By KBB.com Editors
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 It 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.
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.