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Subaru Impreza Outback Sport & TS



  • Well, Brent, you'll have to stop in Erie one of these days. Lots to do here...I'd be happy to show you around. If this ferry deal ever comes to pass, I'll have to bring the OBS to your neck of the woods.

    Let us know how you like the OBS once you've had it for a little while. I don't know anyone else who drives the 04 model yet, so I'm curious as to your impressions.

    By the way, be sure yours has the armrest extender. It really should be a stock item.

    Good luck with the new car.

  • Hey guys,I don't understand what OBS is?Is this another model sold in the states?I know what TS is,,this means Subaru wagon right?
    I'm kind of thinking about going new with the TS wagon in the 2004 model.Some of the improvements sound beneficial to the price increase.Does anyone know what the difference in price is from new 03 to new 04?Is there much of a jump?

    Thanks for your help guys,I am learning a lot here since begining on here about a month ago!
    Subaru is the way to go...

  • TS=Impreza 2.5 TS, OBS=Impreza Outback Sport. If you go to the Subaru website ( it shows what the differences are between them. Same body & mechanicals but the OBS has more equipment. The price didn't change for 2004 on the TS, it's still $22,995, same as 2003.

    Just noticed that you're also from London. Have you talked to anyone at the dealer here yet? If not, if you call or go in, ask for John. Just signed on my OBS and I was happy with the way things went.
  • Dan: thanks for the suggestion. I didn't get the armrest extension but it might be a future upgrade depending on how it goes. Sometimes armrests get in the way of shifting--not sure how big the Subaru one is.

    PA's a good state to visit. I know the area from Williamsport east and south to Phila pretty well. Sure would be nice to have that ferry, I agree.

    I'll definitely share my impressions when I get the car. My dealer didn't have a five-speed OBS so I haven't even driven one yet, just the TS.
  • Thankyou for helping me out,,,yes I will see John at the dealer,I have been planning to stop in when I have time to get more educated on Subaru and the available financing.
    I was also thinking maybe I should lease then buyout the car later,,,not sure if there is a catch there though you know.
    I wonder if anyone knows about this stuff enough to give me some advice on purchasing an 03 or 04 Impreza TS?
    Congrats on your new ride by the way,,what colour did you get?

  • I got silver, but the Impreza wagon also looks good in this really sharp blue they have for 2004. I have some pictures I took of the different colours and the blue stands out.

    Re financing, I don't think Sube of London has any 03s left, since the 04s have been out since the spring. I started out by thinking I'd buy a TS (instead of lease the OBS) so I have all the prices, financing/leasing info and the official accessory list so let me know if you want any specific info.

    The catch of leasing, then buying at the end, is that you end up paying more for the car than if you'd just bought it in the first place. If you plan to keep the car more than three years, it's generally better to buy it. Financing on the TS right now is 3.8% (vs 6.8% on a lease).
  • Thankyou cbmorton,,,yeah I will definetly finance,I looked into this further.I didn't realize all the improvements over the 03 model,,I am better off with an 04 for the same price.I noticed an engine block heater is optional.Do you know if this is a dealer installed item?I definetly want that!
    However,does Subaru enter their new cars in spring each year?Maybe they will have a bit more horse power and new hub caps or something for 2005 you know.I thought maybe I can stretch my Probe GT out a bit longer until at least spring,,that might be an idea.
    Have fun with your car dude!You should tint the windows..


    PS-That blue colour you said was that the colour that looks kind of purple?I saw one TS on the lot with that colour last week parked in front of the showroom.
  • Correct me if I'm wrong,,,don't you guys think the Impreza TS wagon is a steal for the price compared to cars like the Pontiac Sunfire and Ford Focus???
    I'm kind of amazed the more I look into this!It's got All Wheel Drive too..


    Have a good day everyone,safe driving...
  • It's a dealer-installed accessory. The 04 Impreza price list shows it's about $35 + installation. You can also add alloy wheels, ground effects kits, spoilers, fog lights, audio components, etc. The accessory list is 3.5 pages so you can customize as much as you can afford.

