paid around 51k usd for new BRZ Final Edition, including insurance (46k car, 5k insurance for one year). Most of young, immature and irresponsible people who could consider getting such car as their one and only car, daily driver for 365 days a year, in relatively cold climate with snow - can’t afford such car. Remaining few % don’t make up for too crazy sales. Low sales mean that such car is potentially high risk for dealership - especially considering that there’s plenty of restored salvage brz/gt86 imported from US for anything between 15 and 25 grands (already incl. tax).

Apart from that we have significantly lower wages so cars are really expensive for us. So buying new pure sports car is rare here and sales are low. Thus it’s hard to find one available for test drive. There’s plenty of dealerships but they only offer econo boxes.

At least that’s my understanding as to why pure sports cars are so rare here.

Sorry, I’m afraid I may be too young, immature and irresponsible to do that :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes: But I’ll try.

So, rare car. No test drive on any one prior to sale.
No reference on whether shifting is normal or not
IF you could complain about trans issue, how would you do it?
It has warranty? Or not.

Based on personal experience (although not with this specific model) it sounds like the clutch needs to be adjusted. New cars do require tweaking occasionally. If you’re lucky that’s all the problem is.