Category Archives: 2012 Subaru Impreza

2012 Subaru Impreza – Mid Hudson Subaru

2012 Subaru Impreza

2012 Subaru Impreza2012 Subaru Impreza2012 Subaru Impreza2012 Subaru Impreza2012 Subaru Impreza2012 Subaru Impreza2012 Subaru Impreza2012 Subaru Impreza

By Zach BowmanRSS feed

Posted Dec 15th 2011 11:57AM

Vital Stats

2.0L Boxer-Four
148 HP / 145 LB-FT
All-Wheel Drive
Curb Weight:
3,099 LBS
12.0 CU-FT
27 City / 36 HWY
$19,545 as tested
2012 Subaru Impreza side view2012 Subaru Impreza front view2012 Subaru Impreza rear view

2012 Subaru Impreza headlight2012 Subaru Impreza logo2012 Subaru Impreza wheel2012 Subaru Impreza taillight

We’ve been quick to rail on the Japanese automaker for building interiors well behind the curve in the past, and it appears Subaru has finally moved to cure that ail. The 2012 Impreza now features a vastly improved material selection inside. The driver gets to enjoy a three-spoke, multi-function steering wheel, and our 2.0 Premium tester came equipped with a very attractive two-tone interior. The dash is covered in squeak-fighting soft-touch materials, and while the center stack isn’t anything we’d consider beautiful, the controls are logically organized and easy to manipulate. Perhaps the best place to see an improvement is the vehicle’s front door panels. These pieces have been a wasteland of hard plastic in the past, but with soft touch uppers, well-grained plastics and cloth inserts, the panels now use a multitude of materials to improve the overall feel of the cabin. On the whole, the interior is a massive improvement, though it’s a bit sober and lacks cutting-edge infotainment options.

Rear passengers are now treated to two-inches of additional leg room over the outgoing model.

Fortunately, Subaru has also worked to make the 2012 Impreza more accommodating inside. Engineers have stretched the vehicle’s wheelbase by a full inch, and thanks to some clever packaging, rear passengers are now treated to two-inches of additional leg room over the outgoing model. That’s partially due to new scalloped front seatbacks that provide space for knobby knees.

Speaking of those front seats, Subaru redesigned the buckets for long-term comfort, and there’s more lumbar support available than in the past. Even the base Impreza is now packed with convenience features, including power windows, locks and side-view mirrors as well as keyless entry.

2012 Subaru Impreza interior2012 Subaru Impreza front seats2012 Subaru Impreza door2012 Subaru Impreza rear seats

But if there’s a reason to get excited about the 2012 Subaru Impreza, it’s under the vehicle’s hood. The four-door packs an all-new, dual-overhead cam naturally-aspirated 2.0-liter four-cylinder good for up to 36 mpg according to the Environmental Protection Agency. If that seems a shade low for the compact segment, it pays to keep in mind that this is the only vehicle in the class that comes with all-wheel drive as standard equipment.

But that was then. Now, the 2012 Impreza is good for 27 mpg city by the EPA’s reckoning. That’s a massive step up, and during our time with the vehicle, we saw an honest 31.5 mpg combined. We know previous-generation Impreza owners who would perform all sorts of sinister acts to milk that kind of fuel economy from their thirsty boxer fours. Of course, those numbers come with a sacrifice. At 148 horsepower, the new 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine produces 22 less horsepower than the old 2.5-liter single-overhead cam lump. The story isn’t much better when it comes to torque, with the 2012 model delivering 145 pound-feet to the 2011 version’s 170 pound-feet.

2012 Subaru Impreza engine

2012 Subaru Impreza rear 3/4 view

So, how does it drive? Subaru says that it has worked to improve the vehicle’s noise, vibration and harshness with tricks like hydraulic engine mounts, and it’s true that this is probably the quietest boxer from Subaru we’ve had the pleasure of not hearing for years. That’s particularly impressive given that the company abandoned the typical quiet timing belt in favor of a more durable, but characteristically louder timing chain. By and large, the whole cabin does seem quieter, but the company’s engineers seem to have created a much softer suspension to go along with the decrease in decibels. Interestingly enough, our Premium 2.0 came loaded with a larger rear stabilizer bar than the base model, so we can only assume that our tester should be sharper than the entry-level four-door.


Subaru Top Automaker on Insurance Safety List – IIHS – Mid Hudson Subaru

Subaru emerged among the top automakers in crash tests of model-year 2012 cars and trucks conducted by a U.S. insurance industry group.

