The body and chassis systems that improve safety and performance also lend themselves to spirited driving and improved handling. The 2012 Impreza is a satisfying vehicle to drive. Its components work together to provide a quiet, comfortable, responsive, and stable driving experience.
The new Impreza has a longer wheelbase (104.1 vs. 103.1 inches) and wider track front (59.4 vs. 58.9 inches) and rear (59.6 vs. 58.9 inches) than its predecessor. Seemingly slight though these increases may seem, they contribute to improved ride comfort and stability. Along with the reinforced body, they lay a foundation for the Subaru Dynamic Chassis Control Concept in the Impreza. Through this concept, Subaru engineers have developed a quiet, comfortable ride for the new car.
The added strengthening and stiffness of the body and frame crossmembers are complemented by increased stiffness in the subframe bushings. These absorb vibrations in the frame and help prevent spring oscillation for a resulting smooth ride that instills confidence.
Dampers in the suspension system (front strut, rear double wishbone) are designed to be highly responsive. In the front suspension, strut rebound springs help to prevent the inside wheels from lifting during cornering. They augment stabilizer bar operation for better tire grip. Stabilizer bar thickness has been increased to help control roll. Overall, these features result in stable, nimble, and predictable handling.
In addition, stiffer support sections and steering-system mounts provide a solid platform for the steering rack, which improves steering response and control. Steering bushing design helps reduce changes in toe, keeping suspension components in line with the vehicle’s intended direction of travel, which helps improve straight-line stability.
Besides contributing to the quality of directional control, the stiffer top mounts for the suspension along with the high-response valving in the dampers help ensure efficient absorption of bumps and vibration. As a result, the ride is quieter and more refined.
If the Impreza has a CVT equipped with paddle shifters, they enable the driver to select manually from six forward speeds. The shifts are immediate and crisp, providing a stick-shift type of experience that makes the car more fun to drive.