Having driven my own 2008 Impreza 2.5i 82,000 miles the last three-plus years and a 2010 WRX on occasion for 32,000 miles the last 18 months, I looked forward to spending time in a new 2012 Impreza. I picked up the Impreza Limited partial zero emission vehicle (PZEV)1 4-Door test vehicle at Subaru headquarters in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. It had Satin White Pearl paint, Lineartronic CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission), moonroof, and navigation system.
I had three days with it, and I chose Maine and Acadia National Park as my destination – approximately 1,200 miles round trip. It’s a pleasant drive during early autumn days.
The first thing that I saw was the black lettering. Along the bottoms of the front doors: “The all-new 2012 Subaru Impreza. Experience love that lasts.” On the rear bumper: “The most fuel efficient All-Wheel Drive car in America at 36 MPG.”2
So much for anonymity.
Altogether, the car has a more mature, sophisticated appearance than its predecessor.
As others will observe, the 2012 Impreza reminds me of the Subaru Legacy. Its exterior lines are crisper than those on the previous generation. Depending on your seating position, the creases in the hood are visible. Up front, the lighting assemblies retain the hawk-eye theme. Fog lights are more clearly defined.
Along the sides, lines above the wheel arches are bolder. Door handles on the Limited model have strips of chrome. Exterior mirrors are mounted on the doors rather than the forward corners of the windows. The 205/50 R17 all-season tires are mounted on 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels.
At the rear, the high decklid culminates with the hint of a spoiler. The license-plate indentation is topped by a chrome bar.