Impreza Project


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This was my 2012 Subaru Impreza 2.0i CVT Hatchback.  I purchased it in March of 2012 from Stan Olsen Subaru in Omaha, NE.  While it started it's life as a base-model economy car, it certainly doesn't look the part anymore.  It was an ongoing process of making aesthetic and performance improvements while still making the car appear to have come from the factory like this.  In fact, many of the parts are from other Subarus (WRX, XV Crosstrek, STI, BRZ), so it was fun utilizing that Lego-like cross-compatibility to my advantage!  I still get a lot of questions about this car, so below is a complete listing of modifications that were made.  It was sold in October of 2015.

  • K&N Drop-in Air Filter
  • Grille Wings Repainted (Black)
  • Carbon Fiber Interior Accents
  • '05 WRX Wheels & Swaybar
  • '11 WRX Wheels (225/45 R17 Tires)
  • 19mm STI Rear Sway Bar
  • Kartboy Rear End Links
  • Rally Armor UE Mudflaps
  • Impreza Sport Side Skirts
  • Impreza Sport Fog Lights
  • Leather-Wrapped CVT Shift Knob
  • Pioneer App Radio
  • Pioneer AVH-X1500DVD Radio
  • Window Tint (30/20)
  • SPT Catback Exhaust
  • Modified BRZ Exhaust 
  • XV Crosstrek Hybrid Tail Lights
  • '15 WRX Front Seats




  • See all the photos of this car in my Flickr Album


    2012 Subaru Impreza

    32 comments:

    1. it has been acknowledged that it has an important part to play in the development of man, several of today’s most brilliant minds seem incapable of recognizing its increasing relevance to understanding future generations. It is an unfortunate consequence of our civilizations history that Subaru Impreza is rarely given rational consideration by those politically minded individuals living in the past, many of whom blame the influence of television. In the light of this I will break down the issues in order to give each of them the thought that they fully deserve

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    2. Hi I was wondering how you got the BRZ dual tip exhaust to fit out the back of the car through the black plastic cowl. Did you go at it with a hacksaw or did you buy an aftermarket replacement one?

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      1. I used a Dremel Cutting Wheel and carved out the exhaust outlets in the bumper. Then I lined the cut portion with Door Edge Guard to hide the rough edges and give it a factory appearance.

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      2. Thanks mate looks awesome I was wondering if you could please take a closer photo of the work that you had done around the exhaust tips for me as I am planing on doing the same thing to my own 2014 Impreza soon.

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    3. I'm interested in the exhaust also. Besides the cutting on the bumper what other modification was needed to fit the BRZ exhaust?

      The car looks great. I've been looking for after market parts for my '12 Impreza Sport. It didn't occur to me to use parts from other subarus. I may steal some of your ideas like exhaust and tail lights.

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      1. To get things to fit just right, I used a little bit of the BRZ mid pipe that goes around the rear control arms. The exhaust exits were a little too short, so when I added the quad tips, they extended out just enough to be even with the edge of the bumper.

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      2. Hey! This might be a bit late but, I was wondering what kind of quad tips did you use? are they 2.25" inlet/outlet? And how long is the tips? Are they 9" long? I just wanted to know where to cut and how I can get the tips to look like your wagon. I don't like it sticking out and don't want it too short either. Please let me know where you cut the pipe on the BRZ muffler and the specs on the tips. Thank you!

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    4. Does anyone know where I can buy a new grill for the 2012-2014 Subaru Impreza 5 door? I had someone hit the front of my subie just right and it cracked the grill. I'm not opposed to aftermarket or mesh! Thanks!

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    5. Any Subaru dealership will be able to order you a new one. There's dozens of websites you can purchase them from or there's always eBay if you're looking for something used. Just remember if you get the Sport Mesh grille to order the color that matches your car!

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    6. Hi OP, I am truly inspired by what you did to your Impreza. One thing that I'm looking to do is seat swap and there's so little information available. I see that you swapped yours with 2015 WRX seats but would you, by any chance, know if it will also be direct bolt swap with +15 STI seats?

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      1. Hello Binn1 Thanks for reading! I'm glad you've enjoyed it. Subarus may not quite be the "Legos" they used to be, but all 2012-2017 Imprezas can utilize seats from any 2015+ WRX or WRX STI. Seats from a 2013-2015 XV Crosstrek or 2016-2018 Crosstrek will also work.