    Not sure about the blue colour you saw--there's a different blue for 2004 and it's kind of an electric blue, although it might have some purple in it, I didn't look too closely. That would have been my second choice.

    Subaru probably will have the 2005s out in the spring but even if that's April that's still 7 months away. I could have waited until the spring myself but I figured if I was getting an AWD car anyway I may as well have it for the winter. Looking forward to trying it out in the snow.
  • Lotboy,

    Since you said a couple weeks ago that you wanted to get the Probe paid off, if you can do it by spring or so, you could get a nice end-of-year 2004 at that point. Say May or June or so. I can see it now, you KNOW it's the smart thing to wait a bit, but the other part says NEW CAR!!! Must have!! Tough internal battle, isn't it? <g>

    Yes, Impreza is TONS better than a Sunfire or Focus, at least I think so. They shouldn't even be considered competitors.

    As to the lease vs. buy thing, there are some great articles in Edmunds under the Tips and Advice, as well as the Ownership section. They will really help you understand the pros and cons of leasing vs. buying. For several reasons, I'm leasing my 2004 OBS. Will I keep it longer than the 3 year lease? I just might, but I like having the option of just bringing it back and getting something else. Since my previous vehicle was leased, if I had wanted to purchase the OBS, I would have needed quite a bit down to avoid being "upside-down" on the new car. It pretty much forced me to lease, because of that. Not that I'm complaining, but there are clearly pros and cons to it. Do some study this winter, since you have the time. Read everything here on leasing and purchasing decisions. As to models, the 04 has so many improvements over the 03 that it was a no-brainer to me after I did my homework. Take a stop to that local dealer that Brent mentioned and do some test driving. Also, check out the Forester. Same platform, but they serve different needs. Might be worth considering.

  • lotboy,

    I know I'm going to gain a lot of enemies with this, but what the hack ...

    Unless the AWD is an absolute must, I'd think a little bit more about TS vs Focus. I've recently had a chance to spend some time in both (as a passenger). There are some things to consider. Interior - Impreza is small cramped and veerryyy cheap inside. And that one pathetic cup holder in front of cooling fan, what's that. Its interior is poorer than most of equally/less priced cars. Focus is bigger and nicer inside (to the limit of its price class).

    I've just checked a Canadian Ford's site, comparably equipped Focus (5 door hatchback) with the traction control (which isn't AWD but gives you some edge there) will cost you at least $3000 less, not to mention way more room to negotiate and likely better financing.

    It's believed that Subaru is more reliable than Ford. Now, it's up to you to decide how much reliability can be bought with $3000+. Worth mentioning, Focus comes with weaker engine and, consequently, better fuel mileage.

    Block heater is usually dealer installed accessory in Canada and will cost you around $225 unless you negotiate it better. It should also give you an idea how much everything else is going to cost afterwards.

    Before everybody gets on me for the above, I should mention that this is purely my feeling after sitiing in both vehicles. And, yes, I'm driving Subaru (Forester). So if you wnat to argue, don't argue with me, argue with the facts.

  • On the facts front, the price spread between the base Focus ZX5 and the Impreza TS is $1,435. And as I posted above, the block heater costs $35.91 plus installation (one hour's labour). I've found that dealers out west tend to include the heater as part of some sort of winter or severe weather package, but in Ontario it's an inexpensive a la carte item.

    Opinion-wise, I've actually driven a few Focuses and although they always impress me with their handling and ride, I always come away disappointed with the interior design and quality of materials. The Impreza is no Audi either, but I personally wouldn't place the Focus above it. The Ford is certainly bigger inside but the Impreza is far from cramped for me at 5'10". Best way to see what you think and how you fit is to try them both out. You can literally see Highbury Ford from Sube of London so that should be easy to do.

