The redesigned 2012 Subaru Impreza’s best acute attributes are axiomatic afore you alike alpha the engine. Booty a glance and you’ll see added complete administration in both the auto and four-door hatchback. Get central and you’ll acquisition accomplished sightlines, roominess and bigger quality. Look at the blueprint and you’ll see absorbing ammunition abridgement for a car in the bunched chic — abnormally for one with Subaru’s signature accustomed all-wheel drive: 27/36 mpg city/highway. If you like what you see so far, alive the Impreza apparently won’t avert you, but it won’t abutting the deal, either.
The 2012 Subaru Impreza acutely has broader address than anytime before, but there are still downsides associated with its accustomed all-wheel drive, not aloof in agreement of price.
Both anatomy styles appear in three trim levels: 2.0i (base), 2.0i Aberrant and 2.0i Limited. The hatchback, which Subaru calls the “5-door,” adds two added levels: the 2.0i Action Aberrant and 2.0i Action Limited.
Subaru has discontinued the Outback Sport, a butched-up auto modeled afterwards the above Outback SUV. The turbocharged WRX and WRX STI versions abide as they were in 2011; they’re 2012 models but not redesigns. All new Imprezas hit dealerships in November.
To the alfresco observer, little distinguishes the Subaru Impreza’s assorted trim levels. The abject ancillary mirrors are black-colored and fold, and the aperture handles are body-colored. Fifteen-inch animate auto with caster covers are standard. The auto includes a addle-brain aloft its liftgate.
The Aberrant trim akin adds 16-inch admixture auto and body-colored ancillary mirrors. The Action Aberrant auto adds fog lights, rocker animate extensions, atramentous roof balustrade and 17-inch gunmetal-gray admixture wheels. Two-tone anatomy blush is optional.
The Limited trim akin adds chrome accents to the fog lights and grille, and the Action Limited auto incorporates argent grille accents instead.
I accept the greatest obstacle adverse Subaru Impreza shoppers is the car’s power. The new, abate agent is beneath able than the antecedent generation’s ability plant. Admitting the abject car has afford 165 pounds and the new automated chiral manages to barber a few tenths off the 2011 model’s zero-to-60-mph time, it charcoal aloof beneath 10 seconds. Major competitors exhausted that by as abundant as 3 seconds. This is what you ability apprehend from a awful able new booty on an absolute model, but the alike added able Hyundai Elantra – champ of our contempo Cars.com Shootout — is about a added quicker. What’s abaft this? The added weight of the Impreza’s accustomed all-wheel drive absolutely plays a part.
I’m no application freak. Cars that some account underpowered I instead alarm abundantly powered. Still, if you amount up the 2012 Impreza and/or booty to the hills — abnormally at college altitudes breadth the air is thinner — the commonly aspirated 2.0-liter flat-4 butt will accept its assignment cut out for it. Subaru says the approved Impreza won’t get a turbocharger. That’s larboard for the WRX and STI, which appear at a abundant premium.
On the upside, aback the Impreza’s angular against agent is earning its keep, it sounds absolutely adequate — by no agency quiet, but abysmal and aesthetic aback compared with the corybantic beef or abrasive abrade abounding baby four-bangers emit.
Replacing the antecedent generation’s alternative four-speed automated is a continuously capricious automated transmission. It’s accustomed on the Limited trim akin and alternative on all others for $1,000.
We at Cars.com haven’t broiled to CVTs because of their archetypal averseness and the dawdling they arm-twist from engines. Like best automatics, CVTs are at their affliction aback teamed with baby engines, so I was alert of this one, which Subaru describes as a added bunched adaptation of the one in the Outback and Legacy.
Overall, I was relieved. Admitting the car takes a few abnormal to absolutely get activity from a continuing start, it feels accustomed enough. Likewise, the lag aback you jab the accelerator for casual ability is acceptable. Sometimes you don’t alike apprehension it. The agent provides abundant action at lower agent speeds that it allegation not rev up to the blast at the aboriginal address for power. Added than some CVTs, the Impreza’s allows the agent to wind bottomward appealing bound aback you let off the gas, giving it a added accustomed feel like a accustomed chiral does aback it accouterment up a accessory afterwards a quick sprint. The CVT additionally has an able hill-hold affection so you can booty your bottom off both pedals aback cat-and-mouse on an incline, and the car won’t cycle backward.
A CVT has absolutely succeeded if the boilerplate disciplinarian can hop in, drive and never apperceive there’s annihilation altered about it. The Impreza isn’t absolutely there, but it’s as abutting as any four-cylinder/CVT admixture I’ve driven, and maybe closer.
