By on December 17, 2007

25-front.jpgThe 2008 Subaru WRX is the U.S. pistonhead's cheap thrills with no frills poster child. Meanwhile, the Impreza. Yes, I know: a Subaru without a turbo is like a Mercedes without automatic climate control, but hey, normal people drive cars too. When you move away from turbo-nutter wastegate wonderland, the word “thrills” takes on a different meaning. Or does it? Sans blower, does the new entry level Impreza have what it takes to tickle the fancy of a wider audience?

Farago’s flying vagina metaphor continues to wreak havoc on Subaru’s design department. While the Tribeca’s nose responded to the diss by becoming a Chrysler Pacifica tribute band, the Impreza’s front end is “blessed” with yet another corporate grill. This time out we get a diminutive U-shaped motif topped by the kind of faux aluminum "spread wings" Pan Am stewardess used to pin on small children. The result is about as distinctive as Brooks Brother dress shirt, only less classy and not as distinctive.

new-image.jpgConsidering the outgoing Impreza’s ability to inflict blindness at 1000 feet, the new model’s overall aesthetics are a step up. The new LED taillights may be completely out of place on a car that’s trying this hard to be inconspicuous, and there’s more than a passing resemblance to the kinda flashy Mazda3. But as far as thoroughly inoffensive looks go, Subaru is making considerable headway. **golf clap**

Yes, well, Impreza build quality still sucks. Yank on the car's door handle and you too can feel like The Incredible Hulk. While the entire portal doesn’t rip off the body in your hand, a Coke can pop top offers a greater sense of solidity. Subaru may have ditched the sashless windows, but the first (quality) cut is the deepest. 

int.jpgInside, everything looks nice enough. Just don’t touch. I’m not saying the Impreza's plastics are low rent, but if they were a Manhattan apartment, they’d have a waiting list a mile long. To be fair, the new Subie's interior isn’t quite as craptastic as its immediate predecessor– which is like saying Friday the 13th Part VIII was a more compelling cinematic experience than Friday the 13th Part VII. The Impreza’s seats are still as flimsy as the plot lines of both/either films. Then again, if you wanted lateral support, you’d drive a car that needed it…

The Impreza offers the same 2.5-liter boxer engine that’s graced Subaru’s pedestrian offerings since 2004. The 170-horse mill provides the Impreza with class-leading (Civic, Corolla, Mazda3, Cobalt) thrust, And unlike the 2.5-equipped Legacy, the mini-mill serves-up enough grunt to get the 3000 lbs. base Impreza out of its own way. Ditch Subaru’s weak-sauce four-speed automatic tranny– which occasionally ignores requests for power– and "sufficient" acceleration becomes "more than merely adequate forward momentum."  

front-again.jpgThe Impreza’s improved suspension makes for firm-but-soft-but-firm progress. The double-wishbone layout is far more refined than the outgoing multilink version, with bump absorption on a par with Subaru’s more expensive offerings. But something’s been lost in the process: sportiness. Even the slightest whiff of corner carving potential has been completely, radically removed. Sad but true: this Impreza is no sportier than a Kia Rio.

Through the corners, the Impreza handles pretty much like the WRX, only worse (if you like driving) or better (if you don’t). Caning the WRX made me want upgraded sway bars and springs. Pushing the Impreza to its limits made me want neither. In fact, it was one of the least memorable drives of my life. At least that’s what my notes tell me.

The Impreza’s driving dynamics have only one thing to recommend themselves: all wheel-drive (AWD). And who needs that in a thirsty, mildly-powered economy car? Hands-up if you regularly face inclement weather or suffer from general paranoia. In that case, your exceedingly safe, reasonably practical, deeply dull Subaru Impreza awaits. The most basic Impreza gives you AWD, a slew of airbags and change from twenty large. Add another $1,500 for traction control, stability control and emergency braking assist, and you’re good to snow.

rear.jpgIf you don’t want or need AWD, there are a lot of other cars that are just as good as the new Impreza, all of which can be had for less money. They may be less powerful, but most drivers in this class are more than willing to sacrifice the extra oomph of a 2.5i engine for higher gas mileage.

