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2008 Subaru Legacy

Overview
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2008 Subaru Legacy Review

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The 2008 Subaru Legacy offers buyers all the comforts of the finest sports sedan coupled with the sure-footedness afforded by Subaru's standard Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive. No longer associated mainly with snowbound Vermont drivers and die-hard ski fans, the Legacy has blossomed into a handsome and sporty mainstream vehicle, offering top-notch ratings in the areas of safety, comfort and resale value. The Legacy's horizontally-opposed engines provide good power and decent fuel economy, and the GT features a turbocharged version that cranks out an impressive 243 horsepower. While not as smooth or refined as the engines offered by Honda and Toyota, the Legacy's drivetrain is every bit as reliable and its low-slung design helps reduce the height of the Legacy's center of gravity.

You'll Like This Car If...

The 2008 Subaru Legacy occupies the sparsely-populated space between high-value family sedans and premium sports sedans, offering some of the best characteristics of both.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you don't live in an area where slick roads are a regular concern, the premium price of all-wheel drive might seem unwarranted. Conversely, if you want the added peace of mind brought by traction and/or stability control, you may be disappointed to learn neither is available on the base 2.5i.

What's New for 2008

All Legacy models receive a modest exterior freshening, while the wagon models are renamed Outback, leaving only the sedans to carry the Legacy nameplate. A new trim, the 3.0 R Limited, becomes the top-of-the-line offering and features a 245-horsepower six-cylinder engine. New standard features for all Legacy models include remote keyless entry, revised dash and seat fabrics and a tilt/telescopic steering wheel.

Driving the Legacy

Driving Impressions We drove the turbocharged 2.5 GT Limited sedan with a five-speed manual transmission and enjoyed it very much. The engine's turbocharger comes on quickly, strongly and smoothly, the steering is...

also responsive and handling limits are high enough to promote outbursts of enthusiasm. Still, when driven at an everyday pace, the Legacy behaves not unlike its less-athletic competitors. With a light steering effort and small turning circle, the Legacy is pleasant around town and in a parking lot. Likewise, highway ride is well within the range of comfortable. We'd expect similar ride and handling from the less-powerful 2.5i models. For even sharper handling and sportier accessories, check out the limited-edition 2.5 GT spec.B and the 3.0 R Limited.
Favorite Features

Manual Shift Buttons
Steering wheel-mounted shift buttons provide handy manual control of the Legacy GT Limited's optional five-speed automatic transmission.

Fast-Tune Radio
The Legacy's AM/FM/CD sound system moves from station to station with minimal delay, so you can find something you want to hear more quickly.

2008 Subaru Legacy Details
2008 Subaru Legacy photo Interior

Inside the Legacy, a decidedly sporty three-spoke steering wheel sets an athletic tone enhanced by supportive seats, straightforward gauges, metallic trim and crisp, contemporary styling. Combined with the liberal use of quality materials, the Legacy's passenger cabin conveys a solid sense of refinement. While it isn't the biggest midsize sedan out there, most backseat passengers should find the Legacy plenty accommodating for trips across town and beyond. Notable standard safety features include front side-impact airbags and front and rear side-curtain airbags.

Exterior

Despite an aging platform, the Legacy is still fresh enough to compete with newer designs from Honda and Toyota, avoiding the trapezoidal grille and awkward styling that permeated much of the Subaru line over the last few years. We did notice the Legacy's frameless doors make it difficult to open or hold a door without touching the window. The turbocharged 2.5 GT Limited model is identifiable by a functional hood scoop and exterior mirror-integrated turn indicators, while all Legacy models sport the same 17-inch wheels.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The base Legacy sedan and wagon include a 170-horsepower four-cylinder engine, five-speed manual transmission, all-wheel drive, power windows/locks/mirrors, remote keyless entry, AM/FM/CD sound system, cruise control, trip computer, tilt and telescoping steering wheel, cloth seating and 17-inch alloy wheels. Standard safety equipment includes front, front-side and two-row side-curtain airbags, active front head restraints and anti-lock brakes (ABS).

Optional Equipment

Trim-level, package and stand-alone options include a 243-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine, four- and five-speed manually-selectable automatic transmissions, a six-speed manual (Spec.B only) DVD touch-screen navigation system, in-dash six-CD changer, power glass moonroof, leather seating, power driver's seat, heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, fog lights, heated side mirrors, wiper de-icer, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, wood-look trim and front sport seats. The 3.0 R Limited includes a 245-horsepower 3.0-liter engine, 18-inch wheels and touch-screen navigation.

Under the Hood

Both turbo and non-turbo Legacy models feature a four-cylinder "boxer" engine in which the cylinders and pistons are arranged horizontally, with the two on one side opposing the two on the other side (thus, an "opposed" engine design), rather than being positioned vertically or in a "V" angle. One of the boxer's advantages is its lower center of gravity that promotes better handling. Depending on the model's engine/transmission configuration, each Legacy features one of three distinct all-wheel-drive systems designed to match the characteristics of the powertrain. The new 3.0 R Limited differs from the four-cylinder models, with a non-turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine good for 245 horsepower.

