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2008 Subaru Impreza

Overview
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2008 Subaru Impreza Review

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In 2002, Subaru made the wise decision to expand the U.S. lineup of its runabout Impreza. Despite the addition of hotter, turbocharged variants, the sporty appeal of the standard Impreza remained intact. Six years later, the same formula is still working, and the 2008 Impreza is better in nearly every way. The basic 2.5i trim has a decent, if slightly rough-around-the-edges, 2.5-liter engine that offers more torque than most of the competition. The all-wheel-drive system for which Subaru is renowned is standard on the Impreza 2.5i. As before, the Impreza is available in both sedan and 5-door wagon form.

You'll Like This Car If...

The Impreza remains a great choice for those looking for a reliable and capable all-arounder. All-wheel-drive provides secure handling in nearly all road conditions, and is a must-have for many in less temperate climates.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you're looking to stand out, this may not be the car for you, as the new 2008 Subaru Impreza still seems to lack any truly defining visual characteristics. For those used to the overall precision, fit and finish of a Honda or Volkswagen, the Impreza may be slightly sub par.

What's New for 2008

An entirely redesigned chassis and body set the 2008 Subaru Impreza 2.5i apart from its predecessor. In sedan form, a dual exhaust helps create a sportier appearance. And, interior design and materials are now clean, well made and solid throughout.

Driving the Impreza

Driving Impressions The relatively rough engine doesn't do the slightly overweight 2008 Subaru Impreza 2.5i any favors, and is partially responsible for its slow acceleration. The chassis and suspension feel solid and...

stable over rough roads, and the car has predictable day-to-day handling. However, it simply doesn't offer the same level of precision and feedback found in much of the competition, including the faithful and simple Honda Civic. The steering is a touch too light for back-road blasts, and limits communication with the pavement. Inside, the dash layout is logical, and all buttons and knobs are well placed for quick reference. The seats are comfortable but lack the side support we'd like for fast curves.

All-Wheel Drive
For the money, you can't beat the safety offered by Subaru's all-wheel drive system. Even on dry pavement, this feature offers additional grip around curves and an added sense of security.

Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC)
Capable of reacting and controlling the situation quicker than an unsuspecting driver, Subaru's VDC works by applying the brakes, adjusting the engine output and controlling the all-wheel-drive system as needed to keep the car pointed in the right direction.

2008 Subaru Impreza Details
Interior

Subaru has definitely stepped things up in terms of interior quality. Most materials are high grade to the touch, and the dash layout is simple, logical and borderline stylish. Gone are the gaudy colors and cheap plastic trim, and options now include a touch-screen GPS system, satellite radio and a six-disc, 10-speaker stereo. These accessories work reasonably well, but sometimes lack the refinement and intuitive nature of those offered by others.

Exterior

Compared to its predecessor, the redesigned Impreza has much cleaner lines and a more palatable appearance overall. This is not necessarily a good thing, though, as it is now dangerously close to lacking identity. While many may have considered previous generations homely, they were without question recognizably Subaru. At first glance, the vague shape of this new Impreza could be mistaken for a new Saab, Hyundai or a Kia.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The laundry list of standard equipment for this car is, for the most part, par for the course in 2008 vehicles. Of note is standard all-wheel-drive, a feature not found in most of the competition, even optionally. Disappointingly, the 2.5i doesn't offer rear disc brakes as standard equipment – a decision likely necessary to keep the all-wheel drive Impreza price-competitive in the segment.

Optional Equipment

The 2008 Subaru Impreza 2.5i is available with Subaru's Premium Package, as well a Satellite Radio and Navigation package. The former adds rear disc brakes, along with the Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) found on the higher-end WRX trim, larger alloy wheels, and some interior and exterior goodies. The navigation system does its job without any problems, though it requires getting used to a few quirks.

Under the Hood

Subaru's Impreza has featured a segment-defying flat-4 engine since its inception. While still a four-cylinder, the engine generates ample power and substantial torque from its larger-than-average 2.5-liter displacement. Now equipped with electronic throttle control and i-Active variable valve timing, the Impreza engine has done a decent job staying current. The power is sent to all four wheels via Subaru's all-wheel-drive system, which limits the power being sent to wheels with little or no traction and redirects it to those that need it the most.

2.5-liter Boxer 4-cylinder
170 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
170 pound-feet of torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/27

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2008 Subaru Impreza Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.7
Out of 10

Based on 298 Ratings for the 2008 - 2011 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.1/10
    Quality
    8.7/10
  • Reliability
    9.2/10
    Performance
    9.1/10
  • Comfort
    8.6/10
    Styling
    8.7/10

Good car except the manual transmission

By on Friday, February 13, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 65,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "This is a good quality car that's fun to drive."

Cons: "The hard shifting manual transmission."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3

"I've had this car for 6+ years, 65k miles without any major mechanical issues. It performs well and delivers approx. 23 city, 26 highway mpg. The biggest issue with this car is the manual transmission, it was hard shifting from the time I got it and has gotten somewhat worse over time. I have taken it in for this issue twice and was told that nothing could be done. Actually the service rep suggested that I could double clutch when I shifted. And their head mechanic finally did offer the statement that Subaru didn't have the most "refined" manual transmissions. He did say that they are better now. Since this has been the worst shifting car that I have ever owned, with the exception of a Ford Pinto, I will not have another Subaru with a manual transmission."

4 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Very Reliable and Economic

By on Friday, December 05, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great price New and still holds its value"

Cons: "None"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Over 4 years old {2010} and not one single bad issue or problem. 25000+ miles. Always starts and runs beautifuly!Great all weather car."

18 people out of 34 found this review helpful

Best all-around family friendly sports car

By on Tuesday, October 28, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 65,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "fun to drive, versatile"

Cons: "lack of some comfort/luxury features"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"There is truly no comparison. What other car can I put two car seats in the back, two bikes on the roof, two dogs in the hatch and still have so much fun driving... Nothing. It's amazing how many people want to race at red lights and then I roll down the window and they see my kiddos in the back seat. Best purchase ever."

15 people out of 27 found this review helpful

Good solid small car but limited in cargo space.

By on Saturday, October 25, 2014

I owned and sold this car
Reason: needed bigger vehicle w/ trunk

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Price was good and OK in town and on road."

Cons: "A little small for travel purposes; overall nice."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"I really enjoyed this small 4-door hatchback. Very good in Denver's snow and cold weather. Needed a little more clearance for snow and ice to be rated great. Car was comfortable, and apportioned OK. A little noisy on the highway. Transmission versatility was handy in the snow. Disappointed in the stero system. My Legacy has a much better stero system. Room for 4 adults, but with 4 adults really cut into get up and go. Overall, enjoyed this vehicle. First Subaru I bought and would recommend them for cold weather climate with snow and icy roads."

8 people out of 17 found this review helpful

Very nice sporty vehicle

By on Wednesday, September 24, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 53,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Great handling, beautiful exterior design"

Cons: "Needs a better interior package. Very 90's."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Love the design and features. Could use a major upgrade technology wise as everything is very basic."

10 people out of 19 found this review helpful

Best car I ever owned

By on Thursday, July 24, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 52,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great value, hugs the road"

Cons: "Overdrive kicks in too soon"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"The car is still great after 7 years! My dealership is great, the car is as close to maintenance free as possible. All wheel drive wonderful."

15 people out of 27 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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