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 (5 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

1 of 6 people found this review helpful

Oil consumption - piece of

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

I purchased this car new and it was never abused. This is my first Subaru and the awd was appealing. This car is Very disappointing! Around 14k miles the car started burning approx 1 quart of oil every 1000 miles. Subaru said this is normal! I think the new 2.0 engine has problems. The car also sounded like it had a bad wheel bearing, the dealer said the sound is the cvt transmission and again normal. The stereo system is horrible! The build quality is really bad and at 19k miles the car is rattling and gas mileage dropped to 26 mpg. Don't make the same mistake I made, buy a Honda or Toyota and stay away from Subaru!



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Constantly amazed with this car

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

I have 4300 miles on my 2012 Limited Sedan and I could not be happier. I read some of the bad reviews and don't understand how anyone could give this car a bad review. It was very inexpensive and I am amazed by the overall experience. It rides great, handles very well, looks good, has many great features, performs well for it's class, and returns excellent gas mileage. And let's not forget the AWD. Really folks, this is not a $60,000 premium sedan. It is however, an excellent car for a very reasonable price. I consistently get between 33 and 35 miles to the gallon with a mix of highway and country road driving. Buy this car before Subaru realizes they priced it too low!!!



3 of 3 people found this review helpful

I love my impreza

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

Since I don't believe all they hype in hybrids (i.e. what do you do when the battery dies and you need a new one (A $4k cost) or how do you recycle it?) This is the best normally aspirated engine out there. Yes - I know the Hyundai models are getting 40MPG - but I alternate driving the Impreza vs. my Father-In-Laws Veloster and my Impreza returns better mileage and more acceleration and better handling.



9 of 9 people found this review helpful

Worth the wait

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

search included painful dealer drives from brand a-z,decision went to impreza; for gas mi, all wheel drive, and leg room (6'4" x 230#'s) front/back. drive from dealer2home 180mi, 68mph, avg 39.5 mpg. with all the negatives we read on style points and ride, i feel the quality of ride and performance for a sedan (limited w/o bells/whstles) price 21.5K. i did feel the intial leg work was worth it. went online and found the process painless in finding a dealer that would find the car that met our needs, just the limited with leather w/o elctronic bells/whtls. the interior will fit 4adults w/luggage. the 2nd choice was the legacy. it is our first subaru



42 of 63 people found this review helpful

Awd at its best

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

Drove all the 2wd competitors and even a 35k A3 Quattro and hands Dow the Impreza was top in all things. Yes the A3 had slightly better pickup but this car just handled so much better. This thing is on rails. For anybody looking for a small hatchback this can't be beat and is well worth a look.



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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