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Subaru Impreza Outback Sport & TS



  • twrxtwrx Posts: 647
    I have owned 3 Subarus. Interior fabric quality is super although the color patters can be shall we say "unusual". My '98 Forester had a gray/color swirl that was psychedelic. It never ripped, wore and did not show dirt. It did attract pet hair pretty bad on the smooth sections. Interior appointments held up well with the exception of a rear cup holder that broke (4 years--60k miles).

    On my 2002 WRX wagon (30k and two years) fabric was again perfect but I did put a couple of small gouges in the faux leather style vinyl trim on the passenger door.

    So far I have found Subaru (especially the fabric) to have the most rugged interior of any car I have owned.

    I have never had a framless glass to leak. Driver's side on my wife's car leaked until I found out the morons at the local dealer's service department had put a plastic window guide on backwards at some time. I reversed it and the window never leaked again. Among 4 Subrarus we have racked up over 100k miles.
    As to the OBS, I have driven an RS and I thought the amount of power and delivery of it was really nice. (Even though I am spoiled as a WRX owner). The OBS gets the same wheel and tire combo as the RS and the WRX. That means serious fun in the handling department. I like the features on it especially the rear outlet. I had that on my '98 Forester and it is really nice for travel--I've got an electric cooler and I take it into the hotel if they don't have an inroom fridge. (Koolatron brand). My only problem with the OBS has been strictly cosmetic. I don't like the style of the fabric and I'm not into the two tone exterior.

  • damish003damish003 Posts: 303

    Sounds like you're looking at my cars twin, same color and all. I got my 04 OBS in late June, so I'll share a few impressions with you.

    The important question...if I had to do it over again, would I? You bet, I just LOVE this car. Seems to handle a bit better than the Forester, due to road-height difference. Develops more "oomph" the longer I drive it, as it's gotten used to my style of driving. Good visibility, fairly roomy for a small wagon. No problems with it at all.

    The seat fabric looks cheap, but is actually quite sturdy. Lumbar support would be nice, but a small pillow works for me (real bad back). I STRONGLY suggest getting the armrest extension. It should be a standard item but isn't. Otherwise your right arm will get rather uncomfortable.

    No problems with the frameless windows, other than that if you leave them partway open and close the door they will rattle a bit. The only problem is in the rain, where if you leave them a bit open you get rained on from when the wipers send water to the drivers side. Could be a better design, but I live with it.

    As to the color (Woodlawn Green), remember that a dark color like that really shows the dirt. Sometimes the car looks like it needs a wash just a few days after washing it. I like the color enough that this doesn't bother me, I just wash it a lot!

    I'm wishing that the rebate was around when I got the car, as the numbers you're quoting look very good. I got a few options with mine, like the upgraded security system and some others. Using Edmunds numbers, I got it for $500 over invoice. I likely could have done a bit better, but taking the whole experience into consideration, I was satisfied. I've been in for routine service, no problems there.

    Juice mentioned surprise fees, but I had none of that. Doc fees were $70, that's it. All the same, look carefully as you would for any other large purchase. Best of luck!

  • lmp180psulmp180psu Posts: 393
    I recently helped my mom buy the exact configuration that you are looking at. I did all the shopping online for her and she bought the car 3 days after I contacted various dealers. I love the woodland green along with the gray/beige lower body area. The power is very good and the ride is firm yet quiet and comfortable. My older dog loves laying in the cargo area, and the "tweed" fabric is very durable and cleans up easily. The stereo is not very good, but looks easy to upgrade. The handling is great and steering is very communicative.

    We paid 18,5XX plus armrest extension and air filtration system. Very easy, quick buying process at Glanzmann Subaru in Jenkintown, PA. In fact, the salesman is the son of the owner and I went to high school with him( small world).

    Good luck with your negotiation and hopefully you will be back to tell us about your first few days with the OBS :)
  • cbmortoncbmorton Posts: 252
    I've had my 2004 OBS for two weeks now. I was a little concerned about the frameless windows as well, which I think are more of a Subaru tradition than a practical design feature, but apart from the weirdness of not having a frame there they seem to work just fine. No wind noises and no leaks. I've washed the car three times and even after being hosed down well only a little moisture gets just inside the edges of the windows but it's stopped by the rubber seal, so nothing even gets close to coming inside the car.

    As far as the seat fabric goes it's a little nerdy-looking but it feels very durable and doesn't look like it'll show fuzz or pet hair too easily so I can accept that trade-off. The grey interior of the OBS was another plus for me. I've had it with black and off-black interiors (as in the WRX) and wanted a grey one that's easier to keep clean.

