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2012 Subaru Impreza Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2012 Subaru Impreza was new.


Interior: 8.4

Aside from a few hard plastics here and there, reviewers are really impressed with the redesigned 2012 Subaru Impreza’s cabin. The front and rear seats are exceptionally comfortable, the cargo space in both the sedan and hatchback is useful, and there is plenty of interior storage. The only thing that may give some shoppers pause is the Impreza’s list of standard features that is short for its price.

  • "In terms of quality, the 2012 Subaru Impreza now has one of the nicest cabins in the small-car market." -- Edmunds
  • "The fresh look outside is carried through the interior with greater use of soft touch material on the dash, doors and center console armrest. There's also plenty of cubbies and storage compartments for everything from water bottles to iPods." -- Road and Track
  • "What we like the best about the Impreza's interior is how clean and simple it is, from the dashboard to the center stack to the radio head unit. Even cars equipped with navigation use a simple layout, free of excess buttons and knobs and toggle switches." -- Autoblog


The 2012 Impreza stands out for its spacious seating. More than one reviewer says there’s plenty of room up front for tall adults. Combined with great visibility, a tilt and telescopic steering wheel and comfortable seats, it isn’t difficult for the driver to find a comfortable position. Test drivers say rear passengers will be just as comfortable. There is enough legroom to seat a tall adult comfortably behind a tall driver, which is very rare for an affordable small car.

  • "Better than the compact-car norm. A six-footer will fit behind another, with adequate foot space, legroom, and headroom. Entry and exit are fairly easy, helped by wide-opening rear doors." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Shorter drivers will love the low hoodline and generous range of seat-height adjustment. Everyone will appreciate the same from the tilt/telescoping steering wheel. For its class, the Impreza has ample front headroom and legroom." -- Cars.com
  • "A relatively low beltline means you won't have that sunk-in-the-bathtub feeling that's becoming so popular on new cars these days, and with small changes like having the side mirrors attached to the doors rather than the A-pillars, visibility from the driver's seat is superb." -- Autoblog

Interior Features

For the Impreza’s price, its standard features list runs a bit short. The Impreza doesn’t come standard with things like Bluetooth or a USB port, which are standard on competitors like the Kia Forte. The Premium trim Impreza gets Bluetooth, a USB port, an auxiliary jack and an upgraded stereo.

Overall, test drivers think the Impreza has a quality cabin, but the longer they stay inside, the more they notice that small features, like knobs for the climate controls, are made of cheap plastics. They also think that the touch screen infotainment system can’t compare with those in the Ford Focus and Chevrolet Cruze.

  • "On cars with a navigation system, the route planner dispenses an amazing amount of detail." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "In general, Impreza's controls are clearly marked and logically placed. The audio system and climate controls are mounted fairly high on the dash and are within easy reach." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Subaru has added a smattering of soft-touch materials to the dashboard and doors, and while they're nice, the Cruze's interior still feels more sophisticated and refined (the same goes for the Focus, if we're being honest). Little things like the climate control dials still feel cheap in the Impreza, as does the plastic material on the steering wheel, even on the uplevel leather-laden Limited trim." -- Autoblog
  • "Although the available touchscreen infotainment interface is better than before, it's still a bit crude compared to those found in the Ford Focus and Hyundai Elantra. Subaru stereos are also known for substandard sound quality." -- Edmunds


Neither the Impreza sedan nor the hatchback has the most space in the class, but test drivers say the sedan’s trunk has a usable 12 cubic feet. Test drivers add that the trunk opening is wide, and the hinges don’t get in the way, which makes it easy to load gear. The hatchback offers significantly more space, with 22.5 cubic feet available with the seats up, and 52.4 cubic feet available with the rear seats folded down. Still, the Honda Fit offers up to 57.3 cubic feet of cargo room with the rear seats folded. It also has passenger seats that flip different ways to accommodate more stuff, though it doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The cabin offers a lot of interior storage for a variety of odds and ends like cell phones and cameras.

  • "No matter where you're sitting, there's a well-designed cupholder within reach, and we found slots to stow a blueberry scone, camera, iPhone and notebook simultaneously." -- Edmunds
  • "The sedan's trunk is still on the small side at 12 cubic feet, but it's 6 percent larger than in the 2011, and the hinges don't encroach on the cargo area. The hatch's cargo area is wide, low and easy to load." -- Cars.com
  • "Frequent cargo-shleppers will appreciate the capaciousness of the five-door Impreza, with 52.4 cubic feet of usable space available with the rear seats folded. That's an improvement of exactly eight cubic feet versus the 2011 model, and 7.6 cubic feet versus the 2012 Ford Focus five-door." -- Autoblog

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