Poking Around Inside



I’ve found the seats in both the 2008 Impreza 2.5i and 2010 WRX to be comfortable and supportive, and the ones in the 2012 Impreza are no different. Manual controls adjust seatback angle and height. The steering column adjusts vertically and fore-and-aft. Finding a comfortable driving position was quick and intuitive.


You can feel the additional space in the front cabin. Plus, the backseat has noticeably greater foot room.


In daylight, the stylish, ivory-colored tachometer and speedometer faces have black markings and red needles. At night, all markings turn red and the white background turns black.


Between the tachometer and speedometer are a digital odometer, trip odometer, fuel-level gauge, and indicator for transmission gear selection. Gauges also include an instantaneous fuel-economy indicator.


A switch on the left cycles between the two trip odometer readouts. A right-hand switch clicks through readouts on the center dash for current fuel economy and average fuel economy for the two trip odometers as well as distance to empty.


I was purposely not trained on the use of the navigation and audio systems so I could report on how intuitive they were. Navigation took me the longest; I still carry a road atlas with me. Old habits are hard to break. (There’s a place for an atlas designed into the front passenger door panel!) Still, I was able to set destinations quickly. The directions on the display were easy to read and left no doubt as to turns. The radio settings were simple enough. I found them quickly, and the connection with SIRIUSXM®3 gave me a comedy radio station that kept me in stitches most of the trip.


The radio and cruise controls on the steering wheel have a more defined shape. The turn-signal and windshield-wiper stalks, too, have a different shape – and a slightly heavier feel. My hands fit well between the rim of the steering wheel and the shift paddles on either side – downshift on the left and upshift on the right.


That’s all electronically controlled, of course, because the CVT’s gear ratios are infinitely variable. It was interesting to watch the tachometer as the electronics controlled the engine and transmission in various driving situations, especially on steep hills. Ascending or descending, the car always maintained a constant road speed, but engine speed would increase while the car went up or down grades.


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