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2012 Subaru Impreza



  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    Limited HB, PZEV in MD outside DC here......had the car since 17 Dec and will roll over 10K probably on Thrus of this week....just short of 4 months complaints on the car...its has been a true road warrior on a 103 mile roundtrip commute each day.....MPG averaging close to 31 a tank now.....getting about 110 to 115 miles per quarter tank now....

    commute is approx 25 miles at hwy spd of 70-75 and 20 miles of two lane road at 50-60 MPH with a 5 miles of city driving averaging a few stoplights and 35-45 MPH. Hwy driving is some rolling hills and curves......

    very pleased with the car in the drive, feel comfort etc....since Im in the car approx 2 plus hours each day for the commute...running either Shell or Sunoco gas...
  • kanjiikanjii Posts: 99
    Pao, very positive to hear. Looking to more updates. Any plans on upgrades to the car like stereo, suspension, etc?
  • dfong87dfong87 Posts: 171
    i too would love to hear from others about stereo and/or speaker replacements. i was an audiophile (still sort of am) in a past life, and have grown to accept car audio as being mediocre. however, this car stereo drops my standard to a new low.

    while a lot of fiddling seems to have gotten the sound to be somewhat acceptable for both ipod sourced material (256 kbps AAC), i just find the midrange very muddled in general compared to what i had in my old Honda (nothing great: Sony receiver with Pioneer premiere + Eclipse speakers).

    i don't have a long commute and mostly listen to AM radio (go Giants!) for sports radio during my short drives, but would be willing to toss a few hundred in to improve the sound. people have claimed the issue is the head unit? is that true. if so, that might take a while for aftermarket solutions to become available to keep both the steering wheel controls, USB/ipod interface in the armrest, bluetooth working properly?

    speakers might be easier although it looks like to get to the door speakers and in dash ones (i have a limited model) requires quite a bit of disassembly which sort of worries me as i would hate to introduce rattles/creaks to these trims in a new car.
  • kanjiikanjii Posts: 99
    I haven't changed stereo and speakers since my '93 integra, pioneer premier receiver with cobalt amp and mb quarts speakers. Didn't change systems in my Honda element, had stock 200+ watt system which was decent, and my '06 Xterra had the Rockford fosgate system which was good too.

    I listen to a lot of sports talk radio, but switched to 95.7 fm, more bay area sports than just giants and niners.
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    Im past my true upgrades on cars..getting older now...(55).....did quite a few on our 06 Solstice......Im happy with the Impreza as I have it.....ordered it with the Nav........speakers could be better, but tuned to my tastes with the equalizer......and honestly do most of my listening off my 16 GB memory stick in the usb port.....some news/talk shows on the local radio WTOP......and Im fine with it....also have had a long standing XM subscription I just keep moving from car to car.....

    I save my audiophile tastes for the home theater system!
  • dfong87dfong87 Posts: 171
    does the navi have more than the standard 3 frequency equalizer. on the limited, you get bass/midrange/treble.

    i can't quite get the bass quite right...i think its too broad banded...its either too boomy or thin. i've also struggled to clean up the midrange too as i just find voices muddled in comparison to even my mediocre old car stereo.

    but yeah, unless there is something simple, i'll just live with it as in time i'm sure i'll decide "it's good enough."

    even as i have fantastic stereo at home, i know some of my most enjoyable musical moments come in a car that is loud, the stereo is poor, but the music is great and timely.

    i'm a music fan first, and audiophile second.

    an aside: i do have to say that the HD radio, when available is definitely a step up from the sound quality of standard FM.
  • skid0skid0 Posts: 16
    I timed accel with a helmet cam taped to the steering wheel. I used the frame count timer to get times to each 500 rpm, and an online 'road HP' calculator to generate the HP curve. I don't know why the plot looks like it does, maybe due to Subaru keeping power levels down at low speeds to prevent undue wear on teh CVT? I am anxious to see real dyno runs on this engine, I really like how it performs.
  • skid0skid0 Posts: 16
    The stereo AND the speakers are bad. I replaced the four door speakers with Polk Audio db 651s 6-1/2" Slim 2-way Speakers. Much better response, but the head end has a wacky freq curve on it. I tweaked my mp3 player EQ to make it listenable. The CD section sounds good, though...

