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Average User Score
4.5 ⁄ 5 stars
Based on 66 reviews
2008 Subaru Impreza Overview
Overall User Score
Based on 66 reviews
A PG-13 rating might get you a wider audience, but sometimes an R movie has that extra edge and raw power that makes a movie unforgettable. Such is the dilemma facing the newly redesigned 2008 Subaru Impreza. In an attempt to attract more mainstream customers, watered-down styling changes have stripped away some of the Impreza's identity. Although the 2.5-liter four-cylinder boxer engine hasn't really changed, the sedan and wagon get interior and exterior updates, plus a revamped platform and chassis that improve handling, interior space, and fuel economy.
For starters, the all-wheel-drive 2008 Impreza gains nearly four inches in its wheelbase, offering more legroom for rear passengers, and the seats have been lowered to increase headroom. The engine has been placed lower in the floor to improve handling, but this also provides more trunk space. Tweaks to the intake manifold in both the 170-hp 2.5i and the turbocharged 224-hp WRX have led to torque peaks (173 and 226 respectively) at lower RPMs. The WRX receives a quicker steering ratio, based on the racing-oriented STi. And both the five-speed manual and optional four-speed automatic have been revised for smoother response. The result is better handling, more road feel, and a 5% improvement in fuel economy.
While the engine's performance, particularly in the WRX, still thrills and far exceeds that of other compact sedans and wagons in its class, some exterior changes to the 2008 Impreza have displeased many fans. Most notably, the sporty WRX has been Euro-fied and subdued to appeal to a wider group of customers who might have been scared off by its racing image. The large hood scoop, fender flares, and sporty angles have given way to a more wedge-shaped design with framed windows. Have no fear, old-school WRX fans, the new Impreza will still accept modification.
Inside, new materials seem less plastic and more refined. Standard features have not been touched, with a full power setup, cruise control, and a CD player standard. Also untouched is the five-star safety rating. Both trims feature 16-inch wheels, ABS brakes with brake assist, and dual front and side curtain airbags. The WRX adds a limited-slip differential and traction and stability control. A Premium Package offers a 6-CD player, heated seats, and MP3 input, but if you get the optional navigation system, you lose the 6-CD changer. Good 19/27 fuel economy, more responsive handling, a quieter ride, and better acceleration power stand out for owners of the 2008 Subaru Impreza. The styling and lack of storage space are the most common complaints.
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