2.5-liter Boxer-4
170 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
170 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/27 (manual), 20/27 (automatic)

2.5-liter Boxer-4 Turbocharged
243 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
241 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/24 (manual), 18/24 (automatic)

3.0-liter Boxer-6
245 horsepower @ 6600 rpm
215 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/24

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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2008 Subaru Legacy Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.6
Out of 10

Based on 262 Ratings for the 2005 - 2009 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.9/10
    Quality
    8.9/10
  • Reliability
    9.0/10
    Performance
    9.0/10
  • Comfort
    8.7/10
    Styling
    9.0/10

Well rounded machine

By on Tuesday, April 08, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 70,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"PROS: The handling, steering, suspension, control, and AWD in this vehicle are phenomenal. The car responds like a sports car while on dry pavement and recovers like a rally car when driving on slippery surfaces. It absolutely dominates in the snow as the AWD truely is AWD and not computer reactive like systems found with other car manufacturers. In fact, the car does not have a computer that regulates driving in any way so you're free to drive as you wish and have fun without the brakes automatically engaging or stuff like that. Maintenece has been minimal (bought it with 9,000 miles and currently has 70,000 miles and in that time only oil changes + brakes have been needed) and the car shows no signs of deviating from that trend). The trunk is large, the driver's seat is comfortable, and even though I have the base model the car still has a sun room and auxiliary audio inlet. CONS: I wouldn't want to have to sit in the back seat. The AWD comes with a trade off and that is fuel economy; it's a 5 speed manual with a 4 cylinder engine yet gets only 26 mpg BEST on the highways. A 2 wheel drive car with those same traits would get 30+ mpg. Also, in deep, sticky snow the snow will accumulate in the wheel wells (small clearance between body and tires) and you'll have to clear it out regularly to prevent the car from shaking and having reduced handling). The interior quality overall feels a little cheap, but then again if that's something you value then this isn't the car for you."

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

fantastic car

By on Thursday, March 06, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 98,000

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 to drive"

Cons: "needs a little more pwer but it gets up and goes"

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

"ive has my 2006 legacy since it was bran new 8 years now I have 98000miles on it and I just know I have another 100k out of her. this car runs amazing good gas milage and very safe and reliable"

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Fun to drive

By on Wednesday, March 05, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 80,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"Great on and off the road, weather conditions don't matter. You can do some serious G's around curves/corners."

Great College Car

By on Saturday, March 01, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 105,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fun to drive, great power from the turbo engine."

Cons: "Must use premium fuel"

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

"Purchased my 2005 Legacy GT Wagon with 103,000 miles. Did purchase extended warranty from CarMax,which covers up to 3 years and up to 150,000 miles. I took the car to my mechanic to have the timing belt / water pump changed as well as new spark plugs. I knew this would be needed when I purchased the car, so was not upset about that maintenance expense. Mechanic found some other issues, including leaking radiator, leaking power steering pump and a couple of other items. The CarMax extended warranty covered all, so now have everything operating properly. Car drives great, huge sunroof, loads of power with the turbo, stops great, beautiful leather interior. Radio does not have a plug for ipod, but purchased a wireless adapter that plugs into the cigarette lighter and operates as a bluetooth. It connects to the radio / iphone and works through the radio for phone calls, as well as you can stream your music or pandora to the radio. Brings it up to 2014 standards! Car for my college daughter, so glad it has all wheel drive, plenty of power, lots of cargo space and still has a tight body, no rattles! I recommend a Subaru for its all wheel drive, good driving dynamics and safety."

Do not buy!!

By on Friday, February 21, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 79,400

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
3/10
Value
2/10
Reliability
2/10
Quality
2/10
Performance
4/10
Styling
4/10
Comfort
4/10

Pros: "Great stereo"

Cons: "Engine sucks, and the transmission sluggish"

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

"79k and I need a head gasket job at $1800.00 Don't let anyone tell you Subaru fixed the head gasket issue from 2005 onward. It is a lie. A dealership admitted my issue is "pretty common." I expect such ridiculousness from a 1979 Chevy Chevette, not a 2006 Subaru Legacy Limited. I have had 2 Nissans that went over 250k without anything but regular maintenance, and a 1992 Camry that did just about everything better than this Subaru...and the Subaru is only impressive in winter if you run studded snows, otherwise my Camry with 4 studded snows was nearly as good. STAY AWAY FROM SUBARU...unless you like giving mechanics $2000.00. Other posts reveal engines seizing, etc. JUNK!!!"

1 person out of 3 found this review helpful

Amazing daily, in any season!

By on Friday, February 07, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 96,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Quick, fun, comfortable"

Cons: "Fuel mileage, no aux input"

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

"I've had this car for a little over a year now and nothing major for reliability issues. I had replaced the turbo at 90,000 because it is considered a regular wear and tear item and was recommended at the mileage it was at. Plenty of get up and go, and overall a very fun car to drive. The comfort is great, the suspension isn't too stiff, but still handles amazingly after 96,000 miles in every season. Just hugs the road in snowy conditions as well! Awesome sport sedan!"

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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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