Yes, there is that. The base Impreza used to overcome such prosaic concerns based on its “quirky” styling and driver satisfaction; offering enough power and handling to create a [faint] mechanical echo of its extreme sib’s head-banging performance. Clealry, the Impreza has jettisoned both assets in pursuit of mainstream success. The Faustian bargain makes the Impreza a better (if over-priced) Corolla– and a worse Subaru.

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57 Comments on “Subaru Impreza 2.5i Review...”


  • avatar
    shaker

    Thanks for the reivew!
    Once again, another entry in my personal “Goldilocks” hatchback segment; This one is “Just Right” in terms of interior room over the previous model, but it’s “Too Mushy”, “Too Chintzy” and “Too Thirsty” otherwise.
    The wait continues…

  • avatar
    Blunozer

    It’s really starting to look like Subaru hit their high note with the current generation Legacy/Outback, which looks good in and out, and seems hit all the bells in the driving department.

    I like most of the looks of the Impreza, especially from the rear, but the front is… Unfortunate.

    Why did Subaru decide to soften it up? Was anybody really complaining about the ride from the previous model? With the AWD and 170hp, Subaru could really make this the “driver’s car” of this price point, instead, they offer Kia styling and build quality with Toyata excitement… Not a good combo.

    Subaru is not a Goldilock car company. They will never be able to do the “just right”. Instead of trying to be Honda or Toyota, they need to set their sights on Mazda’s “Zoom-Zoom” mentality, where AWD handling virtues can be fully promoted.

  • avatar
    Detroit-X

    My first used Subaru was a used 1977. My first new was a 1981 4×4 wagon. Over the years, I’ve owned two more used, and my last, was THE LAST. Never again will I suffer their poor quality and the endless stupid things that go wrong.

  • avatar
    Brian E

    Hm. No mention of the Impreza’s closest competitor, the Suzuki SX4? The Suzuki’s got better looks (thanks to Fiat), and class-leading goodies (keyless ignition! automatic climate control!), for much less than the Impreza.

  • avatar
    danms6

    Solid review Megan, although unfortunate. While every car company tries to cater to the masses these days, it would seem Mazda has compromised the least in terms of driving dynamics (sans SUVs).

  • avatar
    sk8inkid

    Thats a subaru????

  • avatar
    DrBiggly

    If you think this is a step in the wrong direction for Subaru, just wait until the new 2008 STi gets reviewed: No new power or drivetrain goodies, electronic nannies that can’t be turned off, crazy new looks, and a pricetag that is several thousand more; about $37k from what I’ve discovered. This puts it squarely in G35 territory. Subaru has lost their minds if they truly believe that they are ready to compete in that arena. Slightly more back on track, at least the prior 2.5i and 2.5RS models were at least quirky and fun. But now…

  • avatar
    GS650G

    I was thinking SX4 when I read this review. For 5 grand less you can have it all. Subaru’s are notoriously hard on gas, most people I speak to about them complain that such a small car is so thirsty, especially on the highway.

  • avatar
    BEAT

    There were only 2 Rally Sedan Competing with each other for the past years.

    The Subaru WRX STi and the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution. The new look of the Evo X is awesome but I wonder what happen to the STI. Oh well.

    Indeed they have the famous engine used by Porsche. I hope Porsche doesn’t get thirstier.

  • avatar
    Ray Jaholic

    I miss my ’02 WRX in the snow. That being said, I certainly do not miss the gas fumes that engulfed the interior every time the temp dropped below -15 celcius. I do not miss the smarmy service department rep who refused to acknowledge and correct the problem because the warranty expired in the summer. Fuji industries will not get another dime from me.

  • avatar
    DrBiggly

    Ray Jaholic,
    The gas fumes are because of the passenger side fuel rail having a hose that’s just a touch too short and it only shows up in well below freezing weather. There is a recall on this and the fix has nothing to do with warranty; he should have had his tech done the work and they’d be reimbursed from Subaru. No clue why he’d not want the money from that!? From my experience bad service managers exist everywhere and aren’t just relegated to Subaru dealerships. :)

  • avatar
    carguy

    I test drove the Impreza 2.5i last week and I’d have to mostly agree with Megan’s assessment. I didn’t find the built quality as objectionable but was astounded by the amount of body roll even during quite modest changes in direction. The steering is also a little numb and over-assisted and my wife found the driving position unfashionably low. The hatch is, however, supremely practical and combined with the fold flat back seat make this a very roomy cargo hauler.