    Plenty of torque from the engine (five-speed) even keeping it below 4000 rpm for break-in. The engine sound is always present and takes some getting used to but I'm enjoying listening to it now. I got the black mudguards, tweeter kit, and rear spoiler as dealer-installed options.
  • lotboylotboy Posts: 49
    Just a couple of questions:

    In the brochure it says rear wiper with "de-icer",does that mean the washer fluid nozzle that sprays the rear window?

    Do you rotate tires on AWD vehicles?

    Raised suspension on the OBS...does the TS have this too?What's the advantages of a raised suspension?

    On another post I thought I saw someone mention about a AWD suspension or system on the WRX's not found on the TS's or something?So is the AWD on the TS up to date and would the OBS and TS have the same traction in the snow?Would the WRX be even better than the TS/OBS?

    Thanks guys,was skimming through the brochure earlier and had some questions come to mind.Also, cbmorton does Subaru of London have service loaners while your car is in for service?
    cbmorton I also wanted to ask you the prices for:
    1)rear spoiler for Impreza TS
    2)rear cargo cover " "
    3)anti-theft system " "

    Thankyou soo much guys.I tell you,I have learned so much since I signed up a month ago!

  • bluesubiebluesubie Posts: 3,497
    "In the brochure it says rear wiper with "de-icer",does that mean the washer fluid nozzle that sprays the rear window?"

    I think so.

    "Do you rotate tires on AWD vehicles?"


    "Raised suspension on the OBS...does the TS have this too?What's the advantages of a raised suspension?"

    It's a little higher, to give it more of an off-roady look. TS doesn't have it.

    "On another post I thought I saw someone mention about a AWD suspension or system on the WRX's not found on the TS's or something?So is the AWD on the TS up to date and would the OBS and TS have the same traction in the snow?Would the WRX be even better than the TS/OBS?"

    WRX's and RS' have a limited-slip rear differential that transfer power between the rear tires. All manual Subaru's (except the STi) have the same AWD system. The auto-WRX's is a little more advanced, but all of the different systems are great in the snow.

  • cbmortoncbmorton Posts: 252
    The de-icer refers to the bottom defroster line on the wiper side on the rear window. It's squiggly under where the wiper sits so that the wiper won't get frozen to the glass.

    I believe that Subaru's tire rotation is front-to-rear on the same side of the car.

    Only the OBS has the raised heavy-duty suspension. I'm not sure exactly how it differs from the suspension on the TS except it has 1 cm more ground clearance than the TS and might have a better ride off-road, but I doubt it's a major difference.

    The OBS and TS have the exact same AWD system. The WRX gets a limited-slip rear diff, but its AWD system is the same in the five-speed. The auto WRX gets Subaru's VTD system, which is more advanced than the AWD system in the auto TS/OBS.

    Re loaners, John told me that if I really needed a car while mine was in for service, they could give me something with advance notice, otherwise they'll drive you/pick you up.

    The rear spoiler is $512 installed, MSRP. I don't have the pricing for the cover and security system on me since I didn't get those but I'll look it up and post later.
  • Don't know if this will be of any use to you lotboy, but here's what the pricing is for the following items in the US:

    1)rear spoiler for Impreza TS
      - $233
    2)rear cargo cover " "
      - rear cargo cover is standard on all Imprezas, if you want a rubber cargo tray then it should be $46
    3)anti-theft system " "
      -$150 (plus installation in some cases?)

  • damish003damish003 Posts: 303

    Do you just have the tweeter kit upgrade, or did you also get the upgraded speakers? Reason I ask is because I just have the stock stereo, which as you know is no great shakes. If I could get better sound with just the tweeter kit, I'd do it. Replacing all the speakers is a bit pricey for me now. Thanks.

  • Just wanted to thank everyone for helping me with the advice...Went to the dealer last night and took the car out again for a 20 min ride (instead of the usual 3 mile run that they normally do). The conditions were perfect for Subaru: raining and at night, so I got to test the handling abilities and I've got to say I'm impressed. I liked the car and decided to go with it. Got it with the following options:
    -automatic transmission
    -armrest extension ($94)
    -splash guards ($98)
    -cargo net ($27)

