Review: 2012 Subaru Impreza 2.0i Limited

Posted on 28. Jan, 2012 by in Auto News

Some cars appeal to the head. Others to the heart. Based on the marketing pitches that adorned the company's proprietary traders receive a 2012 Impreza, Subaru hopes the redesigned compact to appeal to both. On the rear bumper: And on every front door "The most efficient All-Wheel Drive car in America at 36 MPG.": ". Experience love that remains" * If the Impreza truly "love you long time"? We went on a date to find out.

The Impreza is certainly not a one-night stand type of car, especially not when dressed in virginal white. You're not going to lock eyes on a crowded parking lot, because you're not going to notice it in a crowded parking lot. There is no danger of hot-blooded lust, really fast, but short burn. How the legacy of the larger similar, could be the new Impreza lines are written by engineers. Elements try to inject some characters, especially the ultra-wide bi-centric wheel arches instead, during the clunky.

The new Impreza, the interior design is similarly conservative to a fault. The curves, the limits of the previous Impreza the instrument panel? Gone. Some of the materials may be a step from the previous generation, but you would not know it. By searching for them Compared to a Ford Focus or even a Hyundai Elantra, my eyes see a device and a dated it. Any chance that had to propose limited luxury leather seats, is wiped out by the dollar store center console and lower door panels that flank them. The black interior with four exterior colors, including a lusty red, should help visited. Beige (mandatory with the other four colors) rarely does an affordably priced car any favors.

But if failure of the overwhelming priority was, why are not the rocker switch for the heated seats are below the elbow? A mere hindsight, or have some human factors engineer thinks a bit far outside the box decide to make that this is the one-stop shopping when buckling up? Engage the belt and turn the seat heater, all in one swift motion! Warm the buns from your partner while you're at it!

Such as Volkswagen, Subaru has indicated that a large backseat thought sells cars. The new Impreza is about the same size as the old one on the outside, but there are a few more inches of legroom back on the inside. A legacy of 2005-2009 was a close fit. Just do not expect adult passengers feel much love from the back seat on a long trip: how many, his cushion is mounted too low.

So, after sampling the charm of the outside and inside, the love did not bite. Maybe it's the driving experience? The car's priorities do not promise, as the list appears to have been of fuel have led, rarely a Subaru strong suit in the past. To this end, curb weight has been reduced by almost £ 200, under 3,000. Does not seem light for a compact sedan? Recall that a few hundred pounds symmetrical all-wheel drive is standard on all Subarus goodness … for a few months. To motivate the less weight, less cc required. Last year's 170-PS-SOHC 2.5-liter boxer four-cylinder engine has been replaced with a brand new 148-horsepower DOHC 2.0-liter boxer. A five-speed manual transmission is standard, but those who are not turned on by a third pedal now. A CVT instead of an antiquated four-speed automatic The CVT wider spread and the ability to keep the engine in its sweet spot provide decent acceleration. It's not fast, but it's not slow, either. A greater concern: the engine is loud, and his enthusiasm is like a garden variety inline four instead of the strangely appealing burble of a boxer. Your ears will not find the sweet spot of this engine very sweet. The rubber band effect typical CVT is present, but can be avoided by the use of the paddles move to below six fixed ratios. The advertised fuel economy: EPA figures of 27 city and 36 highway, by way of the 2011, the 20/27. The trip computer reported high 20s when I cruised through suburbia with a light foot, low 20's when I got jiggy with it.

Only when all seems lost opportunities love, there is the chassis. The steering provides only modest feedback, but the seat makes up for it. The chassis you will learn what it can do for you, and then do it with commendable balance, balance and agility, this low curb weight paying some clear dividends. The all-wheel-drive system could also deserves a credit, though it will not be called to manage a lot of torque. The Imprezza The intuitive interface makes it very easy, fast and safe drive along a winding road. I enjoyed driving it far more than the specifications and appearance led me to expect.

The flip side of the low weight and communicative chassis: a loud, sometimes jiggly ride. How Volkswagen and Toyota, Subaru has placed a bet opposed to Chevrolet, Ford and Dodge. If you are looking for a premium feel in a $ 20,000 car, look elsewhere.

A base 2.0i with the manual transmission starts at $ 18,245. The 2.0i with its mandatory CVT Limited: $ 22,345. If you do not want all-wheel-drive in your compact sedan, you'll probably buy another one. If you do that, you have a choice between the Impreza and a slightly larger (but no roomier) Suzuki Kizashi. With a quarter-ton more curb weight a 180-hp, 2.4-liter engine weaken, the Suzuki is not faster, but managed only 23/30 in the EPA tests. In SE trim with leather, it lists for $ 26,014. Adjusted for the extra amenities Kizashi with True Delta's car price comparison tool reduces the gap of $ 900, but even then there is an almost $ 2,500 difference. During one of the buff pound fell in love with the Kizashi in a few days (as advertised on the Suzuki website), car buyers are not in a few years. There are probably serious cash on that hood-if you find a dealer with a pulse. Actual transaction prices are not so far apart.

Update: A reader informs us that Mitsubishi has recently launched a non-turbo Lancer with AWD. At $ 20,990, the 168-horse, 22/29 MPG Lancer SE priced very close to a similarly equipped Impreza (2.0i Premium, $ 21,045 with all-weather package). But you're more likely to find rebates and discounts on the Mitsubishi – if you find a Mitsubishi dealer.

So the Subaru wins the battle for the mind. But the numbers are not everything. What is love? Both the Impreza and Kizashi claim to offer it. If you are turned on by style and sophistication, then you are likely to find much to love in the Suzuki. The way the new Subaru looks, sounds and feels reminiscent of old style "box" small car just a bit too much. But if you are seeking a chassis, talks to you, and that is a willing dance partner, then the Impreza will deliver. A silent love, perhaps, but they did promise in small lettering.

* Before you run and like to decorate your drive, warned that Subaru has trademarked probably be the set for automotive applications.

Dwyer Subaru in West Bloomfield, MI, provided the car. They can be reached at (248) 624-0400.

Michael Karesh operates, an online provider of car reliability and real-world fuel economy information.