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Old 10-05-2012, 11:15 PM   #26
53x12
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Well, I don't own this car (yet), but I've driven both a bunch. My 2 cents, and I've driven manuals all my life (25+ years of driving).

I love manuals but I am unimpressed with this manual. For starters, there feels like there's too much distance between the gearing, so there's a big drop in RPM between gears. First gear is too touchy & jerky. The shifter feels sloppy.

Now I will admit a bias, as I've become spoiled from years of driving Miatas. But even my old B-series truck had a smoother shifting action than this gearbox. What it feels to me is cheap, as in cheaply made.

I have been waiting for the 2013's as I wanted a leather wheel and shifter, but I'm either going to have to reconsider the CVT or skip this iteration altogether.

You are totally entitled to your opinion, but I don't feel it is as bad as you make it out to be. This is after putting +8,000 miles on our SP.
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Old 10-06-2012, 12:11 AM   #27
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I've had my MT sport for about 3 hours now... Too early to review.
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Old 10-06-2012, 12:46 AM   #28
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love mine, 5500 miles on it so far and my mpg is epa or better!
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Old 10-06-2012, 01:13 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by kenny doggins View Post
yes i'm coming to terms with the yellow light! For now I'll do the BET mod to take care of that. Whenever I have the dash open I'll get a little more advanced.

I'll never ever ever turn that back on

Whats the BET mod?
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Old 10-06-2012, 07:59 AM   #30
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There is a huge jump in gearing from 3rd to 4th and 5th.

That isn't a real problem, if you want acceleration 3rd is sufficient up to 75-80mph, 4th and 5th are for conserving fuel. I would have preferred more even gearing with a 6th speed overdrive, but you get what you get.

As far as the CVT, I am not a believer. If you like to drive, using paddle shifters is not a substitute for driving a standard (any more than driving a convertible is a substitute for operating a motorcycle).

It is not the gearing ratios I would have chosen, but I plan on having the car for a long time and it didn't take long to get used to how this car performs.

As far as the CVT vs Manual AWD systems, the videos on the internet comparing Subaru AWD with other manufacturers and with the Land Rover were both showing the Electronically controlled clutch AWD system, check them out.
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Old 10-06-2012, 10:21 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeeper
There is a huge jump in gearing from 3rd to 4th and 5th.

That isn't a real problem, if you want acceleration 3rd is sufficient up to 75-80mph, 4th and 5th are for conserving fuel. I would have preferred more even gearing with a 6th speed overdrive, but you get what you get.

As far as the CVT, I am not a believer. If you like to drive, using paddle shifters is not a substitute for driving a standard (any more than driving a convertible is a substitute for operating a motorcycle).

It is not the gearing ratios I would have chosen, but I plan on having the car for a long time and it didn't take long to get used to how this car performs.

As far as the CVT vs Manual AWD systems, the videos on the internet comparing Subaru AWD with other manufacturers and with the Land Rover were both showing the Electronically controlled clutch AWD system, check them out.
I agree. close ratios and a 6 speed would have helped a lot with the manual version, but it is definitely driveable. You just can't be afraid to rev above 4k
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Old 10-06-2012, 11:27 AM   #32
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Hill assist is annoying, so I disabled it (but you're left with an annoying hill assist disabled light on the dash). 1st to 2nd gear is pretty annoying. You really have to rev it pretty high in 1st to keep it in the power band in 2nd. Would really like to see a 6-speed. Maybe they'll come out with a sportier less econo version... if they threw an FA20 under the hood, I'd be all over that.
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Old 10-06-2012, 11:37 AM   #33
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My car has a 5mt, and after 14k miles, I feel that the ratios DO suck. 3, 4, and 5 are too widely spaced.
But after driving a cvt loaner for a week, I'd much rather have the manual.
I second suggestion that Amsoil Severe Gear is a worthwhile change from the factory stuff.
I remember Car and Driver a couple years ago talking about the new impreza. "We'd bet out money that the new Impreza gets direct injection and a six-speed gearbox". Guess they were wrong as usual.
On a dirt road, the MT seems to do a better job with the awd function. The cvt car just doesn't quite feel right when you go from pavement to dirt and hit some fast S-curves.
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Old 10-06-2012, 11:54 AM   #34
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Maybe they'll come out with a sportier less econo version... if they threw an FA20 under the hood, I'd be all over that.