    Subkid is right that you need to decide if you're willing to spend extra money to get AWD, because one thing everyone can agree on is that there are other good small FWD cars out there worth considering.
  • Good afternoon gentleman...

    cbmorton,thankyou for your wealth of information.

    damish003,I'm impressed,you remembered a few posts back about my situation with paying off the Probe GT.I found in interesting what you said about your leasing situation when you purchased your last new didn't wanna get sunk...interesting scenario.
    The Probe is working well so I will keep driving it for now and hopefully no major repairs come due!Spring won't be that far away really...(whatever I wanna tell myself)
    Yes I will go see the same salesperson Brent did here in London and do some test driving on my layoff week,week after next.Thanks damish003,talk to you again!

    subkid,what parking lot do you want to meet at,I'm gonna give you a fat lip!...hehehe,just kidding.
    No really,I came down to 3 choices for my next vehicle(used vehicles at the begining until I looked into Subaru more),Mazda Millenia S,Toyota 4Runner SR5 and Subaru Impreza line up,,preferably the wagon version.I ruled out the 4Runner due to fuel economy,the Millenia because it is front wheel drive only,and the Impreza became my choice.AWD IS A PRIORITY FOR ME,besides the fact that I can purchase a Focus through my A-plan at work.When I lived in Calgary I test drove a 02 Outback Sport and was extremely impressed.The weather was Subaru weather too,,,-20C snowing on snow covered roads with hard packed ice.I always remembered that test drive,,,was at night too.
    Don't be fooled by the American traction control systems,,,there is no comparison to that of full time all wheel drive system,especially AWD developed by Subaru.Traction control in American made cars basically regulate how much pressure you put on the gas pedal,so you don't spin the tires.You can do this yourself,if you know what you're doing.
    As for the Focus made in Mexico,and another plant located in the US,,,it is an ok car,expensive for what you get though.I have driven all versions of them including the 03 SVT.If I am going to put out the bucks (over 20 grand)for a car,I might as well pay for something I can totally use for all weather and utility purposes.(I travel across Canada readily)
    These are facts,,,the Focus rides and handles nicely with the 16 inch wheels that is.My best friend has a 02 ZX5 manual and it is fun too drive.That's all.Fuel economy isn't impressive,the interior turn signal sound is annoying as hell(sounds like a kid sucking on a soother),has no balls on the highway with a full tank of fuel,two guys and a gym bag,,,hey,but we look good trying to pass someone!
    Cheers guys...

  • cbmorton,

    Focus priced on the web site includes freight and taxes (before GST) . Impreza, with its $22995 doesn't. My experience in the west is that dealer is going to slap you with $1600+ for any price published on the internet. It goes like this:
    MSRP +
    - $225 dealer installed accessories (heater and etching)
    - $1100 freight and PDI
    - $300 doc fee
    - $75 advertising
    - 120 air and tire taxes

    This is what they'd try to pull. What you pay is the other thing, even though, it looks that there are too many people willing to go for it, so it's not exactly buyers market around here :((

    As I said, I went for Subaru, but this is only to set a record straight.

    if I'm not mistaken, you asked if we thought that TS is a steel for the price compared to Focus. Well, I merely answered your question, withe the answer you didn't want to hear, though :). But I'll repeat. Of course, Impreza is better vehicle than Focus, but I don't think it has a price/value advantage everything else taken into consideration.

  • Actually I was comparing apples to apples--before freight and air tax the 2004 ZX5 at $21,560 is $1,435 cheaper than the TS. A 2003 Protege5 with air is $1995 cheaper, so the incremental cost of the AWD over a competing FWD car seems to be $1,500-$2,000. I don't see a TS wagon very often so probably a lot of people do the same math and decide that they don't need AWD after all. But enough people still choose AWD to keep Subaru doing well.

