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2012 Subaru Impreza

Overview
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2012 Subaru Impreza Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 6.8

For 2012, Subaru introduces an all-new version of its capable and dependable compact sedan and wagon. The 2012 Subaru Impreza is roomier and better-trimmed inside than many competitors, and continues as the only passenger car under $20K with standard Symmetrical all-wheel drive (AWD). Courtesy of reduced weight, a new, more-efficient 2.0-liter boxer engine and continuously variable automatic transmission, the 2012 Impreza offers the best EPA-estimated fuel economy of any gasoline-powered all-wheel-drive passenger car, better even than the base-engine/automatic-transmission mileage of front-drive compacts like Toyota Corolla, Chevrolet Cruze, Volkswagen Jetta and Nissan Sentra.

You'll Like This Car If...

The 2012 Impreza is the practical choice if you value the no-nonsense reliability, security and all-weather traction benefits of standard all-wheel drive combined with roomy comfort and top-notch fuel economy in its class.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If Subaru's traditionally excellent safety ratings or the Impreza's standard all-wheel drive traction isn't a big factor in your purchase decision, there are compact competitors that offer more features for less money.

What's New for 2012

Subaru made the Impreza a comfortable, roomy, attractive place for customers downsizing from mid-size cars. The Impreza's safety credentials are bolstered by a standard driver's knee airbag for 2012. Last year's Outback Sport is discontinued, replaced by two range-topping 5-door wagon models: the 2.0i Sport Premium and 2.0i Sport Limited.

Driving the Impreza

Driving Impressions Like comfortable sneakers, the 2012 Subaru Impreza offers surefooted all-wheel-drive traction under all road and weather conditions. It may lack the sharp steering response of a Focus or road feel...

of a Civic, but the Impreza imparts confidence and feels unflappable at all times. The all-new 2.0-liter boxer engine is 13 percent less powerful than last year's 2.5-liter, but acceleration is decent, especially with the available continuously variable transmission (CVT), which replaces 2011's 4-speed automatic. The CVT responds quickly to changing road grades and driver input without shift lag, although with the radio and fan turned off, a slight transmission whine is heard. New front seats offer more comfort and improved support. Outward visibility is among the best in the segment. The wagon's split rear seat folds completely flat and the rolled-up cargo cover stows under the cargo floor – two examples of Subaru's thoughtfulness.

INCLINE START ASSIST
Called "Hill Hold" in popular parlance, this nifty feature keeps your Impreza from rolling back or forward as you release the clutch when starting out on an incline. It's standard on manual-transmission models.

ECO GAUGE
New for 2012, this dash-mounted analog gauge gives Impreza drivers bio-feedback on how fuel-efficient they are driving. It's simple, effective and if you keep the needle to the right, you're saving gas.

2012 Subaru Impreza Details
Interior

Although overall length is unchanged from 2011, the 2012 model is the roomiest Subaru Impreza ever. It has more rear-seat legroom than some mid-size cars thanks to a skillful wheelbase stretch and scalloped front seatbacks. Hip and shoulder room improve courtesy of carefully contoured door panels. Larger door openings make getting in and out easier than in many competitors. Raised seat heights, increased glass area and a lowered dash help give a command-of-the-road feel. Front seats get pressure-distributing bottom cushions, increased lumbar support and new tilt-adjustable headrests. Soft touch coverings adorn the dash, door panels and console.

Exterior

The 2012 Subaru Impreza gets all-new sheet metal. Both the more-formal 4-door sedan and sporty 5-door wagon feature more sharply sculpted, Legacy-derived styling with prominent wheel arches and hawkeye-shaped headlights. In silhouette, each has a light and airy greenhouse with large windows and slimmer-looking roof pillars for improved visibility, highlighted by a more rakish windshield. With blind spots reduced or eliminated, the new Impreza is one of the easiest cars in its class to maneuver and move through traffic.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The base Impreza 2.0i rolls on smallish 15-inch steel wheels, but otherwise is cheerfully equipped with standard all-wheel drive, A/C, remote keyless entry, 60/40 split folding rear seat, carpeted floormats, wagon cargo tie-downs, auto-off headlights, 4-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 stereo, height-adjust driver's seat and tilt/telescoping steering column. The 2.0i Premium gains 16-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, wagon cargo cover, sliding center armrest, and a 6-speaker audio with Bluetooth streaming, iPod connectivity, hands-free phone capability, and a USB port. The 2.0i Limited adds leather trim, 17-inch alloy wheels, the CVT (automatic transmission), heated seats and HD radio with 4.3-inch display. Well-trimmed and wagon-only, the 2.0i Sport Premium and Sport Limited models lack only standard navigation and a moonroof.