    All that for $18363 plus tax ($1553 or 8.125%) and registration (about $55). I didn't get the security system because the dealer said that it doesn't usually come with it and they can put it in for $383 ($150 parts, $233 labor). For that money I'd rather get an aftermarket system with the remote starter. Also, the parts department wanted $56 for rubber mats and $50 for wheel locks, which you can get for $43 and $20 at
    I'm pretty happy about the prices (heck, this beats Carsdirect by $526 which I considered to be a fair deal). So I guess one word of advice for future buyers: always email the internet manager, his price will always be lower compared to a regular walk-in sale. (A floor salesman at the same dealer quoted me at $18803 for the same config). I emailed my guy right from Edmunds ( didn't list him for some reason, but Edmunds did--thumbs up for Edmunds).
    About surprise fees: there weren't really any of them, except for a $20 doc processing fee and another $75 fee to get the car from port of entry in MA (wouldn't have to pay the $75 if I got it off the lot, but I wanted green and they only had silver and red on the lot). This $75 sounds like some unnecessary fee but I can live with that. (just want to add that those fees are not on top of the sales price, they're included in the $18363 figure that I've mentioned before). The salesman said that the car should be here in about 3-4 business days (maybe even this Saturday) and I can't wait.
    Overall, it was a pleasant buying experience so far and I'm happy with my dealer (Bill Kolb Jr in Orangeburg, NY). Plus they offer $15 oil changes in 15 mins and 38 loaner cars if I need one so those are a plus.

    Imp180psu, you're from Jenkintown area? I worked in Horsham (near Willow Grove) for 4 months this year, so as you've mentioned it is a small world.
    Haven't had a chance to visit our friends north of the border yet (cbmorton, lotboy), but will be taking the Subie to Montreal and Toronto this spring I think.

    Once again, thanks for the help guys and I'll post more details when I actually get the car. If anyone needs any help about pricing feel free to ask since I've just went through this.

  • cbmortoncbmorton Posts: 252
    Dan, I just got the tweeter kit, not the upgraded speakers. I'm not much of an audiophile, but the tweeters were so cheap to add that I thought I'd give them a try. Six speakers have to beat four. The full upgrade kit was too much to be worthwhile for me as well. High-frequency sound is directional so theoretically the sound quality should be improved by having tweeters, pointing at you, putting out that sound. If I cover the tweeter in the door with my hand and listen I do hear the highs become less distinct, so they seem to do the job, although I admit I haven't heard how the stereo sounds without them. sells them for US$65 so if you're up to installing them yourself I don't think you can go wrong at that price.

    Nick: congratulations on the new car & welcome aboard.
  • lotboylotboy Posts: 49
    How much below MSRP do you think I can get off of an Impreza TS?$22,995 here in Canada.I wish I could get the invoice on one and bargain up!


    Congrats on your new car man...
  • lotboylotboy Posts: 49
    Thanks for answering my questions guys,very helpful...heck I'm gonna know as much as the sales manager when I walk in...

    cmbmorton,what do you think of the low interest rate offered right now (1.8% Finance)?I don't know if they will offer something good like that after the new year.Kind of makes me wanna jump at it,and thanks for answering my questiions thus far.

  • cbmortoncbmorton Posts: 252
    You can get the invoice price in Canada, you just have to pay for it. and have a service where you pay $20-25 and they give you the dealer cost. Worth it if you want to drive a hard bargain. Based on the numbers for my previous car which was priced almost the same as the TS, my guess would be invoice on the TS would be in the $21,300-$21,500 range.

    The 1.8% is a new program--when I was looking at the TS at the end of September it was 3.8%, so they must really want to move them. I don't see the financing going much lower than that. I thought about waiting until the spring as well but ended up figuring if I was going to go AWD it made more sense to get it before the winter instead of after.
  • cbmortoncbmorton Posts: 252
    The security system for the Impreza TS is $329.13 MSRP in Canada plus installation of 1.0 hours, so figure on around $400.

    The cargo cover (not standard on the Canadian TS) is $272.68 MSRP.

    The spoiler is $400.21 MSRP plus 1.5 hours installation (worked out to $512 for me).
  • Does anyone know an answer to this? Can you buy a car in the US and register it in Canada?

    If so, then lotboy could just buy his TS in the states and drive it to Ontario. However, I quickly checked the prices for TS in Buffalo and Detroit areas and they're at least $830 USD higher than in my area. Same goes for options (inflated prices in Buffalo compared to around me). Carsdirect quotes a price of $16,863 USD ($21,977 CAD) for a base 5sp TS in my area, compared to $17,695 USD ($23,057 CAD) in Buffalo. My dealer beat carsdirect's price on my car by more than $500 USD, so his quote would probably be about $16,400 USD ($21,366 CAD) for a base 5sp TS.
    So you'd be saving a little over $1600 CAD by getting it here. Assuming there's no outrageous import/customs fee you'd save some cash by getting the car in the US, plus you get to enjoy the scenery on the drive here/back. (Bus/train ticket here, one night stay, and gas on the way back would be all of your expenses).

    Something to think about if it's possible (I don't know the laws about buying/importing/registering a car from the US in Canada). So I'd find out that stuff first....I was just thinking out loud...

    Hope this helps.

