2012 Subaru Impreza Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2012 Subaru Impreza Sedan

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Subaru Impreza Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.0 L Flat 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain All Wheel Drive
  • Transmission CVT Automatic
  • Horse Power 148 hp @ 6200 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 27/36 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2012 Subaru Impreza

  • 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
  • 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

  Average Consumer Rating (9 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Great awd, some annoying weaknesses

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Vehicle: 2012 Subaru Impreza 2.0i Premium 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl CVT)

Bought this because I needed AWD, but didn't want a truck or an SUV. When conditions make AWD necessary, I love this car. Other times I like it a lot, but there are several things that keep me from loving it. See my suggested improvements for these comments. If you need AWD, this car has very few competitors in its price range. Of the 4 cars I own, when weather is bad, everyone wants to drive the Impreza.




More daewoo than subaru

by on
Vehicle: 2012 Subaru Impreza 2.0i Premium 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl CVT)

As an owner of a '12 Subaru Impreza 2.0 Premium, I wouldn't recommend the purchase of this car. The quality is far less than that of the '08 - '11 Impreza. The engine is loud, and has intense vibration, weatherproofing is shoddy, road noise interferes with conversation, interior materials rattle, and scratch easily. The seat fabric has folded in some parts, and became unwoven in others, the driver seat squeaks when your body shifts (only 178 lbs). Seats are uncomfortable on long trips (my Pontiac Vibe had more comfortable and supportive seats). Gets a combined 28 MPG (rated as 27/36 MPG).



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

I love my impreza!!!!!

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Vehicle: 2012 Subaru Impreza 2.0i Premium 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl CVT)

For years I've been driving Toyota's. When it came time for me to buy a new car though, I wanted something different. I found the different in a brand new 2012 Subaru Impreza Premium. So far, it is AMAZING!!!! I've never been excited about a car, but this I'm pinching myself going, "Hey, this really is your car....this isn't a dream." I realize that I'm still in the honeymoon phase, but I do plan to update this review in time to point out any problems or issues I've come across.



3 of 3 people found this review helpful

A great car, for the

by on
Vehicle: 2012 Subaru Impreza 2.0i Premium 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl CVT)

When I initially got the car, it was winter and I did get some not-so-impressive mileage ratings which made me think I had made a bad decision, since mpg was one of the biggest factors for buying this vehicle. But it got better in a few months after getting it - either because the engine was broken in, or because it is summer now. I am happier now than I was then. Some minor issues prevent me from giving it an awesome rating.



5 of 5 people found this review helpful

Amazing car

by on
Vehicle: 2012 Subaru Impreza 2.0i Premium 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl CVT)

I must say that I am unbelievably pleased with my purchase. I have over 3600 miles on my Impreza now, and about to get my first oil change. The gas mileage going 70mph from Virginia beach through the WV moutains was 35MPG, not far from the EPA estimate. The car handles extremely well, and I never felt insecure even in torrential downpours. I could never ask for better brakes. Nothing feels cheap, the interior parts and pieces fit perfectly, and best of all there is absolutely no rattles. The only issue I have with this car, is that the stereo was far under par. But this issue was fixed with a new headunit. Even with the upgraded stock unit, it sounded horrible at any volume over 20.



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

First subaru

by on
Vehicle: 2012 Subaru Impreza 2.0i Premium 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl CVT)

This is my very first Subaru, and I was a bit hesitant since all I've owned were Hondas and toyotas. But I have to say, I'm impressed with my purchase thus far. This car feels very safe and is a great value for an awd. Fuel efficiency is good, getting on average 29 mpg mostly highway. Not anywhere near the EPA ratings at the dealer, but i anticipate it to improve as its broken in more as I just have 3000 miles (5000 km). Seats are nice and supportive, better than our previous civic which constantly gave me back pains. Styling at the front is kinda boring looking, but the rear looks real sporty. As for acceleration, I won't be in any street races, that's for sure.



Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 27
  • cty
/
  • 36
  • 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.

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