Yes please!! It wouldn't even suffer a drop in mpg based on what the BRZ is showing.
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Old 10-06-2012, 01:24 PM   #35
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I've been saying for a year now that subaru NEEDS to drop two doors from the Impreza, put in either the 2.5fb from the forester or the fa from the brz, and put a 6mt in it. That would, imo, make a great all around daily driver. It would lose a good bit of weight losing the rear doors, would have a little bit shorter wheelbase, would be 25-50 hp up on what the 2.0i has, and would definitely be a lot of fun. I think such a "new RS" would fill a hole in the subaru lineup as they don't offer a sporty awd two door. And it would be much more practical than buying a wrx, with way better mpg's and no turbo.
I bet real world mpg's on my hypothetical "new RS" would be close or the same as the 2.0i.
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Old 10-06-2012, 01:47 PM   #36
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how are you guys disabling hill assist? I tried the procedure listed a month ago and couldn't get it to work. is there a new method out?
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Old 10-06-2012, 05:07 PM   #37
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Whats the BET mod?
Tells you all about it HERE
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Old 10-06-2012, 05:10 PM   #38
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how are you guys disabling hill assist? I tried the procedure listed a month ago and couldn't get it to work. is there a new method out?
I thought it wasn't workin for awhile too, but then I tried holding the button for a SUPER long time, then the way it describes in the book works fine. It was like 20 seconds or so. Use the force
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Old 10-06-2012, 05:10 PM   #39
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Tells you all about it HERE

Got me excited thinking I could get rid of the light somehow!
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Old 10-06-2012, 05:13 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by n00b on demand View Post
Got me excited thinking I could get rid of the light somehow!
haha yeah, I plan on getting a little more hands on whenever I have the dash removed. Like just pulling the bulbs or putting some opaque black plastic over it.

I'm actually waiting for the tpms light to turn on, just put on new shoes today with no tpms-ability. Light show
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Old 10-07-2012, 11:16 AM   #41
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My impreza is my first MT vehicle, so I don't really have anything to compare it to. I had a pretty easy time learning on it. The hill assist doesn't bother me, but perhaps it would if I'd had experience with other cars first. I don't want to need the handbrake to keep myself from rolling back, because the handbrake turns off the DRL's and people think you're flashing your lights.
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Old 10-07-2012, 01:21 PM   #42
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The other two issues that affect driveability:
  1. The slight lag in the throttle response that happens occassionally.
  2. That first gear it needed for all but good rolling starts. In other cars you can sometimes jump to second if the car is moving at all forward, this car needs 1st most of the time.
Hill assist? I got used to it, just like I got used to the odd gearing.

The transmission is definately a bit quirky, but it's a subaru, so quirky fits. When you drive it daily these are all minor or subconscious issues.
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Old 10-07-2012, 03:53 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeeper
The other two issues that affect driveability:

[*]The slight lag in the throttle response that happens occassionally.[*]That first gear it needed for all but good rolling starts. In other cars you can sometimes jump to second if the car is moving at all forward, this car needs 1st most of the time.

Hill assist? I got used to it, just like I got used to the odd gearing.

The transmission is definately a bit quirky, but it's a subaru, so quirky fits. When you drive it daily these are all minor or subconscious issues.
I find as long as the speed is greater than 5mph 2nd is fine for a rolling start. Starting from a stop in 2nd is possible but it does take about 500rpm more than 1st.
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Old 10-08-2012, 09:09 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by Zeeper View Post
As far as the CVT, I am not a believer. If you like to drive, using paddle shifters is not a substitute for driving a standard (any more than driving a convertible is a substitute for operating a motorcycle).
I'd say if you wanted a drivers car this isn't the car for you regardless of the transmission. It's peppy enough for everyday driving but it's not really a drivers car. Get a BRZ, WRX if you want a subaru or look into BMW, VAG, etc.
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Old 10-08-2012, 09:44 AM   #45
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how are you guys disabling hill assist? I tried the procedure listed a month ago and couldn't get it to work. is there a new method out?

same procedure for us...

