2012 Subaru Impreza Hatchback Review | Edmunds.com

2012 Subaru Impreza Hatchback

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Subaru Impreza Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.0 L Flat 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain All Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 148 hp @ 6200 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 25/33 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2012 Subaru Impreza

  • B Edmunds Rating
  • The redesigned 2012 Subaru Impreza 2.0i is a more appealing and competitive small car. The carryover Impreza WRX and STI still offer plenty of performance, but are saddled with many of the faults of the previous-generation car.

  • Safety | Rating Details
  • Pros

    Standard all-wheel drive; 2.0i's good fuel economy; high-quality and spacious interior for 2.0i; wickedly quick WRX and STI models.

  • Cons

    Disappointing cabin quality of WRX and STI; STI lacks the dynamic edge of rivals; substandard sound systems.

  • What's New for 2012

    The regular 2012 Subaru Impreza has been completely redesigned. Highlights include a more fuel-efficient engine, updated styling and a roomier and higher-quality interior. Last year's high-performance WRX and STI variants carry over unchanged. The Outback Sport has been discontinued.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews


1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Already traded it!

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Subaru Impreza

Bought this car new in Feb 2011. Loved the looks and wanted that legendary Subaru reliability. Boy, we were sorely mistaken. We just traded it in after the last straw--and it's January, 2013. We had to have the engine REPLACED at 18K. REPLACED. This is a dealer-serviced car, driven gently back and forth to work and to the grocery store, etc. Engine knocked, we took it in, and it spent the next MONTH and change in the shop. After they replaced the engine, we thought everything was okay--until a few weeks ago, when it began knocking AGAIN. We took it back in. For the last time. We traded that heap and haven't looked back. This car was probably a lemon, but still disappointed.




Great overall value!

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Subaru Impreza

Bought new and now have currently about 28k miles. Overall great car, suspension is very forgiving but a little to soft for my opinion-that is my only gripe. MPG I average 28-30 on hwy and about 23-25 city. A lot of the wrx components can be switched to the 2.5i such as suspension or brakes. The 2.5i brakes compared to the wrx brakes are pretty stupid IMO; both have same caliper but different size rotors-I upgraded to wrx rotors using wrx caliper bracket and braking is much better now. Handles great in snow, the only thing that limits it is the crappy oem tires. Overall a great car for someone looking for a AWD vehicle at a great price. Do not overlook this car, you will not regret it!




Okay first impression from first

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Subaru Impreza

I leased a 2011 Impreza Outback Sport (all weather package) in April 2011. I've since put about 18k miles on it and am reasonably satisfied with it so far. It's not a performance model but it's fun to drive and with the seats folded down I get plenty of space to haul things like my entire acoustic drum set. It's your typical, versatile Subaru, but the the quality of the interior is a bit lacking. The seats' cloth is thin and feels flimsy. The front passenger door has rattled from the speaker's bass since day 1. The driver side head rest wobbles a bit. I can even feel where the posts end in the seat-back when I lean my head against it. Also the center console latch broke 3 weeks in.



1 of 16 people found this review helpful

I hoped they fixed problems

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Subaru Impreza

We had a 2002 Impreza Outback Sport (the hatchback Impreza). At 150,00 Head Gasket and Catalytic Converter went. They broke again 50,000 miles later. The 2002 model only lasted 200,000 miles and Subaru Annapolis and Subura National Customer Service said it is not worth fixing a 200,000 mile car; buy a new one. What?!? That is why we bought a Subaru- to go the distance more than other cars....I'd be scared to buy this one unless you get it for the price of a Hyundai!



3 of 5 people found this review helpful

1st subaru owned of many

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Subaru Impreza

I had never owned a Subaru before and neither had anyone in my family. In the 90's I was drawn away from the brand just because of the somewhat biased social stigmatism attached to the company. When my old truck blew it's motor two years ago I knew that I wanted an AWD car and began looking into Subarus. I was first looking at the Impreza Sport because of the size and versatility of the vehicle but immediately fell in love with the wide body design of the 2011 Impreza WRX. Took a test drive and the rest, as they say, is history. A little over a year and 16,000 miles later I still leave my sales consultant job at a Subaru dealership and look forward to my drive home everyday.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Great experience

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Subaru Impreza

Purchasing my second Subaru has been a great experience. I wanted a car that I could be confident in winter weather. The entire staff at Roberts Subaru in Downingtown PA were outstanding and went out of their way to make sure that I was completely satisfied. The salesman even went to another dealership out of state to get me the car I wanted. I would recommend both Roberts and Subaru to anyone who wants service and reliability.



Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 25
  • cty
/
  • 33
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs

Full 2012 Subaru Impreza Review

What's New for 2012

The regular 2012 Subaru Impreza has been completely redesigned. Highlights include a more fuel-efficient engine, updated styling and a roomier and higher-quality interior. Last year's high-performance WRX and STI variants carry over unchanged. The Outback Sport has been discontinued.

Introduction

Thanks to standard all-wheel drive and a strong safety record, the Subaru Impreza has become a popular alternative to more well-known small sedans and hatchbacks in the compact class. With the fully redesigned 2012 Subaru Impreza, the model maintains its strengths while becoming more appealing to a wider range of car shoppers.

It starts with styling. While the new look is hardly what we'd call handsome, it aligns the Impreza more closely with its Legacy and Outback siblings. More importantly, the interior is more spacious and the design, construction and materials have been improved. In terms of quality, the 2012 Subaru Impreza now has one of the nicest cabins in the small-car market.

There are more changes under the hood. Gone is the familiar 2.5-liter flat-4 engine that has powered the Impreza in various forms for about the past 15 years. In its place is a smaller 2.0-liter flat-4 that produces 148 horsepower. It's less powerful than the 2.5 liter, but offers better fuel economy; Subaru even claims the Impreza is the most fuel-efficient all-wheel-drive gasoline-fueled car you can buy.

Unfortunately for car enthusiasts, the high-performance Impreza WRX and STI are not all-new for 2012. That said, they're still quite fun to drive, boasting powerful turbocharged engines and slick handling at a low price. The current STI has always been overshadowed by the Mitsubishi Evolution, but the regular WRX remains the quickest car in its class and quite the performance bargain.

Overall, the new 2012 Impreza 2.0i should be a good choice for shoppers looking for a comfortable, frugal and safe compact car (especially if they live in the snowbelt). We'd still suggest taking a looking at other top competitors, as models like the Ford Focus, Hyundai Elantra and Mazda 3 can be more stylish and more enjoyable to drive.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The redesigned 2012 Subaru Impreza is available as a sedan or hatchback. Both come in 2.0i, 2.0i Premium and 2.0i Limited trim levels, while the hatchback adds 2.0i Sport Premium and 2.0i Sport Limited trims. The WRX and STI trim levels are high-performance versions of the previous-generation Impreza.

The Impreza 2.0i comes standard with 15-inch steel wheels, full power accessories, keyless entry, air-conditioning, a height-adjustable driver seat, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, 65/35 split-folding rear seats, a trip computer and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player.

The Impreza 2.0i Premium adds 16-inch alloy wheels, foglamps, cruise control, an adjustable front center armrest, a cargo cover (hatchback), Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, and a six-speaker sound system with an auxiliary audio jack, an iPod/USB audio interface and steering-wheel controls. The Alloy Wheel package adds 17-inch wheels and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter. The All-Weather package adds heated mirrors, a windshield wiper de-icer and heated front seats.

The 2.0i Limited includes both of the Premium's packages and adds automatic headlights, automatic climate control, leather upholstery, a rear center armrest, a touchscreen audio interface and HD radio.

The 2.0i Sport Premium adds to the regular Premium equipment 17-inch wheels, roof rails, two-tone body color, different upholstery and the All-Weather package. The 2.0i Sport Limited adds to this the regular Limited's extra items.

The Premium, Limited and Sport Limited can be equipped with a sunroof and a navigation system, the latter of which includes a touchscreen interface, voice controls, HD radio, satellite radio and real-time traffic.

The WRX is a high-performance version of the previous-generation Impreza and differs in many areas from the regular model. WRX, WRX Premium and WRX Limited trim levels are available. The base WRX is equipped similarly to the 2.0i Premium, but includes a turbocharged engine, a sport-tuned suspension, special 17-inch wheels, summer performance tires and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter. The WRX Premium adds a sunroof, a windshield wiper de-icer and heated front seats. The WRX Limited adds xenon headlights and leather upholstery. A navigation system is optional on both the Premium and Limited, but is of an older design than the one found on the 2.0i.

