2008 Subaru Impreza 2.5i 4 cylinder SOHC Boxer from North America
Tin-can that reliably performs where it matters most
I have lucked out and not had any major problems with the Impreza. Although the quintessential Subaru head gasket failure may yet rear its ugly head for me, I've dodged it so far (and it does appear to be less prevalent in later-2000s models, though certainly not vanquished). 4 years into ownership and my costs have been limited to two new wheels (thank you NYCDOT), oil changes, and the 90k and timing belt services.
Beyond the powertrain, the story is more in tune with the fact that this was Subaru's bare-bones cheapest car when it was made. One of the rear window switches died in 2014, the iPod connector (case study in rapidly-obsolete car tech) has fallen to bits, and small pieces of the plastic interior have cracked and fallen off over time. This was not a car built for the discerning passenger, and it shows. Currently need to fix the driver's sun visor, which alarmingly flops down whenever I hit a bump in the road.
Overall, the Impreza has treated me well. It certainly doesn't impress as far as road noise or cabin comfort is concerned, but it's a capable little car nonetheless. It fits a crowd when you need it to, and has suffered silently through two fully-loaded cross country trips without issue.
Mileage is pretty paltry given the size, averaging around 24 MPG with around 65/35 highway driving, although the trip computer will make you feel better and skew the number a few MPG high (apparently we can't handle the truth). On the other hand, AWD and a good set of winter tires makes for reliably pleasant foul weather driving, especially as newer crossovers with the now customary "I love adventuring" look ping pong down (and off) the road, having mistaken style for substance.
This was the last generation before Subaru axed the 2.5L in favor of the more fuel efficient 2.0 for the Impreza, and while the MPG doesn't make me proud, the power is certainly welcome on freeway onramps and such. The 4 speed automatic's ratios make for somewhat whiny highway cruising, and its (now old fashioned) real gears make driving anything else with a CVT feel disconnected.
I hope to get many more miles and years out of this car, and while rust problems and cosmetic cabin deterioration are certainly around the corner, with any luck the bones of the Impreza will continue to carry forward without trouble.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 25th October, 2017