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 6-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 243 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 17/24 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation Yes
  • 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.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (9 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Undercover blast

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Vehicle: 2008 Subaru Legacy 2.5 GT spec.B 4dr Sedan AWD w/Navi, VDC (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6M)

This is my second Subaru Legacy, the first one being a 2005 2.5i Limited 5-spd. Liked the chassis so much I decided to get a Spec. B version, if for nothing else the extremely strong 6-spd tranny and drive train over the GT models. The Si-Drive allows simple daily driving as well. The interior is as expected, nav, aux-in radio, heated front seats and soft touch areas where needed.




Stealth awd sedan

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Vehicle: 2008 Subaru Legacy 2.5 GT spec.B 4dr Sedan AWD w/Navi, VDC (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6M)

The Spec B is a great low profile performance sedan. The Euros can't match the performance or reliability for the money. Add snow tires (the stock Bridgestones are summer only) for winter and you have an unstoppable all season sport sedan. Having owned a Mercedes C230 and a BMW 328i, I can say the Subaru is much more fun to drive.




Subaru legacy spec b

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Vehicle: 2008 Subaru Legacy 2.5 GT spec.B 4dr Sedan AWD w/Navi, VDC (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6M)

Excellent AWD sport sedan. Very quick over a wide variety of road surfaces and conditions. Sport sharp mode in Si drive provides great throttle response. A stealth car that is great fun to drive.




Best awd sedan available for

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Vehicle: 2008 Subaru Legacy 2.5 GT spec.B 4dr Sedan AWD w/Navi, VDC (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6M)

The spec.B is worth the premium over the 5 spd GT; much better handling, better tranny / shifter, better wheels / tires, nicer interior. An "adult muscle car" that will also excel in bad weather. Mileage is right at the EPA of 17 for city cycle after 500 miles of mostly urban commute, and I'm not always easy on the throttle. Performance could be called "stealth": quiet and comfortable until you hamnmer it! After comparing to the G35X, A4 3.2L, Passat 4Motion and Mazdaspeed 6, this car is the clear winner to me with great build quality, performance, balance of ride and handling and the ability to get a 6M tranny vs. an auto.




Still getting a feel for

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Vehicle: 2008 Subaru Legacy 2.5 GT spec.B 4dr Sedan AWD w/Navi, VDC (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6M)

Been car shopping for a long, long time. Looked at almost everything out there, MBs, BMWs, Evos, Stis, etc. Saw an 06 LGT spec B and wasn't completely sold on the interior color. When the 07s came out I was disappointed by the blue inserts. 08 rolled around and finally an all black interior! So far with about 500 miles on it I am still happy. With the 6spd I am having problems finding the right gear at the right time (used to 5 spds). 1st and 2nd seem kinda gutless. It's annoying to have keep putting the car into sport sharp.




'98 2.5rs to '08 spec.b

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Vehicle: 2008 Subaru Legacy 2.5 GT spec.B 4dr Sedan AWD w/Navi, VDC (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6M)

Owned and loved a 2.5RS since '97! Very agile car and wonderful off roads but it had missing features when the kids came: folding seats, tiny backseat, latches, high profile trunk (cargo nightmare), stripped interior. Looked at the 328ix, LS 350, Evo, STi, TT, G35, 6s. All great but the spec.b outperformed and had everything I wanted on my RS. "The WRX's older brother," a lot of punch with significantly more sophistication. Interior features and ride make this a serious luxury car with a kick. The spec.b was not designed to be as rugged as the RS (my off trail days on hold!) but I'm very happy with my purchase and ecstatic now that I've had it for 6 weeks and booked 4-digit miles :)



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

  • 17
  • cty
/
  • 24
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs