Posted Friday, February 17, 2012 at 10:06pm

2012 Subaru Impreza 2.0 Hatchback CVT

In the sea of economy cars, the 2012 Subaru Impreza swims among some fairly appetizing competition. The new Impreza’s styling alone helps it stand out better among big fish—the Ford Focus, the Volkswagen Golf, the Honda Civic—than did its predecessor. But the previous car’s biggest handicap against its competition wasn’t its looks but its fuel economy; to that end, Subie has swapped the old four-speed automatic transmission for a more efficient continuously variable gearbox.