What is it? Looking like the little brother to the Legacy, the 2012 Impreza is an update of our highest scoring all-wheel-drive small car. Notably, the car rides on a 1-inch longer wheelbase, enabling 2 inches more legroom in the hatchback and sedan.
Subaru claims a 30-percent improvement in fuel economy from a new, smaller 148-hp, 2.0-liter double-overhead-cam four-cylinder engine – down from a former base 170 hp. Interior materials have mostly been upgraded. Two new trim levels will be available, Limited and Sport Limited, with more features than were previously available on Impreza. A driver’s knee airbag is now standard.
What’s new or notable? The main difference is a new continuously variable transmission, which produced a dramatic improvement in fuel economy in the latest Subaru Outback. A five-speed manual is also available. Subaru claims highway fuel economy of 36 mpg, which puts it higher than any other all-wheel-drive car on the market, but still lower than some new front-drive competitors, such as the Hyundai Elantra.
When will it be available? Fall 2011