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.

General Comments:

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

29th Oct 2017, 02:47

Nicely written review with relevant observations :)

2008 Subaru Impreza 1.5 from Serbia


Reliable family car


Wheel started shaking when braking at more than 130 km/h. Dealer said the brake pads need replacing.

Headlight bulbs went around 55000 km.

Started to rust at the rear badge.

My wife continuously scratches bumpers.

General Comments:

Very sluggish, Subaru should have never made the 1.5 engine. In my country, the difference up to 2.0 was around 30% at the time. Consumes 11 l/100 km city/highway, although in the brochure it was stated that it consumes 8.2 l in the city. The only time I get this consumption is when riding at around 90 km/h.

Small boot.

Very spacious and comfortable passenger area (although it doesn't appear that way). Also the interior design is very elegant, but modern.

Very reliable if fitted with original parts. Both headlight bulbs went around 55000 km, and the dealer fitted me with some no name bulbs, which I had to replace every 5000 km. The last time I bought some Osram bulbs; so far haven't done 3000 km with them.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th May, 2011

2008 Subaru Impreza 2.5i from North America


Great package all in one!


Nothing, it's been great so far.

General Comments:

I wasn't ever a fan of Subaru's until recently. I was about to lease a 2010 Prius, but financing fell through and I ended up with this Impreza.

At first glance, I wasn't thrilled with the styling at all. I thought it was boring. It came down to this Impreza or a 2009 Corolla after my financing was approved. When I first sat in the car (after driving a Corolla) I was rather impressed with the quality... I was test driving at night too, so when I turned the lights on, the red gauges were way cool.

The AWD was also a huge selling point (I live in seattle); I had to purchase the car in Utah then drove it back here... It averaged about 30 on the freeway, also we hit black ice while in route, it handled just fine!

Overall, I'm very satisfied, acceleration is good. I've recently had my windows tinted, I upgraded to a set of WRX rims. I love it now... Gets decent mileage, insurance is cheap and it's got a lot of add-on potential. I recently installed the factory MP3 jack and soon will get the subwoofer that mounts under the seat. I'm not a huge fan of modifying a car, but I like certain toys... I also like keeping it stock.

I'm not thrilled that it has a timing belt (my Maximas had timing chains), but as long as it's maintained, it'll run for quite some time.

Overall, I'm completely satisfied. Now that it has a set of alloy rims, nice tires and a nice tint job, it's great!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th April, 2010