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 (21 total reviews)


No problems yet

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

Bought the car in July 2008 and currently have 31K miles on it without any problems. The suspension is a great. It is nimble enough to handle well but not jarring on bumps. The front seats are very comfortable, even after a few hours in the car. The back seat is tight but still respectable. My only complaint is the radio is horrible but it can easily be replaced with an aftermarket one. With the rear seats folded down a lot can be transported, even long skis. Overall, it is a reliable and affordable car. This is my first Subaru and I would buy it again.




2008 legacy 70000 miles later

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

This is my third subaru. I had two imprezas before this one and I got to say I am pretty happy with the car. I live in Florida and I rarely ever see anyone else with the car. Never had a problem with it, just changed the oil and brakes, thats it.




"sub" impressive

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

Bought it new. First disappointment was how big the combination key/remote is. Won't fit in my pocket. Then I found out the TPMS must be programmed by the $ dealer each time I put my snow tire rims on. I traded in the car after 18 months and 17,000 miles because the suspension is so stiff I could not take it any longer. Wind noise is awful. The engine was very rough and loud while the car was not moving. Trim on the driver door started falling off. 4 screws fell off the armrest and it fell apart. Hardly any heat would reach my feet. Annoying loud beeping sound when the trunk was opened. Way too small of a car for a six feet tall person. Seats stained from rainwater. Oh I could go on and on.




Best car i have ever

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

I purchased my Legacy with 6400 miles on it. The dealer told me it was a program car and that an executive from Subaru headquarters in Mass drove it. Come to find out it was a rental car. I bought this car because its safety, style, comfort, AWD, and because I did not want to be another guy driving in a cookie cutter car (Camry, Accord). This car has good pick up same as Camry, Accord. Same MPG too darn good for AWD. The Subie suspension is great. Nice balance of ride and handling. The boxer engine also is silky smooth and sounds good too. A boxer engine the pistons are horizontally opposed. Same as Porsche boxer design has lower center of gravity better handling, best value for its class.




Sold on subaru

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

I bought a Subaru because I like the performance & handling of a German car but wanted the reliability & value of a Japanese car. I got exactly that. The only problem in two years has been a dash rattle that the dealer fixed with a foam jam (I know, but it's not a luxury brand). It would be nice to get over 30 mpg's, but the trade-off is outstanding traction, performance and safety. Having survived a serious accident, safety is a major concern of mine. No regrets here. This is my first Subaru and I know it will be hard to talk myself into buying anything else again.




Happily pre-owned

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

So far I've owned my Legacy for a little over a month and I have to say it's by far the best car I've ever owned. I was in the market for a car that was great on the highway (safe/mpg/fun to drive) since I drive an hour each day to and from work. I will surely be purchasing another Subaru whenever this one bites the dust hopefully a long time from now. I love the sound system, was able to tweak the quality of the speakers through my ipod, the moonroof is wonderful and the car handles like it's on rails. I highly recommend anyone that wants a great car at a great price, pre-owned might be the way to go. Low miles for 5k cheaper than new a year old?...be stupid not to.



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