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2012 Subaru Impreza: Delivers excellent fuel mileage for Denver commuters

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While many competing compact cars continue to get bigger and heavier with each new model year, the 2012 Impreza, depending on model and equipment, has lost up to 165 pounds in curb weight, contributing to an increase in fuel efficiency and better handling. The Impreza is a better value for Denver buyers than before.

Impreza's 148 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque doesn’t sound too impressive, but the weight reduction over the previous generation Impreza really helped the performance. When getting up to speed on I-25, the 2.0-liter accelerates crisply and will cruise calmly and steadily at the highest speeds without feeling like a small compact car.

The 2012 Impreza's gets a new electronic steering that delivers firm steering and at the same time contributes to a 2-percent savings in fuel efficiency. The Impreza felt stable in tight corners at higher speeds in the mountains. And the new suspension keeps the car remarkably flat and stable.

But when the Impreza is taken to its cornering limit, a large amount of body roll takes place. Even though this tester was the Sport version, it’s still not a true sports car.

The braking system had all the goodies, Electronic Brake Distribution, ABS and Brake Assist. The brakes felt good and performed well even in very wet conditions on a Denver commute down I-70.

The 2012 Subaru Impreza 2.0i offers secure handling, tight steering, solid brakes and a ride that feels big for a small car. The new engine delivers excellent fuel economy for a car with all-wheel drive, but acceleration is a bit slow here at Denver’s higher altitude. A turbo would help significantly.

But for those of us who live in Denver, the extra traction of all-wheel-drive is definitely worth the slower acceleration.

This traditionally modest compact car from Subaru looks and feels much more upscale than the previous generation car. It is more comfortable than expected and more glamorous by far, yet it still embodies all of the admired practicality that has made Subaru among the most owner-loyal brands here in Denver.

Click here and we’ll give a full report on the 2012 Impreza 2.0i Sport.

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