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Subaru Impreza Outback Sport & TS



  • Since you asked for opinions and experiences with this car, my opinion is I love this car. I base this on the fact that it cast a spell on me. I never cared about cars before I bought a Subaru Impreza. I drove a Chevy Prism for 12 years with no air conditioning or anything for goodness sakes! What was I thinking? My point is, the OBS will cast a spell on it's owner and you will fall in-love with it. I have had my 1999 OBS for 10 months now and each day I love it more. It brings a smile to my face just looking at it, and it is really hot looking too! So unique and sexy. Besides the look, it performs like a dream! Driving to Mt. Lassen in CA from here (Chico), used to takes me 2 and 1/2 hours, but honestly in my OBS, it takes 1 and 1/2 hours! The car zips up the windy mountain road like a dream come true. It takes 10 MPH hair pin turns at 40 MPM with complete confidence and grace. It sticks to the road like a vise gripe. If you can test drive one on a twisty steep road, you will get an experience of a life time and Subarus will become more then just a car, but part of who you are. It is magical really.
  • I want to correct my post from yesterday. I said that the Subaru OBS was "a loaded 5-speed or an automatic". Actually, I've looked at the MSRP more closely, and this is almost certainly a 5-speed, with cruise. The MSRP is 17995+357(cruise)+495(destination) = 18,847. It's probably silver, since that seems to be all they have left these days. Still, $14,245 is a pretty good price - $640 better than I got when I bought an identical vehicle a month ago.
  • Wow - it's amazing how volatile the price of
    and OBS is. I paid $1000 more than Alancit
    did in msg #29 when I bought in July. Perhaps
    some of this pricing is regional. Outbacks
    are very popular in New Hampshire and used
    ones are few and far between. Don't know
    what kind of deal I could swing today on a
    99 - but I'll bet I'd pay less that two months
  • what is pinstriping?
    what (on the OBS) is the hood scoup for?
    Is it a good car?
  • Pinstripes are decorative decals.
    The hood scoop is decorative, "agressive" styling.
    Is it a good car for you? Depends on your criteria.
  • ramonramon Posts: 825
    Where i live here in Southwestern Ontario, the AWD of my OBS does wonders in unplowed snow. Also, you can easily modify your scoop to make it functional. Alot of fun to drive considering this is a wagon! Might need some good tires though the current white letter tires look kinda spiffy on it. =)
  • I just test drove a 1999 OBS and was wondering if anyone else felt that the break feel was a little too giving. I don't know if it was just the dealers test car or is it normal that the break feel would be "squishy". Squishy meaning more then average pressure needed for breaking. I didnt buy the car. I am considering the Impreza Sport Wagon though for me ABS is very important. (my best friends life was saved by having it on his Acura) So another question is has anyone driven both cars and felt a difference in handling?

  • ramonramon Posts: 825
    i test drove both. I now own a 99 silver Outback Sports. They are about the same feel. The OBS has more stuff but cost more. You pay what you get. yes, iget the ABS version. Not sure if the Brighton Impreza has ABS as an option. The tires are different and so is the suspensions. the OBS seems to be more tight feel to it. However I do agree that the brakes seems mushy. I've tested all models in the Impreza line and the brakes felt the same. Go test another one to find out.
  • I think you just have to get used to the feel. Felt different to me, so did the clutch when I
    first got the car. (1999 OBS).

