Category Archives: Mid-Hudson Subaru

XV Crosstrek

On April 4th, the US production version of the 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek™ made its debut at the New York International Auto show.

The XV Crosstrek™ is a right-sized crossover for all of life’s adventures. With its 8.7″ ground clearance, 17-inch all-season tires, and integrated roof rails, it looks like it’s ready for anything. And with its Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, 33 MPG* hwy and SUBARU BOXER® engine, it is.

The New York International Auto Show is open to the public from April 6-15. If you’re in the area, come by and see the XV Crosstrek™ on display at the Jacob Javits Convention Center.

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Aha Radio partners with Subaru, brings social media to 2013 vehicles – Mid Hudson Subaru

At last year’s CES, Aha Radio brought its hyper-connected social media ways to two high-end Pioneer head units. This year, however, the service is about to make a bigger splash by announcing it’ll be built into select 2013 Subaru and Honda vehicles. Equipped autos will have access to “thousands of personalized, web-enabled stations” like MOGRhapsody and Slacker, appearing as a selectable source alongside more traditional AM, FM and satellite radio options. And naturally it’ll integrate with Aha’s iPhone and Android apps. If a new vehicle isn’t to your liking, Kenwood will also start integrating the service into head units later in 2012. We’ll get hands-on with the above system in a Subaru’s new BRZ soon

Aha Advances Driver Connectivity
With Web-Connected “Fourth Band” of Radio

Subaru and Kenwood join Pioneer in integrating with Aha’s Cloud-based Infotainment Platform that Now Includes Tens of Thousands of Stations of Web Content

Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Las Vegas, NV – January 10, 2012 – AhaTM by HARMAN, an interactive platform that makes web content safe for drivers today announced new automotive and content partnerships that will bring web-connected infotainment safely to millions of drivers, right through the radio. Honda and Subaru are currently working with Aha to integrate with the Aha platform starting with model year 2013 vehicles. Kenwood has also announced that it will begin shipping Aha-integrated aftermarket head units this Spring. Honda, Subaru and Kenwood customers will be able to access all of Aha’s stations right from the car’s infotainment system. Aha also announced partnerships with top content providers to expand Aha’s platform to tens of thousands of personalized, web-enabled stations that cover everything from music, news and social streams to travel and audiobooks.

“Drivers want easy access to their web content in the car, publishers want to get their music, news and information to drivers, and car companies want to give drivers a safe and up-to-date experience. Until Aha, it was very hard to do any of these, much less all three,” said Robert Acker, HARMAN VP and General Manager of Aha. “By partnering with companies like Honda, Subaru, Kenwood, CBS, Rhapsody, and NPR in addition to our existing partners like Pioneer and Slacker, Aha has become the web-connected “fourth band” of the car radio, alongside AM, FM and satellite radio. Aha’s platform uniquely enables drivers to safely and easily access great audio content from around the web, and transforms non-audio web content into radio stations. This is just the beginning of the automotive and content deals we’ll announce this year.”

Aha announced partnerships with Honda and Subaru that will seamlessly bring Aha into Honda and Subaru vehicles to let drivers interact with web-based content right through the radio. Honda and Subaru are among the first automotive manufacturers to integrate Aha’s service into their vehicles.

Kenwood will also integrate Aha in its next generation of aftermarket head units for the car. It joins Pioneer which began integrating Aha into aftermarket units in 2011 and is expanding Aha to additional aftermarket units in 2012. A number of other car manufacturers are integrating Aha but have yet to make announcements.

Aha and CBS Radio jointly announced today a partnership that will bring CBS’s stations to drivers and other users of the Aha Radio platform. This partnership allows Aha Radio to distribute CBS Radio content via mobile devices and directly into vehicles. CBS Radio will join a wide breadth of content already available on Aha including Slacker, Facebook, and Twitter. Aha has also recently signed content deals with NPR, Entertainment Radio Network, MOG, Rhapsody, and AOL SHOUTcast Radio, which will become available this year. In total these new partnerships expand Aha’s offerings from hundreds of stations to tens of thousands of personalized stations.

In addition to the content and car deals, Aha has also announced that it will launch a new Android app and update its iPhone app in the first quarter of 2012.

Aha is a part of HARMAN International (NYSE: HAR) the premium global audio and infotainment group.

