One of the more important debuts at this year’s New York auto show is the 2012 Subaru Impreza, shown in both sedan and five-door body styles. But the 2012 Impreza is more than just another transportation appliance; if you read Car and Driver with any regularity, you know that the Impreza is nothing but a WRX or an STI waiting to spread its turbocharged wings.
Subaru previewed the 2012 Impreza last fall at the Los Angeles auto show with the sinister-looking Impreza concept. Alas, the production version is predictably tamer, though it does have a more-protuberant chin, more-defined “hawk-eye” headlamps, and bulging fenders. Interesting details include a sharply raked windshield that starts nearly eight inches further forward on the hood than the glass on today’s model. Similarly, the beltline is considerably lower, and the windows are enlarged for improved visibility. Near-vertical body sides with squared-off bumper caps help reduce drag, à la Toyota Prius. Especially from the rear three-quarter angle, the 2012 Impreza is more than a little busy, but we’ll take busy over outright ugly any day.
While the 2012 Impreza looks bigger than the 2011 model, the only dimension that actually grew was its wheelbase, which increases from 103.2 inches to 104.1. Both hatchback and sedan models retain their 68.5-inch width and their overall lengths. Still, cargo space for the five-door manages to increase by 3.4 cubic feet with the rear seats up and by 5.3 with them folded. Best of all, the Impreza actually lost about 160 pounds, weight savings we hope will also apply to the forthcoming WRX and STI.
Subaru will offer the car in base, Premium, and Limited trim levels, but all Imprezas offer the same level of safety equipment, which now includes a knee airbag for the driver and the stability control that is government-mandated on all vehicles for 2013. What the Impreza seems to lack, however, is stirring interior design. Even in cushy Limited form, the interior wow factor is about nil.
Thanks to: Car and Driver