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2008 Subaru Legacy

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2008 Subaru Legacy Review

An impressively sporty midsize family sedan.

Reviewed by Automotive on


The 2008 Subaru Legacy may not be as exciting at the Impreza models, but the Legacy has its own place in the Subaru line up; it’s the surprise sport sedan disguised as a family vehicle. Make no mistake, the legacy is definitely a family car. It has a lot of room and offers a fair amount of standard equipment that the competitors don’t offer in this class. Underneath the hood though, there is an engine that provides a surprising amount of fun and a refined ride. Drivers who like a little more excitement than what an average midsize sedan can provide should enjoy the 2008 Subaru Legacy.

The Range

Body Styles: midsize sedan
Engines: 2.5-liter four-cylinder, 3.0-liter six-cylinder
Transmissions: five-speed manual, four-speed automatic, five-speed automatic
Models: Subaru Legacy 2.5 I, Subaru Legacy 2.5 I Special Edition, Subaru Legacy 2.5 I Limited, Subaru Legacy 2.5 GT Limited, Subaru Legacy 3.0 R Limited, Subaru Legacy 2.5 GT Spec. B

What's New

The 2008 Subaru Legacy receives a small facelift this year. The 3.0 R Limited trim level is new. On the inside, the instrument panel has had a small redesign. The wagon style is also cancelled this year. New standard features include a tilt and telescoping steering wheel and auxiliary audio jack.


The 2008 Subaru Legacy has had a subtle exterior face lift this year. The grille has a new design and the lights, both front and back, have also had a bit of a change. The base 2.5 I comes with 17-inch alloy wheels. The Special Edition adds a moonroof to the frame. The 2.5 I Limited adds heated exterior mirrors and a windshield wiper deicer. The 2.5 GT Limited adds to these features limited-slip rear differential, larger brakes, and the Spec B adds a Torsen limited-slip differential, stability control, sport suspension, and 18-inch alloy wheels with high performance tires.


The 2008 Subaru Legacy’s interior is one of its best features. The design is ergonomic, and the materials used are of a high enough quality that you don’t have to worry about breaking anything getting in and out. The steering wheel is a Momo three-spoke, which looks very attractive. It’s set against the red and white gauges that line the dash. The backseat is a little cramped, unfortunately, and the trunk space is a little tight at 11.4 cubic feet, but these are the only real flaws with the interior.

Performance & Handling

The 2008 Subaru Legacy comes with one of three different engines. The 2.5i models receive a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine that produces 175 horsepower with 169 lb-ft of torque. The GT Limited and GT Spec B models receive a turbocharged, 2.5-liter flat-four that produces 243 horsepower with 241 lb-ft of torque. The 3.0 R Limited has a three-liter flat-six that produces 245 horsepower with 215 lb-ft of torque. The 2.5i models are equipped with either a five-speed manual transmission or a four-speed automatic. The GT models are offered with a five-speed manual or a five-speed automatic transmission. Finally, the 3.0 R Limited has a five-speed automatic that has paddle flaps attached to the steering wheel for manual shifting. Even with the base engine, the 2008 Subaru Legacy has adequate enough acceleration for most drivers. The turbocharged engine is well worth the extra price. It has a lot of get-up and go that is fun to open up when driving around the countryside. Most of the driving experience is great, but the Legacy does show a bit too much body roll when taking a corner at speed.


All 2008 Subaru Legacy come with antilock brakes, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, and active headrests to prevent whiplash. The GT Spec B and 3.0 R Limited models receive stability control, which is optional on the other trim lines. The IIHS gave the 2008 Subaru Legacy its Gold Award for its rating of ""good"" in front and side impacts.

EPA Fuel Economy

Subaru Legacy 2.5 I: 20/27 mpg city/highway
Subaru Legacy 2.5 I Special Edition: 20/27 mpg city/highway
Subaru Legacy 2.5 I Limited: 20/27 mpg city/highway
Subaru Legacy 2.5 GT Limited: 19/24 mpg city/highway
Subaru Legacy 3.0 R Limited: 17/24 mpg city/highway
Subaru Legacy 2.5 GT Spec. B: 17/24 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Great cabin design
  • GT trim performance
  • Standard all-wheel drive
  • Sporty handling
  • Great safety test results

You Won't Like

  • Backseat and trunk are small
  • Stability control and navigation system not available on all models
  • High price on upper trim line

Sum Up

An impressively sporty midsize family sedan.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Hyundai Accent
  • Kia Rio
  • Suzuki SX4

See the New 2015 Legacy.

Front & Driver Side View

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