If your budget allows, consider stepping up to the 2.0i Premium. In addition to 16-inch aluminum wheels and a rear stabilizer bar, standard equipment includes cruise control, Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity, a 6-speaker audio system, and a USB audio input. An all-weather package (i.e. heated front seats and exterior mirrors), 17-inch aluminum wheels, a power moonroof, and a new navigation system are all available at extra cost.
The all-weather package and 17-inch wheels are standard fare on the 2.0i Limited, which also lumps in the CVT as standard equipment. Additional content includes leather seating, a rear armrest, chrome exterior door handles, fog lamps, automatic climate control, and a HD radio tuner.
After 16 years, the Outback Sport model is officially dead, although a new Impreza Sport model, available only on U.S.-spec five-door wagons, essentially serves as its replacement. Bundled with either the 2.0i Premium or 2.0i Limited trims, Sport models add roof rails, unique 17-inch aluminum wheels, the all-weather package, body-colored rocker panels, fog lamps, and a new grille insert. Unlike the previous Outback sport, a meager suspension lift and modest underbody skid plates are not part of the package.
Pricing for the entire range won't be released until the cars arrive at dealers this fall, but we're told the 2012 model won't carry a significant premium over the 2011 Impreza. Expect MSRPs to range from $17,495 to just under $20,000.
Another Successful Subaru?
With Chevrolet, Ford Hyundai, Honda, and Volkswagen all launching new C-segment offerings, the compact car class has never been more competitive. Luckily, Subaru's new offering finally brings more than all-wheel-drive to the table. The 2012 Impreza appears to offer the space, sophistication, and frugality consumers expect from a modern compact and the all-wheel-drive traction demanded by Subaru loyalists.