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Original MSRP: $16,995 - $21,495
MPG: 20 City / 27 Hwy
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2008 Subaru Impreza Review

This review was written when the 2008 Subaru Impreza was new.

The Impreza has the distinction in its class of offering all-wheel drive standard for all trims, and has received recognition as a safe compact. But its design is considered ordinary compared to some sporty small cars and hatches.

The 2008 Subaru Impreza's standard all wheel drive and outstanding safety scores make it a practical choice. But uninspiring style and an outdated powertrain relegate the Impreza to the middle of the rankings. Nevertheless, AutoWeek says "It's tough not to like this budget all-wheel driver. … Impreza isn't WRX-hot, but not everyone needs spice." About.com reports "the Subaru's real beauty is under the skin: It's the only car in its class to come standard with all-wheel-drive (AWD)."

The Impreza has been significantly redesigned for 2008. An expanded wheelbase changed its outward appearance and stretched its cabin space. The cabin has been modified, and new features are offered. However, the Impreza's engine and transmissions remain the same, and gas mileage doesn't stand out in the class. The Impreza is offered as a four-door sedan and a five-door hatchback. Subaru also provides an Impreza wagon, and the Impreza WRX, a performance-oriented vehicle. If you're interested in an affordable small car, consider the Honda Civic.

  • "Not a wolf, but definitely not a sheep, the new Impreza is a practical awd sedan." -- Road and Track
  • "We've established that the new Impreza is boring to look at and has interior bits that would give a Yugo engineer a superiority complex. And yet I'd still recommend this car -- very highly, I might add." -- About.com
  • "We could stand to see more vehicles like this replace SUVs since they drive well, can haul cargo and they don't swill fuel." -- AutoWeek
  • "In the hardscrabble world of econoboxes, the Impreza remains mighty imprezzive." -- Car and Driver
  • Breaking with most reviewers, the LA Times says "the Impreza is the franchise. Subaru couldn't, they wouldn't mess with the franchise, would they? They have. … For every upside you can count…there's a tawdry downside. … Come on, Subaru, follow the GOP model: Pander to your base." -- Los Angeles Times
Review Last Updated: 2/17/09

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