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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
8.1
Out of 10

Based on 78 Ratings for the 2012 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.3/10
    Quality
    8.1/10
  • Reliability
    8.9/10
    Performance
    8.3/10
  • Comfort
    8.1/10
    Styling
    7.8/10

Absolutely love my Subaru Impreza

By on Tuesday, April 14, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 4,000

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: "AWD, Ride comfort, Nice interiors"

Cons: "acceleration could be improved, Lower end torque."

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

"This is my first Subaru Impreza (Hatchback) switching from over 10 years of three mazda 3. I am so happy that I switched, not that anything against Mazda 3, that is also a great car, (except in snow) but for the symmetrical AWD in Subaru is totally impressive. Subaru Impreza is truly a fun to drive car especially in snow and when it is actually snowing, one can drive through like a breeze when others struggle on the road. Driving dynamics is unmatched in this class and hence I have fallen with Subaru brand. I will never go back to Mazda or other brands. Very spacious passenger rear leg room and with the appropriate tire pressure suggested, the suspensions are really very nice and soft sufficient enough to feel the comfort while sporty enough to drive faster. Nice interior quality with soft plastic. I used to hate snow driving, but now I enjoy it. Very reliable car with snow maneuvering."

9 people out of 18 found this review helpful

sturdy car - I like it!

By on Sunday, April 12, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,500

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "sturdy, good looking, safe"

Cons: "seats could have +lumbar support, eh windshield"

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

"I've got the Sport Limited with all the bells and whistles. 17" tires, moonroof, touchscreen/navigation, R/V cam, leather, etc. It's my first new car & my 2nd subaru. >>>>>>>> Compared to my old manual GTI, the Ru was a little sluggish at first, but I have noticed it's a bit peppier recently. Although, nothing that feels like it'll get away from you. >>>>>>>> Coming from a custom audio system, the "stock" sound system here isn't great, but with a few EQ tweaks, it's better. >>>>>>>> I like the integration/connectivity and have had no problems with that, using both Nokia and iOS devices. I bought a 2' USB cord and just keep it plugged in, so I can access it whenever. >>>>>>>> The leather is nice and doesn't show much wear at all in the first year. Non-smoker, no kids, and no pets, so I'm pretty easy on interiors, though. >>>>>>>> I wish the front seats had more lumbar & neck curve support. I'm coming from Forester seats which were the ULTIMATE in comfort. The back seats are REALLY comfortable. >>>>>>>> The windsheield "splays" farther lights at night. Has since the first night I bought it (brand new). Wish that wasn't the case. I had just replaced the windshield in my old Ru, solely for that reason. Plus, the windshield does seem to "nick" easier than other cars I've owned. >>>>>>>> But, those are my only two real complaints. All else is great! Have hit a few big potholes over the year that I was sure would cause major damage and so far, no flat tires or alignment issues. >>>>>>>> I do wish the roof rails came with cross bars, even basic ones, as my old subaru did. Otherwise, they just cause extra drag and reduced MPG. I do like how they look, though. >>>>>>>> My average MPG isn't close to 36 (or 30, for that matter), but I do mostly very short, city drives, and even am usually only on the highway for a few exits. When I have taken long drives, the car (& my calculations) confidently report 30+ MPG. >>>>>>>> Interestingly, I drove a friend's who was almost exactly the same age, but not a Sport Limited, and mine did feel a teensey bit "tighter" on the curves. I believe there are a few mm's difference between come component that aids this. >>>>>>>> While there may be other cars with better audio or better pick-up, I'm quite happy with my Impreza, as it satisfies all my needs and is safe, to boot. It feels good to drive and fits my stuff without extra wasted space."

9 people out of 15 found this review helpful

Don't trust CVT system/bring back TRUE manuals!!

By on Saturday, March 28, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 39,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Safety,exterior,reliability, gas mileage 4 AWD"

Cons: "CVT & interior quality"

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

"My 3rd Subaru (: Currently have a(hatchback)Sport Limited w/ GREAT sound system (maybe due to it being a Limited), handling remains awesome, & space is decent for size. Noticed a decent # of people don't realize what AWD equals: LESS gas mileage. Gas mileage is actually REALLY GOOD for being AWD & of it's collision quality standards. For snow & rain: AWD handles better than any other. Live in WA, so AWD is more important than a minute MPG difference for it's class size. Also, Subaru is 1 of the safest cars (if not safest!) when compared to others same size; research it's side impact test results/scores (: **Subarus hold their resale value well for a reason** BUT, I HOPE SUBARU GETS RID OF OR PERFECTS THEIR CVT concept; think it messes up the transmission. I am noticing a "whine" & TERRIBLE auto shifting when I use it..Have driven many manuals over 20 years & am now afraid to use this car's CVT system. ADVICE TO CORPORATE: PLEASE BRING BACK THE TRUE MANUALS & PLEASE ALSO REFOCUS ON INTERIOR QUALITY!! Otherwise, I won't have a 4th Subaru.. ):"

5 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Worse car to own EVER!!!

By on Friday, March 27, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,000

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
1/10
Styling
1/10
Comfort
1/10

Pros: "none"

Cons: "cons??? everything... this car is terrible"

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

"I have owned a total of 17 cars in my life and the 2014 Subaru hatchback impreza was the only Subaru that I have owned. I never thought twice because their reputation is solid. However this is the biggest hunk of junk I have ever seen. To start... in 3 months I have had 4 flat tires... two at once! I went over the smallest of potholes and you get an immediate flat. I am by no means a fast driver either. When I went to a tire place I was told these types of tires do that. There is nothing to them and they blow out at the smallest bump... 340.00 per tire later... The car also has such a delay in shifting. This is not ok for a brand new 26,000 car! I brought it to my dealership twice thinking its a bad transmission and I have been told both times its the car design, not the transmission... um okay... also if you drive it in snow... which living in Mass is why I bought it... well you can't. Snow builds up in the tire rimes and after 30 MPH the car shakes so bad its scary to drive. I brought my car to the dealership and was again told its the design there's nothing wrong with the car... um actually there's a lot wrong with this car! the jack for the ipod in tucked deep in the arm rest in between the two front seats. Yeah who ever thought of that was a genius. you literally have to pull over to plug in your ipod. really poor gas mileage. I average about 25 miles per gallon... when I bought the car I was told 35. This is the worst car I have ever owned. oh and not to mention... the car is 13 months old and its worth only half what I paid for it... so much for Subaru's keeping their value... stay away from this car... go with a Mazda 3... cheaper and a much better car. I miss mine..."

1 person out of 18 found this review helpful

Impreza are impresive

By on Tuesday, March 24, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"this car is amazing am sad because I have to get rid of it but yeah great, gas milage, is fast, responsive in general Subaru is an amazing car."

5 people out of 8 found this review helpful

i bought it for the supossed 37mpg. it averaged 27

By on Saturday, March 21, 2015

I owned and sold this car
Reason: bad gas mileage; gas smell in car; car died while going down road 35 mph; exhaust stunk

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
4/10
Reliability
4/10
Quality
3/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Looks. Holds road with good tires."

Cons: "cvt transmission Issues. mpg. low quality"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2

"The interior quality is low. Polyester material snags easily, & cheap vinyl. The tires that came on it were the worst! I slid on leaves. I was afraid to drive my new subaru on winter roads until i bought better tires. Couldnt leave car running as the exhaust was aweful! The cvt transmission was troublesome. It was a nice looking car but i needed something with better gas mileage and bigger- i got both! The idiot light wasnt recording the issues i was having so the subaru mechanics couldnt check the potential problems under warranty,"

1 person out of 6 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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