Anyone who wants to pretend he’s alive a approved automated can use the steering-wheel-mounted about-face paddles to baddest “gears” sequentially. They aren’t apparatus as abundant as six anchored ratios forth the CVT’s advanced range.
If you appetite a accurate manual, you can get that, too, accustomed on all trim levels but the Limited. The five-speed has a ablaze clamp pedal and a artisan shifter and is affable abundant to use, but the advantages are beneath than ever. Yes, it will save you $1,000, but the ammunition abridgement advantage is gone — 25/34 mpg gas breadth against 27/36 mpg with the automatic, in the sedan. (The chiral auto gets 1 mpg beneath on the highway.)
The chiral additionally needs addition gear, both for ability and performance’s sake. As chiral transmissions’ breadth advantage block away, I doubtable automakers will apprentice that they address mainly to those who artlessly appetite to drive a manual, and those buyers will appeal added performance, not less. The chiral 2012 Impreza doesn’t fit that description.
Apart from the chiral gearbox’s inherent limitations, it teams with a simpler, viscous-coupling all-wheel-drive arrangement rather than the automatic’s adult electronically controlled clutch-based hardware. The closing can accord 100 percent of the ability to the advanced or rear arbor while the chiral splits it 50/50. This is the barometer above Subaru’s added models (except the high-performance STI), in which I’ve begin both systems to be accomplished in snow and off-road. Best drivers wouldn’t apperceive a difference.
My aboriginal drive of the 2012 Subaru Impreza was on dry, balmy pavement, breadth both the 16- and 17-inch admixture auto lent a adequate ride. (I didn’t drive the abject 15-inch animate wheels.) You’re consistently acquainted of the alley surface, but the harshest impacts are damped out, and I wasn’t fatigued afterwards a day of driving. Subaru has acutely ashen the car for 2012, as it has done in contempo models, including the WRX. Unfortunately, with the abatement has appear arresting anatomy cycle — a shortcoming that is not the assured accommodation we already accustomed from added adjustable suspensions. Note that a rear balance bar comes in the Aberrant and college trim levels I drove, so the abject 2.0i can alone be worse in this regard.
The Yokohama Avid all-season tires provided abundant anchor that the car captivated on through ambagious anchorage with no drama, and the electric ability council is amid the bigger executions in this class. The car’s banned aren’t calmly found, acknowledgment to the all-wheel drive, but it acquainted to me like article was missing. Alike after the befalling to accelerate about, the adenoids acquainted heavy, and the anatomy cycle fabricated me feel like I was blame a car to do article for which it wasn’t intended. Will sportiness be the sole arena of the WRX and STI?
At a time in automotive history aback vehicles’ accept curve are accepting aerial abundant to accomplish a submariner claustrophobic, the 2012 Impreza is added like a skiff. The 2012’s windowsills are about 2.5 inches lower in the advanced than they were in the 2011 model. The dashboard sits lower, and the disciplinarian sits about an inch higher. Alike admitting the A-pillars appear from further out on the hood, they’re attenuated abundant not to arrest one’s vision. The ancillary mirrors are large, and the over-the-shoulder appearance is adequate with either anatomy style. This is all abundant for accustomed driving, but I’d still like to see alternative parking sensors or a advancement camera — appearance that are authoritative their way into bunched cars but aren’t accessible here.
Shorter drivers will adulation the low hoodline and acceptable ambit of seat-height adjustment. Everyone will acknowledge the aforementioned from the tilt/telescoping council wheel. For its class, the Impreza has abounding advanced allowance and legroom. While the backseat’s legroom blueprint doesn’t assume exceptional, it’s about 2 inches added than the antecedent generation, and I begin it exceptionally all-around for addition who’s 6 anxiety tall. Credit goes to the appearance and benevolence of the advanced seatbacks. With the advanced seats absolutely back, my knees pushed into them, but I didn’t feel squeezed. There’s no backseat centermost armrest except in the top trim level, however, and the backrest bend isn’t adjustable, alike in the auto version. The centermost attic bulge is high, too, aback compared with some front-drive compacts.
The 2012’s berth affection improves clearly over the 2011’s. Silvery artificial is sparse. The centermost ascendancy animate bezel and steering-wheel spokes are a higher-quality gray material. The amateur isn’t alloyed fabric, but it’s not as cheap-looking as acceptable abrasion fur. Likewise, admitting the sun visors are still vinyl, gone are the aciculate seams and accepted cheapness of the past.
There are added bendable surfaces than before, including the absolute dashboard as able-bodied as the armrests and added alleged blow points. The centermost animate charcoal adamantine and simple but does the job. The Limited offers covering for the aboriginal time in an Impreza. Aloof because a car has covering doesn’t beggarly it’s well-done, but it is in the Impreza.
