2012 Subaru Impreza 2.0i Sport Review

MPG-o-Matic 2012 Subaru Impreza 2.0i Sport Review Summary: The 2012 Subaru Impreza is the most fuel-efficient AWD vehicle on the highway in America, bar none. The closest challenger for the Impreza’s remarkable 36 miles per gallon (MPG) are the 2012 BMW 528i xDrive , 2013 Audi A4 quattro, and 2013 Audi A5 quattro at 32 MPG … all of which are significantly more expensive than the Impreza’s starting MSRP of $17,495.

The 2012 Subaru Impreza is powered by a sequential multi-port fuel injected DOHC 2.0-liter Boxer (horizontally opposed) four-cylinder engine that produces 148 horsepower (HP) and 145 foot pounds of torque. The Impreza is available with a five-speed manual transmission or CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) automatic, as either a five-door hatchback or four-door sedan, but only in All-Wheel-Drive (AWD). Manual-equipped Imprezas use Continuous AWD with a viscous-coupling locking center differential, while CVT-equipped models use Active All-Wheel Drive with an electronically managed continuously variable hydraulic transfer clutch. All 2012 Impreza’s are equipped with the naturally-aspirated 2.0 liter Boxer. The WRX and WRX STI are fitted with the 2.5-liter turbocharged Boxer.

The official fuel economy estimates for the five door 2012 Subaru Impreza 2.0i Sport are 27 city / 36 highway miles per gallon for the CVT and 25 / 33 for the manual. The five-speed manual sedan is rated at 25 / 34.

We covered over 400 miles in our CVT-equipped Satin White Pearl Impreza 2.0i Sport Limited review unit and had no difficulty nailing the official mileage estimates, with an average of 38.1 MPG on the Interstate highway and 31.9 MPG combined with temperatures ranging from the sixties through the high eighties.

While the Impreza’s Boxer four might not be a champ when paired with the CVT in the 0-60 MPH run, it feels rather sprightly around town. If you’re after a undeniably fast Subie, you’ll opt for the WRX or STi.

Interstate Mileage Testing:

  • Cruise control set to 68 MPH, A/C on, windows up: 36.6 MPG
  • Cruise control set to 68 MPH, A/C off, windows up: 36.9 MPG
  • Cruise control off, target speed 60-72 MPH, A/C off, windows up: 40.8 MPG

Interstate highway testing temperatures were in the low eighties, with 68 MPH steady state cruising at approximately 2000 RPM. Our Impreza 2.0i Sport Limited test vehicle was equipped with the standard 17 x 7.0-inch 5-hole aluminum-alloy wheels wheels, clad with Yokohama Avid S34 205/50 R17 88V all-season tires, and was delivered with just over 4700 miles on the odometer. The base model uses 15 x 6-inch. steel wheels (with wheel covers) and 195/65R15 tires, while the Premium model uses 16 x 6.5 inch aluminum alloy wheels and 205/55R16 tires.

Highway driving range is excellent. All 2012 Imprezas are fitted with 14.5 gallon fuel tanks and are designed to run on regular unleaded gasoline.

The four-wheel-disc ABS brake system uses 10.9-inch vented rotors on the front and 10.8-inch solid rotors at the rear. Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC), Traction Control, and a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) are standard. The 2.0i Sport Premium weighs in at 2,998 pounds for the manual and 3,075 pounds for the automatic.

An old-school analogue real-time fuel economy gauge is located at the base of the speedometer. The center-mounted monochrome digital trip computer displays real-time and average fuel economy, average vehicle speed, trip time, and ambient temperature, in addition to a digital clock.

Getting out of an ill-handling, gas-guzzling SUV and into an Impreza will reconnect you with the road as surely as it keeps a big chunk of cash in your wallet from savings at the gas pump.

The Impreza Premium, Sport and Limited include a driver-selectable 6-speed manual shift mode and steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters, which come in handy for dropping down a simulated gear or two for passing.

The leather-wrapped steering wheel features audio and hands-free Bluetooth controls. Limited and sport models include leather upholstery, along with the all-weather package which provides windshield wiper de-icer, heated side mirrors and two-level heated front seats. The driver’s seat provides six-way manual adjustment, while the passenger seat provides four-way adjustment. (Adjustable lumbar support is not offered in the Impreza.)

The six-speaker audio system includes full iPod support, Bluetooth streaming, HD Radio, and XM Satellite.

There are twelve-volt outlets: the first at the base of the dash and the second inside the center console, next to the USB and audio inputs.

The Impreza’s rear seat provides a fold-down center armrest, 37.1 inches of headroom and 35.4 inches of legroom. This puts it in the neighborhood of a number of smaller SUVs.

The five-door Impreza’s cargo area provides plenty of room for hauling stuff. There are 22.5 cubic feet of storage space with the 65/35 split rear seat up, and 52.4 cubic feet available with the rear seat folded down.

All-in-all, the 2012 Subaru Impreza 2.0i Sport offers a compelling reason to hang up the keys to that gas guzzling SUV. It’s no surprise that Subaru sales are going so well. With its legendary Symmetrical all-wheel-drive, solid handling, a roomy interior, chart-topping gas mileage and a starting price under $18,000, the Impreza is a thrifty choice without compromise.

Parts Content Information
US/Canadian Parts Content: 0%
Major Sources of Foreign Parts Content: Japan 100%
Final Assembly Point: Ota Gunma, Japan
Country of Origin:
Engine – Japan
Transmission – Japan

Warranty Information:
Basic – 3 years/36,000 miles
Powertrain – 5 years/60,000 miles
Rust Perforation – 5 years/unlimited miles

– by

2012 Subaru Impreza 2.0i Sport Limited

Daniel Gray

4 thoughts on “2012 Subaru Impreza 2.0i Sport Review”

  1. How much of an actual difference in MPG is there between the CVT and manual versions of either the 2012 or 2013 Impreza when driven by an efficient driver? Understandably, the EPA uses average numbers and average drivers but for someone who uses fuel saving driving habits will the manual be able to decrease the difference or even take the lead or will the CVT still be better regardless of who drives it?

  2. I am interested in the above question as well, and am wondering if you will be testing the 5 speed any time soon. I have a few friends with the new Impreza and it seems like the 5 speed cars are getting better fuel economy than the CVT version, although rated less. This is despite the 5 speed is more for sporty drivers…


  3. @Harry – The next Subarus we test will likely be 2014s, but I don’t know which models or exactly when. Have you taken a run through the Impreza listings at Fuelly.com? Fuel economy results are hugely dependent on driving style and conditions. There are many variables and Light Foot vs Heavy Foot will have an impact on the results no matter the transmission. 🙂

  4. I’ve got over 13k miles on a 2013 Impreza Sport Premium 5 speed. My combined MPG (manually calculated) is 30.5.

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