While a 30-mpg combined gas mileage is far from the best available in the compact car segment, it’s the highest rating for a gasoline all-wheel drive vehicle. The new engine and transmission combine with a weight reduction of 110 pounds to improve gas mileage considerably over the previous generation.
Fitted with the continuously variable transmission, the 2012 Impreza sedan and hatchback are expected to earn EPA ratings of 27 city, 36 mpg highway, for a combined 30-mpg rating, a 30-percent improvement over last year’s figures. (Subaru points out with pride that the combined figure is better than both the subcompact Mazda2 and the Fiat 500 minicar fitted with an automatic.) Those numbers fall slightly, to a combined 28 mpg rating, for buyers who opt for the five-speed manual transmission.
The boost in gas mileage ratings also gives the 2012 Impreza a substantial cruising range of 523 miles, up 67 miles over the previous model, despite the smaller gas tank that allows a flat load floor with the rear seat folded down.
The 2012 Subaru Impreza is also clean enough to earn the designation of Partial Zero-Emission Vehicle, or P-ZEV, which no Impreza to date could claim. Some carmakers only offer PZEV vehicles in the states that follow California’s stricter emissions standards, but Subaru has chosen to make it standard for all 50 states—complete with a “PZEV” badge, which includes a green leaf, on the trunk lid or hatch.