CHERRY HILL, NJ - Subaru of America debuted its all-new Subaru Impreza 4-door and 5-door models at the 2011 New York International Auto Show. The new 2012 Impreza will deliver 36 mpg, according to the company. The new design will also provide a roomier interior and improved levels of comfort and refinement. Subaru said the new Impreza will come in four trim levels, Premium, Sport Premium, Limited, and Sport Limited models.

Under the Hood

The 2012 Impreza comes with the new 148-hp 2.0L Boxer engine, which is mated to a five-speed manual transmission or the second-generation Lineartronic continuously variable transmission (CVT). Subaru said its new Boxer engine feels more responsive than the 2.5L engine it replaces due to lighter vehicle weight and the a quieter and more compact version of the CVT transmission that debuted in the 2010 Legacy and Outback models.

Impreza Premium, Sport and Limited models with the CVT also feature a 6-speed manual mode with steering wheel paddle shifters, which allow the driver to control the transmission via six pre-set ratios.

Subaru said other technologies it used to improve fuel efficiency in the Impreza include the new electric power steering system, which the company said contributes a 2-percent efficiency increase.

Exterior Design

The windshield is more raked than in the previous Impreza, with the bottom of the A-pillar moved 7.9 inches forward, allowing for a front door opening nearly five inches longer for easier entry/exit. Higher hip points and a lower, flatter instrument panel, along with larger side mirrors, contribute to better visibility from within the cabin. The automaker used tires with lower rolling resistance to improve fuel economy.

Interior Design

Subaru lengthened the wheelbase and redesigned the door and roof trim and front seats to increase passenger and cargo room for the 2011 Impreza. The wheelbase grows to 104.1 inches compared to 103.2 in the outgoing model. Vehicle length and width remain the same as before for both sedan and five-door models, yet, due to the redesigned door panels, the 2012 Impreza provides more hip and shoulder room. The rear seat offers nearly two more inches of legroom than in the previous version of the Impreza. Subaru also increased dedan trunk room and five-door cargo room, and the five-door now provides a completely flat load floor with the standard 60/40 split rear seatbacks folded.

Safety Features

The 2012 Impreza features a new body structure that makes greater use of high-tensile strength steel and features special stiffening elements at key locations. All 2012 Impreza models add a new driver's knee airbag. The passenger-seat front airbag features a shell-type design with a center groove, which the company said exposes a passenger to less impact force when it deploys.

All Impreza models for 2012 are equipped as standard with Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC), which combines stability and traction control functions. Also, all 2012 Impreza models are equipped with a standard 4-wheel disc Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and the company’s Brake Assist safety system.

Trim Levels

The automaker added more standard comfort and available amenities across the 2012 Impreza line. The base model features a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, power windows, door locks and side mirrors, a 60/40-split fold-down rear seat, outside temperature gauge, a multi-function display with fuel economy information, remote keyless entry system, security system with engine immobilizer, tilt/telescopic steering wheel, variable intermittent windshield wipers and a low windshield washer fluid warning light. Carpeted floormats are standard equipment in all 2012 Impreza models.

Impreza Premium models add 16-inch alloy wheels, steering wheel audio and Bluetooth control switches, a rear stabilizer bar for crisper handling, adjustable console armrest, body-color exterior mirrors, and chrome interior door handles. The standard audio system in the Premium models features Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity and audio streaming, Radio Data Broadcast System (RDBS), iPod control capability, USB port, 3.5mm aux. input jack and six speakers. An optional All-Weather Package adds heated front seats, heated exterior mirrors, and a windshield wiper de-icer.

A power moonroof and a navigation system are available for the Premium models. The new navigation system includes a 6.1-inch touch screen LCD display, voice control, iTunes® tagging, SMS text messaging capability, XM® Satellite Radio and XM NavTraffic (both XM services require subscriptions). Updated map data can be downloaded to a personal computer and then transferred into the system via secure digital (SD) card.

The Impreza Sport Premium is a five-door model that combines standard 17-inch alloy wheels and the All-Weather Package with fog lights, roof rails, unique seat fabric, and rocker panel spoilers. 

The Limited and Sport Limited (five-door only) models come with leather seating, and the All-Weather Package and Alloy Wheel Package are standard. A further audio upgrade (above the Premium) features a 4.3-inch display screen and standard HD Radio. The navigation system and power moonroof are options.

Originally posted on Automotive Fleet