About Aha by HARMAN
Aha, a unit of HARMAN International Industries, is the first interactive platform that makes web content safe for drivers. Aha organizes content from the web into personalized, live and on-demand radio stations that consumers can listen to from anywhere – at home, on the go, or safely from the driver’s seat. Aha is currently working with five automotive manufacturers who will be launching model 2013 vehicles with consumer services based on Aha’s cloud-based platform. The Aha Platform and Service was started in 2008 by a group of web and multimedia veterans with a shared passion for delivering an “always-on” audio experience to connect drivers to the content they really want. HARMAN, the company that designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of audio and infotainment solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets, acquired Aha in September 2010. For more information, visit http://www.aharadio.com.

Another Sales Record for Subaru – Mid Hudson Subaru

A parts shortage triggered by two natural disasters on the same day last March in Japan failed to prevent Subaru of America Inc. from setting a new sales record in 2011.

Selling 266,989 vehicles last year allowed the company to post sales records in each of the past three years, with a 1.2 percent increase over 2010.

“We are thrilled to close 2011 with a third consecutive sales record for Subaru,” said Thomas Doll, executive vice president and chief operating officer at Subaru of America. “We need to thank our retailers, distributors, our employees and of course the dedication and commitment of (our parent) Fuji Heavy Industries staff for making these results possible.”

An earthquake and tsunami hit Japan on March 11, 2011 — resulting in a shortage of some parts which hampered production for Subaru and other automakers through September.

December sales rose more than 25 percent, to 33,701. That helped the company reach its record high sales mark and eclipsed the previous best of August 2009 — the “Cash for Clunkers” month.

“We are pleased to welcome the 266,989 customers to the Subaru family,” said Bill Cyphers, senior vice president of sales with Subaru of America. “With production now catching up to demand, our December sales show the potential for the Subaru brand for 2012.”

Among vehicles produced at the Subaru of Indiana Automotive Inc. plant in Lafayette:

• Sales of the Outback models registered 13,430 in December and 104,405 for the full year — besting 2010 by 12.1 percent.

• Sales of the Legacy line totaled 4,625 last month and rose by 9.5 percent to 42,401 during the entire year.

• Although much smaller in number, sales of the Tribeca reached 324 in December and rose by 12.9 percent to 2,791 units for all of 2011.

Subaru vehicles built in Japan also reflected a healthy sales chart in December. But not for the entire year.

Sales of the Forester fell by 10.4 percent, to 76,196 in 2011, while sales of the Impreza models dropped by 7.2 percent, to 41,196 units.

FHI authorized an increase in Subaru vehicle manufacturing in the second half of the past year and the company is now producing more cars per month than at any time in its history.

“We delivered 34,000 cars to dealers in December, beating our previous highest total by 5,000,” Cyphers said. “Given how quickly our products are moving, we expect to reach another significant sales milestone in 2012.”

Clever fellow sends text messages to start his Subaru Outback – Mid Hudson Subaru

 

BY JASON TORCHINSKY

DEC 29, 2011 12:30 PM11,884  30

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Clever fellow sends text messages to start his car

Our pals over at Make posted this articleabout Will O’Brien, and how he took an old iPhone, an Arduino, and a handful of electronic crap and made a remote starter for his Subaru Outback that lets him start his car with a text message. The link to his site gives a full schematic of how it was done, and he’s made the software source code available to whomever wants it as well.

This is exactly the kind of thing I love to see, as it’s a great reminder of what an incredible age we’re living in, car tinkering-wise. Just look at Will here, for example: he had, laying around, an unused, pocket-sized, battery-powered computer that can communicate wirelessly with no trouble at all. A huge number of us have exactly the same thing, forgotten previous iPhone or Android phone models, languishing in drawers. We take for granted how powerful these little machines really are, and how car experimenters a decade or so ago would have happily parted with kidneys for something like them.

The Arduino’s an amazing thing, too — for those not in the know, an Arduino is, essentially, a great, customizable interface between electronics and the real world. Starting one’s car with a text message is a great example of what’s possible.

Now, I’m not exactly sure how useful it really is, but who cares? Any remote starting application is really more about fun or scaring the piss out of people than anything else, so a start via SMS seems like a fine advancement of the art to me. Good job, Will.

First Drive: 2012 Subaru Impreza WRX STI S206 – Motor Trend – Mid Hudson Subaru

2012 Subaru Impreza WRX STI S206 Side In Motion

By Peter Lyon
 | Photos Yoshitada Moro
|

 

2012 Subaru Impreza WRX STI S206 Front Three Quarter

Click to view Gallery

We almost don’t want to tell you about the new Subaru Impreza WRX STI S206. Why? Because it’s the fastest, best-handling WRX Subaru’s STI division has ever produced, but you can’t buy it in the U.S. It’s yet another special STI limited edition built exclusively for Japanese domestic consumption. 

