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Subaru Impreza Outback Sport & TS

slickrick1slickrick1 Posts: 12
edited March 2014 in Subaru
I am currently interested in buying my first new
car and just recently test drove the Outback Sport
and really liked the performance. Even though I'm
not crazy about the styling (it bears an amazing
resemblence to an AMC Pacer on steroids), I really
don't mind, because it's perfomance and utility
more than make up for it. I'm sorry! I'm rambling
again. Anyway, I was wondering if anyone could
give me any input as to which options are worth it
and which are not. I'm kind of a gadget freak, so I
am interested in the optional gauge pack, but I'm
also on a budget and I don't know if its worth it.
Secondly, I've heard a lot about the OBS that's
good, but I was wondering if anyone has anything
bad to share. ANYTHING anyone can tell me about
about the car or experiences that owners have had
would be highly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.


  • rdeschenerdeschene Posts: 330
    slickrick1. Before you buy, compare the IIHS and NHTSA results for this car compared to its competitors (e.g. Saturn SW2 with traction control).

    Another thing to take into consideration is gas mileage. The Impreza does not have favourable mileage numbers compared to its competitors (e.g. Civic EX, Corolla, Saturn SL2/SW2).
  • ramonramon Posts: 825
    manual shifting an auto! that's bad! it's an auto celeste. Use it as such. If you do a search at the iclub, there was a discussion about this and how it doesn't have the same clutch as the manual and that your would put undue strain on the auto tranny. It also isnt' geared the same as the manuals (5spd), auto (4spd).... so the ratios are different. When you try shifting up and down the auto, I can almost imagine how the poor clutch packs have to adjust to your own driving style rather to rely on it's computer controlled ratios.

    intake... dunno. I got mine in a GB for $99.95 everything. I bought my K&N filter from my local auto store for cheap.
    The catback system is fully Brullen.
  • joe75joe75 Posts: 1
    I believe that it is conventional wisdom that 4wd
    is alway "more preferable" than traction control. This is at least true for every automotive magazine comparison I've read comparing the BMW 3 class cars versus Audis w/ Quattro.

    Also, gas mileage is misleading since Subarus are driving twice the number of wheels. Civics, Corollas and Saturns are two wheel drive vehicles. I would hope that these cars would have a better mpg.
  • ramonramon Posts: 825
    I have a 99 Outback Sports and it out handles many mini SUVs on street driving. Anyways, I think the OBS looks way better than any current crop of mini wagons. And AWD is wicked especially at where I am living in Canada!
  • hanzokunhanzokun Posts: 1
    if anyone could tell me that if there are much of differences from Impreza L wagon and outback sport. I know this much OS has HD suspension, ABS, and two tone paint. I am just curious to know that If I were to purchase one which one you think is worth it.
  • ramonramon Posts: 825
    the outback sport has ABS, air, power window/locks, alloy wheels, hood scoop, 2 tone paint, 205/60 R15 and few other nick nacks that the Brighton does not. It all adds up to the sticker price. I have hte OBS and it is really great to drive. Only thing I dislike is the rough sound when it's on low gears.
  • ultraultra Posts: 9
    I'm having some problems deciding which one to purchase. I would greatly appreciated any and all feedback as I've been trying to weigh the pros and cons of each.

    As I see it, the Brighton is a very stripped down Legacy L. Am I correct? Are there any other major differences beside not having the interior extras? The Impreza Wagon has power windows, mirrors, and locks, which I would like to have. However, the Impreza looks as though it won't haul very much stuff because of the way the rear window is sloped. Any experiences with this? I'm comparing this to a Honda Civic EX 4 door, which is fully loaded for the same price. Will the Impreza, with the rear seat up, haul as much as a Civic or any other small sedan?

    I do like the Impreza Sedan, but the rear seat doesn't have a 60/40 split. This severely limits the hauling abilities.