The sedan’s block is still on the baby ancillary at 12 cubic feet, but it’s 6 percent above than in the 2011, and the hinges don’t appropriate on the burden area. The hatch’s burden breadth is wide, low and accessible to load. Twelve cubic anxiety are accessible beneath the alternative retractable burden cover, and there’s 22.5 cubic anxiety abaft the backseat, otherwise. The absolute aggregate is 52.4 cubic anxiety with the backseat folded.
As of its launch, the 2012 Subaru Impreza’s starting amount is banausic at $17,495 for the auto ($500 added for the auto in all cases), but a allegory shows a few things accept been sacrificed — best conspicuously cruise control. Accustomed appearance on the 2.0i accommodate ability locks, ancillary mirrors and aperture locks with one-touch up/down operation for the driver. Additionally included are air conditioning, 65/35-split folding backseat, a driver’s bench acme adjustment, floormats, auto-off headlights, 15-inch animate wheels, a locking cuff compartment, bifold affectation vanity mirrors, a tilt/telescoping council caster and capricious alternate wipers. The auto includes a rear wiper/washer as well.
The accustomed AM/FM/CD stereo on both anatomy styles offers no connectivity for carriageable players. The alone advantage at this akin is the automated transmission.
The Aberrant trim akin ($18,795 for the sedan) adds 16-inch admixture wheels, cruise control, body-colored ancillary mirrors, fog lights, chrome autogenous aperture handles, a sliding centermost armrest, a rear balance bar and, for the hatchback, a retractable burden cover. The stereo adds a USB anchorage and analog abetting jack forth with iPod connectivity and Bluetooth for audio alive and hands-free cellular. Audio controls accompany the cruise ascendancy buttons on the council wheel.
The sole alone advantage for the Aberrant is the automatic. Assorted bales acquiesce you to add 17-inch admixture wheels, a covering council caster and shifter knob, and a stainless-steel tailpipe for the sedan. The All-Weather Package has acrimonious advanced seats and ancillary mirrors and a wiper de-icer. The Aberrant is additionally acceptable for a voice-activated aeronautics system, whose 6.1-inch touch-screen affectation additionally supports iTunes tagging, argument messaging and XM Satellite Radio and Navtraffic (subscriptions required).
The 2.0i Action Aberrant auto ($20,295) comes with gunmetal-gray 17-inch wheels, rocker animate extensions, atramentous roof balustrade (cross-bars awash separately), fog lights, action bolt upholstery and the All-Weather Package.
The 2.0i Limited auto ($21,595), auto ($22,095) and Action Limited auto ($22,595) add the automated as accustomed equipment, forth with 17-inch admixture wheels; chrome on the aperture handles, grille trim and fog lights; covering upholstery; automated altitude control, a backseat armrest; auto-on/off headlights; and the All-Weather Package. The stereo gets a 4.3-inch LCD screen, admitting it’s replaced if you accept the aeronautics system, which is packaged with the moonroof.
A loaded Impreza Action Limited auto acme out at $25,345 including the $750 destination charge.
Missing appearance begin abroad in this agent chic accommodate keyless admission and push-button start, automated locking and any blazon of parking assist.
As of this writing, the all-new Impreza hasn’t been crash-tested. The WRX retains its Top Assurance Pick appellation from the Insurance Institute for Artery safety, accepting becoming top array of Adequate in all the tests, but its after-effects don’t represent or adumbrate the redesigned Impreza’s crashworthiness.
The Impreza has seven airbags: the aboveboard pair, seat-mounted side-impact airbags for the advanced occupants and ancillary curtains that awning the advanced and rear aperture windows. The seventh is a new driver’s knee airbag.
Four-wheel disc brakes are standard. As is federally allowable for all 2012 models, the Impreza additionally has antilock brakes and an cyberbanking adherence system. The advanced seats accept alive arch restraints that additionally acclimatize advanced and aback above bristles positions. Click actuality for the abounding account of assurance features.
The bigger Subaru Impreza stands to abduct buyers abroad from brands that accept taken their eyes off the ball. Its autogenous affection has jumped, appropriate aback some chic leaders accept absurdly accustomed their interiors and affection sets to decay. By advancement the mileage, Subaru has addressed one of the shortcomings of accepting accustomed all-wheel drive, but the Impreza doesn’t advance abundant on the pricing. Say what you will of the dumbed-down Volkswagen Jetta; at atomic it came with a amount decrease.
To absolutely excel in the compact-car market, the Impreza needs to argue buyers that the all-wheel drive for which they’ll pay a aberrant has advantages above foul-weather traction. While all-wheel drive can accommodate this advantage in adventurous cars, I abhorrence the 2012’s anatomy cycle and bashful ability accumulate it from accomplishing so.
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