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2008 Subaru Legacy



  • ylzylz Posts: 45
    Ok well I decided my next car will be a 2008 Subaru Legacy and I have a question. Do I go with with the GT Limited or 3.0? Someone told me the 3.0 was a smoother drive which is nice. But the GT has more torque which is also a bonus, plus that hood scoop just looks cool. Has anyone driven the 3.0? Impressions? Let me know what you guys think. Thanks.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    You've been doing 360's down the highway, but you don't want VDC? :confuse: VDC is regarded by many as even more important in accident avoidance than ABS brakes.
  • pilot1226pilot1226 Posts: 165
    Haha, yeah, I've had a few times where - even on brand new tires - I've ended up doing 360's down the highway because slush got kicked up by the traffic in the middle lane and thrown under my front tires.

    I was VERY impressed with my recent Legacy 2.5i SE test drive. I don't want the limited, nor do I want the 3.0 liter engine because of fuel economy and a personal preference (I don't like leather, especially in summer)

    I wish they had heated seats with the cloth interior.

    Thanks for the great replies! Crunching the numbers back and forth with Subaru dealer near me and hopefully will be a proud owner of an `08 Legacy.

    It's my understanding that VDC is ASR, or acceleration slip reduction, this prevents too much power being transfered from the engine to the wheels, which will eliminate the "peel out" jackrabbit starts. If it does something else, maybe I'll wait for `09's.
  • dcm61dcm61 Posts: 1,552
    It's my understanding that VDC is ASR, or acceleration slip reduction, this prevents too much power being transfered from the engine to the wheels, which will eliminate the "peel out" jackrabbit starts. If it does something else, maybe I'll wait for `09's.

    VDC is Traction Control plus Stability Control.

    Stability Control will attempt to keep you in the direction you intended to go. This is done by either applying the brakes to a specific wheel or reducing engine power.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    VDC is also ABLS which is Anti-lock Brake Limited Slip which creates a pseudo LSD in both the front and rear when slippage is detected either in the front or rear axles by applying a brake to the slipping wheel.

  • pilot1226pilot1226 Posts: 165
    Interesting. Do (we) know if VDC is a standard feature on the `09 Legacy 2.5i's, or if it'd be at least an option? Sounds like something too important to pass up if it's available.

    Auto-start though, hmm, just can't bring myself to do that. If there was a dealer autostart built into the keyless, perhaps, but I don't want an aftermarket thingie.

    Thanks for the responses. When are the `09's due? July?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I'm pretty sure they made VDC standard on all 09 Legacy/Outback models. 'Bout time I say.
  • pilot1226pilot1226 Posts: 165



    For 2009, the Subaru stability control system – Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) – is standard on all Outback and Legacy models except the Legacy 2.5GT Limited with five-speed manual transmission. The system helps to prevent skidding due to understeer or oversteer by managing individual wheel braking and/or reducing engine power to correct the slide. This system adds to driver control of the vehicle, improving active safety.

    End Quote.

    Fantastic! 2009 it is - even if it's more money because it's an `09 and not a leftover `08, VDC appears to be well worth it - I mistakenly thought it was JUST ASR (which isn't new technology).

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587

    Wonder why they didn't put it on that one single model? Strange. Maybe they wanted one model where people who did not want it to have an option.
  • cptpltcptplt Posts: 1,075
    when Subaru first offered a ESC as a standalone Bean VDC model , it was always coupled to the VTD system and I recall discussion then that the VDC could not be done on a stick shift but they are offering VDC on the stick shift Spec B!! I this purely marketing or is there some engineering issue?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    It's a marketing term. I bet the hardware varies between models and depending upon the AWD system in place.

    Shoot, early on, it was a model name, too, i.e. Outback VDC.
  • nfnnfn Posts: 3
    Hi everyone,

    I recently purchased (and enjoying) a 2008 Spec B. Looking for comments/answers to the following:

    1. I will be purchaing a set of winter wheels/tires. Are there any issues going to 17" wheels with 205/50/17 tires? (the speedo reading will be off by 2.1%, which I think is within an acceptable range)

    2. When it's time to replace the stock summer tires, will 235/40/18 fit the stock 18" wheel? Any clearance issues going to this option?

    3. Re Oil changes. When is it appropriate to start using synthetic oil for the 2.5 turbo engine?
    Also, would Castrol 0W30 or Mobil 1 0W40 synthetic be okay to use rather than the 5W30 currently suggested in the owner's manual? (I use the Castrol and Mobil 1 in my A4's 1.8T engine, as these appear to be the 'best' oils for turbos to prevent sludging.)