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Old 10-08-2012, 10:11 AM   #46
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I'd say if you wanted a drivers car this isn't the car for you regardless of the transmission. It's peppy enough for everyday driving but it's not really a drivers car. Get a BRZ, WRX if you want a subaru or look into BMW, VAG, etc.
I am not complaining that it isn't a BMW or WRX. If I wanted that type of car I would have bought it.

I wanted a commuter, AWD, good on gas. That narrows the list significantly.

I pre-ordered and could have ordered a CVT -- it would have cost me $10-20 more per month to do so. It wasn't a question of dollars, it was a question of what I would rather drive.

Autos/CVT's vs Standard.

If you prefer to drive a standard, paddle shifters aren't gonna cut it. CVT drivers can pretend otherwise, but if they are switching from a manual transmission to the CVT they know that it is not the same -- it's a compromise.

Sure you get a bit better fuel economy. Not worth it to me.

Last edited by Zeeper; 10-08-2012 at 10:57 AM.
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Old 10-08-2012, 10:39 AM   #47
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I am not complaining that it isn't a BMW or WRX. If I wanted that type of car I would have bought it.

I wanted a commuter, AWD, good on gas. That narrows the list significantly.

I pre-ordered and could have ordered a CVT -- it would have cost me $10-20 more per month to do so. It wasn't a question of dollars, it was a question of what I would rather drive.

Autos/CVT's vs Standard.

If you prefer to drive a standard, paddle shifters aren't gonna cut it. CVT drivers can pretend otherwise, but if they are switching from a manual transmission to the CVT they know that it is not the same -- it's a compromise.

Sure you get a bit better fuel economy. Not worth it to me.
I'm not sure why you keep bringing up money. I certainly wasn't trying to imply that you were pinching pennies or something.

As for what I prefer to drive - I do in fact prefer to drive a standard. I did not however prefer this standard. As I mentioned earlier I found the feedback from the clutch was lacking. I also found the gearbox a little tough to fight my way through but I probably could have gotten used to this. Overall it just did not feel very refined - I'm not trying to bag on anyone's car here so please no one take offense. I kind of suspect the manual mostly exists so that Subaru could knock another $1000 off the "starting at X dollars" number.

The CVT has some things I don't like about it as well. It's a little strange to be stuck at a few set RPMs when accelerating (2k, 4k, something closer to redline that I haven't really utilized yet). It also has a bit more engine braking than I would like but this can be accommodated for with some experience driving the car.

I actually very rarely use the paddle shifters. Basically all I find them useful for is to preemptively get the RPMs up before some quick acceleration.

Where I think the CVT really shines however is cruising. On the highway or on back roads it's smooth, smooth, smooth. No searching for gears like other autos do, just gradual adjustment of the gearing to keep you right at the speed you want to go with no intrusions or interruptions.

Lastly I really like the limited package and for whatever reason Subaru neglected to allow you guys that wanted the manual to have this. It seems like a lot of automakers do this. I guess they figure manual drivers are only interested in saving money versus driving enjoyment which for me has never been the case. If I had found the manual transmission more to my liking I probably would have forgone the limited package but I guess I at least feel like I got something for the trade-off either way.
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Old 10-08-2012, 10:56 AM   #48
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I'm not sure why you keep bringing up money. I certainly wasn't trying to imply that you were pinching pennies or something.

As for what I prefer to drive - I do in fact prefer to drive a standard. I did not however prefer this standard. As I mentioned earlier I found the feedback from the clutch was lacking. I also found the gearbox a little tough to fight my way through but I probably could have gotten used to this. Overall it just did not feel very refined - I'm not trying to bag on anyone's car here so please no one take offense. I kind of suspect the manual mostly exists so that Subaru could knock another $1000 off the "starting at X dollars" number.

