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Subaru Impreza 2.5 WRX 2008 Review

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Basically the same car inside and out, except for the mesh grille, rear diffuser and roof spoiler, and the telltale bonnet scoop to allow air into the intercooler.

However, the turbocharger provided performance that set the WRX worlds apart from the RS. While the RS was a little doughy and unresponsive, the WRX was a blast, with huge urge down low and then graduated performance leaps through the rev range.

It just seemed to find new levels of power as the tacho needle spun freely.

The slick five-speed gearbox really didn't need to be worked too hard to gain maximum return.

However, while the RS gave reasonable fuel economy, the WRX was abysmal. Subaru claims an average combined cycle of 10.7litres/100km on 95 RON premium fuel.

I filled it up with 98 octane and mostly drove it on the Bruce Highway in flowing traffic — after all, no one was going to the coast in the recent wet weather.

Yet, the onboard average fuel readout never fell below 11.2l/100km.

At the same time, the CO2 emissions are claimed to be 252g/km, which is way too high for this size of vehicle.

Perhaps turbo buyers don't really care about fuel economy and emissions.

My recent review of the RS painted a glowing picture of a car that felt just right and the WRX, of course, is no different.

The styling is impeccable, if a little more feminine than the previous model, the interior is smart and classy, the build quality is high, handling is exemplary, the level of equipment is excellent and the safety features are top-notch.

WRX's standard safety features are comprehensive; ABS with electronic brake force distribution, brake assist, child seat anchor points including ISO FIX, constant all-wheel-drive, six airbags including full-length curtains, front seatbelts pretensioners and load limiters with double pretensioners on the driver's seatbelt, hill start assist, and stability control.

So are its standard interior features; six-stack CD player with MP3/WMA compatibility, 10 speakers, climate air, immobiliser, leather steering wheel with audio and cruise controls, leather gearshift.

I would consider the excellent sat-nav option, which costs $2990 but includes a single DVD player replacing the in-dash six-CD changer, and is better and easier to use than most German luxury car units.

Outside, the WRX gets 17-inch alloys, front fog lights and auto self-levelling Xenon headlights with pop-up washers.

And all Subarus come with DataDot security technology.

It's a value performance package if you don't mind the economy and emissions drawbacks.



Subaru Impreza 2.5 WRX

Price: $39,990

Engine: turbo 2.5 litre 4-cylinder, 16-valve, horizontally opposed boxer

Transmission: 5-speed manual, all-wheel-drive

Power: 169kW @ 5200rpm

Torque: 320Nm @ 2800rpm

Bore X stroke: 99.5 x 79mm

Compression: 8.4:1

Weight: 1395kg

Dimensions: (MM): 4415 (L), 1740 (W), 1475 (H), 2620 (wheelbase)

Tyres: 205/50 R17 89V Yokohama

Fuel: PULP 95 RON

Economy: 10.7L/100km

CO2 emissions: 252g/km

Warranty: 3-year unlimited km with roadside assist

Options: satellite navigation $2990


Subaru Impreza 2008: R (awd)

Safety Rating
Engine Type Inline 4, 2.0L
Fuel Type Premium Unleaded Petrol
Fuel Efficiency 8.9L/100km (combined)
Seating 5
Price From $2,860 - $4,510

Pricing Guides

Based on 92 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months.

Range and Specs

Vehicle Specs Price*
R (awd) 2.0L, Premium Unleaded Petrol, 4 SPEED AUTOMATIC $4,070 - $6,050
RS (awd) 2.0L, Premium Unleaded Petrol, 4 SPEED AUTOMATIC $4,840 - $7,150
RX (awd) 2.0L, Premium Unleaded Petrol, 4 SPEED AUTOMATIC $4,400 - $6,490
See all 2008 Subaru Impreza in the Range
*Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price
Mark Hinchliffe
Contributing Journalist
Mark Hinchliffe is a former CarsGuide contributor and News Limited journalist, where he used his automotive expertise to specialise in motorcycle news and reviews.
About Author
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