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2008 Subaru Impreza WRX



  • Thanks for the detailed review!

    I am almost ready to pull the trigger on a 5-door WRX, but the in town mileage is a little scary. Does your commute have alot of red lights or stop signs? My previous 06 Mini Cooper S was getting 25-26 mpg in the city.
  • I think the initial mpg had a lot to do with the break-in period. The traffic around here is horrible and my morning commute is usually less than a mile, which adds up to a really low mpg, especially with my foot (lead at times), but that depends on the driver and location a lot. I believe the city mpg will increase the next time anyways. In my '05 Impreza Outback I was getting around 20mpg in the city.
  • I just read in the manual of my new WRX, that all models except OUTBACK are not supposed to be driven offroad.
    Now why is that? And do they mean Impreza Outback, or the regular Outback? What makes the difference? Why would they put info on the regular Outback in the WRX manual?

    Ground clearance:
    WRX: 5.9inch
    I.O.: 6.1inch
    Outback: 8.4inch
    '05 I.O.: 6.3inch

    Does not seem like a big difference (0.2inch) between the two Impreza models - maybe they mean the regular one? 2.5inch makes the difference.

    Is the Outback or Impreza Outback more sturdy than the WRX? I guess Outback is longer and that could make it worse, but differences in the construction might be the issue here. I do not think there would be a difference between WRX and I.O. here. Unless the I.O. has better water sealing and the WRX with its turbo is more fragile here?

    Now the manual says "Do not drive on rough roads or over curbs in a vehicle that has 17 inch or other ultra-low-profile tires". That is exactly what all new Imprezas seem to carry, but so does the Outback (albeit a bit different 17 inch...). The manual also states that tire chains cannot be used on P205/50R17 tires (because of lack of tire/fender clearance) and this is what is carried by both the Impreza models. I have bought the chains for the old Impreza Outback, but have never used them. I wonder if it was right to use it back then or if I could use them now...

    Legal stuff
    Probably they are just protecting themselves. Of course the Outbacks might be a little bit better suited for rough roads, but the difference does not seem significant.

    Now I have driven the '05 Impreza Outback through some rough country roads in Oregon and through some shallow streams without any issues. I guess my new WRX could do as well, but still I am a bit afraid. The 0.4 inch difference might not be much alone, but together with the longer wheelbase (105.1 vs. 99.4) I might just get stuck in places where previously I just made it...

    Seems like the new care might be just a bit more civilized than the old barbarian...
  • Hmmm... forgot to add that I like the additional airbags in the new WRX...
  • Hmmm... forgot to add that I like the additional airbags in the new WRX...

    Don't test them. :P
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    My guess is Subaru will follow the rest of the industry - recommend synthetic will increase their TCO (maintenance costs) compared to other manufacturers.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I wouldn't take either one too far. Get a Forester (and some skid plates) if you want to do that.

    Forester also has a tiny bit of extra room for bigger tires.
  • jeffmcjeffmc Posts: 1,742
    couple things to add to the conversation:

    1. My Subaru dealer always uses synthetic... I didn't have to ask for it.

    2. I bet the approach/departure angles on the '08 Impreza are a smidge better than the previous gen Outback Sport... especially at the rear. Also, are they saying not to be driven "off road" or "off pavement"? WRX should be fine off pavement, gravel roads & whatnot... just watch the clearance, right? Off road, though? ... nah.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Yeah it's a grey area. Having done lots of different types of "off-roading", I can say that for the general public, I wouldn't suggest taking any of the cars with low-profile tires offroad, even on gravel roads and whatnot. Why? Cause most folks will drive them improperly in those situations, especially totally off-road.

    During the 48hrs of Tri-state we hit up the pine barrens in NJ and an un-improved road in upstate NY. We were going at a rather slow pace that someone who is used to driving on-road would say is too slow. Anything faster and we would have had dented rims, flat tires, and undercarriages that were scraped up.

    So as with everything in the manual, take it with a grain of salt, mostly it's there to cover themselves from the general public's lack of knowledge.

  • dstew1dstew1 Posts: 275
    Considering it was an Impreza manual, I would assume they were referring specifically to the Impreza Outback. Why mention the regular Outback as offroad capable and not the Forester? That wouldn't make sense.

    And it may be more of a suspension issue than a ground clearance issue. The I.O. is probably set up to deliver a more tolerable ride off-pavement, and probably allows for more vertical suspension travel.

  • dstew1dstew1 Posts: 275
    I wouldn't take either one too far. Get a Forester (and some skid plates) if you want to do that.

    Primitive skid plates FTW :D

    (sorry, shameless off-topic plug; however I'm sure Paul Eklund at Primitive will be making skid plates for the 08 Impreza as well)
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,786
    JAPRIX has taken a new WRX on as a project car. Interesting in that it has been fitted with huge 255/40x17 tires (Falken Azenis RT-615) mounted on Enkei RC-T4 17x8 rims with a +48 offset, and there has been no fender rubbing (that I'm aware of).

