Subarus are like horror movies. Either you like them or you don't. And the people who like them really like them--maybe too much. Are we talking about horror movies or Subarus? Well, both. That's exactly why we're adding a 2012 Subaru Impreza to our long-term fleet.

Subaru owners are fiercely loyal, and for good reason. The cars have a reputation for longevity and the ability to tackle any road, even it's not entirely a real or visible road. Visit a state like Connecticut, Maine or really anywhere in New England and you'll find beat-up, sad-looking Subarus still grinding away on snow-covered main streets and unpaved, muddy back roads. Mileage in excess of 100,000 is common.

Of course, we won't be putting quite that many miles on our Impreza, but we're anxious to see how it holds up to the normal wear and tear of an urban commute and the surprisingly ice-prone Atlanta winter.

Our specific car is a 2012 Impreza Sport 2.0i Premium with just a few options. The base price for our tester is $19,595. We added the optional All Weather + Alloy Wheels + Moonroof package ($2,000), which includes the all-weather package (heated front seats, heated side mirrors, windshield wiper de-icer) and the Alloy Wheel Package (17-inch alloy wheels, leather-wrapped shift knob, leather-wrapped steering wheel, power moonroof). We opted for the Lineartronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT; $1,000), which has a shift-it-yourself mode via steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters and a set of all-weather floor mats ($69). Total price including destination and delivery ($750) is $23,414.

That's a fair price for an all-wheel-drive compact wagon. Standard equipment includes steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, a tilt and telescoping wheel, USB port, Bluetooth, cruise control, power windows (with a driver's side auto up and down), remote keyless entry and 60/40 split rear seats. Standard safety features include 4-wheel disc brakes with ABS, electronic brake force distribution, front side-impact airbags, driver's side knee airbag, stability control and, of course, all-wheel drive.

A few features the car doesn't have: satellite radio, leather seats, fog lights, rear parking camera or a roof rack. Thankfully, many of these things are available through our local Subaru dealer. In the coming months, we want to add a few accessories to dress the car up a little.

So far we really like the car. As far as small cars go, this is one of the best. The CVT and 2.0-liter flat-4 engine make the car feel quick. The car's handling is fun, and the ride is comfortable. We opted for a light-colored cloth interior, which might have been a mistake, but time will tell for sure. The seats are certainly comfortable, and we like that you don't have to get leather to get heated seats.

Check back for more updates on our 2012 Subaru Impreza Sport. We're hoping to take the car to the snow, hit an autocross and maybe even take a few road trips before our time is up.

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Brian Moody heads up the AutoTrader.com editorial team. An automotive writer and presenter for more than 12 years, he's contributed to such media outlets as CNBC, Edmunds.com, Fox Business, Speed TV and The Today Show.

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