2012 Subaru Impreza Long-Term Road Test

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2012 Subaru Impreza: Fuel Economy Update for May

June 3, 2013

2012 Subaru Impreza

May was the final month in the long-term test of our 2012 Subaru Impreza. We did not have the Impreza but a week last month before it returned to Subaru. It was enough time to set one record, however.

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2012 Subaru Impreza: A Year Goes Quickly

May 22, 2013

2012 Subaru Impreza

Wondering why you haven't read any updates on our 2012 Subaru Impreza?

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2012 Subaru Impreza: Fuel Economy Update for April

May 2, 2013

2012 Subaru Impreza

Our time with the Subaru Impreza is coming to an end soon. We sent it off on one last road trip to Monterey, CA, which accounted for the bulk of its mileage accumulation in April. No new fuel economy milestones were reached this month. Our lifetime average remains 25.9 mpg and our best single-tank range over 400 miles.

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2012 Subaru Impreza: Monterey to Los Angeles

April 16, 2013

2012 Subaru Impreza

The final day of my road trip in our long-term 2012 Subaru Impreza is mapped out with relaxation and visual stimulation in mind. Instead of taking the faster, easier route down U.S. Highway 101 or Interstate 5, I'm taking California Highway 1. It stretches down the Pacific coast overlooking breaking waves, cliffs and bridges, while on the opposite side of the car there are towering redwood forests and endless greenery. The views are everything I expected. What I wasn't expecting, though, is the horrendous weekday traffic.

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2012 Subaru Impreza: Nevada City to Monterey, CA.

April 15, 2013

2012 Subaru Impreza

There are only 250 miles ahead of me on the second day of my road trip in our long-term 2012 Subaru Impreza. Going out with the family for brunch in Nevada City and checking out some local sites takes up most of the morning agenda before hitting the road.

I'm well rested, confident and optimistic about the shortest travelling day on my road-trip schedule. It might not be my favorite car in the compact class, but this Subaru definitely has its moments in the sun.

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2012 Subaru Impreza: Los Angeles to Nevada City

April 10, 2013

2012 Subaru Impreza

I've lived in California my entire life and I've never driven up Highway 395 or seen Lake Tahoe. This trip to Northern California in our long-term 2012 Subaru Impreza would be different. I wanted to take the long route and see something more than flat, soulless freeways. The first leg of the five-day journey will take me to my father's new home in Nevada City, CA, 532 miles away.

After a few morning hours on the road, my first stop is at a vista point on U.S. Highway 395 to stretch my legs at The Aerospace Valley.

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2012 Subaru Impreza: Fuel Economy Update for March

April 3, 2013

2012 Subaru Impreza

Our Subaru Impreza traveled 1,233 miles in the month of March, burning 87-octane fuel and averaging 24.1 mpg.

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2012 Subaru Impreza: Cargo Limit

April 1, 2013

2012 Subaru Impreza

I've begun stage two of three in the construction of my new entertainment center. I made use of our long-term Infiniti JX for stage one since it involved much more demanding hauling duties. When I chose the Impreza for this part, I have to admit, I wasn't 100-percent confident.

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2012 Subaru Impreza: Northern California Road Trip Route

March 29, 2013

2012 Subaru Impreza

I've got a little over 1,100 miles to cover in the next five days and I'll be doing it in our long-term 2012 Subaru Impreza. I'll be spending the night at my father's house in Nevada City, then spending three days in Monterey, California, and finally taking the coastal route back home to Los Angeles. There will likely be snow on the ground as I pass Mammoth Mountain and Lake Tahoe, so I'll bring the chains just in case.

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2012 Subaru Impreza: Recalled for Defective Key Fob

March 26, 2013

2012 Subaru Impreza

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Subaru has recalled 47,419 vehicles because of a key fob defect that could cause the fob to malfunction and inadvertently start the engine. Affected models include the 2010-'13 Subaru Legacy and Outback, certain 2012-'13 Subaru Imprezas and the 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek.

All the affected Subarus are outfitted with an Audiovox remote engine-starter accessory.

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2012 Subaru Impreza: User-Friendly Clock

March 20, 2013

2012 Subaru Impreza

The change-over to Daylight Saving Time (DST) happened all the way back on the 10th, but when I got into the Subie, I found that its clock was still giving me a pre-DST reading. This wasn't due to driver neglect. It was simply a function of the fact that the Impreza had been sitting idle in our garage ever since the change-over. You see, through no fault of its own, the Subie found itself getting no love from our editors that weekend when the car sign-out sheet was passed around.

