Originally Posted by Zeeper
No, 5th is purposely geared as an overdrive gear to reduce RPM at highway speeds and conserve gas.
It is just geared so high, with power output from the engine pretty maxed out, to be used when climbing significant grades (especially with the AC on).
Rolling hills are not a problem, I'm talking steeper climbs.
And if you want to pass quickly on the highway, you need to downshift to 4th.
The car needs to be actively 'driven' to maintain the right powerband, but I bought a manual because I like to control the powerband, and 5th gear is perfect for what it does.
The issue is the engine power, which is perfectly adequate for the lower gears and offers ample acceleration down low but not quite enough to cruise in 5th gear in the mountains.
Not that I care, I downshift. It is only for steep mountains so not all that much for me (but I don't live in Colorado).
I'd rather see my overall MPG average hitting 30mpg and have to downshift occasionally than have the fuel hog 2.5 liter engine that was in last years model and leave it in 5th while climbing mountain roads.
If you disagree, you can still trade it in for a WRX and get the power you desire, with the fuel economy that comes with it.
Yeah, all very true. I wish I got a wrx but it just wasn't affordable. I mostly drive short distances city so mpg wasn't really a factor in picking the impreza. This is my first car that even has overdrive so I guess I'm expecting to much. I actually wanted an 11 impreza but believe it or not they are very hard to find. 3 dealers didn't have one and couldn't get one from anywhere. Now that I have the 12 though and after driving my friends 11 I'm glad I got the 12.