    I need to stay around $16k, so I can't afford to step up to the Legacy L, which looks to be around $18k.
  • slickrick1slickrick1 Posts: 12
    Tough call. How much/what kind of stuff do you need to haul? Because I believe that the Impreza comes with a roof rack that the Brighton does not. Depending on what kind of stuff you haul, the roof rack can be a big plus. Also the Brighton does come pretty well decked out for the money. It has a/c, a 40 watt stereo/cass, tilt, etc. I do believe that the Outback Sport would be able to carry as much cargo as a Civic with the rear seats up. I found the OBS to be almost like a 4 door hatchback, with alot of utility and a good amount of cargo space, but not a ton of it. I also found it to be fun to drive, and spacious as long as your not in the back seat. It's capable to carry alot of stuff, but in your case, is it enough?
    Good Luck!
  • ultraultra Posts: 9
    Thanks for your comments. After I sent my previous post I should have put in one more thing. We are use to travelling in a Ford Escort wagon, which is big enough for me, my wife, and my 5 year old, but of course severely underpowered going over the Rockies. We want our next car we buy to be our travelling vehicle. When we travel in the Escort we have half of the rear seat folded down and the back full. However, it usually isn't packed so full that I can't see out all of the windows.

    My thoughts are now, after reading your post, that the Impreza wagon will probably haul everything I want it to, but will be packed so full as to cover the windows (which is fine). I think I can find someone, maybe even Subaru, who makes a metal grate that fits behind the rear seat to keep stuff from shifting forward. Also, if it came down to it, I could get an enclosed luggage carrier that fits on the top, like Thule or Yakima.

    I don't agree with your comments about the Brighton coming "well decked out for the money." The Impreza Sedan, which sells for about $1500 less, comes with more goodies. The Impreza Wagon, which sells for the same price, also comes with more goodies. I realize this is purely marketing. If Subaru put all of that on the Brighton, then you have a Legacy L. I just think the Brighton is a little too stripped down for the money.
  • ldkusminldkusmin Posts: 4
    We test-drove the Impreza Outback Sport last weekend. For our purposes, it couldn't compete with the the other cars we tried--the noise level was too high, and the seats were too hard. But then, sporty handling and off-road capability weren't really priorities for us, and we might not have even been trying the Subaru if there were more compact wagons on the market from makers with a reputation for reliability.

    From our standpoint, emphasizing comfort and carrying capacity as well as safety and reliability, we were pleasantly surprised by the Saturn SW2. They seemed to have licked their noise problem, and despite what we've read about it in some places, the seats seemed comfortable to us. I think it's probably targeted to a different
    market than the Impreza, but if what you want is a compact wagon, it's worth checking out. (I've read some positive things about the Ford Escort wagon as well, but my wife has had bad experiences with Fords, so we weren't considering one.)

    Good luck,

  • ultraultra Posts: 9
    I won't even consider a Saturn. (Look at my post #292 in the Sedans, Saturn Stories).

    I test drove a 1999 Escort, but was not impressed. It supposedly has a slightly bigger engine than my 1995 Escort, but the performance was about the same. I need something with more kick to it. I live in Denver and go over the mountains quite a bit.

    I test drove an Impreza Sedan climbing one of the major hills west of Denver. I was going 60mph in 5th gear, which I found acceptable for a 4-banger. So, the sporty handling is fine and actually welcomed by me and my wife.
  • slickrick1slickrick1 Posts: 12
    I'm glad that you've narrowed down your list. I had a different experience when I drove the OBS and SL2. I found that the Subaru's engine didn't need to be pushed to get up to speed. For me the SL2 was a different story. I found that it needed to be pushed very hard and when it was, it was VERY loud and rough. I also didn't particularly care for the Saturn's interior, it appeared cheap and flimsy and I didn't care for it all. In the OBS's interior, everything fit together nicely and seemed very well screwed together. Finally, I also liked the fact the subaru is offering the OBS with a $500 rebate and with that it is possible to pick one up for invoice or slightly above. Saturn will not deal.
    It seems like we had two different experiences.
    Good Luck on your purchase.

    My statement wasn't very clear. I meant that the Brighton is a good value for the money. I think that what you get in the Brighton for what you pay makes it a good value, a large wagon with very generous cargo room that still does include a/c and cass/stereo. Also look into some of Subaru's roof rack attachments that are made for the OBS.

  • mibomanmiboman Posts: 13
    The Brighton is bigger than the Impreza. Given that key fact, I would agree with the post that it is pretty well equipped at its price. Essentially, it is a base model of a mid-sized wagon but it includes the stereo and AC. It doesn't include the power windows, power locks, or antilock brakes. The Impreza will give you that in exchange for the room.