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2012 Subaru Impreza: Tag, You're It

March 18, 2013

2012 Subaru Impreza

I had a vague idea of what this button does before I researched it a little bit. The HD button seemed to enable or disable the HD radio signal search, but I've found this feature, when enabled, maddening. Hi-def radio is great in concept, but lousy when the signal wavers between big, bright and clean, and then standard FM fuzziness.

I also knew the TAG part of the button involved iTunes tagging, a way to tell Apple that you really liked a song you heard and might want to buy it. I tried tapping this button a handful of times, but apparently you need your device attached, and the iOS or iPod software has to be fairly recent. I'm out on both counts.

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2012 Subaru Impreza: Fuel Economy Update for February

March 4, 2013

2012 Subaru Impreza

We put just over 2,000 miles on our long-term 2012 Subaru Impreza during the month of February, including Phil Reed's road trip to Palm Springs.

Now as the calendar flips to March, our Subie has averaged 25.9 mpg during the life of our long-term test. Best tank stands at 31 mpg, while the worst tank is a low 21.2 mpg.

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2012 Subaru Impreza: Cryptic

February 28, 2013

2012 Subaru Impreza

Really, tell me what's going on with this wiper stalk. Arrow pointing down, somewhat towards you, for a stream of wiper fluid. Three Morse code dashes for interval wipe. Fast-forward icons for constant wiper speed. This is some serious hieroglyphics just to keep water off the windshield.

Dan Frio, Automotive Editor @ 16,800 miles

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2012 Subaru Impreza: Cold Air Companion

February 27, 2013

2012 Subaru Impreza

Still hoping we have a chance to put the Impreza through some snow-covered paces in our local mountains this year, which means hoping for some big activity in the Gulf of Alaska. Nothing but sun and seventies forecasted for the next ten days around here, though. Great if you're into dirt and water sports, but not if you're fiending for moguls.

Subaru long ago identified and decided to serve a wet weather customer. That's why it seems like Subaru and Jeep are the official cars of Colorado and Washington, while an all-wheel-drive Impreza in Southern California makes about as much sense as a planter's punch at a bar in Fairbanks.

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2012 Subaru Impreza: Full of Cool Air

February 25, 2013

2012 Subaru Impreza

Some of the best weather I've ever seen happens in the winter months in Santa Monica. This morning it was 70 degrees only a few hours after the sun came up, so I found it necessary to drive around in our Subaru Impreza with all four windows down and the sunroof back. At 5'9" I'm no giant but even with the seat at a medium height setting, this Subaru felt vast on the inside.

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2012 Subaru Impreza Sport: Gutless?

February 22, 2013

2012 Subaru Impreza Sport

So let me get this straight. It's both a PZEV and an Impreza "Sport"? It certainly lives up to its green label, getting 27 mpg city and 36 highway. But where does the "Sport" part of this Subie come in?

In a previous post, I referred to the fact that the CVT makes the engine feel "gutless." A reader took me to task on this issue.

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2012 Subaru Impreza Sport: Palm Springs Road Trip

February 21, 2013

2012 Subaru Impreza Sport

Can four adults with two golf bags and luggage find happiness on the road to Palm Springs?

I was hoping to impress some out-of-town guests with a larger, more luxurious car for a trip to Joshua Tree National Park and Palm Springs. Instead, I got the keys to the 2012 Subaru Impreza. After some mental reprogramming, I decided it would be an interesting test of the car's cargo space and interior comfort.

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2012 Subaru Impreza Sport: 15K Service Visit

February 20, 2013

2012 Subaru Impreza Sport

If only all service visits were this quick and easy. We called for an early morning appointment and then dropped off our 2012 Subaru Impreza Sport at Subaru of Santa Monica. We told the service advisor we wanted an oil and filter change and a tire rotation. He wrote everything up and said he recommended adding a new air condition filter for a total of $240. We declined the filter since it wasn't called for on the scheduled maintenance. This dropped the price to $127.47.

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2012 Subaru Impreza: 15k Milestone

February 13, 2013

2012 Subaru Impreza

Our long-term 2012 Subaru Impreza 2.0i Sport Limited reached the 15k milestone during its recent road trip to Scottsdale, Arizona. And wouldn't you know it? I wasn't paying attention to the odometer and completely missed taking a photo when it happened.

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2012 Subaru Impreza: One Tin Radio

February 8, 2013

2012 Subaru Impreza

No matter how I adjust the audio settings in our 2012 Subaru Impreza, it still sounds oddly tinny to me. It's like the music is coming from underneath a cheap metal bowl.

I don't profess to be a stereo expert, but I feel the same way every time I drive the Impreza. After fooling around with it, I usually just turn the volume down to zero. I'd rather hear silence than feel even slightly annoyed.