    Thank you,

  • pilot1226pilot1226 Posts: 165
    What I've heard on the forums:

    Better to go to a synthetic sooner than later. I'm pretty sure Mike (Paisan is his user name) has said some gasket problems surface if you use conventional for a long time then switch to the synthetics (because synthetics are smaller, uniform molecules and they slip through the gaskets since the gaskets are "used to" the larger molecules of conventional)

    Reference the different wheel sizes, if your speedometer is off, then most likely your odometer would be off too. This would affect the mileage on your vehicle.

    I personally haven't switched to a purely seasonal tire, I prefer all-season since we only have a few days of bad snow yearly here in New Jersey. The rain is more of the motivation behind purchasing a new `09 Legacy.
  • woodyboywoodyboy Posts: 10
    I am thinking of adding the Subaru hi performance exhaust, cold air intake and heat shield to my 08 GT. I know this is subjective but is it worth it? (about $1500 installed) I have been quoted 30 HP and 30 ft-lb torque increases. How loud is it going to be around town and highway cruising? Does it increase dirvability by bringing the torque on earlieer in the rpm range? Thanks in advance for your input!
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Ok a few answers for you guys...

    On the Snow Tires:
    I'm in NJ and use summers and snows.
    If going to summers I wouldn't go narrower than 215-45-17, as that's stock. I run Nokian Hakka RSi snows and they are GREAT in the snow/slush/rain we have here in NJ.
    On Synthetics- I would wait to 5,000 miles before switching and wouldn't switch after 60-70k of regular.

    On the SPT Exhaust, I have it on my 05 wagon, it gives you a bit more power and throttle response and has a nice tone. I happen to know the manager of SPT who designed it and it's a nice unit. The actual increase is 12hp/15lbs of torque at the wheels, so not sure the 30/30 is correct at the crank or not.

  • nfnnfn Posts: 3
    Thanks Mike and pilot1226 for your responses.

    I have seen excellent reviews on the Nokian RSi, so I will definitely keep them in mind when choosing a winter tire.

    I will wait until the second oil change to convert to the synthetic.

  • woodyboywoodyboy Posts: 10
    Do you have the high flow air intake and heat sheild as well as the SPT exhaust? The parts guy at the local dealer gave me the SPT brochure and that's where he quoted the 30 HP and 30 ft-lb increases for using all three products together.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    The brochures do not include any dyno numbers. Since I have inside info I've seen the dyno charts and it's 12hp/15lbs on the SPT Catback. With the intake and heat shield it is 15/15, they really only give you more throttle response than anything else. If it were 30/30 at the wheels then it would be in the realm of STi territory at the crank.

  • phenphen Posts: 1
    Is it easy to fix?
  • woodyboywoodyboy Posts: 10
    I have installed the Cat Back and cold air intake on my 08 legacy GT. It seems like the torque curve has changed. It feels like less on the low end and more on the high end of RPM. Does it take awhile for the computer to learn the new system? It's been about a week. The cold air makes a whoosh sound as it trys to draw air in and the turbo spools up. I think I may take if off and go back to the stock intake if there is not much performance difference. Also it seems like my mileage has dropped off. Comments from anyone???
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Yup when you do an intake it will make more torque/hp, marginally (I checked the brochure and that's max of 30/30 at the crank) but with an intake it will be at the cost of low end torque. This along with a higher flow of air (more air, means more fuel) will translate to lower milage.

    I'm planning on doing a Cobb DP and the Access Port. Just found out that the "stage 2" map bumps you to 305hp/385lbs torque at the flywheel. Those are some gains that would be nice to see.


    PS: I might be interested in your intake, although I am not a big fan of intakes.
  • Guys, i would really like your input on this one! I have just recently received a 2007 legacy GT, what would be the best intake brand for this car? Also what would be the best combo performance wise for the best price?

    Thanks, Austin
  • woodyboywoodyboy Posts: 10
    Sorry for the delay. For some reason replies to me are not coming to my email. I just happened to stumble across yours. My direct email is

    I definetly notice the low end torque loss, but I feel it come on a little stronger as the turbo spools up. I think I am going to remove the intake and go back to stock. I do not track my car (yet anyway) so I would rather have the low end.

    If you are interested in SPT intake and heat shield they have only been on the car about three weeks. I paid $270 for both. What would a fair price be if I pay the shipping?

