Category Archives: Subaru Impreza

The Impreza

Since its launch last September, the all-new Impreza has achieved record sales. With the redesign for the 2017MY, featuring the all-new Subaru Global Platform, this new Impreza has quickly become a shining star.
The Impreza has always received positive reviews and numerous awards since its introduction in 1993, and this new Impreza is no exception. Positioned as the intelligent alternative to the Honda Civic and the Toyota Corolla, Impreza has led the way with outstanding safety, performance and value. Here’s what some of the automotive media have said about Impreza:
• Car and Driver magazine: “…the Impreza is a delight because of its stiff, well-tuned chassis and also its firm brake pedal.”
• said “Standard all-wheel drive and well-equipped, the 2017 Subaru Impreza is a compelling value for compact shoppers.”
• was equally impressed: “The Impreza’s comfort and driving dynamics impress. Bumps are well-damped, and it handles well, with reactive steering, a planted feel at highway speeds and flat cornering.”
• The Wall Street Journal’s Dan Neil commended the Impreza 5-Door model, saying, “When the seatbacks are in place, cargo capacity is good (20.8 cubic feet). When they are down, it’s great: 55.3 cubic feet – about as much cargo capacity as a Ford Expedition with the third row folded.”
• And Motor Trend magazine said this about the updated SUBARU STARLINK Multimedia
system: “And speaking of infotainment, it’s hard to overstate what a big leap forward this
system is for Subaru. It was intuitive, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto make using the system as simple as using your smartphone.”

The toughest critic of all, Consumer Reports, had this to say about the Impreza in their July 2017 issue: “Subaru knocks it out of the park with its redesigned 2017 Impreza sedan and hatchback — now the top-rated car in the compact class.”
Safety is an important purchase consideration for buyers in the Compact Car segment, and safety is the cornerstone of the Subaru design philosophy. With the new global platform introduced with the ‘17MY Impreza, new levels of safety are achieved due to the rigidity of the new chassis design. In addition, safety is further enhanced with available EyeSight Driver Assist Technology, Blind Spot Detection, STARLINK Safety and Security, Steering Responsive Headlights (SRH), Reverse Automatic Braking (RAB) and standard Rear-Vision Camera. The list of safety awards and accolades is lengthy:
• The Impreza has been an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ for five years running (2013 – 2017) and we expect it maintain a Top Safety Pick+ rating for 2018!
• The 2017 Impreza is the only small car to earn top ratings in all IIHS evaluations.
• The Impreza has earned an Overall 5-Star safety rating from NHTSA for the past 5 consecutive years.
• The Wall Street Journal’s Dan Neil says, “Unlike on-demand (AWD) systems, the Subaru AWD system is always working, always on guard, ready in an instant. New parents should know that when it comes to babysitting traction, only Subaru keeps so watchful an eye.”

Impreza is not only the best-selling all-wheel drive vehicle in its class but it’s also the longest lasting vehicle in its class! And when it comes to value, the Impreza delivers.
• Named Best Resale Value in its class for 2017 by Kelley Blue Book.
• Retains its value better than any other vehicle in its class for 2017, according to ALG.
• Named one of the 10 Coolest Cars Under $18,000 for 2017 by Kelley Blue Book.
• One of Wards 10 Best Interiors of 2017.
• The 2017 Subaru Impreza was named a Must Test Drive car by Autotrader.

We can’t wait to see what 2018 brings!


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.

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

First Drive: 2012 Subaru Impreza – Automobile – Mid Hudson Subaru

2012 Subaru Impreza Front Right Side View

The 2012 Subaru Impreza is lighter than its predecessor. It’s better looking and its fuel economy is vastly improved. It’s also faster and the exhaust pipe emits only ice cream.

The ice cream is magic and if you eat it, you won’t get fat and everyone will think you’re sexy. Impreza? This car will influence so many people, they should’ve called it the Influenza.

