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STYLING | 6 out of 10
2008 models may disappoint some faithful fans
fans of the old wagon might be disappointed
Cars and Driver
looks fast standing still
Kelley Blue Book
interior retains the car's businesslike austerity
The 2008 Subaru Impreza Wagon and Outback Sport wagon abandon the more upright style that carried it through the early part of the decade; its replacement shape is egglike and controversial to some, though to TheCarConnection.com it’s a fresh look in a class of me-too entries. “The restyled Impreza is meant to appeal to a more mainstream audience,” Edmunds says. “A more controversial aspect, however, is the car's exterior styling. Not because the new Impreza looks bad in a Pontiac Aztek sort of way, but because it doesn't look like, well, a Subaru.” Automobile feels the wagon model is "a little more attractive than the sedan, but looks exactly like another car that sells incredibly well--the Mazda." In fact, although it is considered a "station wagon," it does not particularly look like one; Cars and Driver reports this five-door 2008 Subaru "looks more like a traditional hatchback this time around, so fans of the old wagon might be disappointed." The Los Angeles Times calls the new Impreza “stylistic chloroform, boring and generic Asian shapes.” Kelley Blue Book simply states the 2008 Subaru Impreza "looks fast standing still, in spite of its somewhat utilitarian five-door configuration." Cars.com notes the cosmetic differences that appear on the Outback Sport version: "it features a two-tone appearance, with the lower section of the body a contrasting grayish, silver hue." (The four-door Subaru Impreza sedan—and the high-performance Subaru WRX and STI—are covered separately.)
The 2008 Subaru Impreza wagons sport a much richer, much more elegant interior along the lines of the large Tribeca SUV, which also gets restyled for 2008. According to Automotive.com, the Subaru 2008 "cabin is more subdued than before, with no embroidered logos to remind occupants what they're sitting in, [and] trim is a metal-ized silver plastic." Cars.com notes this Subaru 2008 interior is "far more inviting than before, but it retains the car's businesslike austerity." Automobile observes, “We're not asking for a SoHo lounge, but Subaru could stand to make the car's interior slightly more inviting.” Mother Proof declares that "the look is a little cheap," but Edmunds feels “the Impreza looks and feels more grown-up than ever before.”
The 2008 Subaru Impreza wagon has turned away some enthusiasts with its ovoid shape, but the interior is much improved.