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2012 Subaru Impreza



  • There's a lot of splash about 2012 impreza being 'all new' and lots of great improvements.

    I came across the 2007 impreza 2.0R and couldn't believe how similar it is to the 2012: 0R/

    It seems that the only improvement in 2012 came from using CVT.
    The 2007 engine seems like a better one with peak torque delivered at 2000 rpm!!!

    Why did they raised the peak torque to 4200 rpm on the 2012???

    If you look around some more, you'll find the 2007 was 80 lb lighter than 2012.
  • angitheriasangitherias Posts: 34
    edited March 2012
    Was this model available in Canada/USA?

    edit: did some quick research, looks like it was only available in Japan/Europe.
  • dfong87dfong87 Posts: 171
  • Bob,

    Correct me if I am wrong that you haven't pick up your Impreza yet, right?

  • correct. I still have 4-6 weeks of wait left.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,924
    For those who have purchased or leased a 2012 Impreza, would you mind sharing:

    * Why did you get an Impreza? What were the 1 or 2 most important reasons?
    * What other cars if any did you seriously consider?

    The Impreza (2.0 Premium CVT) is on my list for my next car, but frankly it's not as high as some others, e.g. Mazda3i Touring 6MT and VW Golf 5MT. And possibly the Elantra GT 6MT but I haven't been able to see or drive it yet.

  • steine13steine13 Posts: 2,665
    Not the Impreza 5speed? That would be the obvious competitor to the other cars you listed.. no?

    FWIW, I was at the Subaru parts counter last week -- had to blow $100 Subaru bucks that expire next week -- and I asked them about experience with the CVTs.

    They said no problems, really, "the biggest issue is for people to get used to how they drive." I haven't had the pleasure, yet... I've asked a salesman to give me a call if a manual-transmission "anything" comes in, then I'll drive both back-to-back and see for myself. I'm pretty much stuck on the manuals, though.

    Do you have any reason to avoid the manual Impreza?
    Cheers -m
  • tyguytyguy ColoradoPosts: 1,219
    It was the whole package. Excellent gas mileage, superb handling, AWD, large interior space (relative to class), quality design/build, Subaru reputation for durability, competitive price.

    Others considered:
    Ford Focus, Chevy Cruze, VW Golf, VW Jetta, Mazda 3, Hyundai Elantra, Honda Civic.
    Tesla Model 3, 2015 Subaru Outback, 2013 Audi A4
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,924
    Yes, the 5-speed WOULD be the natural competitor. Unfortunately, when I drove the 5-speed it was way too noisy and high-revving (read: fuel-gulping) for my taste, especially compared to the likes of 6MTs like the Mazda3 and Elantra. Even the Golf's 5MT is low-revving and quiet at cruise compared to the Impreza's, and Focus' 5MT also if not quite as low revving as the Golf. The CVT on the Impreza seemed much quieter, and lower revving. I expect it will get significantly better FE than the 5-speed, which is reflected in the EPA ratings. So that is a big strike against the Impreza for me vs. cars like the Mazda3 and Golf--not only will the Impreza cost more because of the CVT, but I won't have the fun of a manual. I have a CVT now (Sentra) and it's nice and quiet on the highway and gets good FE (better than its EPA ratings), but fun-to-drive it's not.

    The Impreza's one big advantage of the cars I'm looking at is AWD. I'm just not sure I need it. I live where there can be a lot of snow, but in a metro area where snow removal is an art form. I've driven for 40 years w/o AWD, so I expect I can do w/o it, especially now that ESC with traction control is standard on new cars.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,924
    edited March 2012
    Thanks for the response. I agree on the AWD part of course. I'll take your word for Subaru's reputation for durability, although other cars I'm considering esp. the Mazda3 also have a very good reputation. I also like the visibility in the Impreza.

    Some of the cars I'm looking at (Mazda3 and Elantra) surpass the Impreza in FE. (A used Prius is another option, but will go that route only if gas is ~$5/gallon next year when I buy--not exactly fun to drive!) I think the Mazda3, Focus, and Golf handle at least as well if not better than the Impreza. The Impreza's back seat is quite roomy, more leg room than the Mazda3 and Focus (but not as much as Elantra or Prius). Price-wise, just based on for now, the Focus SE hatch would be cheapest as a new car, with the Mazda3 and Golf (2-door) a little more. A used Prius would be about the same as a new Mazda3, maybe a little more. The Impreza would be over $2000 more than the Golf or Mazda3 because I'd need to get the Premium CVT trim to get a car I could live with, and the discounts on the Impreza, at least in my area, are pretty slim right now. That could change by next year, when I'll buy. I don't know the pricing on the Elantra GT yet, as it's not available until this summer. I've driven the Elantra sedan but not the hatch (obviously).

