2008 Subaru Legacy Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2008 Subaru Legacy Sedan

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Subaru Legacy Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.5 L Flat 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain All Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 243 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 19/24 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

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.

Gas Mileage


  • 19
  • cty
  • 24
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Buying a preowned legacy gt

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Vehicle: 2008 Subaru Legacy 2.5 GT Limited 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 5M)

i was in the market for a fun to drive sedan. i poured over online reviews, Consumer Reports and generally obsessed over this for about a year. I test drove new BMW 325, Civic Si, Legacy GT, Saab 93, Infinity G, Mazda Speed3, Mitsu Lancer etc...just about everything. At the local Subie dealership they had a preowned 2008 GT. It was love at first drive. So i did a bunch of research and bought it --$20K with 30K miles. I thought it was a great deal...0 buyers remorse. Every time I drive this car I absolutely looooove it...it handles great...is super fast in S# mode, and a dream in the rain. i love the 3 engine modes -- I, S and S#. Subaru certified it - got 100k bumper to bumper for $800.

Like a miata with 4

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Vehicle: 2008 Subaru Legacy 2.5 GT Limited 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 5M)

When I bought an Acura TL a year ago, the Legacy was my second choice. I recently reversed that decision and traded the TL for the Suby. What a difference! I love the sports car handling and the AWD because I live in a part of Canada that gets a lot of snow in winter. It's the first car I've looked forward to driving every day since I sold my Miata. Acceleration is impressive in sport sharp mode. My TL had crazy, dangerous torque steer when accelerating hard in corners. The Suby is tight, predictable, with a slight rear wheel bias. The interior looks great and fits me well, except for the arm rest (needed to get the extender). Bluetooth would be nice, but shouldn't talk on the phone anyway.

This car is great!

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Vehicle: 2008 Subaru Legacy 2.5 GT Limited 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 5M)

In 34 years I have owned a lot of sports cars and SUVs. The Subaru GT is my favorite. It provides almost sports car like power and handling. It rides like a comfortable sedan. It takes the Utah snow without any drama. I get 28 mpg hwy and 22 mpg around town according to the trip computer. That includes jumping on it a little. I am considering installing the SPT exhaust system, heat shield and high flow exhaust. The factory quotes 30HP and 30 ft-lb torque gains.

2008 subaru legacy

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Vehicle: 2008 Subaru Legacy 2.5 GT Limited 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 5M)

Just bought it... already have a 100 miles on it and I am very impressed. I have owned an Audi A6 2.7T, VW GTI and GLX, a Maxima 3.5L SE, and my other car is a '02 WRX. This car is one of the best I have driven especially for the price. If I wasn't looking at the Subaru badge, I would have sworn I was driving a BMW or an Audi (dashboard, leather seats, etc). This car is great on the highway and still firm enough to have fun on the twisty roads. I was averaging 28 mpg on the highway with a new engine with less than 100 miles. Germany should be afraid with the performance of the Legacy and the proven reliability of Subaru. I recommend a test drive of the GT, you will not be disappointed

Great value for an awd

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Vehicle: 2008 Subaru Legacy 2.5 GT Limited 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 5M)

I have been looking for an AWD Japanese sedan with a manual transmission for a few years after having an Audi A6 and then a BMW 325xi both with reliablility issues. Subaru finally had enough of the amenities with the 2008 Limited GT Turbo model for me to make the purchase. What a value! The car is more fun to drive than the BMW, much faster, and hopefully will be more reliable. With discounts and rebates, the car is approximately $12,000 less than a similarly equipped 2008 325xi. The car handles really nicely, much easier clutch than the BMW. I've had it now for 2 months and absolutely no regrets. I added an aftermarket bluetooth kit which fit nicely in the space for the navigation.

02 wrx to 08 legacy

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Vehicle: 2008 Subaru Legacy 2.5 GT Limited 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 5M)

Traded in '02 WRX on '08 Legacy GT. The GT is roomier, with much better features (leather, sunroof, auto AC, auto trunk, XM, auto mirror), much quieter, and only cost $2K more than my WRX did 6 years ago. As quick as my WRX 0-60, same cornering G, but simply not as fun to drive. However, this is a much easier car to live with (quiet), and everybody who rides in it loves it. Quality is same or better than WRX - outstanding. Other than for clutch, never had a problem with the WRX in 75K miles (never even touched the brakes!). I'm looking forward to a similar experience with the Legacy GT.


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.


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.


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

2008 Subaru Legacy Discussions See all Started By

2008 legacy passenger side wheel hub recently stared to hum....can I have a new bearing pressed in or do I have to replace the entire assembly. How many $$$...

Besides, one has to go up to the Legacy GT to get nav...so I'd probably get the Outback LL Bean Limited as the other option. With the long commute, comfort is pretty important, as is mileage. I'd cons...

I am looking to get 2008 legacy and i was wondering when subaru usually get next yrs stock....

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