Subaru has always been a bit of a niche player in the US market. Building no-nonsense cars with all-wheel drive gets you a loyal following of snowbound northerners, weekend rally drivers, triathletes and Yankee cranks.
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#1 May 19, 2012
Wired gets a lot right in this review, but not its comments about the CVT. It's true that the CVT doesn't get acceleration quite right, but neither do most automatics. The Impreza's CVT is far superior to any other compact/auto transmission I've driven, and there's plenty of acceleration when you need it for merging and passing. I drive a 2012 Ford Focus manual as well, and the Impreza is at least as quick when it comes to passing. The CVT isn't perfect, but it's more than close enough.
There's a reason Subaru is selling more than twice as many fourth-gen Imprezas as it did the previous version: the new model is a much nicer vehicle overall and has vastly better fuel economy. It's within 1 mpg of the manual Focus in combined driving. Overall handling is as good as any economical compact. And with AWD, there's no longer a penalty for owning a compact car that's brilliant in snow.
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