Subaru advances the level of safety in its vehicles with every new product launch. Advances made by the 2012 Impreza are apparent throughout the car – with active safety features that help drivers avoid accidents as well as passive safety features that help to protect occupants in a collision. Designs and features improve visibility, increase the body’s strength, enhance chassis systems, evolve the Supplemental Restraint System (SRS),1 and make seats hold more securely and safely.
Subaru considerably improved the field of vision in several ways. Most noticeable is the relocation of the bottom of the windshield frame – the A-pillar – forward on the car by 7.9 inches. Plus, the A-pillar’s cross section was redesigned to reduce how much it blocks visibility.
The side mirrors, which are 20 percent larger, were moved to the doors’ sheet metal, and their previous mounting points at the forward corner of the front windows were replaced by glass.
These changes plus a lower window line and higher seating position give the driver a clearer field of view and a more open environment. Objects to the side are more visible, and the mirrors provide a wider range of view to the rear – blind spots have been reduced.
Expanded headlight illumination and modified windshield-washer nozzles (wider spray and mounted closer to the windshield) also contribute to improved visibility.
The Impreza body-in-white (the body shell without anything attached) weighs 22 pounds less than the previous model. That was accomplished by using a larger percentage of high-strength steel. Also, the body is stronger overall and at critical points, especially where chassis components are mounted. Diagonal body members enhance stiffness, which improves handling.
As a result, steering responsiveness and tracking are improved, and there’s less mass to maneuver – the car handles better to help avoid accidents.
Along with steering responsiveness, other chassis components function better due to the stronger, stiffer body to which they are mounted. Overall, the car is easier to drive than its predecessor.
Standard chassis components that contribute to hazard avoidance include:
- 4-wheel disc brakes
- Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC)
- Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive
- Brake Assist (now VDC-based)
- Brake Override (prioritizes the brakes over the accelerator when both pedals are hit simultaneously in emergency situations)
- Viscous limited-slip differential (with manual transmission)
Revised and updated, SRS1 now includes a driver’s side knee airbag that helps cushion the lower limbs in the event of a collision.
Updated seats better protect occupants by absorbing impacts to the head and torso. In addition, they hold the occupants more securely and, along with the tilt and telescoping steering column, the driver’s seat better enables adjustment to a proper driving position.
The ring-shaped reinforcement frame is more efficient at absorbing impact energy. Here is a partial list of its revisions:
- Thicker high-strength toe board
- Reinforced A-pillar base
- Reinforced sections joining the bumper beams to the chassis
- High-strength side members that minimize deformation and intrusion
- Double rear door beams
1 The airbag Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) affords the driver and the front passenger additional protection in moderate to severe frontal and side-impact collisions and outboard 2nd row passengers additional protection in moderate to severe side-impact collisions. This system provides supplemental protection only, and seatbelts must be worn in order to avoid injuries to out-of-position occupants upon bag deployment and to provide the best combined protection in a serious accident. Children should always be properly restrained in one of the rear seats. See Owner's Manual for recommended seating position.
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