2012 Subaru Impreza Consumer Review: Major Things Great, Some Minor

2012 Subaru Impreza - Consumer Review

Average Consumer Rating

82 Total Reviews

2.0i Limited PZEV 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4-cyl. AWD CVT Automatic)

Build Quality
Reliability Value
16 of 31 people found this review helpful
By rickrobin on


2012 Subaru Impreza 2.0i Limited PZEV 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.0L 4cyl CVT)


A very different kind of car to drive, esp with the CVT. But once you get used to it, you can make it do whatever you want, with your foot, or the shifter paddles on the steering wheel.
There are some ergonomics and tire/wind/vent noise problems, though. And-ABSOLUTELY UNACCEPTABLE-YOU CANNOT USE THE TONE CONTROLS WHEN THE CAR IS MOVING, nor turn on/off HD radio, nor use speed dial presets. When did Subaru replace the legislatures in this country? Meanwhile, the poorly placed front cup holders are far more dangerous. Subaru's answer to that? Manual pg. 6-6: Don't use them when the car is moving!
Inconsistent, self-serving, outrageous.

Best Features

A Swiss Army Knife of a car! Handling, comfort, economy, practicality. Handles like a sports car, with a firm but comfy ride, and ample room for 4 full size adults. Rear seats fold FLAT, and cargo space is excellent. And the Subaru AWD system is nothing short of a revelation! The best feature-maybe the best one ever on a shiftable automatic-is that you can leave it in Drive (as against full manual mode), and still use the paddles to downshift for engine braking, or an instant burst of speed, and then the trans just returns to Drive! The only time I have ever owned an auto trans car before was when a standard wasn't available, yet I don't miss the shifter. That's how much fun this thing is!

Worst Features

Radios should be optional, or at least a reasonable choice provided. This arbitrary, self-serving usurpation of power to restrict liberties and choices of the public must to be stopped, and I am pursuing this. Otherwise, sound deadening material or whatever is needed to quiet excess tire, wind, wheel well noise. The shifter needs to be moved or shrunk to make room for sensibly placed cup holders, & more usable console storage. The seats, while very comfortable, need somewhat less aggressive side bolsters, and the driver's door control console needs to be reshaped and softened so it doesn't hurt your knee in some positions. Subaru is petty about extras that should be standard in Prem. & LTD.
Recommend (16) (15)

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Comments (4) Post a Comment
By irritatrix
on 05/05/12 20:42 PM (PDT)

You know you can turn that feature off, right? If you press the MENU button on mine, an option comes up where you can turn the speed volume control on or off - mine was preset at OFF at the factory and I only found this out when flipping through the menu.

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By seafields6
on 03/28/12 19:17 PM (PDT)

Rick, is correct. Can't use tone controls while driving. I would also like to add that Subaru does some good things with their cars but stereos are NOT one of them. This is our 3rd Subie. The '09 had an "upgraded" Harmon kardon & it was just OK. '10 Legacy Premium sucked. This '12 Limited has the upgraded Kicker brand speakers ( a $300+ option) 6 speakers I think, and is a bit better than the sucky '10 but not much. Hey tin-eared Subaru, hire an audio engineer! Also, if there wasn't so much road noise from the lousy Yokohama S34D tires (check Tire Rack survey ratings for these tires) they are rated DEAD last in their category) we might be able to hear the stereo. Oh, and some sound insulation might help, too. Go drive a '12 Ford Focus if you need to see how to do it.

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By rickrobin
on 03/26/12 18:48 PM (PDT)

Thanks, Cherry! Is your Premium a 2012? (Actually I think they started this nonsense in 2011.) To repeat, on my 2012 LTD you cannot use the tone controls, turn off the HD radio, or use speed dial presets when the car is in motion. And the cup holders I'm referring to are the ones on the center console, not the bottle holder ones on the doors. BTW, I've gotten around the radio lockouts - and found out how to access the "hidden" menu where the horrible overall eq and loudness settings are. Check out my posts on NASIOC.

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By cherryfan
on 03/16/12 20:54 PM (PDT)

Rick, not sure what you're complaining about. My lowly Premium allows me to use the tone controls whenever I want. And those front (door) cupholders seem designed for water bottles, not cups. They work just fine with tall, thin bottles, and I appreciate that. Otherwise, I totally agree with your review! Great observations.

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