Subaru’s tuning department takes its STI “S” series very seriously, something we witnessed at the recent Tokyo Motor Show when it revealed the new S206 with its eye-popping spec sheet. There’s more than a decade of history in the top-shelf S series, starting from the radical-looking S201 to the gutsy S204, and the extreme R205. We’ve driven them all and been suitably impressed with every car. But the S206 takes “S” to a whole new level.

You know you’re in for something special when the person greeting you prior to the drive at the Cycle Sports Center two hours south of Tokyo is none other than STI’s motorsport director, former chief test driver, and all-around Nurburgring-meister Hideharu Tatsumi. After a quick rundown of the impressive spec list, he shuffles us over to an S206 sitting in the pit area.

2012 Subaru Impreza WRX STI S206 Front End
2012 Subaru Impreza WRX STI S206 Rear Three Quarter
2012 Subaru Impreza WRX STI S206 Rear Three Quarters In Motion

Smiling confidently, he opens the door to one of only 100 NBR Challenge Package models of the S206, a super rare edition celebrating STI’s monumental class win in this year’s Nurburgring 24-hour race. With its unique 19-inch BBS rims and hard-core carbon-fiber roof and rear wing, the NBR certainly looks the part.

Powering the S206 is a version of Subie’s turbocharged 2.0-liter boxer from the WRX STI. Horsepower has been bumped from 305 hp to 316 hp while torque increases from 290 lb-ft to 318 lb-ft. The engine is hand-built, with pistons, connecting rods, and crankshaft all meticulously balanced before assembly. The secret to the S206’s improved performance comes from the newly fitted low friction, twin-scroll ball-bearing turbo, a remapped ECU, and a low back pressure exhaust system that boosts low- to mid-range torque.

 

2012 Subaru Impreza WRX STI S206 Rear Three Quarters

Click to view Gallery

Built off of the outgoing WRX STI platform, the S206’s suspension gets specially fitted inverted Bilstein dampers, STI coil springs, and a flexible front strut tower brace, while those 19-inch rims are wrapped in Michelin Pilot Super Sports rubber (245/35ZR19), highlighting huge six-piston Brembo calipers with drilled rotors. 

As we launch ourselves out of the blocks, the S206 feels at once poised and ready for any right boot extension. And any corner. Switching the VDC to S# for maximum throttle response, and with the updated DCCD (driver controlled center differential) left in normal mode, we gun the boxer engine in first and second to record a stopwatch-timed 0-60 mph sprint of around 4.5 seconds.

Compared to the current WRX STI, the S206 displays beefier torque between 3200 and 4400 rpm — where you need most for quicker cornering exits. But as Tatsumi says, “this torque curve also makes it easier to putter round town as well.” Right, but that’s not what we’re here for.

2012 Subaru Impreza WRX STI S206 Cockpit 2
2012 Subaru Impreza WRX STI S206 Cockpit
2012 Subaru Impreza WRX STI S206 Interior

Zeroing in on a tight right-hander in fourth at 100 mph, we obliterate 50 mph in 1 second flat by jumping on the 6-pot Brembos, pop the notchy six-speed gearbox down to second and turn in. Whoa..

It almost defies logic. How can you make an Impreza WRX corner with so little roll, maintain so much lateral grip, and yet retain such comfortable ride quality? It can’t just come from the specially fitted Bilstein inverted dampers, coil springs and tower bar.

Back in the pits, Tatsumi lets on that his team has brought across some “little secrets” from the STI race car, which they are preparing for a second Nurburgring 24-hour challenge in 2012.

 

2012 Subaru Impreza WRX STI S206 Side In Motion

Click to view Gallery

“It’s not just the flexible tower brace and Bilsteins that create this ride,” Tatsumi said. “I have brought over a flexible draw stiffener, several other nifty support braces, and special lateral links with pillow ball bushes in addition to a couple of race car inspired chassis revisions. Oh yeah, and one addition that even surprised us was the carbon-fiber roof, which not only improves upper body rigidity while reducing weight, but helps to improve the overall ride quality.” 

A carbon roof that improves ride quality? OK. We can’t argue with that because the ride quality is exceptional — firm but compliant – for a hard-core sports model like this with low profile 19-inch tires.

The combination of suspension upgrades and high-grip Michelin tires also meant Tatsumi’s team was able to dial back the steering gear ratio from 13:1 to 15:1, which makes the S206 turn in at speed as predictably as the actual race car, with logarithmic loads of grip and more steering feel and feedback than any STI before it.