The CVT has some things I don't like about it as well. It's a little strange to be stuck at a few set RPMs when accelerating (2k, 4k, something closer to redline that I haven't really utilized yet). It also has a bit more engine braking than I would like but this can be accommodated for with some experience driving the car.

I actually very rarely use the paddle shifters. Basically all I find them useful for is to preemptively get the RPMs up before some quick acceleration.

Where I think the CVT really shines however is cruising. On the highway or on back roads it's smooth, smooth, smooth. No searching for gears like other autos do, just gradual adjustment of the gearing to keep you right at the speed you want to go with no intrusions or interruptions.

Lastly I really like the limited package and for whatever reason Subaru neglected to allow you guys that wanted the manual to have this. It seems like a lot of automakers do this. I guess they figure manual drivers are only interested in saving money versus driving enjoyment which for me has never been the case. If I had found the manual transmission more to my liking I probably would have forgone the limited package but I guess I at least feel like I got something for the trade-off either way.
In each of our cases the universe provides.

When I decided to preorder I was ready to negotiate the price in advance and to fend off the "upsell" of features I really didn't want -- including the nav system, auto climate control, and moonroof.

Again it wasn't so much the dollars, I wanted some of the Sport features (fog lights, gunmetal alloy wheels) but could have cared less about the roof rails -- but as a package the price was great.

Turns out they didn't offer the things I already didn't want for the manual Sport, so I got exactly what I was looking for without having to fend off the salesman.

Funny how that happens sometimes...

Before preordering I drove a Suzuki Kizashi AWD and it was a solid car -- I was impressed.

What I didn't like was that it only came with a CVT, the fuel economy was ok, and it was only available as a sedan. And, though my local dealer is among the top selling Suzuki franchises in the entire country, I was a little worried about buying one and having Suzuki leave the US market.

My Impreza corrected all of these deficiencies, for just about the same price!
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Old 10-08-2012, 11:12 AM   #49
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In each of our cases the universe provides.

When I decided to preorder I was ready to negotiate the price in advance and to fend off the "upsell" of features I really didn't want -- including the nav system, auto climate control, and moonroof.

Again it wasn't so much the dollars, I wanted some of the Sport features (fog lights, gunmetal alloy wheels) but could have cared less about the roof rails -- but as a package the price was great.

Turns out they didn't offer the things I already didn't want for the manual Sport, so I got exactly what I was looking for without having to fend off the salesman.

Funny how that happens sometimes...

Before preordering I drove a Suzuki Kizashi AWD and it was a solid car -- I was impressed.

What I didn't like was that it only came with a CVT, the fuel economy was ok, and it was only available as a sedan. And, though my local dealer is among the top selling Suzuki franchises in the entire country, I was a little worried about buying one and having Suzuki leave the US market.

My Impreza corrected all of these deficiencies, for just about the same price!
yes, the sport package is excellent. I too wanted to avoid options and luckily enough the car I bought (off the lot) pretty much did that except for a few accessories that I didn't mind. no moon roof, no nav. the auto climate control I could live without but it doesn't bother me either.
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Old 10-08-2012, 12:50 PM   #50
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I'd say if you wanted a drivers car this isn't the car for you regardless of the transmission. It's peppy enough for everyday driving but it's not really a drivers car. Get a BRZ, WRX if you want a subaru or look into BMW, VAG, etc.
The term "drivers car" is relative. These Imprezas aren't BRZs or WRXs, but in their segment, they are, in my opinion, one of the "drivers car" choices. You can buy a Corolla, or you can buy a Mazda3, Focus, or Impreza sport. I haven't read any reviews that didn't praise the handling. I've had a Prelude, Integra, Mustang 5.0L, Mazda3, Accord V6, all with manual transmissions BTW, and I don't feel like I stepped down to an appliance at all with the Impreza. The handling is very similar to the Mazda3 which is considered THE drivers car of the segment by just about everybody. If I couldn't stand the manual, I would've bought something else with a better manual because a manual is more fun.

You're obviously looking for people with manuals and buyers remorse to reaffirm your decision to get the CVT. I disagree with the idea that the Impreza isn't a drivers car so you might as well get the CVT. If you want a manual, get a manual, or get something else.
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