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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.

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

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2008 Subaru Legacy Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.6
Out of 10

Based on 268 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
    8.9/10

Will be one of Subaru's best cars ever

By on Saturday, August 16, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 66,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"I own an Aston Martin Vantage.I am amazed how well my Subaru stacks up compared to the Aston in terms of handling and fun factor.A true bargain!"

Powerful Sleeper Station Wagon

By on Thursday, June 26, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 137,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Power,Stealth,HaulingStorage,Comfort,SportsWagon"

Cons: "No Aux or USB port, premium gas only"

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

"Turbo Power (250+hp) 4 cyl with V6 Power, Comfort, Huge Sunroof, Quality Leather w/Dual Power & Heated Seats, Dual Climate Control, AWD (All Wheel Drive) goes into and out of ANY environment. 5 speed Manual (this model year only.) Will hold 34 bags of mulch and a house front door with the back latched. The vehicle has no clue it is a Station Wagon....it thinks it's a Sports Car"

6 people out of 16 found this review helpful

Fun to Drive for low HP car

By on Sunday, June 15, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 56,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "fun to drive, great suspension and handling, awd"

Cons: "small backseats, low HP, MPG average aren't great"

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

"I picked up a 2008 Legacy 2.5i Special Edition (Black)used about 3 weeks ago for a decent price around 12,500. The car's handling, suspension, and cornering ability are excellent. I test drove a 2014 Mazda 3 which had a ton of accolades and rewards for being fun to drive, and I can honestly say this car used was just as enjoyable. You can't expect the best MPG for an AWD car, but I'm averaging about 23 MPG (I do a mix of high way and city driving) which is about average for and AWD car. The horsepower won't blow you away, but it's adequate enough to pass people on the highway. The car is really smooth at even higher speeds (80mph+) and you won't feel the car shake or rumble. The cars body style is sporty. I love the 06-09 body styles, they stand out on the road and there aren't very many of them. The back seats are a little small, so if you plan on carrying bigger passengers around you may want to look elsewhere. The standard car speakers are crisp sounding even more crisp when I replaced the standard head unit with a new pioneer bluetooth compatible one. There are plenty of nice little storage compartments for items like sunglasses or your wallet, etc. To conclude, if you're looking for an older sportier sedan, and don't want to be one of the hundreds of thousands driving an accord or camry, this is definitely a very enjoyable ride."

9 people out of 12 found this review helpful

Best of both worlds. Sporty family sedan.

By on Monday, April 28, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 58,000

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

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

"This vehicle is great racing from the stop light or the All Wheel Drive is great commuting to work at 3 AM before the snow plows are out (winter in Wisconsin)."

8 people out of 12 found this review helpful

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."

3 people out of 5 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"

5 people out of 7 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

Buying this car?