Review: 2012 Subaru Impreza

Posted on 09. Dec, 2011 by in Auto News

It is particularly unpleasant kind of weather, Vancouver does best: temperature hovers just above zero degrees socialist, wind whipping one smirr fine rain and some useless flapping umbrellas and directly in your unprotected earhole, an all-pervasive moisture seeping from the puddled sidewalk and penetrates to the bone. "Beautiful BC" my posterior chilly, today is so cold and wet like a beluga swimming trunks.

Then again, it's perfect weather for testing a new Subaru.

I'm an early arrival to the event, after the city came up public transport to the expected traffic snarls, and so go into a nearly empty press room. The usual assortment of articles is on the table (if I ever decide to, a lanyard n 'Open thumb drive emporium, I have at least one year worth of shares before) together with a Subaru-branded toque.

A hood. How fitting.

And how to tell. During the power-point presentation, we badge a picture of a huge mostly a silver Subaru Impreza sedan covered shown earlier generation. In addition to the relief of not having to see the carved-from-a-bar-of-Lever-2000 form last year's Subie, there is a message here.

The PR people explain: Subaru is a brand with strong associations. Mention it and the image immediately jumps from a Forester with two kayaks strapped to the roof and interior of perfume wet golden retriever sense. Either that, or a mud-caked, flared-out STi, Quad roostertails threw gravel, as it pop-pop-pops through the sharp turns of a forest stage, sandblasting the spots off Bambi and Thumper give tinnitus.

Impreza? Oh, that's the cheapest they make. It's sturdy and utilitarian objects, and about as sexy as a tarp. It is not very efficient or stylish, but those are the penalties to pay you if a small, all-wheel-drive car like.

No more, this is what the Subaru ways. It's time for the WRX / STi line to get a divorce from the Impreza, the smallest Subie rid brightened and dialed in for normally-aspirated engine fuel consumption. What's more, it is time to shift design – and perception – away from "rugged" to "urban", and thus, hopefully, shopping lists on more small car buyer.

From a styling perspective, the Impreza is already a triumph. Discounting the rally WRXs – box flares and hood coops can be a kind of stylistic panacea – it had four good looking Subarus have always been: the new Impreza is one of them.

Side-by-side with the old model, the sharp, angular lines of the Impreza go beyond, "a breath of fresh air." Headlights have a touch of anime Dragon Ball Z to them, and the Impreza carries the new corporate wrinkles much better than the Legacy panel. The multi-spoke 17 "wheels this sports package look great, but we are sure that a huge pain in the ass to clean.

Other than that seem, some of the improvements generated styling compromises. Especially in view of the comparative size of the greenhouses in both cars. While the larger, highly raked windshield is immediately obvious, you can also see that the belt-line is coming down a bit. Improving visibility The Big Fix on the back, of course, get rid of this ghastly clear tail lights – and dig that spoiler – but blind spots have not really increased.

Inside, the cabin is also much better. It is a conservative layout, but very pleasant, and the amount of soft-touch plastics has increased fivefold. I particularly liked the cooked seem sweet appearance of the park-anywhere button and chunky dials for the HVAC designed for easy use of gloves. The seats are comfortable too, though perhaps not unduly reinforce.

Of course there is still much room for internal improvement – this is a Subaru after all. The tiny switchgear for the seat heating is crammed just aft of the emergency brake and difficult to use. The stereo is the old double-DIN setup, and while it is iPod connectivity, it is not just strong – I did not have a chance to try the Pioneer audio upgrade. The multi-function display of the AWD using reading (reminded me of the old XT6) is a bit of fun, but it does not display iPod functions.

Cargo-wise takes the tailgate top bill-of-lading, with seats fold mostly flat and turns your Impreza to a gravel-ready furniture van. Better yet, both sedan and 5-door rear legroom has increased from slightly stretched wheelbase, and the rear door openings are larger. Fans of wind-noise-inducing frameless windows will probably want to buy a CD with didgeridoo music or something.

Anyone who has ever tried to cram is a rear-facing child seat on the back of an older Impreza certainly appreciate the larger rear portals, as well as the increased boot space in both the sedan and hatchback versions. Subaru showed a screen with three golf bags fit upright in the back, fair enough, but it might make more sense to us with this huge running strollers that have submitted as a sand rail links are available. However, a quick eyeball test should fit like monstrosities.

Of the dozens of vehicles available for testing, had only one a manual transmission. In the interests of research and science, I occupied it – everyone else was gathered around for the show and tell on the display model.