    The roofrack for the Brighton is an option which runs about $160 for the dealer. I think the retail price is about $250.
  • jagat1jagat1 Posts: 31
    ultra: Have you considered the Impreza L Sport Wagon? It's a lower priced Sport with basically everything included except the 2 tone,alloys(option)...
    just add what option you want.
  • slickrick1slickrick1 Posts: 12
    That's another option. The Impreza L wagon does not have ABS available and that is the biggest separating factor between that and the Outback Sport. I wouldn't rule out the Legacy L wagon just yet, either. If you wait a little bit, you may be able to pick one up for 17K. Check your local dealers and ask for a price on a basic Legacy L. When you factor in the $750 rebate and if you're willing to shop around, you MAY be surprised.
  • charellecharelle Posts: 4
    Just my two cents here. I recently sold my '97 Impreza Outback Sport, having driven it for two years after owning a Mazda MPV 4WD minivan for seven years. The Impreza is a SMALL wagon, something I could not get used to. All of my "stuff" had to be the front seat as there is no room between seats for anything or on the floor in back. My cassettes were always getting dumped all over for lack of room for the case. Also, although they say there is more ground clearance than in other small cars, you couldn't convince me of that. The view is not all that great; however, there is practically no blind spot. And there is plenty of room in the cargo for almost anything you would normally carry and it is easy to lift things out.

    My OS had a 2.2 (5 sp) engine with plenty of get up and go, which I enjoyed. However, living in MI with lots of snow and leaving for work early in the morning sometimes before roads were plowed, the low clearance meant slow going, but I always got there. The car sticks to the road no matter what.

    I am a small woman and the front seats were comfortable for me although the upholstery was a bit thin in my opinion.

    One thing I will mention is that the paint seemed to chip EXTREMELY easily. I thought perhaps it was just modern-day paint jobs, but I'm not so sure. After two years I had a couple of door dings but MANY small spots, especially on the hood, I had to touch up. This was pretty much on the top half of the two-tone (blue). The metallic portion wasn't too bad.

    For whatever this is worth . . . .
  • folkmusefolkmuse Posts: 11
    I just bought my first new car in 10 years. I'm
    retiring my '89 Ford Escort for a '99 OBS. The
    OBS appealed to me on a practical level, with
    ABS and AWD (I live in New England), better
    head room that the new Escorts and Contours, plus
    I found it fun to drive.

    The dealer was, I guess, clearing away the 99's.
    The optional equipment included fog lights, mats,
    tailpipe cover and keyless entry. Plus some
    pinstriping. The price was dealer invoice minus
    $750 Subaru rebate. I think it's a lot of car
    for $16,758, and I hope it lasts me another 10
    years/160,000 miles as my Escort did.
  • deguzmandeguzman Posts: 1
    My husband and I are in the market for a new car/SUV to replace a dying Isuzu Trooper. We're currently debating between the wagon vs. SUV. My question is- would the Outback be large enough to haul a couple of dogs (50+ lbs. each) in the way back with a baby seat in the back and some luggage for weekend trips? My sense is that we're going to have to suck up the $30k pricetag and go for the SUV. Tell me I'm wrong...
  • lundjolundjo Posts: 3
    I'm considering the Outback Sport right now, and, like any new car buyer, I'm looking for a good deal. Are the dealers offering deals right now on '99's to make room for the 2000's? I'd be interested to know what people are currently paying for Outback Sports.
  • mibomanmiboman Posts: 13
    As a kid, my parents hauled dogs and kids in a wagon about the size of the Legacy/Outback. I think the issue is the amount of luggage. When we went camping, my dad always put a bunch of stuff on the roof rack.

    Rather than a $30K SUV, you might look at a minivan. I know they aren't as trendy, but typically have more versatility in the cargo area, are cheaper, and get better gas mileage. I guess the question is how often do you go off road and need the SUV's 4wd?
  • jamespowerjamespower Posts: 42
    In response to #17, we have an 80 pound Old English Sheepdog plus lots of camping gear and asked ourselves the same question. The answer we came to was Impreza based 'wagons' including Outback Sport = no too small rear hatch too steeply angled, Forester = maybe, Legacy (including true Outback wagons) = yes definitely. I may be mistaken, but I doubt if the average SUV can hold more gear than a Legacy based wagon. Certainly something like my friend's 4Runner would do no better whilst costing a lot more to buy and run. Unless you really need true off-road capability, stick with Subaru, save money, gas and the planet.

    Just my £0.02 worth.

  • folkmusefolkmuse Posts: 11
    Regarding the pricing on '99 Outback Sports,
    I went to three dealers when I shopped around.
    Two "brick and mortar" and one via the Internet.
    What I came up with was:

    $16,345 w/ floor mats and tailpipe
    extender (
    $16,745 no options (Local dealer #1)
    $16,758 fog lights, keyless, mats,
    tailpipe extender, pinstripes (Local
    dealer #2)
  • milamila Posts: 1
    It's a compact combo which hv excellent control in the wheels and steer. More air-conditon slows down the wheels. Good buy for the performance.
  • folkmusefolkmuse Posts: 11
    In general, I've been very pleased with my new
    OBS. The performance, handling and convenience
    features are superlative. But I do have one
    complaint: the driver's seat is not comfortable
    on a long drive!

    I took the car on my first long drive a few days
    ago and after 90 minutes my lower back was hurting! I *think* the problem is lack of leg
    support for my right leg. I'm trying different
    support ideas to see if I can alleviate the problem.

    So, just a word of caution: if the seats in the
    OBS are significantly different from whatever
    you are currently driving, see if you can get
    a real long test drive in before you purchase!
  • ramonramon Posts: 825
    It seemed like your post is the first ever comment about hte seaing comfort on the OBS. True, I don't think the seats are say....Lexus type comfort but I think for it's class it's really good. I sat on much worse. However, to each his/her own.
    Just want to add..... I was at a sweeping fast arc hook turn yesterday during a heacy rain. I believe the regular speed is 30km/h..... and most ppl would break entering the the turn. I went in at 60..... I thought I lost it. It was not until I got out and asked my friend wasn't that scary that they realised I was going in that fast. I thought I was about to lose it but all these time the OBS was holding the slippery road like a cat which refuse to slip. I just got a new found respect for this car. I'm convinced at that condition, no regular car would've got out of that turn without hitting the side bank of trees. I love this car!!!
  • bkperrybkperry Posts: 1
    Just picked up my new OBS today. I'm very happy so far- took it out for a spin on some rough mountainy dirt roads here in CO and it tracked like a champ. I'm proud to say it's already been to the car wash!

    As for the engine noise- believe me, as time wears on, you start to really enjoy the distinctive sound in low gears. It's like an old friend after my 4 years in a Legacy wagon.

    As for price, here's what I received:

    Base model, plus: mats, pinstriping, hood deflector, tailpipe cover, keyless entry, active/passive security, cruise control & ski rack for $17,707. This was after much haggling and many salesman-trips-to-the-manager. It's a silver model.

    I'm excited to get out and drive- I can't wait for winter.

  • folkmusefolkmuse Posts: 11
    "I don't think the seats are say....Lexus type comfort"

    They're not even Ford Escort (my old car) type comfort! My opinion, of course. The firm seat
    and small amount of leg support just don't work
    for me for an extended trip.

    The car does handle well, though, and I look
    forward to my first New England winter drive.
  • ramonramon Posts: 825
    Yeah, I do agree that the leg room is pretty small compare to most cars in its class. I was kinda surprised. Also the back seat is quite cramp. I agree to that. But heck, I still love this car and most of the time I travel either by myself or with my girlfriend.
  • My wife and I just bought a 99 OBS. We paid $16,600 for a base model with auto trans. We traded a Honda Civic hatchback for it, and so far, we don't miss the Honda at all. It's mostly a commuting car for my wife, and while the gas mileage isn't as good as the Honda, the peace of mind she's getting from driving the highways in a car with some heft and power to it are worth the investment. Also, she doesn't feel as intimidated by the larger SUVs that are now crowding the roads as she did in her 94 Civic. Just some thoughts...
  • At this time of the year, you should really be looking for advertised '99 models, because you should be able to pull off great deals armed with dealer advertising. Look into the laws in your state to see whether the law requires the dealer to sell at the advertised price; most states do, I think. In any case, in the Oregonian this morning, I saw a Subaru Outback Sport ad for a vehicle with an MSRP of 18,847, but advertised at 14,245. I could walk in to the dealership today, and assuming they still had the vehicle, purchase it at that price. Judging from the MSRP, this is either an automatic vehicle, or a loaded 5-speed. So don't settle for the "losing money if we sell below invoice" drivel that the dealers try to pull, and don't settle for the $17k price range for automatics. You should be able to do better. Look for well under 16k (or even 15k) if you're buying a 5-speed, even if you don't have an ad to bring in to the dealer. For dealers to be advertising vehicles at the above price, there MUST be large dealer incentives available. This means that even if they sell you the car at invoice, they are probably making $2000 on the deal. Read the Edmunds web page, and don't get fleeced.
This discussion has been closed.