Roadshow Video Reviews
2012 Subaru Impreza 2.0i Sport PremiumTake a ride with CNET's Brian Cooley in the 2012 Subaru Impreza, as he checks out its redesigned exterior and ecofriendly engine.
The outgoing Subaru Impreza was a pretty good little car except for a couple of little things, ugly and thirsty. Not a great trade from the very competitive car segment. But let's take a run in this 2012 heavily revised Subaru Impreza 2.0i Sport limited. That's a mouth full. Check the tech and see if we can address the issue. Now the fact that we're in a sport limited trim level on this guy and they've got like 19,000 trim level means we have a very limited selection of technology, standard or optional. This guy is uniquely without check boxes to add gear. For example, that's your head unit. You cannot get the 6-inch LCD touch screen guide, which would also have navigation not available on this trim. It's available on several others but not this Impreza. You also have AM/FM radio but you can't HD radio in this car. I mean you can't get it at all. You do have however a USB jack which is very forward for Thumb Drives or iPods AUX is down there as well and notice in addition to CD, you've also got Bluetooth streaming audio and Bluetooth hands free is standard on this car as well. Audio system for the output is six speakers bass and there's a bunch of a la carte stuff you can do. You can option a tenant subwoofer for 500 bucks. You can option a pair of additional twitters for 120 if it's not brassy enough for you or you can upgrade the speakers overall for 250 bucks. It's an upgrade of 4 speakers. I'm not sure what they do with the other two, leave them crappy I guess. What you can go in this guy and we do have it is the CBT gear box. There's no true (Cog?) based automatic, just the CBT continuously variable. It also comes with paddles on the wheel as it is the fashion these days and as you can see, you've got a gate down here for automatic mode or over here, the simulated manual where it pretends like it has gears. We'll see how well that works on the road in a minute. Now under the hood on this 2012 Impreza is something small that is actually a big story. Its engine got smaller from the last generation down from 2-1/2 liters to just 2 liters. Flat four box are in there, it's a Subee after all. You're gonna get 148 horse power on this guy, 145 foot-pounds of torque, not overwhelming numbers, but they do get this carved to 60 in about 8 seconds, if you've got a manual. That's why it's almost a second and a half slower with our CBT. But the pay off is in the MPG, 2736 now on this car with the CBT. The outgoing model was like 2027. That's like a different world. But let's see how it is on the road. A CBT is rather real good or real flip real, let's see how this one is. You know, I'm a big fan of Nissan for its gear box but this one tends to have pretty good (friction?). It doesn't give you that butter ball feeling that a lot of them do. So good points on that and again, it makes a big difference in MPG. You pick up like two MGP's, city and highway respectively by going with this transmission. The car doesn't feel as slow as it looks on paper. That's kind of the point of a car like this which is not a performance ride. You're not gonna go to the track with it so who cares how fast it really is as long as it feels slightly and it does. Now part of the goodness of a boxer engine is that it lays real low. The center of gravity is down, just above the actual line which gives the car a nice low center of gravity around the front about the stirring and pointing wheel. So the car handles rather nicely, considering that it has got kinda (hombolord?). (??) about this car, I had a hard time living with day in and day out is the sound coming out of what I think is from the gear box. It sounds like a belt rubbing on something all the time. Not like it's broken but like it's gonna make me insane. That's unfortunate because this car is otherwise fairly refined and well bolted together and it got the CBT thing so I would have to drive the manual just to see if it was much more refined and quite but I better end up go with the CBT anyway because it's a better real world choice and this one seems to be well executed