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2012 Subaru Impreza / WRX Pros and Cons at TrueDelta: 2012 Impreza - base by davidn96



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I own a 2012 Impreza base model - because I already own a roof rack and I'm poor. Plus I couldn't justify the extra cost for an upgraded(but still garbage) audio system, rims, and paddle shifters for an automatic CVT.

Reviewed: 2012 Subaru Impreza / WRX

4dr Hatch 148-horsepower 2.0L H4 CVT AWD

Why the 2012 Subaru Impreza / WRX?

Exterior styling

I really like the exterior styling of this generation. The previous generation was too "bubbly". This one is more angular and sharper. It's no Lamborghini Aventador, but it's a definite improvement over the previous generation.

Powertrain performance

The powertrain is adequate for my needs of carrying the family and commuting to work. If you want to engage in some shenanigans when driving solo, just be delicate with the gas pedal. Else it will just generate a lot of noise when you mash the gas pedeal and not much else. The changing from Reverse to Drive can be slow(1-2 seconds), but I've read that it is due to a cold transmission in the morning.


The handling is adequate for basic family transportation and commuting. Spirited driving through turns will reveal moderate body roll. The 4WD and Active Torque Splitter(60:40) combination has done well at keeping my car pointed in the right direction even with the tires screeching.

Front seat support & comfort

I've driven between the SF Bay Area and San Diego several times with no comfort issues. As a point of comparison, I am comfortable with long drives in a 2002 Honda Civic and I would like to burn the seats in a 2010 Hyundai Tucson.

Driving position & visibility

This car is like a fishbowl. There are windows all around and the pillars and support beams are narrow. Unless your passengers are big or the passenger seat is in a bad position, you have a 360 view - assuming you turn your head while driving.

Why Not the 2012 Subaru Impreza / WRX?

Fuel economy

The fuel economy isn't as high expected. I get about 28 mpg. I should probably stop driving like I stole it when the kids are out of the car.

Audio & nav systems

The stock audio in this car is garbage. I've swapped the stock head unit in the car and that improved things greatly.


I would not say this is a quiet car. Road noise seems to be a bit high.


I like this car a lot. Would I like a quieter car with more power and tighter handling? Yes. But that costs more and I think this car gives me good value and does its primary job admirably as a family carrier.

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Response from Member4064

3:21 pm June 30, 2015

I agree with this review. Got the Limited model for the leather seats, but same crappy stereo. The tweeters they add on my car cost $2 wholesale and sounded so bad I had to disconnect them. At least the stereo is easy to upgrade on the non-nav 12-14 models. Go to subaruaudio.net to learn more about stereo upgrades and adapters to install aftermarket speakers in the Subaru's doors without drilling new holes in the door metal.


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