What Changed for 2008:
- The Subaru Impreza has been completely redesigned for 2008
- New styling
- Improved 2.5-liter turbo and non-turbo engines
- Available as a 4-door sedan or 5-door wagon/hatch
- Six standard air bags
- Optional Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC)
- Late availability of STI model
Although the compact Impreza has been available in the U.S. since the early 1990s, it didn't receive much attention until the 2002 introduction of the turbocharged WRX version, a model that had been available in Europe and Japan for several years. The all-wheel-drive (AWD) Impreza had long been a strong contender in the World Rally Championship, a form of racing that was largely unknown in the U.S. but immensely popular in other parts of the world. In 2004, Subaru added the WRX STi, an even more powerful version of the WRX. Both WRX and STi models became immensely popular with enthusiasts. Subaru also sold a version of the Impreza called the Outback Sport, which mimicked the larger Legacy
-based Outback with a raised suspension, two-tone paint, and SUV-like trim details.
The 2008 Subaru Impreza has been completely redesigned, with one of the goals being to shift emphasis from the WRX to the 2.5i in order to increase the Impreza's market position against stalwarts like the Honda Civic
, Toyota Corolla
and Nissan Sentra
, the maker reports. The 2008 Impreza features more mainstream styling and a bigger interior; it remains the only model in its class to offer standard AWD, Subaru claims.Model Lineup
The 2008 Subaru Impreza is offered in 2.5i, WRX and Outback Sport trim levels; 2.5i and WRX are available as either a 4-door sedan or a 5-door hatchback, while the Outback Sport comes only as a 5-door. The 2.5i model includes air conditioning; power windows, mirrors and locks; CD/MP3 player; and cruise control. A Premium package adds alloy wheels; an upgraded stereo; leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls; VDC (Subaru's name for electronic stability control); and rear disc brakes in place of the standard rear drums. A navigation system and satellite radio are also available as an option bundle. The Outback Sport comes similarly equipped to the 2.5i with Premium package, adding larger (17-inch) wheels, increased ground clearance, two-tone paint, heated front seats and mirrors and a de-icer grid for the windshield wipers; however the navigation system and satellite radio are not available.
The Impreza WRX comes with everything on the 2.5i plus VDC, 4-wheel disc brakes, a more powerful turbocharged engine, 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic climate control, and a tilt/telescoping steering wheel. A Premium package adds upgraded exterior trim and stereo, heated front seats and mirrors and a wiper de-icer grid; the navigation system/satellite radio bundle is also available on the WRX.Powertrain
2.5i and Outback Sport models are powered by a 2.5-liter, horizontally-opposed (or "boxer") 4-cylinder engine that produces 170 hp at 6000 rpm and 170 lb.-ft. of torque at 4400 rpm. EPA fuel economy estimates for both the 5-speed manual and 4-speed automatic transmissions are 20 mpg city/27 mpg highway. The WRX is powered by a turbocharged version of the 2.5-liter engine that puts out 224 hp at 5200 rpm and 226 lb.-ft. of torque at 2800 rpm. EPA fuel economy estimates are 19 mpg city/24 mpg highway with the 5-speed manual transmission, 20 mpg city/25 mpg highway with the 4-speed automatic transmission. All versions of the 2008 Subaru Impreza feature standard AWD.Safety
The 2008 Subaru Impreza received a perfect 5-star rating for both driver and front passenger in frontal crash tests by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA
). In the side-impact test, the Impreza scored 5 stars for front-seat occupants and 4 stars for back seaters. The rollover rating was 4 stars.
Standard safety equipment includes anti-lock brakes (front disc/rear drum brakes are standard; 4-wheel discs are part of the Premium package) as well as front air bags, front-seat-mounted side air bags and two-row side curtain air bags. VDC is part of the Premium package.Technology
The 2008 Subaru Impreza is the only car in its class to offer AWD, which allows the car to keep a better grip on the pavement in various weather conditions.