    Re: snow, I'm looking forward to my first
    New England winter. Got stuck twice last year
    in my Escort, so the AWD was my prime consideration in a new car.
  • ramonramon Posts: 825
    But I have to say that the tires that comes with the OBS suck though. I don't think they're very suited for serious snow driving.
  • jboxerjboxer Posts: 1
    Can someone provide an argument for the Impreza L Wagon vs. Impreza Outback Sport Wagon debate? I know the Outback has ABS and a more heavy duty suspension, but will that matter with moderate use on dirt/gravel roads on camping trips and the like? Also, what should I demand as a price for a 5M on either model this time of year? I have read that subaru is offering both $850 dealer incentive AND customer rebate on one site, and only the dealer incentive on the other site. Which is true right now?
  • ramonramon Posts: 825
    Ok... I'm not from US, therefore I'm not sure what does the L wagon comes with. The Canadian version of the L wagon is is the Imrpeza Brighton wagon. It is aboput $5-6000 cheaper. What it lacks compares to the OBS are : ABS, A/C, regulare suspension, 14" wheels/tires, hub caps instead of alloys, no power window, no power locks, cheaper colour scheme (though I really think it's matter of taste as I saw a white Brighton and it looked great!), No hood scoop and louvres ( again matter of taste), no roof rack, no rear spoilers and maybe a few other things.
    OK.... if you just want a basic AWD Impreza wagon and you don't need the OBS extra off road capability and it's spunky look, then go for the L wagon as you can add your own accesories. I test drove both and apart for the fact that the OBS makes you feel like a Rally driver, both handles the same. I would say that the L wagon would be lighter therefore faster too! On moderate dirt gravel, almost any car can handle it. I picked up the OBS because it came with ABS and that hood scoop too. Also the alloy wheels looked awesome on the OBS. I found out that it's a feature that's not offered on the US OBS. (so sad.) By the time you add teh accessories, the price difference would almost be the same..... I'm not sure about the incentives and the rebates anymore. I'm just tuning up my OBS right now..... =)
  • I'm betting the Intellichoice or listing of both dealer incentive of $850 and customer rebate of $850 for the 1999 Imprezas is correct. However, I'm stuck with a dealer who wants to take $1600 of the MSRP, not the invoice cost. Worth trying to go over his head by faxing an offer to the manager?
  • Two days ago I purchased a '99 OBS with 10 total OD miles. Being as excited as I was the day I bought it, I played with all the accessories (set the clocks, etc.) The next day driving it to work, the clocks somehow reset themselves!? I then also noticed that the interior dome light didn't work either. The power windows also seemed to be lagging compared to other power window systems I've experienced. I ended up taking the car back to the dealer yesterday and the service department looked at it. He asked me to leave the car there so he can better inspect what the problem could be.

    There was another OBS exactly like mine one the lot, so I asked the salesperson that I would like to look at the other one. So we went to it, and checked it out also...SAME PROBLEMS. We told the service man about this and he told the salesperson to take it off the lot also. Has anybody seen this type of problem before? Please email me back at

    Herbie Wilson
  • I'm impressed with what I've seen posted on this site about the OBS-- it sounds like a great car and I'm looking for a good buy on a '99 now. It's great to drive a car that has all wheel drive for winter snow trips to the mountains but still gets good mileage in the city, where I will do most of my driving. Tell me, does all wheel drive make a noticeable difference in rainy, sloppy conditions or is it mostly just a big asset in snow and ice? Thanks
  • sub555sub555 Posts: 3
    Oh yeah it makes a huge difference in rain! The car clings to the road like a vise gripe. No weather can stop the OBS. Check out for a detailed description on AWD and on Subarus. Or you can join our Outback Sport club at:
    We love to dicuss the OBS here! I love my 99 OBS! Did you test drive on yet?
  • ramonramon Posts: 825
    Sub555, always a zealot when it comes to OBS love time. I think in order to take full advantage of the OBS's AWD capability, you might want to get a set of good rubbers. Cus we know that stock tires sux!!!
  • Has anyone heard definitively if it's either or both??? Any ideas where else to look for confirmation?
  • My Michigan dealer claims that there's only a $750 dealer incentive on the 1999 OBS, no customer rebate for the Midwest. For comparison (or to convince me he's credible?) he said there IS a $500 customer rebate in New England. This is the same dealer who would only talk MSRP with me last Saturday, hence my dig at his credibility. Now we're agreed on what the invoice cost (including options the car was set up with & destination charge) to the dealer is, we've subtracted $750, and he's asking for 2% over that figure, i.e., $17,086 for 5 speed w/ cruise control, tailpipe cover, tweeter, mats, keyless entry. I don't know if this is a good deal; the resale value of this car in 2000 will only be $15,351. I was hoping to duplicate the feat of the Oregon guy who said in another thread around here that he got a similar car in August for around $15,300. I told the dealer about this case; he says there's no way he could match it, but I haven't seriously tried to press him into high 15K or anywhere in 16K range. I've been looking at other sites to try to get region-specific info on the customer rebate question without any luck. Any feedback as to whether I'm insane or immoral to expect a better deal are welcome!
  • ramonramon Posts: 825
    How much is teh 2000 OBS? don't you like the wing and all? I think with all your options, the 99 OBS seems to be decent. I dunno how low you want to go. Did you check what's the cost of the car itself?
  • i would think you have to expect a better deal... 17k for a 5 spd sounds high, i've seen ads in nj area mid to high 15k plus the infamous $495 del fee... did your 17k include that? have you tried any other dealers in area?? or try e-mail dealers. last year i had a chance to buy 98 obs at for @ 16.3 (yeah - i should have done it)...