2012 Subaru Impreza WRX STI S206 Center Console
2012 Subaru Impreza WRX STI S206 Gear Shifter
2012 Subaru Impreza WRX STI S206 Instrument Gauges

This car simply begs you to push it harder each lap. Your insides just about reach their lateral limits before the tires reach theirs. There’s almost no understeer and the rears won’t let go either. The engine, chassis, steering, and brakes are so communicative and responsive, they almost feel like an extension of your body. The car goes exactly where you want it to, when you want it to.

Tatsumi tells us that he wanted his team to build a car that wasn’t just the best STI so far, but create a car that communicates so well with drivers that it makes them better drivers, or at least feel as though they are better drivers. Can’t argue with that theory either. As I honed in on a tight corner at over 110 mph, crunched on the Brembos, changed down and got back on the gas as my brain tried to dislodge itself from my skull and fly toward the scrub, I have never felt more like seven-time World Rally champ Sebastian Loeb.

Not quite satisfied with the explanation as to why the car corners so well, I found myself asking Tatsumi “just how much of that race car is in the S206?” He just nodded and said cryptically, “It’s still ongoing. We want to win our class again in 2012 in the 24-hour race and slice several more seconds off our lap time. So there’s a little more still to do under there.”

2012 Subaru Impreza WRX STI S206 Rear Wing
2012 Subaru Impreza WRX STI S206 Badge
2012 Subaru Impreza WRX STI S206 Engine

Inside, the lucky 300 S206 buyers get Recaro sport seats wrapped in leather and Alcantara, and plenty of S206 badging to remind them not to worry when an ordinary STI pulls alongside them at a traffic light.

So it begs the question: Why doesn’t STI offer an export model, even a very limited edition run, for the U.S. market? According to Tatsumi, there are two reasons. First, even with two catalyzers fitted to reduce CO2 and NOx gases, the S206’s emissions won’t meet current international standards. But more to the point, the ballistically strong Japanese Yen means that this car, which costs roughly the equivalent of $77,000 in Japan, would cost somewhere around $85,000 if (and when) they ever made a left-hand drive version. And that kind of pricing would put it in Nissan GT-R territory, making it hard to justify.

But then again, even if you did have the cash and wherewithal, and even if you were happy with a right-hand-drive version, you still can’t have one because the full lot of 300 (200 stock and 100 NBR editions) has already sold out. As Tatsumi points out, “if you want to drive this car, you’ll have to come to Japan.” Makes sense. If you want to eat the best, most authentic sushi, you have to come to Japan anyway, right?

 

2012 Subaru Impreza WRX STI S206
BASE PRICE $76,000 (est)
VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, 4WD, 5-pass, 4-door, sedan
ENGINE ENGINES 2.0L/316-hp /318-lb-ft, turbocharged, DOHC, flat-4
MOTOR MOTORS N/A
TRANSMISSION TRANSMISSIONS 6-speed, manual
CURB WEIGHT 3285 lb
WHEELBASE 103.3 in
LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT 180.3 x 70.7 x 57.9 in
0-60 MPH 4.5 sec (MT est)
EPA CITY/HWY FUEL ECON 24.5 mpg (Japan est)
ENERGY CONSUMPTION, CITY/HWY N/A
CO2 EMISSIONS N/A
ON SALE IN U.S. Japan domestic market only (unfortunately)

Read more: http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/sedans/1112_2012_subaru_impreza_wrx_sti_s206_first_drive/#ixzz1jHQNCa00

2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek – Mid Hudson Subaru

There are stories in every culture about a young man or woman who is supposed to marry someone sensible, attractive, a good cook and good provider. But when the protagonist of the story meets the would-be fiancee’s more interesting, vivacious, funny and unconventional sibling or best friend, sparks fly and the original relationship doesn’t stand a chance.

And so it was when we drove the 2013 Subaru XV through the roads and highways of Tuscany. On Day One, we drove the version the U.S. will get in the third quarter of next year. The first thing to hit us: déjà vu. This is the 2012 Impreza hatchback, albeit with cladding above the wheel wells and a a seriously jacked up stance. It will have the same, brand-new 2.0-liter flat-four as the Impreza hatch we tested a few months ago that is just hitting dealer lots.

2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek driving2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek driving2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek driving

Despite the fact that the XV and Impreza hatch are as close to one another as the Olsen twins (if one of them were wearing platform shoes), Subaru will market the crossover as the XV Crosstrek. Indeed, parent company Fuji Heavy Industries would only give it to Subaru of America if they gave the car its own unique name (big decision coming about whether to capitalize the “T” in ‘trek’). The company previously sold an Impreza with a raised suspension called the Impreza Outback Sport, and nobody was happy with the sales results.

