2012 Subaru Impreza Long Term Road Test

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.

Bankerdanny wrote: "I would argue that the CVT is not the cause of the gutless feeling, it simply exacerbates it. The cause is that Subaru's standard 2.0 and NA 2.5 are simply gutless."

Certainly, we all like to have power on tap. And the paddle shifters certainly help kick it into what feels like a lower gear. But real power, some nice low-end grunt, comes with a price. And that's why it is labeled both a "Sport" model and a PZEV (a Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle is a vehicle that has zero evaporative emissions from its fuel system).

So can you have your cake and eat it too? Or in this case, can you have your power and save the environment too? I think you can. The answer is: get the manual. True, its fuel economy ratings are lower at 25 city and 33 highway. But at least, when you step on the gas, you won't just get a lot of buzzing from under the hood. You'll also get a nice, sporty, feeling of being connected to the road.

Philip Reed, Senior Consumer Advice Editor @ 15,844 miles

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Edmunds Insurance Estimator

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

$206 per month*
* Explanation