    I am only looking at hatches, so I'm not seriously considering cars like the Cruze, Jetta, or Civic. If I were considering sedans, I doubt those would make my short list. Cruze's back seat is too cramped for my needs, Jetta is not as nice nor as versatile as the Golf, and I couldn't live with the dash on the Civic (plus I prefer the way the Impreza/Mazda3/Golf/Focus ride and drive compared to the Civic.
  • tyguytyguy ColoradoPosts: 1,219
    edited March 2012
    No problem. We were looking at high-level trims, and honestly, price just needed to be in the ball park given the features we were looking for (we went with a 5-door Limited). I gave detailed reviews in the Sales Frontlines forum while I was shopping, but in summary (my opinions are worth what I'm charging ;) ):
    1. Mazda 3: I've always liked the Mazda 3 and typically target it for my rental while traveling. However, when I learned the side impact scores in government tests the vehicle was immediately eliminated from my list. The Impreza was an unknown, granted, but I have yet to see a modern Subie test poorly and the 3 has a problem that needs addressing. Plus it was cramped inside and the interior felt low grade.
    2. Cruze Eco: VERY nice. Fun motor, great manual transmission, and superb gas mileage. This one was close. The CR report rating it dead last in quality put the Subie ahead. I just wish Chevy would tone down the chrome rims.
    3. Golf/Jetta (Sportwagen): The best interior and slightly better handling in the Golf with the upgraded suspension (but not the Sportwagen). We wanted the TDI. VW's quality issues with the fuel injection system and intercoolers eliminated both from contention. I really did like those two. The base 5 cylinder, in my opinion, is a terrible motor so I didn't consider it in the list. I rented a Golf for a couple of weeks, and the power versus MPG was pitiful during my time with it. My real-world Impreza city mileage equals what I got highway in the Golf.
    4. Elantra (obviously not GT): drove like a Corolla. And that's pretty bad. Plus I think the design will grow old quickly, and based on a couple of experiences, I no longer trust the brand to back up its warranty. Anyone 6-foot or over won't like the back seat.
    5. Civic: What a penalty box. Not even worth a test drive with such a low grade interior.
    6. Focus: Also very nice. The cargo (5-door) was excellent, interior quality was top notch, and the handling very good. Like the 3, though, it was cramped, and unlike the 3, I didn't like either the manual or automatic transmissions. Plus with rental fleets they're a dime a dozen. I like the fact Subaru is a niche player and I have yet to see an identical vehicle out on the roads.
    7. Prius: We actually did look at a Prius a while ago. Frankly, I like driving. Why do that to myself? If gas mileage is of the utmost concern then the Prius is hard to beat. But if handling means absolutely anything to you, then the Prius will be a major letdown, as would the case be with me.

    And that's what makes competition great. Thank goodness for the free market economy we live in that allows so many variations to fit different personalities. I'm sure people will disagree with my observations, which is just great, and they'll prefer other rides. For me, the combination of strengths with the Impreza made it my choice.

    Best of luck with the shopping, Backy. It's a fun process. :D
    Tesla Model 3, 2015 Subaru Outback, 2013 Audi A4
  • dcm61dcm61 Posts: 1,560
    tyguy ... You have the Marine Blue 5 dr with rear seatback protector, correct?

    I was looking at the install instructions online (was curious how they mounted) and saw that the last step is "Re-install headrests, with bungees around them". Is the seatback protector really held at the top with bungees? I sure hope not, because that would be pretty tacky IMO.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,924
    Anyone 6-foot or over won't like the back seat.

    And, they will be happy in any of these other compacts? :surprise: If you mean head room, that's another reason I like the Elantra GT--roofline is higher in back than the sedan. But that's true with most hatches vs. sedan variants.

    I don't think the Mazda3's interior is low-grade for the price-point I'm looking at, but then I'm looking at the lowest level trim on the Mazda3 hatch. It doesn't match the Golf's interior quality, nor the Elantra's for that matter. But it's fine for my needs. I actually think it's better than the Impreza Premium's interior. The HVAC knobs are just as cheap looking and feeling as on the Corolla--which is pretty bad. The plastic on the door panels looks cheap, especially on the ivory trim which I prefer. No rear seat center armrest (also a fault of the Focus SE). You have to pay extra for a leather wheel cover and shift knob, when those are standard on the Mazda3i Touring and (I think) Elantra GT. The Focus is a mixed bag--some interior bits are very nice, some are cheap looking. Maybe in the upper trim levels it's better.