    P.S. I live in New York City area, about 30-40 mins north of the city (probably about 8-9 hour ride from Ontario)
  • Hey everyone,

    just wanted to report back about my Outback Sport buying experience. After putting a deposit last week the car finally arrived at the dealership on Friday and I went to check it out on Saturday. Unfortunately, since the DMV is closed on the weekends, I could not pick it up till Monday night. So everything was finalzed last night and all the papers were signed. If anyone's interested in how much I paid, here it is:
     $18,363 for the car + $10 inspection + $20 doc processing fee + $1553 tax (8.125%).
    Options included:
    -automatic transmission
    -armrest extension
    -splash guards
    -rubber strips on the roof (instead of the cargo net that I've originally requested).
    Now the extras that I want to get are the rubber mats and cargo net (should be about $80 including shipping from Also thinking about getting a security system, anyone got a favorite?
    And another thing, is there an easy way to turn the daytime running headlights off? I'll do a search on that and see what comes up.

  • cbmortoncbmorton Posts: 252
    Yes, eliminating the DRLs is fairly easy. The best way is to disconnect the DRL module, which is inside the dashboard on the passenger's side. You can remove the glove box to do it or if you're flexible enough you can reach up under the dash and pull the plug (this is what I did). There's lots of advice about doing this, including the occasional picture, in the NASIOC forums and also at
  • damish003damish003 Posts: 303

    Sounds like a terrific price there. Can't see much profit for your dealer, except for holdback of course. Seems like you did real well. Great job! As for a security system, I have the Subaru one in mine. Seems to work well...damn loud if you set it off accidently, I'll tell you that! Welcome to the group, Nick. Congrads!


  • damish003damish003 Posts: 303
    Welcome to the crew, Joseph. Stop by the Owners club and the Cafe for lots of interaction with fellow Subie owners. Hope you enjoy the OBS!

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Join us, just promise to remove the Caps Lock? ;-)

    Congrats to both new owners!

  • hunter001hunter001 Posts: 851
    My WRX Wagon was totalled recently in a rear-end collision and I went and purchased an Outback Sport.

    The good thing was that the WRX structure (same as the OBS) held up very well and my wife and I walked away from the accident without a scratch.

    I really wanted to purchase the TS wagon (without any options) but every single TS wagon in this region was loaded with foglights, roofrack cross-bars etc., (all of which were standard in the OBS), thus taking away the value equation of the TS wagon. I then decided to go for the OBS which luckily was available with no options (other than an Auto transmission). The car itself is pretty peppy within the city but is no match for the WRX Automatic at any speeds over 30mph.

    I am however thoroughly happy with the OBS and hope to keep it for a long time.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Yowsah, glad you were OK, buddy!

    I've noticed your absence in the WRX boards for a while, why didn't you say something earlier?

    Hope you like your OBS. The 2.5l actually mates pretty well to the auto, it's torquey down low.

  • Thanks for the wishes. Actually, I have been travelling a lot (domestically and internationally) over the past several months and hence was not able to follow the boards too much.

    The 2.5L is pretty well matched to the Auto trans and as long as the speeds are below 30mph or so, even beats the WRX engine. Off-the-line torque is much better than the Turbo engine. Nevertheless, I still miss the punch of the WRX...

  • Well, now in addition to selling them I'm driving one. This is my first Subaru, although I've thought they are excellent vehicles for a long time. I decided since I came over here last week to sell them I should also be an owner. Makes it better for when a customer asks which one I drive too. This one is a/t with no options (yet). I'll be around the boards and will post impressions as the miles go on. I can say after only one day that the power is impressive and the ride is more comfortable and quieter than the Civic I was in. I'm going to enjoy this until I can get away with upgrading our daughter into it and getting an STi for myself.
  • hypovhypov Posts: 3,068
    Sorry to hear 'bout your WRX :(
    Glad y'all came out OK, and congratulations on the OBS... hey, you could salvage whatever from the WRX and pass it on to the OBS i.e. shocks and springs ;-)

    L D -
    Hi again :)

  • I thought about the springs/shocks etc., but after the car was deemed a "total loss", State Farm paid off the car and towed it away to their location. So everything in the car is under their control now. :(

    Another curious thing I observed is that the TS wagon has a ground clearance of 5.9", while the Outback Sport has a clearance of 6.3". I would have thought that the WRX wagon would be lower than the TS wagon but it has a clearance of 6.1", which is very close to that of the OBS !

  • hypovhypov Posts: 3,068
    Before buying the WRX, I had considered the TS too but I wanted the VTD, LSD, disk-brakes... The TS lower clearance is because of the tires, I think.

    L D-
    which Dave?
    You're a Dave too?

This discussion has been closed.