Here is what you need to know about the new Impreza in terms of performance: the new, long-stroke, timing-chain-driven 2.0L boxer engine has less power than the old 2.5 chunks (down from 170HP to 148HP), but The new chassis is a bit stronger and lighter (from £ 165). It is also slower than the previous one – at least in a straight line.

Subaru makes a big deal about the CVT-equipped car to 60mph is actually slightly faster than the automatic-equipped '11, but let's face it, the antediluvian 4EAT 4-speed was not done by the previous generation favors an accelerative. I think the thing was originally developed for use in Hannibal's Alp-crossing four-wheel drive elephants.

With the 5-speed manual transmission – optimized for fuel economy with a larger Top Gear – you notice the reduced low-end device immediately. Is it a problem? Not really.

It took a little time. Out of town and on the leaf-litter or muddy roads that run through the far west of West Vancouver These are narrow small capillaries, twisting and turning up and down the hilly coast looked like someone spilled vermicelli on the map.

The Mazda3 is the current benchmark in the compact class, fun-to-drive, right? Now, with this new Impreza, which should apply to the right until it rains.

On this wet and winding roads, this little car is an absolute gem. The steering is heavy and direct. The grip from the all-wheel-drive is phenomenal. New, fatter anti-roll bars do their job, and while I can not claim that extra bite with disc brakes on all four corners stops now feel the Impreza just fine.

Torque is a bit low, but it's not annoying to constantly keep the gears, the things on the boil. This is essentially the same transfer rate as the old Impreza, but it has a decent shifter feel. The cost can be a problem, but a 6-speed with closer ratios would be better, given the very moderate power. Also note heel-and-toers you: you can rev-match your downshifts, but a new brake override system will go on tour on footwork.

The little 2.0L missing the lumpy nature of the 2.5L, but it has a little gruff growl you remember it's a boxer, and as such, it's fun, it wring out a little. Having said that, you will wish for more power, but it's only because the Impreza is so well together: it sticks and sticks and sticks and then very slightly wide washes.

Stepping out of the stick-shift and in a CVT-equipped Impreza, things are a bit less sporty remain, but overall good. A constantly terrible transmission will never be the enthusiasts choice but to banish all thoughts of the hair-scrunchie powertrain Justy from head: Subaru Lineartronic CVT is actually quite good.

Since there is not much below 4k Twist from the 2.0L boxer engine (145lb/ft at 4200rpm), ascending one of the local mountains in the CVT-equipped car meant that four thousand revolutions was where we hung out. However, in stop-and-go driving, the CVT was smooth and well behaved, and the paddle shifters were actually a little fun. Not that it felt an objective view, but the car less "motorboaty" than the CVT-equipped '12 Maxima I drove straight afterwards.

The true story of the CVT-equipped car was not so much the transmission that proved quite acceptable, but the way it handled the slush we ran into. If Subaru 27/36mpg fuel consumption figure takes the disadvantage of AWD, then here's the advantage: this is still a car that is happiest when the weather is bad.

"You're going too fast for the conditions," my co-pilot admonished me. I backed away, a little embarrassed, but when the time came to swap seats, I had to sneak a peak at the speedometer randomly as they ran downhill through the same section – even faster. PSA: AWD is not gonna help you to stop with all-seasons, so slow down and use your road sense, but the lighter, less powerful Impreza nor does the white stuff like a tank. Make that a Sno-Cat.

Overall, the division of the Impreza WRX is a smart move for Subaru. I bet there are not many buyers spillover from the halo effect of the turbo-spinner models more: If you do not swing the payments on a new WRX not move to a base-engined Impreza, shopping you start a used WRX .

And unlike the whoopsie-daisy 2008 WRX which missed the mainstream something Subaru has managed to add a touch of broad appeal to their small car, while still keeping it appealing to those with the stars of the Pleiades in their eyes. In fact, I'm pretty sure one of the local Impreza club members will be to buy a TSD rally-scarred '07 Impreza sedan (he has a child now) replaced.

The Subaru faithful at the dealers with their clipboards and checklists and comparison data was collected, but they are necessarily like this little car, and they will buy it. More importantly, people who were looking at a Mazda3 might, Civic or Focus find the Impreza is reflected on their radar, and when they go there, they will marvel, as farming is not a surprise.

As for me, WRX divorce or not, there must be a way to get an EJ257 be to plug in the matter. Hello, Nordstrom? I will need your biggest shoe-horn …

Subaru providing the vehicles tested, insurance, gasoline, some nice sandwiches, and the aforementioned hood, the bloody was useful for the cold slog home.