    Replacement is easy. View online guides for advice on popping the inner door panel. The rest is just drilling and screws!

    Oh! I also took out the dash tweeters! Too harsh.
  • dfong87dfong87 Posts: 171
    hi everyone, i spoke too soon. then again, i'm ultra picky and sensitive in this area...anyone have any rattles in their car? in particular near the steering column. i think i noticed it yesterday when it was cool (that's only 45-50 oF in CA) and again this morning and tonight...i have slight rattle coming from the area around the steering column. of course, these things do travel, so i can't be 100% certain, but that's the area i can safely ascertain while driving.

    upon inspecting the steering column tonight, i can see some of the things people have raised previously:

    - cheap cloth covering the opening to the firewall. my honda civic was better with some sort of stiff sleeve that didn't looks so "tacked on" like this cloth is
    - the key ring isn't exactly centered
    - and finally, it does seem there is some play in the shroud that goes around the steering. not a lot, but enough that i think i could see how it might create the "ticking" rattle when going over a bump.

    not sure if others have noticed this or inspected theirs, nor if it's just my hypersensitivity. i know i'm really sensitive to such things as i have had not just dealers, but friends and family say "what rattle?" (or noise) when pointing rattles in previous cars. it's not loud, just annoying once i noticed it. :\

    [funny thing: last week, i was sure i had a rattle in the door panel behind me on the driver's side back seat unti i realized it was my messenger bags carabiner rattling when i went over bumps. i now keep it on the front seat with me on the way to work or put it in the hatchback more such rattle!]
  • al_wblal_wbl Posts: 2
    I have the HD radio with the upgraded speakers. I had to turn up the bass (+6) I think and turned down both the midrange and treble to -3 or -4. Otherwise the sound was annoyingly "tinny". Sounded better in my driveway. i'll know better on my commute tomorrow.
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    on the equalizer question for the has a seven band equalizer and 6 presets on it...thus you can fine tune the sound more than the std or even the upgraded non-nav unit....

    and yes I too have noticed a pleasant difference with the HD radio.....
  • rjmas95rjmas95 Posts: 2
    My premium hatch cvt should be arriving within days and I am quite excited, but all of a sudden a couple reviews have popped up stating that the car doesn't behave well on windy highways. This concerns me... anyone have any experience with this?
  • jd_24jd_24 Posts: 92
    I haven't noticed anything different than my previous 2001 Outback with cross winds about 25mph last week. My Sport Premium seemed to handle it well.
    I saw one review on Edmunds, that they complained after driving 800 miles in heavy winds. My thought was 800 miles and 10?? hours of driving might have the same effect in any car.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,925
    I have never driven a car (large or small) that is not adversely affected by strong cross winds. It simply makes for a more active driving experience. ;)
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • dfong87dfong87 Posts: 171
    i have been meaning to post about this but it keeps slipping my mind...some things, i learned in taking delivery on my Impreza as well as past vehicles:

    1. be sure to check your tire pressures. from what i understand, they always ship them overinflated and if the tech forgets or doesn't have an accurate pressure gauge, you may have improperly inflated tires. after two days, i remembered to check mine and in a cold garage, mine read 36 psi all around. it's supposed to be 32/30 (front/back)....i reset mine to 33/31 as i often do in my car (sort of helps if any slow leaks develop and may give a miniscule boost in mileage without giving an overly harsh ride.

    2. check the dipstick. mine came in right at the "high mark." i wouldn't have thought of doing this except for the few posts about running low on oil after 1-2k. i now have a benchmark to go against in the months ahead to see if i'm burning any appreciable oil.

    3. watch out for any missed tape/packing material. if there is some sticky left on the windows, it may bake on and be harder to remove later on. my dealer did an ok job detailing my car but definitely a poor job on the windows with tons of swirl and smudge marks and sticky residues from adhesives, etc. side view mirrors were bad, too.

