Subaru representatives credit some of the company's recent success to new models that are finally the "right size" for buyers. That means bigger than the previous models, and the Impreza will likely continue that trend. Although the Impreza is reasonably sized for the segment, we'd expect a slight increase in wheelbase and rear-seat legroom at the very least. An accompanying increase in overall length and width is also likely. As with the current car, the 2012 Impreza will be available as a sedan and as a four-door hatchback.
Trading power for fuel economy
Subaru will target fuel-economy gains, rather than power improvements, with an all-new engine for the next Impreza. To that end, the displacement falls from 2.5 liters to 2.0 liters with power dropping as well. The new flat four-cylinder makes 148 hp and 146 lb-ft of torque, compared with 170 hp and 170 lb-ft in the outgoing car. The four-speed automatic will be replaced with a more efficient continuously variable transmission. A manual, likely with five gears, will also be available. All-wheel drive will continue to be standard equipment.
Subaru has given no indication of just how dramatic the fuel-economy improvements will be, but we predict that highway fuel economy will come in between 30 and 35 mpg while city fuel economy should near 25 mpg. Those estimates amount to substantial gains over the old Impreza, but the new Subaru will still be well behind the most efficient compacts.