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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 70 Ratings for the 2012 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.4/10
    Quality
    8.3/10
  • Reliability
    9.0/10
    Performance
    8.3/10
  • Comfort
    8.2/10
    Styling
    7.9/10

Excellent AWD car with great driving stability

By on Sunday, March 01, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fun to drive when its snowing even heavily"

Cons: "gas mileage can be improved and also interiors"

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

"I love snow driving (though I hate everyday snow and cold weather in Cleveland, OH) ever since I bought this car after traded in my 2011 mazda 3 that was a FWD. The car is absolutely stable in snow and one can change lanes confidently in snow without fear of spinning with appropriate acceleration."

Very happy except for fuel econ & technology

By on Tuesday, February 10, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "price, fun to drive, better than expected pickup"

Cons: "MPG and Phone technology"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"We have the car a little over 2 months and my wife, who drives it 90% of the time is very happy with it except for 2 things. Most important to her is the Bluetooth technology and in this car its very basic. We also own an Audi where when either of us enter the car separately the car easily switches to the user in the car. Also the Impreza's system cannot load your phones contacts. Most important to me is the lower than expected fuel economy. My wife drives the car to work in an urban setting where there is traffic but nothing terrible and current gas mileage runs 21 - 23 MPG. Spoke to the service manager and they advised to wait to the car breaks in which is 3,000 miles. I'm hoping that the MPG gets better as it cant get worse. Has anyone else experienced this problem?"

18 people out of 40 found this review helpful

Solid car all around, the perfect daily driver

By on Monday, January 26, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 206,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "FUN, fast, practical all around, and very reliable"

Cons: "somewhat cheap interior, sound system"

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

"Came out of a 2008 VW Rabbit and couldn't be happier with my WRX. The car is very practical and is great in all weather situations. One of the best AWD systems I've ever driven on and not to mention it handles like a beast! Only reasons I would not rate 10/10 is because number one, the sound system is as average as can be. Number 2, being used to a German car, I expected more of a solid interior. But these two things aren't a big requirement for me, so overall, I love this car!"

24 people out of 41 found this review helpful

my 2014 impreza sport limited....

By on Wednesday, January 21, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,100

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: "durable; safe; dependable; nice looking(stylish);"

Cons: "can't own enough. Stopped making the Baja."

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

"This is the 7th. subaru that my wife and I have owned. Loved every one of them. This 2014 we ordered in 2013 the way we wanted it. We live where the weather gets really bad, and every time, we jump in our impreza and head out to see how many people we can creep by that have gone into the ditch with their 2 or 4 wheel drive vehicles. This includes the big dodge hemi and the heavy duty ford trucks. The dependability of the subaru is untouched. We will forever own and love our subaru. (s) Anyone not considering buying one is not thinking straight. Especially if they have children, they will not be any more safe than in a Subaru."

19 people out of 36 found this review helpful

Subaru stands by their quality... BUT

By on Monday, December 29, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "mpgs, awd, stereo, handling, paddle shifters"

Cons: "engine HP, CVT transmission, road noise"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"This car drives very well. It handles as good as any other car in its class. The horsepower is lacking however. with only 148hp its hardly a sports car. I would like to have seen the brz engine in this car. The interior is solid. You have the option for a premium sound system which I heard was very good. I drive to and from NH/DE which is 7 hours one way and I haven't had any problems with discomfort. MY biggest complaint is the CVT transmission. its sluggish and noisy. It would have been better to have a 6 speed auto, and manual transmission option. My favorite things about the car is the leg room and the trunk space is pretty big. considering this is an AWD vehicle, the MPG are very good. I manage 33mpg while doing 70-75 on the highway. this car is 5 star safety rated across the board and is a very affordable car. This is worth every penny. Subaru maintains its high resale value."

33 people out of 59 found this review helpful

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"

24 people out of 53 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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