Find Your Credit Union

2012 Subaru Impreza: Most Efficient AWD Car in America

By Arv Voss, January 1st, 2013

The Impreza is all-new for 2012 while retaining Subaru's core technologies of Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive and a Boxer engine. There's a choice between two distinctive body configurations: a four-door sedan or a sporty five-door hatch, which is my personal favorite.

Manufacturer photo: With bolder, more dynamic designs and an all-new powertrain, the 2012 Subaru Impreza lineup offers a 30-percent improvement in fuel economy over the outgoing versions, along with increased room, greater agility and a higher level of refinement
Manufacturer photo: With bolder, more dynamic designs and an all-new powertrain, the 2012 Subaru Impreza lineup offers a 30-percent improvement in fuel economy over the outgoing versions, along with increased room, greater agility and a higher level of refinement

The all-new Impreza provides excellent fuel economy as the most fuel-efficient all-wheel drive car in America, delivering 36 miles per gallon. A number of features and systems help to enhance fuel economy, mostly achieved through improved aerodynamics; lightweight, all-new engine; Lineartronic Continuously Variable Transmission, and chassis improvements.

Starting at $18,245, the 2012 Impreza is offered in five models: base, Premium, Sport Premium, Limited and Sport Limited.

Subaru lowered the coefficient of drag for the new Impreza, optimizing the structures for lower drag, contributing to the sharper front and rear end appearance. Aerodynamic improvements include: smooth areas surrounding the fog lights; sharper edges on the rear bumpers; small tips at the back of 5-Door roof rails (included on the Sport model) help to smooth airflow; specially shaped mudguards under the front wheel wells; a large cover under the front end; and air flaps in front of all four wheels.

The all-new 2.0-liter engine delivers 148 horsepower, along with 145 lb.-ft. of torque, and is a more fuel efficient version of the 2.5-liter that powers the Subaru Forester. The CVT equipped Impreza comes with paddle shifters, which differs from the CVT found in Subaru's Legacy and Outback models. The Impreza CVT is lighter and more compact, with wide ratio gearing and advanced chain drive that improve operating efficiency by 10 percent over the previous four-speed automatic transmission. The Impreza's CVT enables the driver to select manually from six forward speeds with shifts that are immediate and crisp, providing a manual gearbox-type experience.

Manufacturer photo: With bolder, more dynamic designs and an all-new powertrain, the 2012 Subaru Impreza lineup offers a 30-percent improvement in fuel economy over the outgoing versions, along with increased room, greater agility and a higher level of refinement

In terms of its exterior appearance, in addition to the new front and rear fascia treatments, the latest Impreza features a lower stance and more rakish overall profile, with a bolder, more athletic image. Thanks to redesigned door panels, the 2012 Impreza offers increased hip and shoulder room, and the rear seat passengers benefit from nearly 2 inches of extra legroom. Sedan trunk space and five-door cargo area are both increased, and the five-door now provides a completely flat load floor with the standard 65/35 split rear seatbacks folded.

Moving to the interior, richer appointments and details abound, including soft-touch materials for the dashboard, door trim and center console armrest. Larger door pockets can hold plastic drink bottles and large maps. Numerous compartments are located in and around the center console.

My test 2012 Subaru Impreza came in the five-door hatch configuration in Sport Premium trim, combining standard 17-inch alloy wheels and All-Weather Package with fog lights, roof rails, a unique seat fabric and rocker panel spoilers with a base price of $20,595.

The 2012 Subaru Impreza's new amenities, high-line trim levels, infotainment technology and higher-grade interior materials all blend to deliver a heightened driving experience. In fact, the new 2.0-liter feels even more responsive than the 2.5-liter engine that it replaces, thanks to reduced vehicle weight, especially when equipped with the new, second-generation Lineartronic CVT that provides the response of a manual gearbox.

Acceleration is admirable, handling characteristics are sporty and responsive, while ride quality is compliant and comfortable, with a most pleasant interior ambience.

Manufacturer photo: With bolder, more dynamic designs and an all-new powertrain, the 2012 Subaru Impreza lineup offers a 30-percent improvement in fuel economy over the outgoing versions, along with increased room, greater agility and a higher level of refinement

Both the Impreza sedan and five-door models offer an impressive value for the price. My preference is the five-door model, as it displays a sportier wagon look, along with added versatility and functionality.

Specifications

Base price $20,595 (as tested: $22,414)
Curb weight 3,075 lbs.
Displacement 2.0-liter
Engine type 16-valve boxer 4-cylinder w/SMPFI
Epa mileage rating 27 mpg city, 36 mpg highway
Fuel capacity 14.5 gal.
Horsepower (net) 148 at 6200 rpm
Overall length 173.8 in.
Torque (lb.-ft.) 145 at 4200 rpm
Transmission CVT
Vehicle type 5-passenger AWD midsize hatchback
Nissan Versa: All-New for 2020

01/25

Nissan Versa: All-New for 2020

Nissan worked hard for more than a decade for an unusual honor. Its Versa, named after an acronym for versatile space, was the cheapest new car available in the United States. Not many years ago, the subcompact's base price was just under $10,000. The Versa's designation was via price only, not a rap on its quality.

Mazda CX-30: 2020 Resolutions Bring Change

01/18

Mazda CX-30: 2020 Resolutions Bring Change

Do you have a plan to remake some aspect of yourself in the new year? Lose weight and eat healthier? Get more exercise or change your hairstyle? Many of us do. So, too, does Mazda.

Jeep Cherokee High Altitude: Lofty Choice

01/11

Jeep Cherokee High Altitude: Lofty Choice

Some folks in the traditionalist Jeep camp weren't happy when the design language of the iconic Jeep Cherokee changed with the 2014 lineup. Some Jeepsters were fans of the Jeep Liberty, which was replaced by the Cherokee. The 2020 Jeep Cherokee represents a radical departure from the Cherokee of old.

Off Lease Vehicles

Hundreds of one owner, off-lease cars, trucks & SUVs with low mileage at a great price!

Additional Resources

Most Researched

2020 Honda Accord EX
EX 4dr Sedan
2020 Jeep Cherokee Limited
4x4 Limited 4dr SUV
2019 Audi A4 2.0T quattro Premium
AWD 2.0T quattro Premium 4dr Sedan
2020 Toyota RAV4 Limited
AWD Limited 4dr SUV
2020 Ford F-150 Lariat
4x4 Lariat 4dr SuperCab 8 ft. LB