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Driving Impressions: 2012 Subaru Impreza


 

What’s it Like to Drive?

 

After a quick walkaround of the car in the Subaru parking lot, I was ready to go. I threw my bags and boxes in the trunk. I’ve always been impressed by the trunk space in the 2010 WRX Sedan, but the flat cargo floor in the 2012 Impreza Sedan makes it easier to pack. The trunk had so much space that I didn’t take the time to pack neatly, as I had to do with the same cargo in my 2008 Impreza 5-Door.

 

In the round trip to Maine, I covered 1,218 miles. Seat support was wonderful. I’m prone to lower back pain, so I’m sensitive to seating. I drove in complete comfort all three days.

 

Another highlight was the visibility all around. The windshield frame has been moved forward at the base by approximately eight inches. With the mirrors attached to the front-door sheetmetal, the front side windows consist of a static quarter-window and typical door window glass. Quarter-windows are now incorporated in the rear doors, too, which are wider. They help make entry and exit more comfortable.

 

The CVT proved the most enjoyable automatic transmission I’ve ever driven, and its integration with the 2.0-liter SUBARU BOXER engine is a good combination of sufficient power and efficiency.

 

The car never lacked the acceleration I needed, even when pulling onto steep uphill grades on Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park and accelerating from a complete stop. When using the shift paddles, I shifted from gear to gear immediately and crisply. I used the paddles mostly to downshift when slowing and stopping, and I got used to them quickly. (I have a manual transmission in my 2008 Impreza, and the 2010 WRX has one, too.) Gaining speed on entrance ramps was never a problem.

 

When going downhill with cruise control set, the transmission maintains the set speed, just as it does uphill.

 

The car’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive handled several different travel situations with ease: multi-lane Interstates, rural two-lane roads, city traffic jams, mountain roads, and streets in cities and small towns. I drove on dry roads, damp roads, and through heavy downpours.

 

The suspension system is set up to provide a satisfying thump when hitting bumps in the road. You’re not isolated from noise, but the sound and feel are well-absorbed.

 

Cornering is spritey. I’ve always considered the 2008 Impreza to be light and comfortable to drive. The 2012 feels a bit lighter, and steering is more comfortable without being overpowering. The new Impreza is also stable and predictable.

 

Braking feel at the pedal was firm, and stops were all straight. I didn’t have the opportunity to test Brake Assist (which automatically applies maximum brake pressure in an emergency), but that’s probably a good thing.

 

 

Three Days Later

 

Without being larger on the outside, the new Impreza is more spacious and comfortable on the inside. Plus, it dances well, being lighter to the touch and nimbler (as well as more economical). It looks good, too, and seems to be the perfect vehicle for life’s journeys.

 

Find more about Acadia National Park.

 

 

Mileage for the Trip

 

Mileage was measured under a mix of driving conditions, from city streets to high-speed interstate highways.

 

  Odometer Miles Gallons MPG
9/20/11 1,787 Fill-up to start with full tank of fuel
9/20/11 2,132 345.3 9.9 34.9
9/21/11 2,461 328.3 9.6 34.2
9/22/11 2,809 348.3 10.9 32.0
9/22/11 3,005 196.4 6.0 32.7
TOTALS   1,218 36.4 33.5

 

 

1 2012 SUBARU Legacy, Outback, Forester 2.5L, and Impreza 2.0L non-turbo models achieving a Partial Zero Emission Vehicle (PZEV) rating by the California Air Resources Board are available in all 50 states. Only those registered in California, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont will be eligible for the 15 years/150,000 miles emission warranty.
2 Manufacturer estimated fuel economy for 2012 Subaru Impreza CVT 36 MPG highway. Comparison based upon EPA estimated highway fuel economy for all 2011 AWD vehicles. Actual mileage may vary.
3 SIRIUSXM is a registered trademark of Sirius XM Radio Inc.

 

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