    What eliminated the Impreza from my short list, however, were the craptastic seats. They are flat, free of any form of support and gave me a lower back ache even after a 15 minute test drive.

  • avatar
    Ashy Larry

    Except for AWD (and that isn’t all that compelling anymore when FWD and traction control and a good set of tires can have you covered nowadays), there really is no reason to buy this car over a Mazda3 5-door. None. Zero. Hatchback practicality is nice but easily found in the Matrix/Vibe, The Mazda3, the VW Rabbit, and a few other cars in this price range that offer just as much. Not to mention the scores of slightly used cars you could get instead for the price (like the Legacy or a tidy Mazda6 wagon).

    I knew when Subaru ditched the manual transmission in the Legacy GT wagons that they were giving up on the performance segment, and the latest WRX confirms it. Now they are abandoning the fun-to-drive factor in their small car offerings, which was really the one saving grace for them in view of their somewhat tinny build quality and gas-sucking AWD.

  • avatar
    BEAT

    By the way Ray Jaholic I thought Top Speed was kidding when they said the interior of the Subaru WRX STi smelled like a Manly smell of Fumes.You and Top Speed had the same comment on the Subie.

  • avatar
    whatdoiknow1

    So how long is Subaru going to hang on to its worthless everything AWD philosophy? IMO it is only making their cars about $2000 to $3000 more expensive than they need be. It also due to this silly ideal that the interiors of their cars generally suck.

  • avatar
    Redbarchetta

    Megan I think you were very kind, maybe too kind. Subaru has lost what makes a Subaru a Subaru. I drove the WRX and totally hated it, I literally made a U-turn after 5 minutes and brought the car back and told the dealer no thanks I would rather have an ’07. I prefer the last gens looks, driving, even the interior. The dash and instument cluster were annoying. I felt like I was driving a Camry with extra horses, the nonturbo has to be mind numbingly boring. Man this one looks ugly and boring at the same time.

    If this is Subaru’s new direction our Legacy may be our last.

  • avatar
    Megan Benoit

    Everyone I know has been astonished at the price of the new WRX (and by extension, the Impreza). When it boils down to it, AWD is too expensive for what most people want, and I would not be surprised if Subaru starts making FWD vehicles in their lower models (like the Impreza) to cheapen them up and appeal more to the budget-minded segment.

    And I’d still rather look at the new Impreza from the front than the rear… that rear view with those ridiculous LEDs kills me every time.

  • avatar
    fellswoop

    On the topic of the “necessity” of AWD,

    My VW has FWD, Traction Control, ABS & DSC.

    For less than $500, you can get absolutely shockingly effective “studless snowtires” on steel wheels.

    With the set of Blizzaks I threw on last week (on 15″ steelies as my expensive 17″s wait for spring)the car is well-nigh unstoppable in any normal snowstorm type condition. We were passing stuck SUVs & A3′s saddled with “all season” tires in a recent snowstorm.

    The better MPG you get with FWD/Traction Control serves one nicely the 350+ days of the year when the roads are clear.

  • avatar

    fellswoop :

    Roger that. My Honda Odyssey with Blizzaks made it up hills that left SUVs spinning their wheels.

  • avatar
    Martin Albright

    I won’t quibble with the meat of the review – I’ve owned a Subaru and liked it fine, several other people in my family own Subies, and we have had no serious problems with a combined total of probably 200,000 miles over the last 5-6 years. Around here (CO) Subarus are as common as weeds, and have in fact replaced the Volvo station wagon as the standard “college professor car” in most cities.

    I am surprised at the positive comments on the styling of the new Impreza, though. I think Subaru made a huge mistake by smoothing out the quirky lines of the old Impreza hatchback. The old Impreza wagon had a polarizing design: You either loved it or you hated it, but no way could you ever mistake it for anything else on the road. This new Impreza wagon/hatchback (whatever they’re calling it) makes me think of some generic looking vehicle like a Mazda 3 or something from Kia or Suzuki. The lozenge shaped aesthetics may be functional but they’re about as attractive as an average mini van.