    Sounds like it's expensive to buy a car in the west, although no GST in Alberta offsets it. The Subaru dealer here turned out to be a real straight shooter. $995 for freight/PDI and the only fee was a $50 admin fee. Didn't try to sell me any add-ons and didn't even ask for a deposit on signing. Easiest deal I've ever done.
  • I guess, you eastern guys are lucky. Dealer's attitude around here is actually the only thing that could have turned me towards other brands. I bet on the Subaru's reliability, meaning that I hope I wouldn't have to deal with them too often.

    And FYI, we do have GST on the west - those are just fairy tales that we don't pay taxes :)

  • Oops, I meant PST. I've spent a fair bit of time in Alberta, although I guess you wouldn't know it if I can't remember which tax is which.

    I think I lucked out with the Subaru dealer here being accommodating and easy to deal with. I was very close to going with a RAV4, but over at Toyota they had zero product knowledge (they were asking me for advice on where to get 2004 model info from) and zero interest in selling me the vehicle. Don't think I'd have ended up in an OBS if it hadn't been for the no-hassle way the local dealer dealt with me. They're only a two-salesman operation, so maybe they don't have time to fool around. Guess there's still something to be said for a smaller shop.
  • cbmorton,just wondering when you get your new car?Probably by tuesday Sept.30 for month end I'm sure.Let me know what you think after a few miles if you don't mind?
    If you find any info about the '05 models let me know at any time.I'll keep my eyes on this thread for updates.
    Thanks pal...

  • Not til next week at the earliest. The only silver five-speed they could find was on the way from Vancouver so it takes a couple of weeks to get the car in and ready. I'll post when I have it.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The TS comes with a 5 year powertrain warranty, 67% longer than the Focus (which needs it more), plus 3 years of roadside assistance.

    Not to mention you'll recover most of that $1500 or so because resale is much better than for a Focus.

    The Subie is a better value, price isn't everything. If at least Ford offering an SVT wagon, that would be worth the reliability risk, maybe.

  • Hey,where in Japan are these Subaru's made anyways?I kept forgetting to ask someone.

    AND,are the ALL WHEEL DRIVE systems the exact same for each individual model?
    ie.,I test drove an Impreza Outback Sport in the snow,so will the Impreza TS perform the same?
    Still learning guys,thanks...

  • twrxtwrx Posts: 647
    Impreza and Forester

    OB, Legacy and Baja Laffayette IN
  • On Subarus depends on model and transmission, but the OBS and TS have the same AWD systems, one for the five-speed and one for the automatic.

    How did you find the OBS in the snow? I've only driven AWD in the snow once, so there'll be a learning curve for me to get used to the Sube this winter.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    5 speeds get a center viscous coupling, with a 50/50 default power split.

    Automatics get an 80/20 default split, and a clutch to distribute power pro-actively.

  • 80/20? That's the first time I've seen it described as anything other than 90/10 on the automatics with Active AWD.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    We had a debate a while back, and asked a rep from Subaru to get the scoop from her top techs, and that's what they told us. I'll take the word of the SoA engineering staff over the marketing staff, any day of the week.

  • Fair enough, so would I. On the Subaru web site where they describe the different AWD systems they don't mention the torque split at all and just concentrate on the Active part, so I guess that's more important for marketing purposes.
  • Ok, I have a wrx, auto, so this might be different for my car - but is that 80% front wheel, 20% rear, then adjusting as needed? That would be disappointing. I'm hoping it's the other way around.
  • The auto WRX has VTD, I think, so that makes the torque split 45/55 front/rear by default. The 80/20 split is on auto Subes without VTD.
  • twrx-thankyou very much

    cbmorton-the 2002 brand new OBS I drove was outstanding for steep uphill starts in the snow and I had that car going on an angle as I was going through the gears under hard acceleration on level ground and it was still griping.The conditions were Subaru perfect....-20C,snowing(this was in Calgary at night mind you)roads were snow covered with hard packed snow as a base....all I can say is your going to love when it snows with your new car.Everybody will be headin' in while your headin' out,,hehehe..
    Take care cb!

This discussion has been closed.