    The Mazda3 is a 2012 IIHS Top Pick. It's interesting to me you took a car with unknown crash test scores vs. a good if not great choice. As you said, Subaru's history is good there so probably low risk.

    I have experience with the 2.5L I5 in a 2007 Rabbit (6AT) and also took a 2012 Golf 5MT on a long test drive. I don't share your concerns over that enigne. It's smoother, quieter, and more powerful than the mill in the Impreza. The FE I got on both cars is significantly above the EPA ratings, e.g. mid-to-upper 30s on the highway, about 30 in the kind of city/suburban driving I do. So while I'd prefer a more economical car, it's not a deal-breaker for me.

    Since I've owned 3 Hyundais in the past 12 years and still own two, I have a lot of experience with their reliability and service, and have no concerns there. Also I have to disagree that the Elantra (sedan) drives like a Corolla. The Corolla is so bad I've had Hertz add "No Toyotas!" to my account (they won't add specific models). And the GT has adjustable steering feel and a sport-tuned suspension, so I expect it will handle better than the sedan. I won't know until I drive it.

    The Civic is a downer, except in FE and rear-seat room. I like the previous generation better. I owned two Civics in the '80s when I think they were the best subcompacts on the road. Times have changed!

    The Focus is competent and as I said will likely have the lowest price. But for that price, it will have plastic wheel covers, the tightest rear seat of the cars I'm focused on, and a dash style I'm not crazy about. It's not that it's a bad car, but that I like the Mazda3 and Golf much better even though they will cost a little more. I also have a feeling I'll like the Elantra GT better than the Focus. I already like what I've seen in photos; e.g. I think it has the nicest interior design in its class.

    I've driven the current Prius so I know it's an... isolating driving experience. That's the nice way of putting it. Great FE though, and a roomy back seat with fold-flat seat back. So it has its plusses. Just not very many of them.

    Yep, lots of choices. Much different from 20 years ago when there were few really good choices in this group--Civic, Corolla, Protege, and then a big drop-off.
  • tyguytyguy ColoradoPosts: 1,219
    Correct, and I agree. Fortunately with my black interior the black cords are difficult to notice with just a small portion exposed behind the headrests. There's got to be a better mounting method, but for now it's the only option, and with a golden retriever riding back there the protectors have made cleanup significantly easier.
    Tesla Model 3, 2015 Subaru Outback, 2013 Audi A4
  • techdudetechdude Posts: 87
    First commute into work with the new car and loving it. In lines with the Why Impreza thread, what would have been your number two choice? I'm only going to be driving the Impreza during my winter commute, so i'm looking to trade my wifes CUV for my daily drive. I test drove the Elantra and Focus, but with a redesigned Civic coming up, the 2012's may be a good deal. I was also considering the Hyundai Accent hatch.
  • I only test drove the Focus and Mazda3 in addition to the Impreza. I would have loved to drive the Civic (as much as people are down on it), but I couldn't get past the 2-tier driver's console.

    In my estimation, the Mazda3 was the best value BUT it drove the sportiest and the interior and styling had a very youth oriented feel. I didn't want a car for a 25 year old. Some of the interior design choices were just un-thoughtful. Also, I'm a little nervous about Mazda's financial stability in the US and also the skyactiv powertrain is so new (and so advanced) its longevity worried me too.

    The Focus definitely felt more premium than the Impreza. But I didn't like how for the combination of features I wanted I had to get the SEL, which forced me into getting featured I didn't want. Like another poster noted, the interior design was a huge turn off. I'd go as far as to say that my impression of the Focus was like when I bought my Jetta 12 years ago - it had a substantial feel a definite notch above the competition, it was near-near-luxury where the other contenders were not as plush.

    I ended up with the Impreza for a few reasons:
    -AWD because I'm a safety freak. We had a very low snow winter, but my goodness did it perform well in 3" of slush!
    -Reliability - this is our second subaru (from 2 VWs to 2 Subarus). Regular normally aspirated, non DI engine. I was a little nervous about the CVT, but with as many miles as they have on the Outback and Legacy, I had a feeling it has been "tested"
    -I liked the bland interior.