    As to Whatdoiknow’s question re: AWD and why Subaru remains committed to the all-awd-all-the-time formula it’s simple: Without AWD, what is Subaru? It’s not the fastest, it’s not the cheapest, it’s not the most reliable, so without something to distinguish themselves from the pack, what would they be? Answer: They’d be Mitsubishi. They’d be Isuzu. They’d be Daihatsu. IOW they’d be an even smaller niche-market player than they are now. AWD gives them a recognizable cachet and a reputation for dependable transportation even under adverse conditions.

    I think Subaru has found itself a niche and has realized that it’s one they’re comfortable in. They’re happy to pitch their vehicles to the snow belt of the Rocky Mountains, the Northeast and the Northwest, and leave the rust belt and the sun belt alone.

  • avatar
    NickR

    The front end of that new Hyundai Elantra is an improvement.

    What? Oh.

  • avatar
    NICKNICK

    yeah, yeah, yeah, FWD with Blizzaks works pretty well. you know what works better? AWD with Blizzaks. If you live in a snow state with no road care budget, you’ll find that FWD doesn’t cut it and won’t until we have the road equivalent of a cog railway. I grew up here, I learned to drive here, I know how to drive in snow, I tried FWD with all seasons, I tried FWD with blizzaks and traction control, and I’m done with it. My Legacy GT with Blizzaks is far superior. Crummy gas mileage 350 days a year? well it’s WAY better than what an SUV will return 365 days a year. also, boxers sound way better than an I4.

    So yeah, Subaru could give up the “worthless everything AWD philosophy”, and they’d be left with a bunch of crappy toyotas. no thanks.

  • avatar
    Megan Benoit

    My Legacy GT with Blizzaks is far superior.

    Seconded. I cannot bitch about the stock tires on the Legacy GT enough. They are absolute crap, and if you think that they can handle anything more than a dusting of snow, you’re in for a real shock when ‘real weather’ hits. We got a set of Blizzaks for ours (that we left in NE… don’t need them in the ATL) and while they are a bit noisy, the LGT could tackle anything in them.

  • avatar
    Redbarchetta

    Doesn’t Subaru sell FWD in some of it’s other global markets?

    I can’t see them going back to FWD in the US they have spend too much time and money branding themselves as and only AWD brand and making the AWD a huge selling point in there safety. And I agree it would just make them another boring Toyota clone if they gave it up.

  • avatar
    Megan Benoit

    Redbarchetta:

    Subaru sent out a survey to some subaru owners (including ourselves) with a variety of questions concerning ‘potential future products.’ Based on the questions and how they were posed, I can only conclude that someone at Subaru is VERY seriously considering FWD offerings (especially now with increased CAFE ratings on the horizon). There have also been plenty of rumors flying around about the same. Toyota owns a large stake in Subaru, so I’m sure there’s some pressure on that end, too. Could Subaru become a boring toyota clone? It’s hard to say. But the writing is on the wall.

  • avatar
    Martin Albright

    Subaru sold FWD cars in the US from ~1969 until 1996. It wasn’t until MY 97 that Subaru became all-AWD in the US. And yes, Subaru sells FWD vehicles in other global markets (not sure about Canada, though.) So the short answer is that, yes, Subaru could sell FWD cars in the US, but why? Other than the Boxer engine what would a FWD Subaru offer that Toyota, Honda, Nissan et al couldn’t offer cheaper?

    Not to mention that it would dilute their brand identity, which would undoubtedly make them the target of a series of TTAC articles, wouldn’t it?

  • avatar
    Blunozer

    @NickNick

    Right on.

    My winter beater is my wife’s old ’02 Subaru Legacy. I just put a set of Michelin Artic Alpins on.

    Nova Scotia winter roads won’t faze me anymore… Ever.

  • avatar
    Paul Niedermeyer

    I’m not surprised that Subaru us considering FWD again, because of fuel economy. And I agree that Subaru’s success of the last ten years is in jeopardy (they almost died in the mid nineties; the Outback and all-AWD saved them).

  • avatar
    swedcars

    For some reason, Subaru has become the “hippy liberal” car that once was VW. I see more aging hipsters in these than any other car. That is enoguh for me to not buy one. Kudos on maastering the all wheel drive feature…Subaru has the old proven technology that makes it hug the road.

