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Old 10-29-2012, 02:21 PM   #1
cdlong
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Default Difference between Impreza and Impreza Sport suspension

I'm in the market for a new Impreza and the options available on the Sport Premium most closely fit what I want. However, I want the best handling version available so I'm wondering what the difference is in the suspensions of the Impreza and the Impreza Sport. I've heard both ways that they're the same and they're different. The ground clearance is different (5.7 vs. 5.9) so there's a difference somewhere. But is it in the springs, dampers, chassis (skid plate, exhaust)? I don't really care about the 0.2 inches, but if they changed the suspension to make it more back country capable like my wife's Outback, I'll pass, that thing has awful handling. But if the difference is something I can easily upgrade, that would make me a lot more comfortable with the purchase.
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Old 10-29-2012, 02:26 PM   #2
Zeeper
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The difference in height is probably due to the tire/wheel combination. If it is in the suspension it is most likely a spring difference.

The main difference between the sport/premium/limited and the base model is that the base lacks a rear sway bar.

Other than that the handling and suspension between a Sport/Premium/Limited and base model is probably the same.

As a package, however, the Sport is pretty appealing because if you price the options out separately the Sport package is a no brainer (IMHO)

Plus resale will probably be higher, because you can advertise it as a Sport, and who doesn't want that?
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Old 10-29-2012, 02:34 PM   #3
soobie doo
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I think someone in the monster 500+ page 2012 impreza thread determined that the height difference was indeed due to the tires/wheels. As Zeeper said, the only difference in suspension between the 2012 trim levels is the lack of rear sway bar in the base model. I'm not sure if that's the case for the 2013 models as well.
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Old 10-29-2012, 02:53 PM   #4
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looks like the 2013 base model still lacks a sway bar. Some people with 2012 base models have been putting used STI sway bars on their cars as a cheap mod.

By the way, the Sport wheels never really look dirty, and are easy to clean. The Premium multi-spoke wheels look like they would show dirt and be hard to clean.
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Old 10-29-2012, 02:54 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soobie doo View Post
As Zeeper said, the only difference in suspension between the 2012 trim levels is the lack of rear sway bar in the base model. I'm not sure if that's the case for the 2013 models as well.
That's what I've been told by the dealer, and the specs document that I got from them seems to back it up. I haven't actually checked for myself whether or not I have a rear sway bar, and quite frankly, I probably wouldn't even be able to point it out if you asked me to.
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Old 10-29-2012, 02:55 PM   #6
cdlong
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Cars101 shows the same all season Yokohama Avis S34 P205/50R17 on Impreza Sports and the 17" equipped Impreza. The 16"s are 205/55/16s which are 0.2" shorter overall, assuming they list base models of each that would only account for 0.1" of height difference. That's probably it though, and considering I was going to get the alloy wheel package, it would be a wash. I would love to compare part numbers of the other suspension bits to see if they're the same but I can't find any worthwhile information.

Last edited by cdlong; 10-29-2012 at 03:16 PM.
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Old 10-30-2012, 04:19 AM   #7
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When did the base models remove sway bars anyhow. I looked at my base 07 and it has one...it's not the thickest in the bunch...but at least it has one. However...I think that the car would benefit from the strut brace and thicker sway bars....but that's just me.
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Old 10-30-2012, 06:50 AM   #8
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In 2012, and now 2013, the base model does not have a sway bar. If you want to add one you need to buy the brackets, bushings, end links and the sway bar.

If you have a Premium or better, you can swap out just the sway bar and bushings, using the OEM end links if you decide to.
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Old 11-03-2012, 11:31 AM   #9
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Not sure if the different in ground clearance comes from the tires. The Impreza non sport limited is also listed w/ a ground clearance of 5.7", but they are using the same tire size as of the Sport which is the 205/50/17
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Old 11-03-2012, 11:34 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jspec rsx
Not sure if the different in ground clearance comes from the tires. The Impreza non sport limited is also listed w/ a ground clearance of 5.7", but they are using the same tire size as of the Sport which is the 205/50/17
The difference is so small it is insignificant. If you need more ground clearance get a forester or XV.
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Old 11-03-2012, 11:45 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeeper View Post
The difference is so small it is insignificant. If you need more ground clearance get a forester or XV.

not stating that i'm in need of more ground clearance. i'm simply responding back to a comment that the difference was in tires which might not be acurate, based on the information for the non sport limited
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Old 11-03-2012, 09:28 PM   #12
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If you're looking for the best handling configuration as it comes from the factory, then get the Sport. The rear anti-sway bar, and the lower-profile 17" tires, will give you the best handling. Not that you couldn't add after-market versions of these components to a base model. But the Sport is the best handling configuration out of the box.