Subaru, a unit of Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., is the sole maker to have all of its 2012 models earn the grade, the institute said in an e-mailed statement today.

More vehicles won the ranking this year after manufacturers redesigned roofs to make them stronger in rollovers, the Arlington, Virginia-based insurance group said. Sixty-nine cars, 38 SUVs, 5 minivans and 3 pickups made the list after tests evaluating passenger safety in front, side and rear crashes, as well as rollovers.

“Commitment to protecting people in crashes is evident in the fast pace of design improvements automakers have made during the past year,” the institute said in the statement.

A record number of models qualified for a second consecutive year, Adrian Lund, president of the group, said in the statement. One hundred 2011 model-year vehicles received the top rating, according to the statement.

2012 Subaru Outback, 2012 Subaru impreza – Kiplinger’s 10 Best All-Wheel Drive Car Values

When you have to drive on the white stuff, you want to feel confident in your ability to get where you’re going.
All-wheel drive can give you that assurance. By powering all four wheels at the same time, all-wheel-drive systems provide better traction than two-wheel-drive ones. Plus, all-wheel drive is always on and adjusts automatically to changing road conditions — unlike four-wheel-drive systems typically found in trucks, which require you to make a selection for the conditions or type of terrain.

In preparation for colder weather, we recommend ten 2012 vehicles that offer a shovelful of value — as measured by our annual rankings — as well as all-wheel drive. Our rankings reflect resale value, fuel economy, safety and more, so these vehicles are well rounded. Eight of the ten were awarded Top Safety Picks by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Subaru Impreza 2.0i Premium hatchback


Courtesy of Subaru

Sticker price: $20,045

Invoice price: $19,150

MPG: 27 city, 36 highway

Heated front seats: Included in $500 All-Weather option package

The Impreza is one of the least expensive all-wheel-drive vehicles on the market. Redesigned for 2012 to be edgier inside and out, it gets 30% better fuel economy — and it’s an IIHS Top Safety Pick. The Impreza employs two versions of Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive: Manual-transmission models get “Continuous AWD” that initially splits power 50-50 between front and rear wheels, and automatics (which cost an extra $1,000) get “Active AWD,” which sends power to the wheels based on acceleration, deceleration and available traction.

Both systems will transfer power to the wheels with the best grip. The All-Weather package includes heated seats and exterior mirrors, as well as a windshield wiper de-icer.


Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited


Courtesy of Subaru

Sticker price: $29,470

Invoice price: $27,688

MPG: 19 city, 27 highway

Heated front seats: Standard

Kiplinger’s named the Outback Best in Class last year, based on its fuel economy, stellar resale values and bragging rights as an IIHS Top Safety Pick.
Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive comes in three different versions (all standard) on Outback models, depending on the transmission and engine — the 2.5i automatic uses “Active Torque Split AWD,” which distributes power to the wheels depending on acceleration, deceleration and available traction. The Outback also includes as standard equipment a windshield wiper de-icer; remote start costs $424.

Consumer Reports video – Loves the new 2012 Subaru Impreza – Mid Hudson Subaru

Subaru has never been afraid to “zig” when the competition “zags.” Many things about Subaru are, well, different. With their “boxer” horizontally-opposed engines, standard all-wheel drive, and lineup of station wagons, they don’t have a history of just copying the competition. This is why it was not such a shock when Subaru first announced their new and improved Impreza with a smaller and less powerful engine, while most manufacturers boast about having more power with each redesign.

That’s right. The new Impreza dropped from 170 to 148 hp for 2012. Fortunately, you may never miss those 22 ponies due to other changes that Subaru made. First, while not any smaller, the new car is lighter. Second, and more importantly, the Impreza finally ditched the old four-speed automatic transmission in favor of a CVT. The greater assortment of gear ratios helps both performance and fuel economy. (See our Impreza preview.)

Another place where Subaru has bucked current trends is actually making the new car better. Sounds strange, but as we’ve seen lately from Honda and Volkswagen, some new models don’t quite measure up to the outgoing designs in terms of fit and finish or handling. Compared to the 2011 Impreza, the 2012 has a nicer interior with soft-touch padding on the dashboard and doors. And while the new model is roomier and boasts better fuel economy, handling actually feels more responsive than the outgoing model. Plus, the excellent ride has been retained.

As for the turbocharged WRX and WRX STi, they will remain on the older platform for a few more years.