  • avatar
    TreyV

    Having just hung around a bunch of them and sat in the WRX while I waited for some service last weekend, up close the new Impreza is obviously a better car. The details have been sweated more and it’s more refined than the previous version. From a distance, however, the design is profoundly bland. I’ve passed a handful of them so far and only because I’m a subie enthusiast did I even notice them. They went from very distinct to virtually unnoticeable.

    Oh yeah, the taillights on the hatch version are just plain old silly. On the lot, they stuck out like sushi at a Wendys.

  • avatar
    rpn453

    I drive on snow and ice 5 months of the year, so when I was looking a new car in ’04 I figured the Impreza would be the top choice after a round of test drives. But the interior was uncomfortable so I went with a Mazda3, which drove better anyway, IMHO.

    This new one looks alright. I hope the interior is better. It doesn’t have to be expensive – I like the simple interior in the Forrester I helped a friend purchase recently – it just needs to be comfortable. As long as I can still get it without traction control, stability control, and brake assist, it looks to be worth a test drive. $1500 will buy me at least two sets of studded tires, and I’ll take traction over nannies!

    I hope this is still a purely mechanical AWD system (when coupled to a manual transmission).

  • avatar
    volvo

    I don’t know if traction control, fwd and good tires are better than awd. But I do know that on a winter night in the Sierras when you are trying to get to your ski resort the highway patrol checkpoints either want to see chains on your drive wheels or a AWD/4WD car. Sure you can pay the chain monkeys but with changing weather you might find yourself changing chains several times during a brief visit. If you can afford it in the mountain west 4 wheel drive makes sense.

  • avatar
    NICKNICK

    i hope that they don’t go FWD.
    i hope they make a new justy and use haldex with it to fit CAFE.
    my ex’s S40 T5 AWD gets an honest 31mpg on the highway because it’s esentially FWD until there’s slippage.
    I’d hate to see subaru go FWD because inevitably people with drive FWD with lousy tires and get stuck. that’s bad advertisement. i see tons of stuck and overturned SUVs every winter, but subies are never stuck. even though it’s probably more the driver than anything (conservative driving hippy liberals vs. spaced-out tweaker soccer mom on bald all-seasons in a tahoe), it would look bad to the unwashed masses to have subarus look like anything other than sno-cats.

    i hope toyota doesn’t water down subaru. the thing i love about subaru is that i can get all wheel drive with the boxer rasp/rumble without paying for a porsche. take those away, and there’s no point–i can get the illusion of japanese quality from a billion other places.

  • avatar
    Wheatridger

    Subaru’s long-awaited answer to the gas mileage challenge is an upcoming engine that will use… none. They’re testing a turbodiesel boxer four right now, for sales in a year or two. That’s when I’ll consider trading in my Forester, unless the Tiguan TDI (w/5-speed) shows up first, at popular prices. With the Subaru slugging down 25 mpg, the replacement won’t come too soon. But the Forester is the smallest car that will do what I need it to do. One of my family cars has to haul things up to the mountains, including a one-ton trailer.

  • avatar

    I’m not a fan. The evolution of cars can be sad. Cars that were great because they were simple grow fatter, more rounded, more plain. It is what it is, but it’s sucks to see the WRX lose the quirks that made it so unique.

    Jon
    http://www.sportscardriven.com

  • avatar
    tankd0g

    170hp/170ft. lbs. or torque and a 3000lb car and it’s not a rocket? Something doesn’t add up here. Are they are lying about one number or the other? That should be kicking the crap out of a Mazda3 Sport.

  • avatar
    Chaser

    You lose a lot of that power through the drivetrain with an AWD car. I think I read that the previous generation WRX was only putting around 170 hp to the wheels.

  • avatar
    tankd0g

    With that longitudely mounted engine, what they should be building is RWD not FWD.

  • avatar

    Martin Albright!
    The words “generic looking” and Mazda3 should not be in the same sentence, defiantly not the 5 door.
    I guess you probably find the 3 box design of the new Camry “thrilling” ?

  • avatar
    P.J. McCombs

    Thanks for this review. I love a good dissection of a car that actually pays the home office’s bills (globally, anyway; IIRC, the WRX accounts for a relatively large percentage of NA sales).

