Subaru Impreza WRX owners are a pretty fanatical lot. They love their cars for their funky body styling, spunky turbocharged engines and athletic handling that would shame many pricier sport coupes and sedans. Yet reading message boards about the redesigned 2008 WRX, you'd think Subaru has made the biggest business blunder since the introduction of New Coke.
The uproar mostly has to do with Subaru's approach. For this new Impreza, Subaru is hoping to attract a wider customer base. It improved the quality of the interior, softened the suspension tuning for a better ride quality and took a more conservative approach toward styling.
Unfortunately, Subaru enthusiasts think that it softened the suspension too much and sanitized the styling to the point of pure blandness. So has the WRX truly lost its mojo? We tested a 2008 WRX hatchback to find out.
Like the previous Subaru Impreza WRX, the 2008 version has plenty of get-up-and-go. Our test car skedaddled to 60 mph in just 6.2 seconds and flashed through the quarter-mile in 14.6 seconds, quicker than cars like the Honda Civic Si. Braking was similarly solid, with a stop of 123 feet from 60 mph.
Swapping gears with the five-speed manual's gearshift is pleasant enough, with a fairly precise run through the gates and an easily modulated clutch pedal. Enthusiasts will likely also dig the turbocharged flat-4's healthy growl. Sadly, fuel economy isn't impressive, with EPA ratings of 19 miles per premium gallon city, 24 mpg highway and 21 mpg combined. In our time with the car, our admittedly heavy feet resulted in a combined figure of 18 mpg.
Anyone who has driven the previous WRX will be most disappointed in the new version's softer suspension tuning. Although the window sticker states under standard features "Suspension: Sport-Tuned," it could've fooled us. Perhaps they meant "sport" in the same light as lawn bowling or badminton.
In an attempt to win over folks who might've deemed the previous car's underpinnings too stiff, the chassis guys went too far the other way. Take on a twisty road and you won't feel the buttoned-down composure you'd expect, but rather an abundance of body roll. As a result, this compact sport sedan doesn't inspire much confidence, nor does it feel all that sporty. Perhaps the assembly line routed the WRX engines into the standard Impreza by mistake? We're not sure. On the upside, the WRX does deliver a compliant ride on pockmarked city roads and during high-speed cruising. But we think most shoppers would trade this for better handling.
The WRX's well-shaped sport seats offer solid long-distance support as well as ample side bolstering, though the latter is of questionable value given the car's lack of cornering prowess. A tilt and telescoping steering wheel and height-adjustable driver seat allowed a wide range of staffers — from 5-foot-5 to 6-foot-3 in height — to find an ideal driving position. And the WRX's relatively high roof line means tall folks can ride comfortably; we had a pair of 6-foot-1 staffers seated one behind the other with ample headroom and without knees touching the seatback.
At speed on the freeway, the WRX offers a quiet ride, with wind and road noise well muted. Hard acceleration brings a strong growl from the engine compartment, but as mentioned before, we imagine that enthusiasts will take delight in the sound. We certainly did.
The climate control knobs are located rather low on the center stack, but apart from that, most controls in the Subaru WRX are a snap to use. The navigation system features a simple interface and high-mounted screen. It's nice that there are steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, but the small, similar-shaped buttons take a little acclimation before they can be operated without a glance.
Should you choose the hatchback version of the WRX (like our test car), you'll find generous cargo capacity. With the split rear seats up, there are 19 cubic feet available (about the same as a Cadillac DTS). Flip them down and it expands to 44.4 cubes. Our test car was fitted with the optional cargo tray, a grippy mat with a lipped edge, which proved ideal for keeping things from sliding around. Stowing a couple of golf bags or a large suitcase back there is no sweat. Thanks to the roomy cabin and tall greenhouse, securing a rear-facing child seat in the back is also a snap.
Design/Fit and Finish
Even though it sports a hood scoop, 17-inch alloy wheels and spoilers fore and aft, the latest WRX still manages to look rather tame. That undesired effect is due chiefly to the generic grille and bland body styling. The upshot is that the WRX is more invisible to Johnny Law while cruising the interstate than its harder-edged, extroverted STI sibling.
The cabin is much more attractive than the exterior, with a sweeping dash design, tasteful faux metallic accents and solid build and materials quality throughout. A large tach sits front and center, emphasizing the WRX's feisty performance.
Who should consider this vehicle
Those who value straight-line gusto and the all-weather grip of all-wheel drive but don't care much about athletic handling may want to check out the 2008 Subaru Impreza WRX. Everyone else should consider the worthy rivals shown below or just wait until next year, when Subaru is slated to firm up the WRX's suspension and give it more power to boot.
The manufacturer provided Edmunds this vehicle for the purposes of evaluation.
2008 Subaru Impreza Overview
The 2008 Subaru Impreza is offered in the following submodels: Hatchback, Sedan, WRX STI. Available styles include 2.5i 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl 4A), 2.5i 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.5L 4cyl 4A), and 2.5i 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl 5M). Impreza models are available with a 2.5 l-liter gas engine, with output up to 170 hp, depending on engine type. The 2008 Impreza comes with all wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 4-speed shiftable automatic, 5-speed manual. The 2008 Impreza comes with a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. basic warranty, a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. powertrain warranty.
What's a good price on a used 2008 Subaru Impreza?
Save up to $301 on one of 65 used 2008 Subaru Imprezas for sale at dealerships within 25 miles of Ashburn, Virginia with prices as low as $4786 as of Nov 23, 2017, based on data from 18 dealers and 23 consumer-driven dealer ratings ranging from 4 to 5 out of 5 stars.
Price comparisons for used 2008 Subaru Impreza trim styles:
The 2008 Subaru Impreza WRX STI is priced around $18500 with average odometer reading of 119126 miles.
The 2008 Subaru Impreza Outback Sport is priced around $8250 with average odometer reading of 101451 miles.
The 2008 Subaru Impreza 2.5i is priced around $5460 with average odometer reading of 110937 miles.
The 2008 Subaru Impreza WRX is priced around $11082 with average odometer reading of 108968 miles.
Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, Virginia. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.
Is the 2008 Subaru Impreza a good car? Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2008 Subaru Impreza and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2008 Impreza featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.
Our Review Process All of our reviews are written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.
How do people like the 2008 Subaru Impreza? Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2008 Subaru Impreza and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2008 Impreza 4.5 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2008 Impreza.
Review This is truly a great car. It is versatile, safe, reliable, and fun to drive. With 44.4 cu/ft of cargo space, 60/40 fold-flat seats, the car can handle anything I throw at it. With the car's AWD system and 6 standard air bags it offer's a level of confidence on the road unlike any of the other cars I test drove. Lastly, Subaru has found a great balance between ride and handling. The car rides completely different then it's predecessor with a subtle ride, yet still contains the prowess to be tossed into a turn. The car is not without it's faults, though, as the hard plastic that completely covers the interior and tires seem to amplify the little road noise that find their way into the cabin.
2008 Subaru Impreza inventory listings Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2008 Subaru Impreza for sale near Ashburn VA. There are currently 803 new and 807 used and CPO 2008 Imprezas listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as 4400 and mileage as low as 0. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2008 Subaru Impreza. Then select Edmunds special offers, perks, deals, and incentives to contact the dealer of your choice and save up to 301 on a new, used, or CPO 2008 Impreza available from one of 2796 dealerships in your area.
How can Edmunds help? Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color
What options are available on the 2008 Subaru Impreza?
Available Subaru Impreza 2008 Submodel Types: Wagon, Hatchback, Sedan, WRX STI, WRX STi, WRX STI Limited
Available Trims: 2.0i Premium, 2.0i Limited, 2.0i Sport, 2.0i, 2.0i Premium PZEV, 2.0i PZEV, 2.0i Sport Premium PZEV, 2.5i, 2.5i Premium, 2.0i Limited PZEV, 2.0i Sport Limited PZEV, 2.5 i, WRX, WRX Limited, WRX Premium, Outback Sport Special Edition, Outback Sport, 2.0i Sport Limited, 2.0i Sport Premium, WRX STI, WRX STi, 2.5 RS, 2.5 i Special Edition, Outback, WRX TR, 2.5, WRX STI Limited, 2.5GT, LX, TS
Exterior Colors: Ice Silver Metallic, Crystal White Pearl, Crystal Black Silica, Lapis Blue Pearl, Magnetite Gray Metallic, Island Blue Pearl, Crimson Red Pearl, Venetian Red Pearl, Lithium Red Pearl, Quartz Blue Pearl, Carbide Gray Metallic, Marine Blue Pearl, Jasmine Green Metallic, Crystal Gray Metallic, Platinum Silver Metallic, Deep Cherry Pearl, Dark Gray Metallic, Obsidian Black Pearl, WR Blue Pearl, Camellia Red Pearl, Lightning Red, Spark Silver Metallic, Plasma Blue Pearl, Sage Green Metallic/Steel Silver Metallic, San Remo Red, Satin White Pearl, Sky Blue Metallic, Steel Silver Metallic/Spark Silver Metallic, Urban Gray Metallic, Paprika Red Pearl, Sedona Red Pearl, Aspen White, Crystal Grey Metallic, Deep Sea Blue Pearl, Java Black Pearl, Regal Blue Pearl/Steel Gray Metallic, Sage Green Metallic, Steel Gray Metallic, Topaz Gold Metallic, Blue Ridge Pearl, Newport Blue Pearl, Newport Blue Pearl/Steel Silver Metallic, Newport Blue Pearl/Urban Gray Metallic, Obsidian Black Pearl/Dark Gray Metallic, Regal Blue Pearl, Sage Green Metallic/Ice Silver Metallic, Savanna Green Metallic/Graystone Metallic, Urban Gray Metallic/Crystal Gray Metallic, WR Blue Mica, Aqua Blue Metallic/Crystal Gray Metallic, Aspen White/Steel Gray Metallic, Cobalt Blue Metallic, Evergreen Metallic/Urban Gray Metallic, Garnet Red Pearl, Gray Metallic/Crystal Gray Metallic, Marine Blue Pearl/Steel Silver Metallic, Midnight Black Pearl/Graystone Metallic, Obsidian Black Pearl/Urban Gray Metallic, Platinum Silver Metallic/Steel Gray Metallic, San Remo Red/Steel Gray Metallic, Savanna Green, Sky Blue Metallic/Ice Silver Metallic, Sunlight Gold Opal
Interior Colors: Black cloth, Black, Black leather, Ivory, Ivory leather, Off Black cloth, Carbon Black cloth, Ivory cloth, Off Black, Dark Gray Knit, Black Alcantara/Carbon Black leather/sueded microfiber, Graphite Gray/Carbon Black leather/sueded microfiber, Black leather/sueded microfiber, Gray, Desert Beige cloth, Medium Gray Flat Woven, Blue Ecsaine/Black, Carbon Black leather, Beige cloth, Dark Gray Flat Woven, Gray Knit, Off Black alcantara, Off Black/Blue Ecsaine
Popular Features: USB Inputs, Bluetooth, Back-up camera, Apple Carplay/Android Auto, Post-collision safety system, Keyless Entry/Start, Sunroof/Moonroof, Leather Seats, Power Driver Seat, Blind Spot Monitoring, Upgraded Stereo, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning, AWD/4WD, Alarm, Audio and cruise controls on steering wheel, Fold Flat Rear Seats, Rear Bench Seats, Tire Pressure Warning, Trip Computer, Stability Control, Pre-collision safety system, Aux Audio Inputs, Auto Climate Control, Heated seats, Remote Start, Upgraded Headlights, Navigation