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Subaru Impreza Outback Sport & TS



  • bluesubiebluesubie Posts: 3,497
    Where they automatics?
    If so, it could be that you didn't get the automatic sport mode to engage. It engages automatically with two consecutive rapid accelerations (or something like that).

    Occasionally my wife can accelerate her Outback quicker than I can. The auto takes getting used to.

    Or it could be the AWD shifting. When you hit the gas, the AWD shifts power to the rear. Gas may also be a factor. I experimented with about six major brands before I found one I was happy with.

    Also, what was the mileage? Subaru's shouldn't need a tune-up until 15,000 miles.

  • Yes... they were automatics. One new and the other with 7500 miles. I'd like to test an Outback or Forester to see if they do that too.

    Automatic sport mode? You don't use a button? You hit the gas twice? Interesting.
  • subearusubearu Posts: 3,613
    that 'power' mode was activated just by pressing the gas pedal quickly once, not twice.

    This is from Outback 'Features & Specs' page:

    "4-speed electronically controlled automatic with overdrive. Automatic power mode engages with rapid use of the accelerator pedal."


  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Power mode is activated based on the rate at which you stomp on the gas. Pre-95/96 models actually had a light that would tell you when power mode was engaged. Essentially it holds the engine til redline before shifting. I have such a light on my XT6 and my SVX.

  • thelthel Posts: 767
    We've been looking into a new car for the wife with AWD or 4WD for winter weather and room enough to haul around our 1 year old and her stuff. She drove the whole time so I could get the back-seat experience. I have to say, the OBS is tiny in the back! My daughter was in her car seat and the salesman was in the passenger seat in front of her. My daughter was happily resting her feet on the head rest of the front seat! Keep in mind, she's only about 20 months old. It was also cramped to get her into her seat through the tiny little back door.

    It's too bad, I really wanted to like the car. It seemed peppy enough, and handled well. The AWD technology was impressive. Aside from the useless cupholder I had no complaints other than the puny back seat area. I suppose you could move the front seat forward a bit, but for long-legged people to be comfortable, you have to move the seat so far back that my 1 year old doesn't have enough leg room!

    Its also too bad that you have to step up to another pricing tier (Forrester / Legacy) to get adequate leg room in the back. Other cars we looked at (Mazda P5, etc) in this price class all seemed to have more back seat space, but no AWD. :(

    I guess we'll save up a bit and end up getting a CR-V or something.
  • lumbarlumbar Posts: 421
    thel--I'm a big OBS/Imprezza fan, but you're right about the back seat. IMO it is only mildly useful for passengers when you have fairly short people up front and it isn't really "comfortable" even then. There's no question that this is a trade off for what I think is a terrific vehicle for under 20K. Ours has been great but kids are not an issue

    You're right that the CRV, which I think is in a somewhat different price class, will have more room, but the Forester, which is basically an Imprezza with more cargo room and a different body, will not. FWIW, Edmunds indicates that the Protege (another great small car bargain IMO) only has 1.5 inches more room in the back.

    I thought a Legacy, which is also an excellent deal, might help but was surprised to see that back seat room is not that much bigger than the Imprezza (less than an inch). I'd still check one out though, becasue they're nice for the $$$.
  • bluesubiebluesubie Posts: 3,497
    Although I never put a child seat in the back of my old OBS, I frequently hauled my wife and two teenage girls. We usually go to SC at least twice a year, both times for a week (used a soft car top carrier). And this was a '97 which has slightly less rear leg room than the current models.

    A Legacy L can be had for cheaper than an OBS. The rear seat advantage in the Leg feels a lot more than an inch.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    thel: a CR-V EX will set you back $22 grand or so.

    Consider instead a Legacy L. You can get an L Special Edition from for about $19.6k, and that's with 2 moonroofs, ABS, AWD, 16" alloys, 4 wheel disc brakes, cruise, keyless, CD, A/C, you name it.

    Save yourself $2 grand.

    If that's a bit high, we bought our plain L model for $17,827, far less than an equivalent CR-V, which we also shopped.

    The CR-V does have the small edge in back seat space, but the Legacy's cargo area is much more usable, and the whole car feels more substantial. Plus you get a 5/60 powertrain warranty instead of just 3/36, plus 3 years roadside assistance vs. zero.

    We also have a Forester and while the back seat is a bit tight, again cargo room is great, and kids fit fine, if that's what you typically carry.

  • lumbarlumbar Posts: 421
    does anyone know how it is measured for specification purposes. I assume you start at the base of the rear seat and measure forward to....where?
    Is there a standard for where and how the front seats are placed? Is it a maximum?

    When I checked Edmunds #s on the back seat of the Legacy v OBS, I was surprised at the small difference, and am wondering about that because it does seem like there's more than an inch difference.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    You kind of have to sit in both. The Legacy does feel a lot roomier. Even compared to my Forester.

    The Forester has tons of head room, front and rear, that's where you'll note the difference from the OBS. Also, the cargo area is bigger and more square. Useful capacity is about double.

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    I felt a little squashed in the back of the Forester, just like I always used to in my OBS. BUT, if you move to a legacy wagon, still less than $20K (non-outback) you can have the AWD and all the space - its back seat is much bigger.

    Or you could get a Toyota Matrix AWD - nice big back seat, one of the reasons I bought mine, BUT a lot less power. Same price range.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • bluesubiebluesubie Posts: 3,497
    The cargo area in my WRX wagon seems smaller than the OBS was. According to Subaru, it's supposed to have more room.

    The best thing to do is go on several test drives and really check out the back seats, cargo, etc.

  • lumbarlumbar Posts: 421
    Appearances are interesting--I did a little math (always a dangerous thing) using Edmunds numbers on cargo capacity, and the OBS has 15% less room than the Forester, presumably mostly in the upper rear where the Forester is "squared off." That's a reasonably significant difference, but, to my eye, it appears greater when you simply look at the vehicles. Go figure.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    But the Forester has major front leg room. With the seat all the way back, I can barely reach the pedals, and I'm 6' tall. So you can easily move it forward an inch or two, unless you're 6'4".

    The CR-V, OTOH, has very little front leg room, in fact I could not get comfy in the passenger seat (my wife drove it). They need to change the track so it moves back another 2 inches at least. I think the back seat is roomier than the front!

    The Legacy's back seat is fine, even with the front seats way back.

    lumbar: check out CR's numbers. For their biggest box test, the Forester can hold more volume than a Pathfinder or CR-V, for instance.

  • pun14pun14 Posts: 8
    I just bought a 99 Outback sport wagon and I want to put my Yak Racks on. My problem is Yakima says the best way to get the Yak racks on to carry bikes is by taking off the factory racks.

    Has anyone who has the same model and year had a problem with taking off the racks? There are 2 sets of screws, one on the tower and one on the bar. Both of which seem to just spin and not do anything when loosened.

    Is there any safe way to put on the yaks with the factory on too? Any one have any advice?

    I think that it is lame that the factory racks aren't more versatile with the number of attachments it can use.

  • linsavylinsavy Posts: 13
    The old rack can be taken completely off by removing eight screws. There are little plastic covers by the crossbar mounts. Removing these will expose the screws - large phillips type. Best spray them with penetrating oil the day before. Get a really big screwdriver and take them out.
    The whole rack and track then lifts out. You will then have a lovely gap in the drip rail with the exposed rack mounts. New drip moulding will run about $160.
    The spinning screws in the mounts are a common frustration. I broke 6 of them after only one winter.
    The factory rack is pretty strong. Did you try the accessories at for suitability?
  • celeste2celeste2 Posts: 362
    the beautiful sound of that Ganzflow sucking in the cooler air in the mornings is like a York peppermint pattie experience... aaahhhhhh......

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    We still haven't heard from ramon lately, have we?

    That wife of his really has him wrapped around her finger. Or maybe they had a long, long honeymoon?

    I bet when he returns he'll have a ramon jr to talk about. :-)

  • celeste2celeste2 Posts: 362
    Here's a scary thought: his new wife caught on to how much he'd be spending on his car and it finally came down to:

    ME or the CAR...

    well, guess he made the right choice... like that story of The Lady or the Tiger?

    Got a pretty good deal on Amsoil motor oil from my mechanic, so will use that and replace the oil filter every 6-7,000 miles. Afraid to use the Amsoil filter since I've read some web site stuff on i-club about how it doesn't thread on as deeply. So far I get about 1 mpg more in the city. The engine runs every more quietly. Good stuff!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Hope not - if so I would re-evaluate my spouse.

    Mine doesn't share my hobby, but at least she tolerates it. I'm a car nut, plain and simple.

    There is an oil "idiot light", so if you leak oil or lose pressure, you'll know. I wouldn't worry about it, though.

This discussion has been closed.