And if you get the 5-speed manual tranny, you will improve your acceleration too.
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Old 11-04-2012, 10:44 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sgoldste01 View Post
If you're looking for the best handling configuration as it comes from the factory, then get the Sport. The rear anti-sway bar, and the lower-profile 17" tires, will give you the best handling. Not that you couldn't add after-market versions of these components to a base model. But the Sport is the best handling configuration out of the box.

And if you get the 5-speed manual tranny, you will improve your acceleration too.
or you could buy any of the impreza but the base model and add the 17 inch alloy wheel accessory option.
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Old 11-05-2012, 03:21 PM   #14
cdlong
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jspec rsx View Post
Not sure if the different in ground clearance comes from the tires. The Impreza non sport limited is also listed w/ a ground clearance of 5.7", but they are using the same tire size as of the Sport which is the 205/50/17
Good point, but I bet they skipped that fact to simplify the catalogue. I was thinking, the difference in radius of the two tire sizes was 0.10" according to a size calculator, but I couldn't find real specs on them. If it was as little as 0.11" it could cause a rounding change that could show up as 0.2" difference in height. 5.74" + 0.11" = 5.85" or 5.9" if you're rounding to that digit.

Even still, I'd like to know that the springs and shocks are the same or which one is stiffer. My wife found that I could order a non-sport with the options I want, though it would take 3-4 months. So it's a toss up again.
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Old 11-05-2012, 03:39 PM   #15
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It is probably not different springs, it probably is the wheel/tire combo, it certainly is something people like to talk about.

I bought a Sport, but it wasn't to gain the 2/10ths of an inch. It was because as a package it had what I wanted cheaper than if I built a premium (all weather package, fogs), and I like the gunmetal gray alloy wheels.

I don't use the roof rails, and probably never will, but it wasn't a deal killer to have them there.
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Old 11-05-2012, 03:57 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeeper View Post
It is probably not different springs, it probably is the wheel/tire combo, it certainly is something people like to talk about.

I bought a Sport, but it wasn't to gain the 2/10ths of an inch. It was because as a package it had what I wanted cheaper than if I built a premium (all weather package, fogs), and I like the gunmetal gray alloy wheels.

I don't use the roof rails, and probably never will, but it wasn't a deal killer to have them there.
Agreed I ordered a Sport premium 5spd (Still waiting for, lol) for the same reasons. Had pretty much all I wanted in the package. I was told the tire/wheel combo made the difference in height, and there was no other suspension difference from a premium to a sport premium.

A person just needs to figure out what they want and go from there. I for one again liked all the stuff that the sport premium gets (by far the gray wheels are the nicest OEM wheel) and I wanted a 5spd so it was an easy decision. If you don't like any of the wheels and only want some things the sport has then option what you do want and buy aftermarket other stuff. I also wanted the Aero Splash Guards which only the sport gets (for whatever reason).
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Old 11-05-2012, 04:21 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaxCarnage View Post
Agreed I ordered a Sport premium 5spd (Still waiting for, lol) for the same reasons. Had pretty much all I wanted in the package. I was told the tire/wheel combo made the difference in height, and there was no other suspension difference from a premium to a sport premium.

A person just needs to figure out what they want and go from there. I for one again liked all the stuff that the sport premium gets (by far the gray wheels are the nicest OEM wheel) and I wanted a 5spd so it was an easy decision. If you don't like any of the wheels and only want some things the sport has then option what you do want and buy aftermarket other stuff. I also wanted the Aero Splash Guards which only the sport gets (for whatever reason).
The aero splash guards fit over the "rocker panels" that only the Sport has, which is why they are not an option for other models.

The gunmetal gray wheels never look dirty, which is a huge +
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