Kelly Toepke, News Editor @ 14,270 miles

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2012 Subaru Impreza: Road Trip!

February 7, 2013

2012 Subaru Impreza

Don't get too excited. I'm just driving to Scottsdale, Arizona in our 2012 Subaru Impreza 2.0i Sport Limited. Should be about 760 miles round trip. Along the way there will be some of the most mind-numbingly boring desert landscape known to this country. And plenty of it.

Still, there's something about a road trip. Man and machine out on the open road. Good thinking time, good music-listening time, and maybe I'll play a book as well. Certainly good car evaluating time. And MAT (Mikey Alone Time).

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2012 Subaru Impreza: Funny Vanity Plate

February 6, 2013

2012 Subaru Impreza

When I spotted this vanity plate on this Subaru Impreza WRX on the way in to work today, I couldn't help but guffaw. Team America: World Police has a special place in my heart ever since I had to play Kim Jong-Il for our 24 Hours of Lemons race. In any case, wondered if the owner of this Subie was a fan, too, or if this tied in to their Impreza somehow.

Subaru Impreza owners, do you have a vanity plate for your car? If so, what is it and did your Subie inspire it?

Caroline Pardilla, Deputy Managing Editor

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2012 Subaru Impreza: Fuel Economy Update for January

February 4, 2013

2012 Subaru Impreza

During the month of January we packed about 2,100 trouble-free miles on our 2012 Subaru Impreza 2.0i Sport Limited, thanks largely to two road trips, one to Las Vegas, Nevada and another to Scottsdale, Arizona. We averaged 26.3 mpg for the month of January using 87 octane fuel.

The gas mileage we achieved for the month is actually just a smidge better than the 25.9 mpg we've averaged over the car's 14,752 miles. But it also means that, even though the Impreza is a fairly fuel efficient car, we continue to fall short of the EPA's 30 mpg combined rating.

Mike Monticello, Road Test Editor @ 14,752 miles

Worst Fill MPG: 21.2
Best Fill MPG: 31.0
Average Lifetime MPG: 25.9
EPA MPG Rating (City/Highway Combined): 30.0
Best Range: 437.5 miles
Current Odometer: 14,752 miles

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2012 Subaru Impreza: Twitchy Throttle

February 1, 2013

2012 Subaru Impreza

As an ex-Subaru employee, I have a soft spot for Subarus. I cheer for the company, my friends, and the all-wheel-drive heritage I've come to admire.

That being said, I don't like driving our long-term 2012 Impreza. I like the idea of it — sporty, capable, practical — but the twitchy throttle and numbing CVT kill my Subie buzz every time I leave the parking lot. It then takes me at least a day or two of driving it consistently to remember just how to modulate the rabbit-jerky gas pedal.

This weekend, my daughter's friend said from the backseat: "Don't worry, my mom doesn't know how to drive a stick very good either."

Between the non-linear power delivery and the long wind-up of the CVT, she actually thought I was driving a manual. Poorly.

As if.

Kelly Toepke, News Editor @ 14,254 miles

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2012 Subaru Impreza Sport: The Disappearing Handbrake

January 31, 2013

2012 Subaru Impreza Sport

The sound of the handbrake was often the satisfying conclusion to many car trips. It was somehow cathartic to yank up on the brake, feel the ratchet gear clicking and hear the staccato grrrrickkk! You had arrived. The trip was over. Your work was done.

But lately, you accomplish the brake-setting ritual with the press of a button and all the work is done electrically, silently. Where's the fun in that? It's one more little thing taken away from people who like to drive cars. Perhaps the electric emergency brake is better. But I like the direct connection with the mechanical world like there is in the 2012 Subaru Impreza Sport.

Philip Reed, Senior Consumer Advice Editor @ 14,135 miles

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2012 Subaru Impreza Sport: Fuel Sipper MPG Report

January 30, 2013

2012 Subaru Impreza Sport

In our Fuel Sipper Smackdown the editors take several cars and drive three different routes: backroads, city and highway. It's a good test of a car's capability since some cars shine on the open road while others (mainly hybrids) do well around town.

I had a chance to follow the same route on a trip to Las Vegas recently. For my highway mileage I got 27.1 mpg over 361 miles of mainly highway driving cruising at about 75 mph. Oddly enough, over 178 miles of city driving, I got 30.5 mpg. And on the return trip, I got 27.2 mpg over 296 miles of winding road through Death Valley. Over the entire trip, 835 miles, my fuel economy was 27.8 mpg, less than the 30 mpg combined the EPA predicts.

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The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2012 Subaru Impreza in VA is:

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