2008 Subaru Legacy Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2008 Subaru Legacy Sedan

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Subaru Legacy Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.5 L Flat 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain All Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 4-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 170 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 20/27 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2008 Subaru Legacy

  • A family car that does a nice impression of a sport sedan, the 2008 Subaru Legacy is a lot of car for the money. Whether you're an enthusiast in need of four doors or a safety-conscious parent who loves driving, the Subaru Legacy is worth strong consideration.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Attractive cabin design with high-quality materials, strong performance in GT trims, standard all-wheel drive, athletic handling, comfortable highway ride, outstanding crash test scores.

  • Cons

    Smallish backseat and trunk, limited availability of stability control and navigation systems, upper trims can be pricey.

  • What's New for 2008

    A mild face-lift, a sporty new "3.0 R Limited" trim level, a redesigned instrument panel, the cancellation of the wagon body style and the addition of a few new standard features (including tilt and telescopic steering wheel and an auxiliary audio jack) are the major changes for the 2008 Subaru Legacy line.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (7 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Good, reliable car

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Vehicle: 2008 Subaru Legacy 2.5 I 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl 4A)

I've owned this car for about 3 years and have put around 20,000 miles on it, including two trips from central Florida to Savannah, GA (about 700 miles round trip). I've enjoyed my time with this car. It has been very reliable, never been in the shop except for a door light issue (which was caused by the dealership). My only real complaint is the interior space. The back seat isn't really made for anyone 6 feet tall or over. Neither is the front seat, for that matter. I'm just under 6 feet and I have to keep the seat all the way back. But, if you're looking for a car that will never go wrong, this is it. I average about 18 MPG in the city and about 26 on the highway at less than 70mph.




Won me over a passat

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Vehicle: 2008 Subaru Legacy 2.5 I 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl 4A)

I few months back, I traded in my 2002 GMC Envoy with 140,000 Miles for a 2008 Legacy with 16,500 Miles. I was originally going to purchase a Passat, but I wanted something that was more youthful. Overall, I do not regret my purchase at all in any way. It may be a little slow off the line, but it can haul. I do long highway stretches, and average around 80mph, but still get 25 mpg.




Couldn't be happier

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Vehicle: 2008 Subaru Legacy 2.5 I 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl 4A)

After one year, and 25000 miles, I couldn't be happier. I drive 30 to and from work over a 7000 ft+ mountain summit to a city that has 3 of the top 10 ski resorts in the country within 5 miles. Naturally, traction is a concern. After having a Honda Civic Si and snow tires, I will never be without quality winter tires again because getting going is one thing, stopping is another, and the Legacy does both brilliantly when properly equipped. I confidently and safely got where I was going (and passed so many 4WD trucks and SUV's I couldn't even venture a guess at a number). I am so glad I bought this car.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Ticking when turning the engine

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Vehicle: 2008 Subaru Legacy 2.5 I 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl 4A)

I bought a 2008 used Subaru Legacy with 20,000 miles on it in March 2009. The only complaint I have is that after I drive it and then turn the engine off, it makes a ticking sound for approx 20 secs as though the engine is cooling down. I never heard this sound in other cars I've owned, so it's new to me. I'm wondering if anyone else has had this problem, and if it's common. The dealer said it's the engine cooling, but I'm leery of it. The engine sounds more like a cheap car and is not as quiet when started or when driving. I've owned a Honda and Dodge, Intrepid and they seemed more sturdier than the Subaru Legacy.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Best buy for the buck

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Vehicle: 2008 Subaru Legacy 2.5 I 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl 4A)

The Subaru Legacy 2.5l boxer engine has to be one of the better small size engines on the market today. Besides delivering almost 30 mpg on the high way it can pack a little punch if pushed to its limits. It's more fun to drive than anything I test drove (which included Toyota awd matrix, Nissan altima, Honda accord). The all wheel drive is superb. Anything from heavy rains to deep snow is no match for the symmetric all wheel drive. Last its not cheap by any means but for what you get it is one hell of a deal.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Great car

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Subaru Legacy 2.5 I 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl 4A)

Well I Trade in My GMC Envoy for this one and I have to say that my chances of going to GM won't be happening anytime soon for sure unless it's a Caddy or somthing like that. This is the best car I have ever owned after the going though so many problems with my Envoy which is a okay. I never had so much fun driving car other than this one. My fuel mileage is not so great yet but I have only had this car for 4 days so the engine needs time to break in. I think in time the fuel mileage will get better and it already better than my SUV. I love going around conners and I can't wait for the Saskatchewan winters. That's when this car is going to show it strips with it AWD.



Full 2008 Subaru Legacy Review

What's New for 2008

A mild face-lift, a sporty new "3.0 R Limited" trim level, a redesigned instrument panel, the cancellation of the wagon body style and the addition of a few new standard features (including tilt and telescopic steering wheel and an auxiliary audio jack) are the major changes for the 2008 Subaru Legacy line.

Introduction

Although it may not attract the spotlight as much as its enthusiast-leaning Impreza WRX sibling, the 2008 Subaru Legacy is deserving of much more than supporting actor status in the carmaker's lineup. As the brand's main midsize sedan, the Legacy is meant to appeal to two main types of buyers: those looking for something sportier than the ubiquitous Honda Accord and Toyota Camry and those who want the advantage of all-wheel-drive traction for foul-weather driving.

For 2008, Subaru has given its Legacy a subtle face-lift, evident from changes to the Legacy's grille and lighting systems fore and aft. The company also added a new trim level this year, the 3.0 R Limited, that features a 245-horsepower flat-6 coupled to a rev-matching, paddle-shifted automatic gearbox. There are also revisions on the inside with new seat fabrics and an updated instrument panel.