    Also I notice a stumble in acceleration as I climb through 4000 rpm. I have not asked the dealer about it. Any ideas?
  • woodyboywoodyboy Posts: 10
    I have the SPT exhaust and intake on my 08 GT. I think I am going to go back to the stock intake since I do not track my car. I don't know what the effect will be just running the exhaust. I will check it out and let you know in the next week or so.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I currently run the SPT cat-back exhaust only on my 05 LGT. I notice a slight stumble when the turbo hits around 3-4k rpms. I noticed this after I put in the SPT exhaust. Speaking to my friend at SPT, he said basically the freer flow has the turbo hit a little harder and that's what I am feeling on partial throttle.

    I'll shoot you an e-mail or shoot me one to on the intake, I'm not sure I want it either!

    Motorsports and Modifications Host
  • For some reason the 3.0 requires premium fuel - kind of crazy now. So I went with the 2.5 which is fine around town and fine when you're cruising on the highway, but at times it feels sluggish especially when you're cruising at 70 and you have to slow down and then get back up to speed. The 2.5 also has to work pretty hard when going up hills.
  • I owned a 2003 Forester and the radio would sometimes shut off or not turn on. I'd have to shut the car off and then the radio would turn back on. The dealer couldn't do anything about it. I lived with it until I traded the car.
  • nfnnfn Posts: 3
    Hi everyone,

    Edmunds forums have been a wealth of information for me over the years so I'd like to "give back" and provide a report on my Legacy Spec B.

    I purchased the vehicle in May 2008 and have approx 12,000 km, (6000 mi).
    Spec B are very expensive in Canada, ($45,000 Cdn). I did not intend on buying a Spec B but (due to the high Canadian $), Subaru was offering $7000 off for cash purchases. I paid $500 over invoice, minus the $7000 and I traded in my 2000 Forester.

    The interior rivals our Audi A4 in build quality and materials. The Sport Seats are comfortable and the Alcantara keeps you in place during spirited driving. The interior lighting is very nice at night.
    Interior space is sufficient for my family.
    Nav and info display are very good.
    No complaints with the HVAC.
    The Legacy's cabin is a nice place to be in.

    The Diamond Gray color looks sharp and the 18" wheels look great. IMO it rivals any of the European and Japanese spots sedans in exterior looks.

    Driving experience:
    Handling is excellent, power is more than sufficient.
    The steering is touch lighter than preferred. I attribute this to the the car only having 215 tire width. I might try a wider tire when the stocks are replaced.
    The 6-spd feels smooth and the clutch light with a nice catch point.

    Better than expected. Average is 10 liters/100 km (approx 24 MPG) I drive 100 kms (60 mi) per day, in a mixture of highway and downtown city driving.

    Two complaints:
    1. There is a rattle (actually more of a clicking sound) in the dash in the glove box area. Not sure if others have experienced similar noises. I plan on returning to the dealer to have it looked at, (I have been hoping it fixes itself but no luck).
    2. One day it was raining and I went to a drive thru bank teller, which had a canopy. Upon rolling down the window a stream of water poured into the car, (what the...?). Well, it seems there is no channel in the roof of the Legacys, as in many cars, so the water tends to flow into the car when the roof is wet. Not a biggie, but a surprise the first time it happened.

    At this price point I would have expected to see the following on the Spec B:
    1. HIDs- The headlights are fine, but HIDs give it that 'premium' look. HIDs are standard on the base Tribeca but not the higher end Spec B, very odd.
    2. Auto Up-Down for, at minimum, the driver and passenger. Currently only Auto down on the driver.
    3. Trunk release handle/mechanism on the trunk, (to open trunk). Grab handle to close the trunk.
    4. Stereo sounds good, but it could use a sub woofer and a couple of extra speakers.

    As with any Subaru, I am looking forward to drivng it this winter. I have purchased 4 Toyo Garit KX winters, 215-50-17. I had to buy alloy winter rims as steelies are not available in 17".

    This is a great car in so many respects and I do not regret the purchase. I have received several unsolicted compliments from strangers. Friends have commented, "... wow, THAT'S a Subaru.
    There are so few Spec Bs on the road that I think people take a second look when they first see it.

    Overall the Spec B is a great driver's car. Even with my minor complaints I would definitely recommend it.

    Apologies for the long post.

  • Thanks for the great review!~
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I really like those and you reminded me why.
This discussion has been closed.