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2008 Subaru Legacy Sedan - Overview

Research another Legacy:

$20,495 – $33,995 MSRP

$19,365 – $31,534 Invoice

17 / 24 MPG City/Hwy


2008 Subaru Legacy Sedan

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What Changed for 2008:

  • Legacy Wagon discontinued

  • New 3.0 R model with 245-hp H-6 engine

  • Revised front and rear styling

  • Redesigned instrument panel

  • New interior fabrics

  • New telescoping steering column

  • Base (2.5-liter) engine now PZEV compliant

  • Revised 5-speed automatic for 2.5 turbo and 3.0 R models

  • Rear suspension revised for improved ride comfort

  • Tire-pressure-monitoring system now standard
The Legacy has been a staple in Subaru's lineup since the 1990 model year. Its primary differentiation from other midsize sedans-besides the horizontally opposed ("boxer") engine-was its available all-wheel-drive (AWD) system. Subaru further differentiated the Legacy in 1996 by making AWD standard, and it's been a hallmark of the car ever since. In 1995 Subaru introduced the Outback, which evolved into a beefed-up version of the Legacy wagon with bigger wheels, more ground clearance and improved off-road capabilities. The Outback and Legacy wagons were sold side-by-side for more than a decade. That ends in 2008 with the discontinuation of the Legacy wagon. In its place, Subaru is adding the Legacy 3.0 R with a 245-hp 6-cylinder engine, the first 6-cylinder Legacy to be sold in North America. Other changes for 2008 include revised front and rear styling and an improved interior.

Model Lineup
The Legacy is available in six trim levels: 2.5i, 2.5i Special Edition, 2.5i Limited, 2.5 GT Limited, 2.5 GT spec.B and 3.0 R Limited. All models include power windows, locks and mirrors, keyless entry, alloy wheels, MP3-capable CD player, air conditioning, and cruise control. The 2.5i Special Edition adds a power-adjustable driver's seat and moonroof, while the 2.5i Limited gets an automatic transmission, leather interior, heated front seats, upgraded audio system, and optional Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC).

The 2.5 GT Limited and 2.5 GT spec.B get more power courtesy of a turbocharged engine. In addition to the 2.5i Limited's equipment, the 2.5 GT Limited gets Subaru's SI-DRIVE system; power-adjustable passenger seat; optional touch-screen navigation system; and choice of manual or automatic transmission. The performance-oriented 2.5 GT spec.B comes exclusively with a 6-speed manual transmission and adds larger alloy wheels; sport-tuned suspension; and a torque-sensing rear limited-slip differential. VDC and navigation, optional on the GT Limited, are standard on the spec.B model.

The new 3.0 R builds on the GT Limited with the H-6 engine, automatic transmission, 18-inch alloy wheels, sport-tuned suspension, VDC, and navigation.

2008 Subaru Legacy 2.5i models are powered by a 2.5-liter horizontally-opposed 4-cylinder engine with an output of 170 hp at 6000 rpm and 170 lb.-ft. of torque at 4400 rpm. EPA fuel economy estimates are 20 mpg city/27 mpg highway with either the 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission. Legacy 2.5 GT models come with a turbocharged version of the 2.5 that puts out 243 hp at 6000 rpm and 241 lb.-ft. of torque at 3600 rpm. Transmission choices for the GT Limited are a 5-speed manual or 5-speed automatic; EPA estimates for both are 18 mpg city/24 mpg highway. The Legacy spec.B comes exclusively with a 6-speed manual transmission; it's rated for 17 mpg city/24 mpg highway. The Legacy 3.0 R gets a 3.0-liter horizontally-opposed 6-cylinder engine rated at 245 hp at 6600 rpm and 215 lb.-ft. of torque at 4200 rpm and a 5-speed automatic transmission. EPA fuel economy ratings are 17 mpg city/24 mpg highway. All Legacy models come standard with Subaru's Symmetrical All Wheel Drive system. Legacy GT and Legacy 3.0 R feature a limited-slip rear differential.

In tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the 2008 Subaru Legacy scored a perfect 5 stars for frontal-impact protection for both driver and passenger. The Legacy also received 5 stars for front and rear occupants in the side-impact test, and the Legacy achieved a 4-star rollover rating. Standard safety equipment includes front, front-seat side and two-row side curtain air bags and anti-lock brakes. An electronic stability control system, which Subaru calls VDC, is optional on 2.5i Limited and automatic 2.5 GT Limited models and standard on the 2.5 GT spec.B and 3.0 R versions.

Subaru employs three versions of its AWD system for the Legacy. Models with a manual transmission use a viscous-coupeing center differential that splits power 50/50 front-to-rear under normal circumstances, varying it as slippage occurs. Legacy 2.5i automatic models get an electronically controlled center continuously variable transfer clutch to shift power front-to-rear, while automatic GT Limited and 3.0 R models employ the Variable Torque Distribution (VTD) system, which uses a planetary center differential and an electronically controlled continuously variable hydraulic transfer clutch. The VTD system is set up to send slightly more power to the rear wheels under normal conditions for a sportier feel, Subaru says.

Legacy GT Limited and Legacy 3.0 R models get Subaru's SI-DRIVE system, which has three modes (Intelligent, Sport and Sport Sharp) that alter power output, response of the electronic throttle and, for automatic models, the shift characteristics.

Available Trims for the 2008 Subaru Legacy Sedan

  Transmission MSRP Engine City/Hwy MPG
2.5 i (M5) 5 speed manual $20,495 170-hp / 2.5L 4-cyl 20/27
2.5 i Limited (A4) 4 speed automatic $24,095 170-hp / 2.5L 4-cyl 20/27
2.5 GT Limited (M5) 5 speed manual $28,295 243-hp / 2.5L 4-cyl 19/24
3.0 R Limited (A5) 5 speed automatic $31,295 245-hp / 3.0L 6-cyl 17/24
2.5 GT spec.B (M6) 6 speed manual $33,995 243-hp / 2.5L 4-cyl 17/24

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