There’s no doubt that the 2012 Impreza is, in fact, better looking and stingier with a gallon of gas. But I’m not completely buying Subaru’s assertion that it’s also quicker. The revised car lost a maximum of 165 pounds. Meanwhile, the new 2.0-liter flat-four is down 22 horsepower and 25 lb-ft of torque compared to the old 2.5-liter. To the naked eyeball, it wouldn’t seem that 165 pounds would cancel out that kind of power loss, and I’m pretty sure it doesn’t. Subaru is careful to apply the “quicker” designation to cars equipped with an automatic transmission, and that transmission has morphed from a prehistoric four-speed automatic to a very nice CVT. So combine the diet with the new transmission, and you get a car that sneaks under the 10-second mark on 0-60 runs, a few tenths faster than its predecessor. But when you ask about the five-speed car, Subaru people suddenly go all Oliver North and can’t really remember much about the numbers. Well, here they are: The lightest version of the old Impreza had a power to weight ratio of 17.96 pounds per horsepower. The new car is dragging 19.66 pounds per horsepower. That’s a significant difference, and despite some tinkering with the ratios in the five-speed, I’d put my money on the 2011 model in a drag race.

Yes, I’ve devoted probably too much energy to thinking about power to weight ratios in naturally aspirated Imprezas. My official prediction is that the automatic car will be a little quicker, the manual car will be a little slower and in any case no one who buys a non-WRX Impreza will care. The librarians of Vermont don’t race for pink slips.

But they do care about mileage, and in that respect the new Impreza embarrasses its predecessor. The CVT-equipped car actually gets better city mileage (27 mpg) than the four-speed automatic model could manage on the highway. With a combined economy rating of 28 mpg for the manual and 30 mpg for the automatic, Subaru says the automatic Impreza is the most fuel-efficient all-wheel-drive car you can buy in the U.S. And that newfound thrift carries benefits into other areas, too — for instance, a smaller gas tank allows a flat load floor in the five-door, which is one of the ways that Subaru increased interior volume while maintaining the same footprint as the 2011 model.

That interior is also a much finer habitat than before. The dashboard is covered in soft-touch materials and leather is an option for the first time on a non-turbocharged Impreza. On cars with a navigation system, the route planner dispenses an amazing amount of detail. Want to know how many kilograms of CO2 you’ll emit on the way to the Sierra Club meeting? The Impreza will tell you exactly how guilty to feel.

After spending a day attacking the low mountains of the Berkshires in both five-speed and automatic Imprezas, I’d say that this car absolutely owns the title for “chassis that could handle significantly more horsepower.” On one long on-ramp, I kept feeding in power on the expectation that the tires would start howling and the front end would wash out. But by the time the rubber began to voice any protest, I was far exceeding the speed limit on the highway ahead and my driving partner was looking faintly concerned about his choice of companionship for the day. With all-wheel-drive, the boxer engine’s low center of gravity and double wishbones out back — what we around here refer to as “classy rear suspension” — the base Impreza is a lot of fun in the corners. Which makes sense, since it’s basically a WRX without the power.

The new 2.0-liter is smoother than growly old 2.5-liter, but you’re regularly aware that the torque peak is north of 4,000 rpm, especially with the CVT. Normally CVTs cause me to make a face like someone who smelled a fart, but this one features shift paddles on the steering wheel that allow you to hold one of six preset ratios if, say, you’re terrorizing an on-ramp in rural Connecticut. I’d still go for the five-speed, but if you bought the automatic, I’d understand.

The base Impreza 2.0i with a five-speed goes for $18,245, making it one of the nicest all-wheel-drive cars for under 20 grand, as well as one of the only all-wheel-drive cars for under 20 grand.In other words, Subaru probably could’ve cheapened it out and hit their sales targets anyway, so it’s admirable that they went in the other direction. In particular, dropping weight costs money, and the new Impreza’s diet included the increased use of pricier high-strength steel. The improved interior materials aren’t free, either, so it’s impressive that Subaru carried over the old base price.

However, when I don my green-tinted visor and take a gimlet-eyed look at the numbers, I spy an unlikely all-wheel-drive competitor for the newly suave Impreza: the Legacy. Depending on which trim level you choose, the Legacy can be cheaper than the Impreza. An Impreza 2.0i Limited costs $22,345, while a Legacy 2.5i Premium with the all-weather package goes for $22,220. And the Legacy is a bigger (but not much heavier) car, with 170 horsepower and a six-speed manual transmission. Granted, a $22,000 Legacy wouldn’t have leather or a 36-mpg highway rating, but the price overlap will surely cause more than a few moments of introspection on Subaru lots across the land.

But if you’re reading this article, your Impreza thought process is probably off in another direction entirely. You’re thinking something that occurred to me more than once during my day in the Berkshires: This thing is going to make a hell of a WRX.

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