    It’s all too easy for enthusiasts to ignore these entry models and “skip to the good stuff.” I’m curious to see, for example, how glowing the ’08 Malibu reviews are once journos get out of the full-boat leather-lined 3.6 LTZ.

  • avatar
    DrBiggly

    tankd0g: Chaser is correct as the ’02-’05 (2.0L) WRXs claimed 227hp at the crank and managed anywhere from 155-170whp. Peak. As far as building RWD vs FWD, folks are speaking as if it is already out at the dealerships and though it may be an inevitability, it certainly isn’t for sale yet. Subaru would have quite a bit of work to do to make RWD cars while the FWD vehicles’ R&D are already done and would not require a significant redo of..well, everything. If you’re going to remake a vehicle for gas mileage, which would be the only reason to abandon their decade-long stance of AWD-only, FWD is uncontestedly the most efficient package. While hoonage potential, pistonheadedness, and driving enthusiasm may go right out the window along with the extra driveshafts I can’t see Subaru completely abandoning the performance offerings. My bet is that it will be all for attempted CAFE satiation.

    -Biggly

  • avatar
    tankd0g

    Subarus are set up better for RWD than FWD, they don’t have a transverse mounted engine which is what you need to make FWD cheaply.

  • avatar
    Chaser

    So was Subaru fudging the numbers on the old WRX’s or does AWD really have that big of a loss? Near 30% seems awfully high.

  • avatar

    tankd0g :
    Subarus are set up better for RWD than FWD, they don’t have a transverse mounted engine which is what you need to make FWD cheaply.

    Except earlier Subarus (with the same engine configuration) were FWD with AWD optional.

  • avatar
    tankd0g

    …and expensive and just as bad on gas. Simply lopping off the center diff and rear prop shaft wouldn’t make the cars competitve with the likes of a Civic. Either they toss the whole drive train or they go after BMW’s 1 series.

  • avatar
    Geotpf

    Subaru has found a good niche, and they are sticking with it. It would be very foolish of them to offer FWD products at this point, from a marketing standpoint.

  • avatar
    DrBiggly

    Chaser: I never had a reason to believe that they were fudging the numbers. The AWD drivetrains really are not efficient; lots of extra rotating weight to accelerate that just doesn’t exist in FWD or RWD platforms. Not the least of which to mention that the stock flywheel in a WRX is some 26-28lbs, which is also why they rev so slowly. The WRXs also have a 1.1:1 adapter in the diffs that the STis and others do not have making the gearing for the WRX notably taller. Go to an STi, where the power output is higher, but hugely so, and suddenly the vehicle is very very different with greatly improved differentials, no funky reducer, and a bulletproof 6-speed where 6th is still just a touch shorter than the WRX’s 5th gear. Stock STis dyno in the 240-260 range at the wheels. The WRX really gets the short end of the stick as the STi is notably better in every essential category for performance. Though the biggest complaint are the very overvalved struts… :)

  • avatar
    Wheatridger

    Many of us who drive Subarus just don’t share the concerns I read here. “Lost driveline power?” So what?

    Down in the sunbelt, I imagine, you judge a car by how easy it is to break loose the wheels. If you live where rain and snow turn to ice and mud, you’re trying not to do that so much. So you’re more concerned about traction than power. In the Forester line, you can buy a turboed XT if power’s your goal. I didn’t, but even the standard boxer four brings torque sufficient to pull a small fiberglass camp trailer. My Subie continues to impress me with practical performance beyond the raw numbers.

    I’ve owned several AWD cars. None of them were fuel economy champs (25 mpg or a little better at cruise), and none of them were particularly powerful. But they’ve had a sure-footedness that no two-wheel drive system can match. I think it’s because with less hp per driven wheel, the task of delivering power to the road interferes less with the tire grip requirements of cornering.

    My only beef with Subaru’s AWD system is that you ruin the center diff if you make too many handbrake turns on ice. Ask me how I know…

    So Subaru has a good thing going. It’s a specialized car for a specific market, unduplicated by any other part-time drivbe switching system. But what about Audi, that other AWD-only maker? Does anyone think they should go two-wheel-drive?Most Audis lack the generous clearance that makes Subarus so well suited to mountain-dwellers, so what’s the point there? Why do they need AWD? Only to distinguish them from VWs?

