For the premiere of the 2012 Subaru Impreza at the New York auto show, the press put on 3-D glasses to watch a wall-sized screening of Subaru owners engaging in various forms of athletic endeavors – everything from throwing Frisbees to rock-climbing.
“You probably already know that Subaru owners are everything but couch potatoes,” noted Michael McHale, Subaru’s Director of Corporate Communications, upon introducing the all-new fourth generation Impreza.
The Impreza is already on a good roll. Sales are up around 40 over last year.
The all-new Impreza boasts fuel economy of 27 miles per gallon in the city, and 36 mpg on the highway, a 30% increase over the outgoing model. The improved mileage comes care of an updated engine. The new 148-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder boxer engine produces lower emissions than the old one.
A revised second-generation continuously variable transmission (CVT) should provide smoother shifting. The Premium, Sport and Limited models also feature a 6-speed manual mode with steering wheel paddle shifters.
On the outside, the 2012 Impreza wears new squared-off sheetmetal, with powerful wheel arches similar to those on the larger Legacy, hawk-eye headlights and a new hexagonal grille. The windshield is more raked than on the previous model for a more aggressive look. The bottom of the A-pillar has been moved far forward, which creates a front door opening that is nearly 5” longer for easier entry and exit.
Built on a longer wheelbase (by 1”), but with shorter overhangs, the 2012 Impreza offers 2” more legroom for backseat occupants, with increased trunk and cargo space.
Inside the cabin, the materials have been upgraded and there are a slew of enhanced entertainment/connectivity features.
New standard audio system in the Premium models features Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity and audio streaming, plus integrated iPod controls. An available navigation system includes a 6.1-inch LCD touch-screen, voice control, SMS text messaging capability, XM NavTraffic and more.
The 2012 Impreza will be arriving in dealers this summer. Pricing has yet to be announced, but should fall fairly close to the $17,495 starting price of the 2011 model.
HOLLY REICH writes about cars, travel, lifestyle and more. Her work has been featured in publications that include: Elite Traveler, The New York Daily News, The Washington Post and The Boston Herald. She contributes monthly to Motor Matters syndicate and her blog, “Riffs on Rides,” appears on uptownlife.net.