    thanks for the ne info - maybe i'll just have to visit ct & check out the foliage :)
  • just saw another ad in nyc for 99 obs 5sp for $14,995... of course you do have finance 80% but still that sounds much better than 17k good luck
  • I've been shopping in the Philadelphia area for a 5-spd '99 OBS. I've been to 3 dealers. They seem to want to GIVE away the ones on their floors. Though, I'm looking for a silver one, and they're putting on the pressure that they'll have to pay $300 for a driver....whatever.
    Anyway, the lowest quote I got was $16,483 for 5-spd with anti-theft, cargo net, and tailpipe cover. Is there anybody in the NJ/NY area that has gotten one for less? How much? Anybody purcahsed from the Wilke dealer in Philly?
  • lundjolundjo Posts: 3
    I bought a 99 OBS in September and I love. The only problem I've had so far is with fogged/frosted windows. The defrost takes forever to clear the front windshield and does nothing for the side windows. The rear defrost works fine on the hatchback window. Has anyone else had similar experiences. It seems a little dangerous.
  • MiroMiro Posts: 15
    Does your OBS have a/c? Remember that it a/c is not only for summer, it absorbs moisture too. Turn it on full blast, the fog will disappear fast.
  • Yes, I figured the dealer cost of the 1999 OBS at $17,5, including destination. Salesman's final offer of $17,1 (after deducting $750 dealer incentive and adding 2%)included the $495 destination fee; everything I've read indicated that fee isn't negotiable.

    I'm told a Utah dealer will sell a 2000 OBS w/ few options (mats & tailpipe cover) for $17,6.

    If I project the resale values of base models of the 1999 and 2000 OBS into 2003 (using Intellichoice depreciation figures), and subtract those values from the initial selling prices estimated above, the loss in value due to depreciation is about $1300 worse for the 1999 than for the 2000. This difference goes to zero if the 1999 is discounted to $15,9. Since the 1999 I was looking at had more options, $16,3 feels like a fair total price (inc. dest.) for a 1999 to me. But the salesman says he's confident he can sell the 1999 to someone else for more than $17,1, and he'd rather match the Utah dealer if I order a 2000. (6-8 weeks delivery)

    So, I guess it's either travelling to the East Coast where there seem to be better deals on 1999's or faxing around to see if I can do much better on a 2000. Local (in Michigan and Ohio) supplies of the 2000 MT seem quite limited.
  • ramonramon Posts: 825
    Could it be that your front defroster is not working? Mine was not working before. But it's been fixed under warranty since and so far I don't notice it working slow. I seen worse before. However, turning hte a/c helps alot too. But man, during winter with the a/c on..... burrrr....
  • MiroMiro Posts: 15
    A/C not only cools, it also dries (you know this right?) Who says you have to keep the temp setting on cold? Just increase the setting from blue(cold) to orange(hot). How to defog quickly is mentioned in the owner's manual.
    Ever notice Civics have a tendency to fog up? To resolve this, Honda set the a/c to turn on automatically when directing the air flow at the windshield. So driving with it on in the rain or winter actually makes sense.
    I mention the above because I've "been there, done that".
  • ramonramon Posts: 825
    What was I thinking about?! Never had to resort to turning the a/c on to defrost the windshield.
  • I searched the Owners Manual pretty well for my '99 Outback Sport Wagon and see that it looks pretty simple to add the filter unit which is located above the front passenger foot area. Does anybody have any experience with this? Are there aftermarket air filters you can buy for that?
This discussion has been closed.