    Biggest surprise: definitely has the feel of a driver's car, not super powerful, but it handles wonderfully.
    Biggest disappointment: gas mileage. I knew this going into buying the car. If I didn't live in a region with snow/slush/ice/lots of rain, the AWD wouldn't have provided the value against MPG. Otherwise I would have ended up with the Focus (or the 3 if I was a little more cash strapped).
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,924
    The Civic was just redesigned for 2012 so it won't be redesigned again any time soon. There are some tweaks rumored for as early as next year, but those will be just that... tweaks, maybe to the dash, not a redesign of the car. We have to live with it for the next 5 years or so.
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    love mine...very comfortable...would compare to my leather in my 09 Caddy CTS......
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    I have had my limited 5DR CVT PZEV three months to the day this past for its second oil change at rolled over 7700 coming to work commute is 103 miles each day wiht 70/30 last tank averaged over almost 32 MPG.....could be happier with the main reason for purchase was the AWD for the fall and winter here in MD...otherwise the hatch and the MPG fall in 2nd and 3rd respectively.....for my needs the Impreza has exceeded expectations.......
  • zman3zman3 Posts: 857
    Could be happier or couldn't be happier?
  • dfong87dfong87 Posts: 171
    as i expressed before, i had to race to decide on a car. and as it turns out, the decision was hasty and now i sit and wait for the Impreza since i felt it was worth waiting for.

    here were our other contenders:

    Honda Civic: i have been a honda/acura guy for a long time. my car being replaced is a 2000 Civic coupe in MT, the last year with the double wishbone suspension. i read all of the bad reviews of this year's and new generation Civic. i think they contain some truth to it. the bad: very cheap hard plastics in the interior which i really didn't like. they removed the lumbar support which could flatten the seat base like my 2000 for my bulged disc back so it wasn't very comfortable. i didn't like the techno instrumentation very much, being an analog gauge guy. but in the end, i could have lived with it. neutral: the steering wasn't horrible per se, but nothing like my old Civic's (2000, 1985) but it just didn't handle the way i have known honda's to handle. not bad, but nothing special. the good: good passenger volume, i actually think it looks pretty good, nice trunk, quieter than previous generations, and the Automatic transmission was remarkably smooth. (i used to drive a 5MT and the old civic AT's were horrible). plenty of power, IMHO for a small car and almost up to what i had with my 5MT 2000 model. I also drove the Civic Hybrid: felt a lot quieter and very solid, but if i bought a civic, even as a very environmentally minded person, i would likely have stuck to the EX. the mileage difference wasn't appreciable and the power loss was significant.

    Honda Fit: just for kicks i drove this. i liked the way this car drove. it was functional, handled nicely, and was just fun to drive. however, it was loud and the interior really felt cheap. like, i was driving a 1980's-early 1990's civic. basically an Econobox for 18k. if it were 2-3k cheaper, i might have bought it.

    Honda Insight: sat in it and hated the visibility so didn't even proceed with the test drive. (Prius also has poor visibility, too)

    Hyundai Elantra: my wife loved this car. great bang for the buck. looked the nicest in the exterior although i too wonder if the design would seem "fad-ish" 10 years down the road. nice ammenties and fit and finish for 1-2k less than the competition. i didn't like the drive though. engine about as peppy as the Civic, but to me, it handled like a boat: i didn't like it's steering. i still might have considered it but after only 5 minutes in the seat, it really bothered my back and sciatica symptoms so this car was ruled out

    Mazda 3: probably the best handling of all the cars; fun to drive and good mileage. but the trunk and rear seat felt small. and to me the control seemed cheap, as if they they would barely make it through the 3 year warranty.

    Prius: my wife already has a Prius, but i wanted to try the new generation as well as the C model just for fun and as a wild card. they were pretty much what people have suggested: great mileage and high tech boxes, but no driver feel or experience. we'll probably buy my wife another prius after she's done with hers (almost 100k in 5 years so far with her long commute -- she likes it and if it lasts another 100k, we'll probably get her another), but this impreza is primarily my car so i leaned the other direction. i want a car i enjoy driving, but also want decent fuel economy.

    i think the only reservation i had about the Subaru (beyond the wait for the 5dr) was the CVT. i think the 5-6AT on the Civic and Elantra were superior and smoother...or at least, easier to get used to for this guy who has driven manual for the past couple of decades (but going auto on this car so my wife can drive it in the pinch). but after talking with other folks who have made the transition to the Subbie CVT (mostly Outback folks), i decided the positives of the car outweighed this one concern: AWD, felt great to drive, great visibility, IMHO, in the limited trim, nicely appointed for the price paid, easy oil change/access to basic maintenance, Subaru safety record, etc. the gas mileage is a bit less than the Civic and i confess to some concern about what the real world numbers will look like for me, but we'll see. (even though my 30/35 civic was downgraded to 26/32 when the EPA changed how they did their ratings, i never got below 28 on my Civic and could hit over 40 mpg with moderate (<70mph) driving on the highway.

    if i didn't buy the impreza, i actually might have still bought a Honda Civic even with all of the things i didn't like about it. maybe it's just familiarity even with the downgrades from the previous generations and the attraction of the mileage which i am guessing i could have really milked for a lot. (i have heard people easily exceeding 45 mpg on the highway with moderate driving speed) but i'm glad i ordered the Impreza. it has more of a driving least if you believe a small economy car can have one. ;)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Who would not be happy with 32mpg? ;)
  • I'm hoping for 36mpg. But I think I can live with 32mpg.
    I'm just concerned that lot of people are reporting 28mpg over all.