First impressions are positive, but we will have to wait until the Impreza goes on sale in November to purchase one for our test program. I have a feeling that is will be a favorite around our Connecticut test facility when the snow comes!


—Jake Fisher

First Test: 2012 Subaru Impreza 2.0i Premium and Limited – Motor Trend – Mid Hudson Subaru


For years there have been some big “buts” justifying the purchase of a new Subaru Impreza. “Yes, I know it’s ugly, but it’s really fun to drive,” or “No, it doesn’t get great fuel economy, but that’s the price you pay for all-wheel drive,” were among the common refrains. With the all-new 2012 Impreza, Subaru believes it’s finally eliminated the buts. 


Subaru officials said fuel economy and looks were customers’ two biggest complaints about the last generation car, which despite the gripes was the best-selling Impreza ever, so engineers and designers went all out to make the new 2012 Impreza more fuel efficient and attractive than the outgoing model.


2012 Subaru Impreza Premium Front End
2012 Subaru Impreza Premium Rear End
2012 Subaru Impreza Premium Side


One of the keys to increasing fuel efficiency is the old maxim of adding lightness, and the top-of-the-line, fully loaded, CVT-equipped 2.0i Limited sedan we tested was 63 pounds lighter than the outgoing model, while the five-speed manual 2.0i Premium five-door we also tested was an even more impressive 211 pounds lighter. The lighter weight helped the Impreza five-door manual score an EPA rating of 25/34 mpg city/highway, while the CVT-equipped four-door netted 27/36 mpg city/highway. Our real-world driving reflected those ratings. (By comparison, the last Impreza was rated at 20/26-27 mpg, depending on whether you opted for the four-speed slushbox or five-speed manual.) It all adds up to the most fuel efficient all-wheel drive vehicle in America.



2012 Subaru Impreza Limited Front Three Quarter

Click to view Gallery

While reducing heft certainly helped boost mpg, the Impreza’s new 2.0-liter F-4 was the linchpin to improving the car’s overall efficiency. Codenamed FB20, the new engine is not only down 500cc from the outgoing 2.5-liter EJ-series engine, but it’s down on power, too. The updated boxer four produces 148 hp and 145 lb-ft of torque compared to the outgoing engine’s 170 hp and 170 lb-ft. Don’t turn on your caps lock to express your E-anger just yet. Yes, the new engine is down on power, but the new Impreza is actually quicker than the outgoing car in all measurements. 


2012 Subaru Impreza Limited Front End
2012 Subaru Impreza Limited Rear Three Quarters
2012 Subaru Impreza Limited Side


The last Impreza we tested back in 2007 was a four-speed automatic. That Subie took 9.5 seconds to hit 60 mph from a standstill and 17.2 seconds to complete the quarter mile at 81.1 mph. The 2012 Impreza 2.0i Limited did 0-60 mph in 9.4 seconds and the quarter mile in 17.2 seconds at 81.9 mph. OK, if the Limited was only a tenth of a second quicker to 60 mph, and tied the old model at the strip, what about the hatch? It was a lot quicker. The five-door was a second-and-a-half faster to 60 mph, taking just 8.0 seconds for the feat. It crossed the quarter mile earlier as well; our manual 2012 tester took 16.2 seconds at 84.0 mph.



2012 Subaru Impreza Premium Front End In Motion

Click to view Gallery

Handling is also improved. The five-door Impreza 2.0i Premium took 28.3 seconds at 0.59 g to round our figure eight, while its four-door sibling surprisingly did the same feat faster, taking 28.1 seconds at 0.59 g. The last Impreza we tested did the figure eight in 28.6 seconds at 0.58 g. Our test team reported the 2012 Imprezas had a tendency to understeer, but the steering feel made for great fun when really pushed — much to the chagrin of the eco-minded tires. 


While it’s quicker, the new Impreza didn’t exactly record blistering numbers. That said, it’s got a sort-of X-factor not directly expressed by those figures — it’s a blast to drive. “Push it,” a Subaru rep told us. “It can take it.” He was absolutely right. No, the Impreza isn’t fast, but it feels fast. After pushing the Impreza on the canyon roads of Los Angeles and the backwoods of Connecticut, I couldn’t help but walk away with a big, stupid grin on my face. This is the type of car that’s just as at home in the crowded streets of New York as it is on the unpaved, rutted-out two-tracks of rural Massachusetts.


