In 2010, it posted its best-ever sales figures in the United States, an increase of 22 percent over 2009 for a total of 263,820 vehicles. In the last three years, as the rest of the auto industry struggled with double-digit sales declines, Subaru was the only automaker that posted consecutive sales increases.
The key to this windfall? Subaru says that it's attractive pricing and ideal vehicle sizing. So it makes sense that the company opted to stay the course on price and size for the fourth-generation Impreza, but to focus on improving two other vital characteristics of its best-seller.
"With the 2012 Impreza, we're heavy up on style, and we're heavy up on fuel efficiency. That's where we go next," says Michael McHale, Subaru's head of corporate communications.
At the 2010 Los Angeles auto show, Subaru demonstrated its emphasis on style with the Impreza Concept. Like the Legacy Concept shown in 2009, the Impreza prototype demonstrated an athletic physique characterized by an aggressive nose and aerodynamic rear. Its profile was slim with a steeply raked windshield.
Many of the show car's design elements were translated into the striking 2012 Impreza. The hexagonal grille has wings flanking a prominent badge. The wide-set, hawkeye headlamps rotate and set off a strong shoulderline and creased hood, both cribbed from big brother Legacy.
The base of the A-pillar has been relocated 7.9 inches forward for a longer, more rakish greenhouse. With the goal of providing class-leading visibility, Subaru thinned the A-pillars and detached the side mirrors from their bases. Windowsills were kept low, with partitioned glass at all the side windows.
The look is much improved over the flaccid previous generation. The 2012 Impreza has a muscular, Baby Legacy thing going on, especially the five-door hatch when viewed from behind. Chunky taillamps and a chiseled rear fascia butch up the gentle fender flares.
|2012 Subaru Impreza|