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2012 Subaru Impreza

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2012 Subaru Impreza Review

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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
8.3
Out of 10

Based on 104 Ratings for the 2012 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.4/10
    Quality
    8.3/10
  • Reliability
    9.0/10
    Performance
    8.5/10
  • Comfort
    8.2/10
    Styling
    8.0/10

Oil Consumption Class Action Lawsuit

By on Monday, May 09, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 23,500

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
3/10
Reliability
3/10
Quality
3/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
4/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "AWD great in snow"

Cons: "Oil Consumption Class Action Lawsuit"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3

"Very unhappy with Oil Consumption Class Action Lawsuit, and Subaru's response. Unhappy with dealership, and Subaru. Dash illumination hard to see at night. Noisy interior when driving."

5 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Great AWD but a couple funky issues

By on Thursday, May 05, 2016

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

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "great price, fun to drive."

Cons: "no electric seat option, weird auto start"

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

"First: I got this new 2016 Impreza Sport Limited Hatchback for my girlfriend. I can't comment on the reliability as it's new, but based on her previous Outback I expect good reliability. The pros: I like the XM radio style better than my Ford Truck. I drove it 300 miles the first weekend and it's very comfortable. Reviews suggest the CVT makes the car drag, but it does have paddle shifters, and for a 4 cyl seems plenty powerful. The moon roof is nice. With the back seats down, it has a lot of cargo room. Very nice. The price: I did not have to talk to a car salesman as I requested an e-quote from the dealer. The price was about $700.00 under invoice or nearly $2500 under MSRP. Compared to similar cars I found this to be a very fair bottom line price since 1.49% financing was also available. The cons: If you auto start the car, it turns off when you open the door and you have to restart it once inside. The car is averaging 31.5 mpg on the highway, so not sure about the advertised 37 mpg. Granted, this was mostly at 70 mph. I've noticed the hands free phone is noisier than others when I'm talking to my girlfriend while she's driving. The funky: You would think that a sports limited would have auto electric seats, but not the Impreza. It is not an option in this vehicle (thus the 7 is for convenience), the seats are the old manual adjust. Personally, I think a Sports Limited model should come with mud-flaps, but that is an extra option. The door handle touch lock/unlock seems unnecessary. I'm not into push button starts, but that seems to be the new fad for many cars. All that being said, I still think it's a great purchase and highly recommend it. Still hoping gas mileage will improve a bit with break in."

1 person out of 3 found this review helpful

excellent value

By on Monday, May 02, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 58,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "great value responsive on highways excellent milea"

Cons: "low to ground"

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

"this vehicle averages 39 mpg on long trips with good acceleration and gives you a feeling of being very solid body wise"

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

safe, reliable fun to drive.

By on Sunday, February 28, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 75,000

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
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "priced right, comfortable to drive."

Cons: "a little noisy"

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

"Bought this new. My wife drives it 375miles a week over mtns and twisting roads and she feels very confident in all kinds of weather. Snow tires in the winter and away she goes!"

7 people out of 14 found this review helpful

Jack of All Trades, Master of Some

By on Tuesday, February 16, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "High Utility"

Cons: "Less fun than main competitor"

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

"I bought a fully loaded wagon 1 year ago. I was torn between it and another Mazda3. Fortunately, Mazda made the decision for me by making the backseat too small for my two car seats and that stupid flimsy gimmicky useless heads up display speedometer. The Impreza isn't as sporty looking, nor does it handle as well as the Mazda3. However, its utilitarian features make it a better fit for me since I need the ability to get around a congested city and still need room for two small children. It was never intended for roadtrips, I have a CX-9 for those, but I had an unexpected emergency situation last week and I was able to fit my family of four plus baggage plus two extra disassembled carseats into the Impreza without even attempting to use the roof racks. It handles Ok. If you need fast acceleration (like when passing on a single lane road) you better floor it but it gets the job done. I've been able to drive on hilly roads in snow that I previously had avoid due to not being able to get up the hills on slick roads with no problem. It's gas mileage is far superior to the Mazda3 despite the AWD. It also handles bumps and rough roads smoothly. Although these factors trade off in the fun to drive category. The interior isn't flashy but it's not overly stark like a Toyota. It's noticeably quieter than the Mazda3 which I appreciate. The eyesight system takes getting used to but now I find myself missing it when I drive my other car. Zero repairs necessary in the first year other than some body work due to a minor fender bender (100% my fault, not the car's)."

23 people out of 28 found this review helpful

I'm forever a Subaru lover!!

By on Thursday, January 21, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 17,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "AWD, fun to drive, gas mileage, reliability"

Cons: "road noise"

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

"I bought this car in October of 2014. I was reluctant, but it is one of the best purchases I have made in my life. Subaru forever has my heart and respect. This car is fabulous for winter weather. The AWD is amazing. I just recently went ice skating in this car on the Interstate. I could feel this car pull me out of sliding. With about 6 cars along side of the road and a Ford truck going off the road in front of me. My car pulled itself out of sliding and prevented it from going in a ditch. It also practically eats snow for breakfast. I have never had a problem in the winter weather in the mountains of Western Pennsylvania. I've actually helped pull a few small cars out of the snow. This car is very practical. It doesn't have fancy interior or exterior. It's a nice looking car enough. I have gotten many compliments on it, but it's not super flashy. It's very simple and I'm comfortable in it. I have never felt like I was too tall or too big to be in the small sedan. The leg room in the back is also great for adults. I've had people comment on how much leg room they actually have. I wish the standard package came with some specs that I got with the All Weather Package. Like: cruise control, dim rearview mirror, and bluetooth, but that's okay. I know subaru likes to go for more quality and practicality in the car itself than having more specs. I really like the handling in the car as well. I feel like the ride is nice. Sometimes there is some road noise, but it's not too bad. The acceleration is slow, but it's a 4 cylinder so not much to expect there. The MPG is really good for an AWD. I get about 33 MPG with regular driving."

18 people out of 21 found this review helpful

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