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Looks good. In fact the stockers seem small in comparison.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,786
    They look tiny, which is a big problem from an image standpoint. The WRX NEEDS big rubber!

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Very Nice. Love those tires.

  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    What is the MPG? My 7 passenger FWD '05 Ford Freestyle as my standard, which gets 20 city and 26 highway in my real-world use and old EPA standards, so if I'm buying a compact, I expect at least mid to upper 20s city and mid 30s highway estimated MPG.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    WRX is geared for performance, not economy. Those two vehicles just have opposite missions, is all.

    If you want a fuel efficient sporty compact, the Mini Cooper is a good choice. Even in the hands of Car & Driver's lead foots it got 30mpg.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    Are there any Subaru small hatches with good mpg?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Look at the Impreza 2.5i and the Outback Sport.

    Subaru won't win any efficiency medals because AWD is standard, but they compare well to other compact AWD hatches. The smaller Suzuki SX4 isn't any more efficient, for instance, and you give up power.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    As has been stated, it's a loaded question, the AWD will take away gas milage, but if you crash, you won't be getting good milage either.

  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    maybe, but what's up with a 7 passenger AWD getting the same MPG as a compact AWD? I guess performance.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Yes the WRX is essentially a street legal race car. I currently race a stock '94 Legacy Turbo, and the WRX is a few steps well beyond that. So essentially yes the performance is what dings the milage. You don't get something for nothing.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Gearing is the secret.

    Fact is, in the city the WRX will probably do better, as long as you're not pushing it in to the boost all day long.

    Out on the highway, though, it will be geared for immediate response. A large displacement V6 can be geared taller.

    An extreme example is the 2004 Subaru Forester XT, which had (IIRC) 4.77 gears, i.e. very short. 0-60 came in 5.3 seconds in a C&D test, which is quicker than the Lamborghini Countache 5000S supercar. :surprise:

    Not surprisingly mileage reports were terrible - people complained loudly and were only going 250 miles per tankful.

    Subaru relaxed the gearing, I think for MY2006. It's not as quick, but now you can go 300+ miles per tank.

    The gas tank is rather small, at just 15.9 gallons.

    Imagine if you could pick your final drive ratio, what gear would you choose? Power or economy? It's very tough to have both.
  • aaykayaaykay Posts: 539
    Are you certain that the Ford Freestyle gets 20 City/26 hwy ? A neighbor of ours had one and I think he mentioned that the best he could manage in over 12,000 miles, was around 23mpg on an all hwy trip. He was lucky if he could manage 14-15mpg in the city.

    Are we talking about the same vehicle ? :confuse: He is certainly not someone I would classify as a lead foot.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The EPA rated it 20/27 for FWD, 19/24 with AWD (per ConsumerGuide June 2006).

    That's before the EPA would have adjusted numbers down for 2008 (instead the Taurus X replaced it, with a new powertrain).

    The mileage threads over there have wild variations, from as little as 15mpg all the way up to 30mpg and beyond.

    As they say, YMMV. Consumer Guide got 18.7mpg. Consumer Reports was also in the teens, I forget exactly how much.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    I have a Freestyle with 58,000 miles FWD. My last tank was exactly 25mpg driving 75%hwy at 65mph & the rest suburbs. I've been close to 30mpg on long road trips 100%hwy, and my wife has seen 19mpg on 100% suburb, but generally it's in the low to mid 20s with mixed driving.

    But I can see how performance cars would get less.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Well for all the nay-sayers of the WRX not having an LSD. I just read C&D and it appears that the EVO MR will not even have a manual transmission! haaaa

    So now you guys are free to rip on the tip-tronic super electronic EVO MR!

  • Well for all the nay-sayers of the WRX not having an LSD. I just read C&D and it appears that the EVO MR will not even have a manual transmission! haaaa

    So now you guys are free to rip on the tip-tronic super electronic EVO MR!


    Because one thing sucks doesn't mean there aren't worse alternatives. Mitsubishi doesn't seem long for the US anyway.
  • xyzzerxyzzer Posts: 14
    I would not laugh about EVO. It looks better - not like MazdaSpeed, which the Subie looks like, but a bit like a more aggresive Volvo.
    Also, the transmission might be SEMI-automatic, but it's got the twin clutch, plus automatic is GOOD in traffic. I learned about that when I switched back to manual on the new WRX.
    I would not buy an Evo today anyways, since I need the cargo capacity of my WRX hatch. :)

    As You can see I fit into a bucket of people who want an all-in-one car, in which case the new WRX is a nice fit for me.
    If I had double the money I got I might get a Prius for everyday milage and cargo and an Evo a a cool-looking AWD sports car for fun driving and AutoX.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    The Twin-clutch automatics are still not quite there yet. IIRC, the VW with it hasn't really caught on yet.

    As for looks, that's 100% subjective so I won't comment on that. (looks like a hopped up galant from about 2 generations ago IMHO)

    I just find it funny that people were ripping on the WRX for having traction control and ABLS, yet it still has a real transmission, whereas the latest and greatest EVO is essentially an automatic...

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