Optional Equipment

The only option available on base 2.0i Imprezas is the CVT. With the Impreza 2.0i Premium, the optional CVT comes with shift paddles that allow the driver to manually select six ratios. Also available on 2.0i Premium models are an all-weather package with heated seats and outside mirrors plus wiper de-icers, and a 17-inch alloy-wheel package that adds stainless-steel exhaust tips and a leather-wrapped shifter and steering wheel. A power moonroof and 6.1-inch touch-screen navigation system with XM satellite radio is optional on all but the base model. Last year's removable Tom Tom nav unit is no longer offered. Neither are power seats.

Under the Hood

The 2012 Subaru Impreza sticks with its unique, compact boxer engine that's known for reliability and a low center of gravity that helps handling and safety. But while the 2011 2.5-liter Impreza had one of the larger, more powerful standard engines among compacts, the all-new 2012 2.0-liter version is among the most advanced and fuel-efficient with a 36-percent boost to its EPA combined city/highway rating. Subaru engineered the new engine for improved low- and mid-range torque, which improves around-town responsiveness. A switch to a new dual-overhead-cam configuration with variable valve control for both intake and exhaust boosts efficiency and performance. Adapted from the Legacy, the 2012 Impreza upgrades its automatic transmission to the Lineartronic CVT, which – unlike earlier CVTs that droned on – gives a more linear response to the gas pedal.

2.0-liter flat-4
148 horsepower @ 6,200 rpm
145 lb-ft of torque @ 4,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 25/34 mpg (manual), 27/36 mpg (automatic)

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2012 Subaru Impreza Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.2
Out of 10

Based on 65 Ratings for the 2012 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.4/10
    Quality
    8.2/10
  • Reliability
    8.9/10
    Performance
    8.3/10
  • Comfort
    8.1/10
    Styling
    7.9/10

STI performance to the max

By on Saturday, December 13, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 9,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "fun to drive,,,"

Cons: "???"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This is one of the best performance cars,, there are,!! Snow is no problem for the STI,,!! It is like it was built for snow condition,,!! I love my STI"

8 people out of 12 found this review helpful

Fun and economical four wheel drive.

By on Wednesday, December 03, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Economical, good in snow and fun to drive."

Cons: "Not as peppy as its sporty appearance."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"This is a fun little car. It gets great mileage and has proven itself to be up the the challenge of heavy snow. It is a little underpowered and the radio is not so hot. All in all, it is well worth the price."

12 people out of 19 found this review helpful

I love my car!

By on Tuesday, November 11, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 11,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"We got our subaru last year when we decided to move to WI. It's always great to be the only one of my friends that has a car that doesn't mind the snow."

15 people out of 25 found this review helpful

One of the best cars I have ever owned. Nice firm

By on Friday, October 31, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "It's "all good"."

Cons: "Covers on the front window pillars "buzz" a bit."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"A taught, but comfortable, ride with precise handling. You'll think you're in a sports or rally car. 2.0L engine has enough guts to get you wherever you're going, quickly. I'm getting 27-28 mpg on my 60 mi. commute and a little less when I'm "playing". If you like to drive, you'll really like this car."

12 people out of 24 found this review helpful

Fast! Fun! Bit cheap on the inside.

By on Monday, October 27, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 36,792

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Fun fun fun"

Cons: "Shoddy interior, poor paint quality"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

"If you want a car that has alot of power, good handling on and off the road, and aren't too concerned about the little things then this is the car for you. I Went from a 2009 VW Golf to this and I can say that the quality is by far less superior on the inside. This car is pretty fun to drive, and it is an animal. But as such, you can tell that most of the R&D went into the drivetrain. Inside, although my car is only 3 years old and has under 50K miles, the interior is quickly deteriorating.... the switches and knobs feel cheap. The doors and dash are all made of hard plastic, and just cruising down the freeway you can hear constant creaking and rattling coming from the dash and door panels. My heater vent on the drivers side has completely fallen into the dash (and I have NEVER moved it, just fell in going over a speedbump about a week ago) My passenger side window switch works for rolling it down but dosen't roll the window up... (30,000 miles!?) And I have paint peeling off of my roof in some spots.... But I will say that the driving experience is superb. If you want a car to drive that is fun and exciting, buy a WRX... if you are going to be driving alot, and not in a fun/sporty manner, buy something else. I would buy one again... but only for a toy."

14 people out of 24 found this review helpful

Great small hatchback for Northeast winters

By on Thursday, October 23, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 23,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Good gas mileage, roomy interior for small car"

Cons: "bad tires"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I have owned several Subarus, including the second model year of the Impreza, which only died after about 18 years because a deer decided to jump on the hood. This Impreza is roomier inside and has some nice features. Gas mileage is very good for an AWD. The tires that came on the car are cheaply made and not very rugged. Have had to replace one already. My other Subarus had Bridgestone or Michelin tires, which were both good. This car is not designed to live for eighteen years, but at this point neither am I."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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