The WRX STI is equipped similarly to the base WRX, but ups the performance ante even further. It gains a six-speed manual transmission, 18-inch wheels, high-performance tires, Brembo brakes, front and rear limited-slip differentials, SI-Drive vehicle settings, an even more aggressively tuned suspension and a bigger hood scoop along with xenon headlights, heated seats and faux-suede and leather upholstery. The WRX STI Limited adds foglights, 18-inch BBS wheels, a sunroof and leather upholstery. A navigation system is optional on the STI trims as well. A choice of XM or Sirius satellite radio providers is a dealer-installed option along with a wealth of other accessories.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2012 Subaru Impreza 2.0i models feature a 2.0-liter, horizontally opposed "boxer" four-cylinder engine that produces 148 hp and 145 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual transmission is standard and is coupled to a "symmetrical" all-wheel-drive system with a 50/50 front/rear power distribution. Optional is a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) coupled to a different all-wheel-drive system that proportions more power to the front wheels, but vectors power rearward when traction is needed. In states with California emissions standards, this engine is available with Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle (PZEV) certification.

In Edmunds performance testing, a CVT-equipped Impreza went from zero to 60 mph in 9.6 seconds -- a bit slow compared to other compact sedans, but they don't have all-wheel drive either. EPA-estimated fuel economy with the manual is 25 mpg city/34 mpg highway (33 for the hatchback) and 28 mpg combined. Getting the CVT improves those estimates to 27/36/30.

The Impreza WRX gets a turbocharged 2.5-liter boxer four-cylinder that produces 265 hp and 244 lb-ft of torque. A five-speed manual and the symmetrical all-wheel-drive system are obligatory. In Edmunds testing, a WRX went from zero to 60 mph in 5.3 seconds, which is the quickest time among similarly priced high-performance compacts. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 19/25/21.

The STI gets a version of the same engine boosted up to 305 hp and 290 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual is standard. It went from zero to 60 in 4.5 seconds and achieves fuel economy of 17/23/19.

Safety

Every 2012 Subaru Impreza comes standard with stability and traction control, antilock disc brakes, front side airbags and side curtain airbags. The 2.0i models also have whiplash-reducing head restraints and a driver knee airbag.

In Edmunds brake testing, an Impreza 2.0i Premium with 17-inch wheels came to a stop from 60 mph in 123 feet -- an average distance for the class. The WRX came to a stop in an excellent 114 feet, while the STI did it in an even better 106 feet. In crash testing done by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, every Impreza model received the highest possible rating of "Good" in the frontal-offset, side-impact and roof strength tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

In terms of interior design and quality, the all-new Impreza 2.0i models represent a big leap forward from the previous generation; this Subaru now has one of the nicer cabins in the class. The dash and door sills have soft-touch trim, panel gaps are tighter and the design is more elegant. Although the available touchscreen infotainment interface is better than before, it's still a bit crude compared to those found in the Ford Focus and Hyundai Elantra. Subaru stereos are also known for substandard sound quality.

The WRX and STI are a different story, since they are based on the car the 2.0i replaces. The cabins are filled with hard plastics, and the fit and finish isn't of the highest quality. The touchscreen controls are also frustrating to use. Though these cars are great to drive, these compromises in cabin comfort affect your daily enjoyment.

Whether new or old, the Impreza features a spacious interior. The new 2.0i version is even bigger than before and compares favorably to the Volkswagen Jetta, itself now nearly a midsize car. Cargo space is also up for 2012, as the 2.0i sedan's trunk now holds 12 cubic feet (versus 11.3 in the WRX/STI), while the hatchback swallows 22.5 (versus 19.0) with its rear seats in use.

Driving Impressions

The 2012 Subaru Impreza 2.0i offers secure handling, nicely weighted steering, solid-feeling brakes and a ride that's compliant but nicely buttoned down. Its new four-cylinder engine returns excellent fuel economy for a car with all-wheel drive, but acceleration is a bit off the pace. For folks living in the snowbelt, the extra traction and peace of mind that all-wheel drive provides will likely be worth pokier acceleration.

There's absolutely nothing pokey about the turbocharged WRX, which offers truly impressive performance for the money. Among high-performance compact sedans and hatchbacks, nothing can touch it in a dead sprint. The WRX STI kicks it up a few more notches thanks to limited-slip differentials front and rear, powerful Brembo brakes, a six-speed manual transmission and a turbocharged rush of acceleration whenever the throttle is wide open. Ride quality for the WRX models is acceptable considering the available performance.

Talk About The 2012 Impreza

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