2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek front detail2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek wheel2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek rear detail2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek rear fascia

As previously noted, the exterior is the same as the Impreza hatch, only raised 8.6 inches off the ground. Both cars sport a more chiseled, aggressive hood. The grille on the XV has been tweaked to include a continuous chrome bar under the Subaru logo. The black cladding topping the rear wheel wells continues down under the car and surrounds the rear fog lights. The huge gaps in the wheel wells are necessary for suspension travel while traipsing off road, though these cars are typically bought for their sure-footedness in snow and dirt, not creek beds and mountain crawls.

The new Impreza is the same length and width as the old model, though the wheelbase has been lengthened by two inches giving rear-seat passengers extra comfort. We found gallons of front-seat headroom for us two five-foot, 10-inch occupants, not that the former Impreza was a slouch when it came to space up front.

On the inside, it’s a clean, straightforward setup. No heavy-handed styling like in the Ford Focus center-stack. It’s a cabin designed for sense and sensibility, for people who put 20 percent down on their mortgages and don’t carry big credit card balances. There’s so-called soft-touch surfacing on the upper door panels and dashboard.

2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek interior2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek front seats2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek rear seats2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek rear cargo area

The 2.0-liter flat-four (148 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque) is the only engine Subaru is copping to bringing Stateside. The U.S. isn’t even likely to get a turbo, to which we say, why the hell not? This crossover is supposed to be for urban adventurers, according to the marketing presentation, but alas turbo power will be reserved for the Impreza STI and WRX.

The engine is mated to a six-speed CVT with paddle-shifters that Subaru calls “Lineartronic.” We dipped into manual mode in both the Impreza and XV, and still don’t quite get the point. It’s not horrible off the line in automatic, but we’d take a manual tray for both cars given the choice.

2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek engine

Like the Impreza, the XV uses a MacPherson strut and lower L-arm front with a double-wishbone rear suspension. With the boxer engine and symmetrical AWD, the XV has a well-balanced and comfortable feel. As the weather called for flurries, Subaru had outfitted our tester with snow tires, but the wet stuff never materialized. Regardless, the electrically assisted steering’s on-center feel – even with the cold weather rubber – was light but communicative, and the engine’s start-stop system’s engagement was obvious, but just shy of refined.

On the whole, there isn’t too much here that the Impreza hatch doesn’t already offer, except the higher ride height and the more aggressive pose that the boosted suspension provides. But those changes are important as light crossovers represent the fastest growing category in both the U.S. and Europe. The XV Crosstrek not only qualifies as a crossover (the Impreza doesn’t), but it will start at under $20,000 – perhaps even under $19k – putting Subaru into a critical price bracket for shoppers comparing crossovers online (the standard 2012 Impreza clocks in at just under $18,000 in five-door form).

If you like the Impreza hatchback and Subaru’s all-wheel-drive system, then there’s nothing not to like here. If the idea of a legit crossover – versus a hatchback – floats your boat, then Subaru is making sure you don’t feel the need to go to another brand. That’s just good business sense, even if it’s close to a rolling misnomer.

2013 Subaru SV Crosstrek rear 3/4 view

Can it handle some off-roading? Sure. We drove the XV through a vineyard on a dirt road, but we’re sure a 1970 Dodge Coronet could have handled it without getting stuck. And that’s likely the most demanding conditions owners will throw at it. But the XV is a solid, all-wheel-drive utility knife with a smooth, satisfying ride – just like most Subarus.

Subaru of America thinks it can sell between 25,000 and 35,000 XV Crosstreks a year – even without offering a turbo or a diesel. Why can’t we get the better hardware that Olivier, Sven and Klaus get? We hear that Subaru of America is selling everything Japan ships to the U.S. and that the Japanese honchos don’t see the need in sending over anything they aren’t sure about (diesel) or that drives the cost up (turbo). Maybe Subaru executives know something we don’t, but if the brand’s famously adventurous buyers got the chance to experience the diesel model’s superior drivability and economy for themselves, we have a feeling they’d find even more to love… and buy.

 

Image Credit: Subaru

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

Engine:
2.0L Boxer-Four
Power:
148 HP / 145 LB-FT
Transmission:
CVT
Drivetrain:
All-Wheel Drive
Curb Weight:
3,099 LBS
Seating:
2+3
Cargo:
12.0 CU-FT
MPG:
27 City / 36 HWY
MSRP:
$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.