Keeping with Subaru tradition, all-wheel drive is standard across the board and nearly all 2008 Legacy models are propelled by a horizontally opposed, four-cylinder engine (called a "boxer" or "flat" engine design). A sure-footed demeanor, thanks to the AWD and the boxer engine's lower center of gravity, is a standout trait of the Legacy. Before you scoff at the scarceness of six-cylinder power (only available on one of the Legacy's six trim levels), consider that we've found the GT's turbocharged four to be a spirited sweetheart that rivals many V6s in terms of outright performance, refinement and power delivery.

In an attempt to pump up the sporting factor even more, Subaru offers a gizmo called SI-Drive on some trims. SI-Drive adjusts the electronic throttle's response as well as the automatic transmission's shift points. There are three modes: Intelligent, Sport and Sport Sharp to choose from. The Intelligent mode optimizes fuel-efficiency, but expectedly blunts performance while the Sport Sharp mode does the inverse. Sport falls somewhere in the middle. Any guess as to which mode we prefer?

On the whole, we're pretty fond of the 2008 Subaru Legacy. Its all-wheel drive, fine ride and handling balance, and lively, sport sedan personality make it an easy recommendation for driving enthusiasts in need of a midsize sedan. Stellar crash test scores also further its appeal. The few drawbacks to the Legacy include a backseat that's on the small side and the limited availability of certain features, such as stability control.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2008 Subaru Legacy is a midsize sedan with all-wheel drive. The six trim levels are comprised of base 2.5i, 2.5i Special Edition, 2.5i Limited, 2.5 GT Limited, 2.5 GT spec.B and 3.0 R Limited.

The base 2.5i comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, air-conditioning, an MP3/WMA-capable CD stereo with an auxiliary input jack, keyless entry, tilt and telescopic steering wheel, a trip computer and full power accessories. The 2.5i Special Edition adds a moonroof and a power driver seat. The 2.5i Limited includes leather seating, heated exterior mirrors, a windshield wiper de-icer, heated front seats, dual-zone climate control and an upgraded audio system with an in-dash CD changer.

The sporting 2.5 GT Limited features a turbocharged engine, SI-Drive, a limited-slip rear differential, larger brakes, quicker steering, bolstered sport seats, a three-spoke Momo steering wheel and electroluminescent gauges. The 2.5 GT spec.B sedan adds an upgraded Torsen limited-slip differential, stability control, a sport suspension with Bilstein dampers, 18-inch alloys with performance tires, a navigation system, ground effects and alloy pedal covers. The 3.0R Limited essentially substitutes a six-cylinder engine and paddle-shifted automatic transmission for the 2.5 GT spec.B's turbo four and manual transmission.

The navigation and stability control systems are optional on the midlevel trims, but unfortunately can't be had on entry-level ones.

Powertrains and Performance

Three engines are available for the Subaru Legacy, and all Legacy models feature all-wheel drive. The 2.5i models get a 2.5-liter horizontally opposed (or flat) four-cylinder that makes 175 hp and 169 pound-feet of torque. The GT Limited and GT spec.B models get a turbocharged 2.5-liter flat-4 that makes 243 hp and 241 lb-ft. The 3.0 R Limited has a 3.0-liter flat-6 that produces 245 hp and 215 lb-ft.

Legacy 2.5i models are equipped with either a five-speed manual transmission or a four-speed automatic. GT buyers have the choice of the five-speed manual or a five-speed auto. The spec.B has a six-speed manual transmission. The 3.0 R has a five-speed automatic that (like the five-speed auto on the GT trims) features paddle shifters and rev-matching downshifting. Performance of the GT trims is especially thrilling; we timed a GT spec.B at just 5.7 seconds in the 0-to-60 dash.

Safety

Antilock disc brakes, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and whiplash-reducing front headrests are all standard. Stability control is standard on the GT spec.B and 3.0 R trims and optional on the 2.5i Limited and GT Limited trims.

In IIHS crash tests the 2008 Subaru Legacy received the Gold Award (its highest honor) after the car earned "Good" ratings (the highest) in frontal-offset and side-impact crash tests, and for its head restraints' ability to prevent whiplash in rear-end crashes. The NHTSA rates the Legacy very high as well; the vehicle has a perfect five-star rating for both frontal and side-impact crash protection.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Legacy's well-trimmed cabin is one of its strongest virtues. Clean, logical design is tastefully accented with convincing faux aluminum and wood grain trim. The red-and-white gauges and three-spoke Momo steering wheel in the GT Limited, spec.B and 3.0 R models add a sporty flair, while all trims boast excellent build and materials quality. While the backseat is comfortable for two passengers, shoulder room and legroom are still pretty tight for this class. Kids should fit with no problem, though. The Legacy's trunk is also on the smallish side at 11.4 cubic feet. However, it does feature both a ski pass-through and fold-down rear seats to optimize cargo capacity.

Driving Impressions

Equipped with the base 2.5-liter engine, the 2008 Subaru Legacy provides adequate acceleration and polished road manners that are sure to please whether your commute is all highway or includes a few twists and turns. If you can swing it, though, the upgrade to the turbocharged Legacy GT Limited or spec.B is well worth it. Those cars are quick and entertaining to exercise on a back road, especially when equipped with one of the manual transmissions. Hard-core enthusiasts will note that the Legacy exhibits a bit too much body roll to be considered a bona fide sport sedan, but the trade-off is a forgiving highway ride — even on the Bilstein-equipped spec.B. Steering is light, precise and high in feedback with all Legacy models.

Talk About The 2008 Legacy

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 20
  • cty
/
  • 27
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs