2008 Subaru Impreza 2.5i 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl 4A)
This car has never given me any major problems in the short time that I’ve owned it. Already have some good memories with it. I’m 19 years old now, and was in the market for a used Subaru in the spring of 2017 as I have always admired subies. Couldn’t afford a newer Subaru, let alone an older WRX so I settled for the 08 impreza which was the best deal I found in the area at the time. Exterior is nothing amazing, but better looking than any American sedan of that year. Basic interior as it is a base model, but that doesn’t matter to me (cuz it has aux w/ good speakers!) as it seems cars w/ lots of technology are always breaking (my moms new 2018 Legacy limited had several interior electrical issues in the first couple months of ownership). None of the dreaded head gasket issues that seemed to plague Subaru for many years had affected my car, I think they solved that problem years ago. Boxer engine has a nice little growl to it which I plan to make louder and throatier with some mods. Although it is nowhere near fast, it has decent acceleration and can be pretty quick in sport mode. The winter is a breeze to drive in deep snow w/ subaru’s AWD as I live in Chicago area. Deep snow arrived last winter, first couple hours I saw 5+ cars stuck in the several inches of snow in my neighborhood. this car goes right thru the snow like a champ. Very fun to play with in the snow, will never get stuck. Planning to keep this car for awhile, already began to modify it a little bit. Only thing I had to do so far was replace brake pads, rotors, calipers, brake line flush, etc. because the brakes began to feel very soft and squishy. it was a bit costly (full brake service over $900) but that was the very first time any of those had been replaced on this car. Other than that, cost of maintenance has been minimal, w/ $30 oil changes and such. MPG could be better (average of about 21 city miles isn’t that good for a 4 banger) but gets better on the highway of course. Also, the front left tire keeps losing air, I’ll fill it up and then the TPMS light will come back on within 1-2 weeks which shouldn’t happen. Hasn’t been a major issue, im just gonna swap the boring stock rims for black aftermarkets w/ new tires once i have more money, and voilà. Change oil every 3,000 miles and inspect the engine bay and undercarriage a few times a month and this car will not let you down. Overall, a very reliable car that is fun and easy to drive, especially in heavy snow, and I would highly recommend over any American sedans of around the same age.
2008 Subaru Impreza 2.5i 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl 5M)
I hit a deer today, ending my 10 years and 1 month of ownership of my metallic gray 2.5i Subaru Impreza, and I am very sad. It was a basic vehicle, but I really liked it that way as nothing really broke. I upgraded my stereo on my own this last year so I could have bluetooth connectivity, but other than that, I liked the manual heating selectors and lights as I feel like the electronic gadgets tend to break very easily. I replaced the clutch around 100k and had a weird issue with the ignition coils that resurfaced later, but was likely due to a bad patch-job by the first mechanic. Outside of that, it got me through more than 155k miles, countless rain and snowstorms, and some very long drives between New England and the Southeastern US. This car was safe and reliable, and I'll miss it especially for that. The AWD was extremely reliable: I never, ever worried when it rained. I drove my wife through a heavy snowstorm when we had just started dating, something she still brings up as a wonderful memory to this day. I didn't love the two interactions I had with the dealership, but if I had to do this again, I absolutely would.
As my title might indicate, I didn't have a very good Subaru experience. The WRX has good power and roadholding ability, however it doesn't have the Japanese car reliability that I was expecting. I've owned Hondas, Mazdas, Fords, and even Chryslers all with manual transmissions. And this Subaru was the first car that I've owned that needed a new transmission, at only 83k miles. Before needing a new transmission it was very hard to get into reverse, sometimes 1st, and even 2nd gear at times. After replacing the transmission, costing $4k, I have been able to get it into 1st and 2nd but reverse is still an experience. Other than that it's had 5 safety recalls and has had a class-action lawsuit due to failure of the firewall spot welds. I'm not a driver that's hard on vehicles, but I don't like vehicles that are hard on the drivers.
About 6 months and 5k miles after replacing my transmission I had to replace the transmission again at a cost of over $1k. The transmission shop informed me that the Subaru transmissions are known for the issue that I had. And shortly after this I upgraded to a different (non-Subaru) vehicle. And as I stated in my Title "My First Subaru, My Last Subaru".
If you're going to want a car that you can love and appreciate here you go. Aside from Subarus head gasket problems that they are notorious for its has been nothing but my favorite car in my lifetime. Keep in mind they did over three grand worth of work to mine for the head gaskets thank goodness it was under warranty if the dealership offers a warranty buy it otherwise you'll be wishing you did when you head gaskets start leaking not to mention you'll need to have your timing belt and water pump done and consider a set of good snow tires they will make all the difference in bad weather