It’s time for another car. I’ve settled on a 2012 Subaru Impreza, because it should be less expensive to run than my current vehicle due to good gas mileage and lower maintenance costs, easier to drive down challenging roads in the White Mountain National Forest, more likely to keep going in bad weather without killing me due to all-wheel drive, and is available a hatchback. The sedan trunks I’ve been using for years never seem quite large enough when I really need them. My wife drives a hatchback, and I’m a titch jealous. Time to get my own.
That’s a look at the Impreza in Limited trim. It’s not the most handsome car around, but after driving it a couple of times, I know it’s the right fit for me. So, I ordered a silver “Limited” back in May. Why not take an Impreza from dealer stock? Well, I’m a fussy middle-aged guy, and my last car (a 2006 Acura TL) spoiled me a little; it has a bunch of toys on it that I rather like. Since the Impreza is available with a moonroof, navigation system, and upgraded stereo, I went for it. Finding Imprezas equipped with roof, nav, and all the other options I was looking for in the color I prefer was just not possible to come by in stock. Anywhere. I looked. So, I made a deal with the dealer I was happy with, and then checked the boxes for options I was interested in. Order up!
And now I’m waiting. The way an order works with Subaru, at least this late in the production run for this model year, “my” car would come out of whatever the factories in Japan produce. Subaru dealers nationally are allocated a certain number of vehicles each month. If there’s a car Subaru has made that matches what I’ve ordered, and the dealer is high enough in the priority list to have it allocated to him, then I’m in luck. And the manufactured car only has to match as far as color, model trim (“Limited”), and roof/nav. The rest of the options I specified, like the upgraded stereo components, splash guards, rear seat protectors, etc. are installed once the car arrives in port.
From what I can tell trolling around the Internet, Subaru will be making the 2012 Impreza until sometime in July 2012. Then, they retool the factory to start cranking out the 2013 Impreza sometime in August, with a presumable delivery date of sometime in September to American shores. The point being, if my 2012 Impreza order isn’t fulfilled via dealer allocation in July or August…then I think I’m into the 2013 model year. Not that that’s a bad thing (and I can wait if it comes down to it), but wow. Who would have thought this was such a tough car to get a hold of?
In the meantime, I’ve been reading (and re-reading) reviews of the Impreza, as well as lurking around the North American Subaru Impreza Owners Club forums. Reading the comment of folks who own this car has been interesting.
- The typical buyer seems to be younger than me – I’m 40. That’s an impression formed based on the language and slang used, inferences I’ve made based on lifestyle, marital status, etc.
- Complainers are far more vocal than satisfied owners. So, folks with problems are getting a lot more “press”, so to speak.
- 2012 Impreza issues folks have had include the following: less than expected fuel economy, although this seems to go away after 7K – 10K miles; lousy stereo in the base and premium models especially, but either aftermarket or factory speaker upgrades make this problem go away; interior squeaks and rattles, although this seems to be a rare complaint, and the drivers’ seat is easily made right if you take a few minutes to unzip the cover and tape up the offending bits; and finally, excessive oil consumption, although this is a very rare one as well.
- I’ve seen many, many posts from people who love the car, and describe how they love it more and more as time goes on.
I feel like I’ve lined up behind an automotive cult. People are passionate not just about the Impreza, but Subaru in general. I used to be a “Ford guy” back in the day, growing up on cast-off State government Crown Vics and Fairmonts purchased at auction, plus owning a ’95 V-8 Thunderbird, several Taur-ii, and the odd Mercury Sable. But after my wife’s car had suspension springs break, stranding her (with the kids) twice, I don’t think I’ll ever go back to Ford, even though I had my eye on a Mustang for years. But I never “loved” Fords as such. I was never rabid about them. Ford was just comfortable, and I knew the product line, so that’s where I was mostly happy.
Subaru owners are really, really into their cars, though. Really. I hope that means my Impreza is worth the wait.
Cars101 2012 Impreza Page (excellent resource, listing option packages, insider news items, detailed photos, etc.)
AOL 2012 Impreza Overview Page (quite good)
Search YouTube – 2012 Subaru Impreza videos (several worthwhile reviews)