    4. if you're inclined: try everything out. i think i've tried most everything out now and everything seems functional. (still haven't tried to warm the driver's seat. my wife said the passenger seat heater worked fine). not sure how i'll test the warmers for the mirrors and wipers since i live in CA :)

    i'm sure others can add other important things including the PDI list, but these are ones i thought might be helpful for you guys, especially 1 and 2 if you haven't thought about it before.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,925
    That's a great list, dfong.

    For your mirror heaters, put some water in a spray bottle and spritz it on them. When you turn the heaters on, the water should dry up fairly quick (typically from the center outward).
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • For those of you with limited impreza without NAV, who are not happy with the quality of sound there is good news!

    There is a secret menu that allow for further tweaking of audio settings.
    Apparently Subaru has force 2 settings to be on:
    EQ (Don't know what Subaru set this to)

    I don't really like the sound coming out with these setting on.
    With them turned off, the sounds seem less muffled and more natural.
    I also don't like the SRS processing and turned that off.
    With just some normal +bass and +treb, the sounds are quite acceptable now.

    Anyway, to get into the secret menu.
    Put your key in Accessory position.
    Turn off stereo.
    hold down '6', and rotate the tune dial at least 5 turns until you see the 'loudness' menu appear.
    Let go of the '6' button, turn the tune dial to change 'loudness' to 'off'.

    Hold down '6' and rotate the tune dial at least 5 turns until you see the 'eq' mneu appear.
    Let go of the '6' button, turn the tune dial to change 'eq' to 'off'.

    Press the power button to get out of these menus.

    Feel free to try different combination of loudness, eq to see if it suits your taste better. I found both of them off worked better for me.
  • dfong87dfong87 Posts: 171
    thanks for the tip! i'll give that a try.
  • dfong87dfong87 Posts: 171
    this is awesome info, bob.

    have you found this cleans up the sound?

    the best way i can describe the sound of the unit as stock (even after improving things with the bass/mid/treble settings is that it sounds muddled).

    again, i am sort of at two ends of the spectrum: i'm an audiophile who is used to incredible midrange purity on my home system (magnepan speakers) but usually is forgiving for car audio sound. nevertheless, i'm just not pleased with the sound of music on the impreza. it sounds congested.

    i hope your suggested secret menu may help. i'm guessing the loudness will solve some issues for me. i find some songs can sound so boomy and the bass control really can't seem to help with it. and with this removed, maybe that will result in a less "contaminated" midrange.
  • bobdole888bobdole888 Posts: 38
    edited April 2012

    Yes, I found that turning off the loudness and eq clean up the midrange drastically. The default settings caused the midrange to be very muffled.
    If you listen to music that's mostly vocal, it was just dreadful.
    Now, with the loudness and eq turned off, it sounds lively.
    I'm sure it's not close to a home stereo, but at least it's acceptable to me.
    If you haven't tried turning off the SRS in the regular menu, I would also suggest doing that. I find that for some music(like pop) SRS makes it better, but for vocal music, SRS cause more muffling. I've opted to turn SRS off also.

    Just a reminder, the secret menu is known to work on the limited trim none-nav, I don't know if it works for other models, since there's actually 3 different units for the impreza.
    I would think that there are secret menus for the other units, but I don't know how to get to them.
  • dfong87dfong87 Posts: 171
    thx again, bob. i'm very excited to try this tonight. (yes, i too have the Limited, non-nav impreza stereo) you may have saved me a few hundred bucks and/or waiting a few years to find an aftermarket head unit to replace it (i would want to retain all the functionality of the factory unit)

    coincidentally, i played with the stereo settings at length, last night, after my wife went to bed and was pretty frustrated by doing exactly what you suggested: playing anything with vocals sounded dreadful, as you say.

    i'm not looking for anything in the neighborhood of my home stereo...i just hope it can get a bit closer to a reasonable sound that one would find in a mediocre aftermarket head unit and speakers.

    this was a great find, and it's much appreciated!
  • kanjiikanjii Posts: 99
    Man, I got the Sports Premium...don't know if I have any secret codes to improve my stereo. I can live with CD adn MP3 sounds, but the very low volume of radio and flatness is killing me. I need to crank the volume by 10+ when listening to the radio to match the level of the CD or mp3 play. Is this normal or something wrong with my system?
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,925
    It is normal from my perspective of a 2010 Forester. The CD is definitely much louder per given level of volume. When driving, I generally run the radio at a setting of 25 versus the CD at 14-16.
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • dfong87dfong87 Posts: 171
    just following up: thank you, bob.

