Ken Block would be really impressed with the new Subaru Impreza. With his gymkhana antics being on an all time high, this one definitely in its stock form would deliver the adrenaline rush that he so craves for. The 2012 Subaru Impreza that we had for our first drive left us pretty much impressed and here are a few insights on this wonderful vehicle, one which would come into showrooms near you pretty much within 2 months from now. The 2012 version definitely is not a thing of beauty and for that matter, which Subaru is. They all have a gawky appearance and as far as we know, were never really called as beautiful. They serve a purpose with their design and that is what they do.
The front of this car projects the earlier GM design language. The fog lamps have a cheap looking black insert surrounding them. The dark 17 inch alloy wheels are a real style statement. The coupe like side profile ensures that it converges into a station wagon like rear end. The rear profile is a stubby unit and features muscle like haunches at the end. For a car having sporty pretensions, this one doesn’t expose off the tail pipe. There are satin colored roof rails as well.
In the interiors, the use of dark color materials is prevalent here. Extremely soft to touch materials have been used for adorning the cabin of the 2012 Subaru Impreza. There are no gimmicks inside the cabin and this one doesn’t have an over cluttered dashboard, just like some other cars from its category. Subaru have focused on making these interiors as useful like anything. We heard of space to fit in 32 CDs in the front glovebox compartment. The steering wheel, however, was a big disappointment with the fact that it had some cheap plastic bits and the steering wheel horn pads also felt cheap. For the climate control part, it was good and worked just about fine for the kind of time we had with the car. Seating space for 4 is good, however squeeze in a third passenger in the middle seat and things start to get out of hand. Boot space is laughable, however it has a 60:40 split arrangement, making things seem a bit rosy.
The ride and handling part is controlled by a lower L-arm plus McPherson struts for the front suspension while the back boasts of double wishbone setup. For 2012, all the Impreza models come with an all wheel drive system as standard. Be it on any road surface (we did encounter various road surfaces while on the first drive), the Impreza feels planted enough. Subaru have also designed a new steering wheel system, an electrical unit, which would definitely aid in the fuel efficiency department but lacked a bit of feel than the earlier unit. The ride quality was stellar for a vehicle which is stiffly sprung and had us double check if we really were in a Impreza or some other vehicle. Refinement was top notch, something which its competitors like the Mazda 3 and even some of the other bigger ones like the Jetta and Civic fail to deliver.
Subaru have roped in only one engine for the 2012 version of the Impreza and this means enthusiasts would have to suffice with the 148 Hp of power and 145 wafts of torque. All this comes from a 2.0 liter 4 cylinder block. Subaru have come with a 5 speed stick shift unit and also a 6 speed manumatic transmission options. The latter is available only for the top end versions, just like the one that we had with us. The engine had a sporty note with the windows rolled down; however, it would spin up only till 4k rpm. There is no point revving it beyond that limit. We wished that it had more poke lower down the rev range. It behaves like a typical CVT unit with that rubber band effect to it. No point in revving it beyond a certain limit. Of course, there would be more power on tap with the bigger versions of the WRX coming in and the engine being naturally aspirated. Safety features are the usual 6 airbags plus ABS and EBD. The brakes have a confidence to them which Mr Ken Block would certainly take a liking for, even in the stock form. We are sure that in their upgraded form, this one would definitely take the piece of cake with its linear feel and stuff.
As for the fuel efficiency bit, this one did average about an overall 32 mpg. This was due to the fact that EPA certifies it as 25 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway. Moreover, this one in its manual guise is able to achieve even 36 mpg. Nothing exceptional as people may argue, however, remember, all this figures are achieved in 4 wheel guise.
The 2012 Subaru Impreza price starts from $17,995 and goes upto $23,333. At this price, this 4 door definitely is a worthy competitor to all those established names.
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