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    7. I wish there's a way to chat with you online because I have a several questions since I've never done a seat swap. I found a set of drivers and passenger seats from 2015 STI. But the seller says the passenger side air bag was deployed. Would I need to replace the air bags that are in my car if I want to swap my car seat? I thought it'd be 'plug and play' for both airbags passenger detection, and heated seat. Let me know if there's an easier way to communicate with you... and Thank you so much for your help!

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      1. It still should be plug-n-play. The connections underneath the seat for the WRX and WRX STI are the same as the Impreza for the heated seats and for the airbags that are in the side of the seat. As long as the seats weren't damaged by the front passenger airbag deployment and as long as the side impact airbags didn't deploy from the seat itself (it should be fairly easy to tell if they were just from photos) then you should be fine.

        As far as communication goes, I check the blog pretty frequently. If you'd like more direct contact, leave a separate comment with your e-mail included and I'll contact you that way. I need to "approve" comments on this blog, so I'll be the only one who can see it. To keep your e-mail private, I won't publish the comment with your contact info on it.

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    8. Hi -- thanks for keeping this up. I was curious about the exhaust from the BRZ -- how much modification did it take to get it t bolt up -- hangers etc? Did you need anything besides the rear muffler and mid pipe? Thanks.

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      1. The hangers line up exactly. In fact, the Impreza Hatchback only uses 3 of the 4 hangers but they've conveniently left the 4th one in there for you to use. We only used the rear section of the BRZ midpipe to weld up to the Impreza's stock exhaust system. The whole thing only took about an hour to do once we figured out where the cut had to be made.

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    10. Hello your work is amazing! Do you know if the crosstrek tail lights will fit a 2012 Impreza sedan?

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      1. Thanks Karla! Unfortunately, the sedan and hatchback tail lights are different. These Crosstrek tail lights won't fit on a 2012-2016 Impreza Sedan.

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    11. I noticed one of your pictures shows 35mpg??!!! How you do this?

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      1. Shouldn't be earth-shattering. The 2012 Impreza was rated for 36 mpg on the highway and 27 in the city. There were times when I averaged closer to 36-38 if I was doing more highway driving on that tank.

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      2. Yeah, guess its all my city driving. I average 29. Thanks for the response.

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    12. Where do you recommend buying custom headlights and taillight? I'm looking for headlights that have the led daytime running lights built in but haven't really found a place that seems credible.

      Also, I'm not super handy with cars, if I were to do the modifications with the exhaust you did through a shop, how much do you think it would cost?

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      1. I really don't recommend custom headlights because of the issues you've been having with "credible" sources for them. Aftermarket headlight and tail light housings almost never fit right and are generally overpriced. If you're looking for LED Daytime Running Lights, there are some good DIY options that require a little elbow grease but can yield great results.

        Exhaust shop costs vary depending on how much work is required.

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    13. So i own a 2003 subaru rs and I installed a hood scoop since the car came with none, but now I need an intake so the hood scoop actually has a purpose, so my question is would it be a good purchase to buy the Gorilla cold air intake for my car

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      1. I think it'd be a good improvement for your 2003 Subaru Impreza RS. I think they make them for your year. Just check out the site. They should have fitment details.

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    14. First off I'd like to say thank you for posting this beautiful car and I like the mods that you have done! I just bought my 2016 base impreza and I too wanted to a little bit of modifications. I wanted to do some garage work before I get to your level. I did have a question on the fog lights. What all would I need, lights, the housing, and a switch correct to turn on an off? Also what lip did you get to get the exhaust to fit the way you did? Thank you!

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      1. Adding Fog Lights was easy for me since I purchased the Fog Light Kit from Subaru. It includes everything you need.

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    15. Is that BRZ exhaust just the stock one, or did you buy aftermarket? A full write up on all you bought/used and how you did it would be extremely helpful. I have a '13 Impreza hatch and I'm doing some work on it, and I was going to go with a long glass pack, but the quad tip looks amazing. Also, your suspension seems to sit a little higher than mine- do you have anything helping yours sit a little higher? It looks like my rear end is sitting a little too low.

      Sorry for the long post, and thanks!

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      1. There's a post entitled "Help from a BRZ" on this blog that outlines what I did, but it's not a full write up. I don't have this car anymore, but maybe I can still manage to make one. I get a LOT of questions about this!

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    16. Hey just wondering were you got those taillights from?? (If they are aftermarket) Thanks!

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