    this was really a significant improvement and i think i can live with the car stereo now. it's not perfect by any stretch, and maybe not quite as good as what i had in my previous car, but its a big improvement from what i had prior to turning off the EQ and loudness. the midrange is much clearer and the bass isn't so boomy and loose.

    you and the others make this forum and awesome place to be!
  • bobdole888bobdole888 Posts: 38
    edited April 2012
    Glad to hear the secret menu was useful for you.

    I realized that my instruction was not quite right.

    For the secret menu,

    The holding down '6' and turning tune dial get you into the version info screen first.
    You'll need to release the '6' button and repeat holding down '6' and turn the tune dial procedure to see the 'loudness' menu. Repeat to get the 'eq' menu.

    One new thing I found was that from the 'version info screen', you can press the tune dial in once to get into 'firmware update' screen.
    So there is potential to update firmware for things like bluetooth, ipod interface, etc

    If you press the tune dial one more time, it actually brings up the CAMERA!!!

    Well, there is no camera attached, but if you connect it, presumably, it will show the rear view camera on the stereo screen. Currently when I get to that screen, it shows a blank screen, with backup markers. If I press some other number, it turn on/off the back up marker, or brings up different size markers.

    Interestingly, in the regular setup menu for 'screen', there is an item call VTR which allows you to choose NTSC or PAL. So it looks like the stereo must have a video input....

    Any one adventurous enough to try hooking up a backup camera to the stereo to see if this works? If you search for camera and impreza on ebay, you'll find some cheap back up camera for $19.

    It seems a bit inconvient to access the backup camera through the secret menu, but maybe there is some other way to enable automatic display of backup camera when car goes in reverse. I just haven't discover it yet.

    Seems like Subaru has all the hooks in place for a backup camera option, but just didn't enable it.
  • kanjiikanjii Posts: 99
    edited April 2012
    I found another little annoying thing about my Subie that I wonder if it is happening to you? My MPG needle sticks after filling up the gas every time. Usually the needle moves when you accelerate or decelerate, but here, it stays in the (-) area for a few miles before acting normal again. Is his normal? :confuse:
  • Same here. The MPG gauge is not directly connected to something like a vacuum gauge in the intake manifold. It's computed (I'm guessing) based on a number of variables. As such it takes a few miles of initialization and getting data before it can start presenting you with feedback.

    I'm finding this gauge worthless. I try to change my driving habits according to this feedback that the car presents. And while I get decent MPG, I'm finding that what the trip computer says is always 2+ MPG higher than actual. I've seen other people find that their trip computer reports an accurate MPG reading compared to actual fuel usage, although I'm not sure if they are using the MPG meter as their primary data for adjusting driving behavior.
  • zman3zman3 Posts: 857
    It takes 1 mile before it registers, otherwise it has nothing to compare to.
  • dfong87dfong87 Posts: 171
    ah, yes, i did figure out that i there was the additional firmware screen to get past, but i didn't inspect it like you did. ;)

    i did see in the NASIOC forums that someone identified the mount point and wire guides in the hatchback that would allow for a rear camera. they weren't sure if it was a carryover from the Forester or for a future use. it makes me think it might become an option down the road, but they didn't fully explore it or dropped it from the option list prior to shipping the 2012's. depending on the cost, i would have considered it.

    although quite frankly, i still never get used to using it on my wife's prius when i drive it. but i think if i had it, i'd do some "testing" to see what i'm seeing and then get out of the car to look at where my bumper was, so that perhaps i really could use it to do some very tight parallel parking, etc.

    i don't know if i'm slow, but i always find it takes me a while to get my bearings with a new car, whether rental or purchased. i still am not quite comfortable of where the front bumper and rear bumpers are when i am parking/etc. but hopefully, in time, i'll figure it out :)
  • kanjiikanjii Posts: 99
    Thanks for the heads up.
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