    In, I see most people are getting below 30mpg.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 12,246
    edited March 2012
    I think I'm lucky that I am still sitting at about 16 months before I plan to have a new commuter, which gives me some time to see how things like the fuel economy on this Impreza pan out. If I go with the Impreza, I would be happy with a combined 29 lifetime out of it (considering my northern location, as FE takes a beating during the winter months). Perhaps oddly, the other one I am strongly considering is the Fiesta. If Ford actually offers an ST variant of this car in the US by mid 2013 (at under $23K), I'd say there's a 95% chance that will be what I get (with the same FE expectation as the Impreza). I considered Fit as well, but despite all the space, it does feel cheap. It's FE numbers aren't real stellar, either. I haven't entirely ruled it out, but am also not favoring it.
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • It has been mentioned by several reviews, including consumer reports that the CVT engine braking is a bit excessive. So when you drive downhills, the engine revs at higher RPM than a car with traditional transmission.
    I'm wondering if this is the cause of the lower MPG compared to government MPG test.
    I'm sure that for the government test, there would be no up/down hill test.
    I think this might explain some of the difference in MPG in the real world.

    Has anyone with CVT impreza tried upshifting on long streches of downl hill driving to see if the RPM can be lowered? AFAIK, you don't even need to put the transmission in manual mode to 'shift gears'. You should be able to tap on the shifters and change gears temporily.

    Does anyone know if the 6th gear on the CVT give the lowest RPM possible? Or can the automatic CVT mode get even lower RPM when cruising on the freeway?
  • thom52thom52 Posts: 30
    Dang, even with turning the key to to "ON" and waiting for the gauges to stabilize etc, my wife had another incident of hard cranking.
    Absolutely would not start on the first couple of attempts. (not even a cold start)
    We will be taking the car to the dealer, but since this only happens sporadically, its going to be tough to repeat on demand. Starting should be a fairly basic no-brainer to get right on a new car would think.

    Do NOT plan to use this car as a getaway car for a bank robbery. :sick:

    Gas mileage still WAY below EPA. It seems as though you need to be planning on driving at least 11 miles or more before turning on the key, if you want the "warmed up" mileage to make up for the dismal mileage it makes getting up to 11 miles. This car needs to stretch its legs for quite awhile before its happy.

    Otherwise.... An awesome car. Fun to drive and safe, and we like its looks. We have no issues with the CVT either. CVT seems like a good solution to us.

    Just wish it would start consistently and get within 25% of the EPA numbers. That doesn't seem to be asking too much? :(
  • davidsd1davidsd1 Posts: 11
    I have 2011 Outback CVT but I suppose Impreza's CVT would be similar. My observation is that CVT is very good to keep RPM lower compared to traditional 5/6 speed. If I drive flat freeway at 60mph, the RPM could be as low as 1500-1800, and it would never happen on my Venza at 6th gear.

    I think because of that, the CVT is very good in MPG. My OB has EPA of 21/29, and my life time MPG is 29+ (by hands). and 30 on display. Since Impreza's EPA is 28/36, I think it should be doable for 34-35 combined.
  • dfong87dfong87 Posts: 171
    Sorry to hear about about this persistent starting problem.

    Has anyone else noticed this sporadic starting problem?

    I'll definitely keep an eye on it when I get my car.
  • zman3zman3 Posts: 857
    edited March 2012
    I have a 2012 Impreza with the CVT. I find the engine braking when going down hills to be excessive for my own personal tastes. I have not used the instantaneous MPG display to verify this but the efficiency gauge (+/-) stays pegged at + even after the CVT downshifts so I don't think it impacts mileage. The only impact I could see is that you could coast longer at the bottom of the hill if you gained more speed thus waiting to get back into the throttle.

    I thought that when coasting down hills you weren't pumping any fuel into the cylinders anyways.
  • flopkaflopka Posts: 22
    I also dislike the engine braking phenomenon, but it only seems to happen on certain hills and not others and seems to have little relationship to the steepness of the hill. Glad to know it's not just my car doing that... what is the purpose of this?
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