2012 Subaru Impreza Premium Cockpit 2
2012 Subaru Impreza Premium Cockpit
2012 Subaru Impreza Premium Front Seating


One of the main contributors to the fun is Subaru’s aforementioned new boxer engine. This four-banger really likes to rev when paired with the manual. Oblige, and you’ll be repaid with Subaru’s signature boxer growl as you snip crisply and easily through the gears. The 148-hp engine is enough to get you going – it could use more torque (what engine couldn’t?) — but that and much more will no doubt be addressed with the WRX and STI versions.


As for the rest of the package, Subaru stiffened the chassis on the new Impreza for a sportier feel, and it paid off in spades. Combine that with a sharp handling feel and all-wheel drive and you’ve got yourself a pretty tossable car. After I took a sharp U-shaped corner during testing, one photographer came up to me and said, “You were hauling ass!” I hadn’t even realized it. The little Subie was just so composed that I didn’t notice I had taken the corner 20-mph faster than the other cars. I consistently found myself pushing the Impreza harder and harder into the corners. With all that grip and a sporty chassis it was endless fun. The Subaru’s sole weak point was its eco-themed tires; during hard cornering they groaned and squealed like a scolded child. Nothing some stickier rubber couldn’t fix.

The CVT-equipped Impreza was equally at home on the twisties. Everything its hatchback sibling could do on the back roads, the four-door could do just as well. While the enthusiast’s choice is going to be the manual-equipped hatch, buyers who opt for the CVT aren’t going to feel like they’re missing out. 

Subaru’s second generation Lineartronic CVT is arguably one of the best in the business. It does a remarkable job of not feeling like a lifeless elastic rubber band, as many other CVTs do. Half of that has to do with the engine it’s mated to, and the other half to how the transmission was engineered. Unlike in many CVTs, Subaru engineers decided to forgo the rubber belt, instead replacing it with a metal one. The result is a transmission that feels less elastic and more linear, like a traditional automatic.

2012 Subaru Impreza Premium Side In Motion
2012 Subaru Impreza Premium Rear Three Quarters In Motion
2012 Subaru Impreza Premium Side In Motion 2

Remember the second thing Subaru needed to improve upon? Granted, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but it doesn’t take someone with a modern art degree to determine the 2012 Impreza looks pretty good in both four and five-door form. Compared to the dopey-looking last-gen Impreza, the new car is downright handsome.


2012 Subaru Impreza Premium Navigation

Click to view Gallery

The interior is also a vast improvement, even though the cheap-looking digital trip computer on top of the center stack survived the update. Aside from the easily washed-out GPS screen, the interior is functional and somewhat stylish. It’s a nice place to be, especially in the leather-bathed 2.0i Limited trim. During the Impreza’s New York introduction, Subaru made sure to note that unlike some of its competitors, it didn’t reduce the use of soft plastics in the car. Were there hard plastics? Sure, but most important, the pieces that needed to be soft touch were. 

The only real interior letdown in our pre-production five-door 2.0i Premium tester was the shift knob and steering wheel. Both were made out of cheap-looking (and feeling) black rubber that wouldn’t have looked out of place on the last-gen Impreza. The CVT-equipped 2.0i Premium sedan we drove at the Impreza’s official press introduction didn’t suffer from the cheap-feeling (and looking) rubber, so for all we know the “issue” may be resolved by the time they hit Subaru showrooms in November.

2012 Subaru Impreza Limited Engine
2012 Subaru Impreza Premium Gear Knob
2012 Subaru Impreza Premium Engine

So the 2012 Subaru Impreza is faster, more efficient, and better looking – surely it’s more expensive to boot? Well, it’s not (and don’t call me Shirley). Subaru made it a point to keep the pricing at exactly the same levels as the old model. That means a new 2012 Impreza will set buyers back anywhere from $18,245 for a four-door, five-speed 2.0i to $23,645 for a CVT-equipped 2.0i Sport Limited PZEV. Our Impreza 2.0i Premium tester had one option (the all-weather package) and came in at $20,545. Our four-door Impreza 2.0i Limited, on the other hand, came equipped with the Moonroof and Navigation System option, and rang the register at $24,345. Not bad for a fun-to-drive all-wheel-drive ride.

At the end of the day, the new Impreza brings a lot to the crowded compact segment. Is it a game-changer? Probably not, but, without a doubt, the new Impreza is a more attractive, fuel efficient, fun-to-drive, and versatile car that should finally stand out for more than just having all-wheel drive.

Read more:

Read more: Subaru Impreza Premium Side In Motion 2012 Subaru Impreza Limited Side  photo