  • avatar
    DrBiggly

    Wheatridger,
    I’m pretty sure that in the manual it warns against ebrake maneuvers. Though technically in the STi it disengages the center differential when the ebrake is pulled, or at least is supposed to. However, the STi is the only car in the lineup with the electronically controlled and variable center differential unless the ’08s come with it; haven’t delved fully into their tech specs yet. A big disappointment is just how quiet the ’08 WRX is; you might as well be standing next to a sewing machine while it is idling.
    -Biggly

  • avatar
    tankd0g

    I assume that it’s Subarus with limited slip center diffs that are damaged by hand brake turns. My Rav4 with open diffs has no problem with this, clutch in or out, I’ve been doing it for years. It’s kind of a necessity on an AWD car in snow, unless you are a preverted sort that gets a kick out of understeer.

  • avatar
    tankd0g

    Audi does make FWD versions of some of their cars, only for a price point. I’d be a little embarassed to own a FWD TT, it’s kind of like saying you to the world you could “almost” afford the real thing.

  • avatar
    kjc117

    AWD is the saving grace for Subaru and the Impreza. Otherwise there are other makes that stomp the Impreza, the Elantra comes to mind. In fact, they have simular design theme although Hyundai pulls it off better than Subaru.
    I think this redesign will test the Subies loyalty base.

  • avatar
    mlbrown

    The AWD system has a lot to do with why people like Subarus, but it’s not everything.

    Sure, other cars look better, go faster, etc. But beyond saving you from ever getting stuck, Subarus are terrifically rugged cars and in that regard are matched by very few other makes.

    My family and I have had quite a few Subarus over the years, and the newest among them is my 1998 Impreza L. That’s right, the L. With the 2.2 liter engine…138 hp, 145 lb./ft.

    I’m convinced that the car is mechanically indestructible. It’s about to turn 200,000 miles on its original clutch and transmission…and exhaust…and cooling system…and brake system save for the wear items…you get the idea.

    Having said all that, I drove an ’08 2.5i and was a little underwhelmed. My ’98 has a little bit of a farm equipment feel to it. It’s noisy, unrefined and the interior is god-awful cheap.

    The new one is a lot nicer, and a lot easier to drive, but it does not have the same go-cart type feel of the one I have now, and honestly, it felt slower than the ’98, even though it’s not.

    Also, a 2.5i Legacy is not that much more expensive than the new Impreza, and it has a way, way nicer interior, a little more room and a much classier appearance.

    -Matt

  • avatar
    casper00

    dam it looks ugly….and why are there only photos of the wagon, what about the 4 door sedan?

  • avatar
    LastResort

    A quick response to a older comment by DrBiggly.

    The fuel line fix is not a recall, it is a Technical Service Bulletin. Meaning that it is not always covered by SoA for vehicles out of warranty. Some dealers have done it, some haven’t.

  • avatar
    Ryan

    Terrible…

  • avatar
    Mr. Gray

    My wife and I bought a 2008 Impreza 2.5i for her to drive and we LOVE it! Ok, so it doesn’t have razor-sharp suspension like my Mazda, and the steering is a little floaty for my taste, but I still really enjoy driving it. Some people criticize Subarus for feeling cheap, but to be honest, I like the fact that it doesn’t go overboard trying to isolate you from the machine. I was skeptical about the new appearence, but it sort of grew on me and now I like it. The sound and feel of the unique boxer engine retains that distinctive Subaru charm.

    More to the point, We live in the Seattle Area and it has been snowing every year now for several years. Everyone who told me that 4WD was a waste of money is now eating their words. The little Subie proved it was worth every penny. For those who don’t know, the Seattle area is about 80% steep hills, so when it snows, all hell breaks loose. With 4WD, chains, and the new hill start assist feature, we easily chugged through the snow and ice, conquering hills that no one else dared attempt. Now our Subie is the envy of the neighborhood!

    If you want to be able to go practically anywhere no matter what the conditions, but don’t want to buy a needlessly huge, gas-wasting monstrosity, AND you want legendary Subaru toughness and reliability, get an Impreza!


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