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Subaru Impreza Outback Sport & TS



  • damish003damish003 Posts: 303
    I own both of these cars, so I'll share my thoughts. Simply put, if you intend to drive your car off-road at all, such as forest roads or unpaved roads, spend the money for the OBS. The OBS is not intended for serious off-roading as it doesn't have a low range, but will do just fine for casual dirt and such. On the other hand, my RS wagon handles a bit better for highway and normal driving.

    Take note of a couple things the RS wagon doesn't have that the OBS does. Besides the roof rack that Juice mentioned, the RS wagon doesn't have an outside temperature gauge, nor does it have courtesy map lights. I've gotten used to having them in my OBS, and my wifes RS wagon seems naked without them.

    Just so you know, my OBS is a 2004 and the RS wagon is a 2005. Both cars are just great, so pick your poison based on how you plan to drive. Good luck!

  • ozman62ozman62 Posts: 229
    Canadian RS Wagons do have roof rails.
  • 204meca204meca Posts: 370
    FWIW, Consumer Report says the non OBS models have a smoother ride and more stable handling than the OBS. Not everyone here gives CR a lot of credence but their cars are tested by professionals. It may be primarily a function of increased height as someone earlier said they did not think there was a whole lot of difference between the suspensions.
  • cbmortoncbmorton Posts: 252
    No complaints about my '04 OBS. Had it since Oct '03. Never had a problem, it's fun to drive, has lots of room and great on gas. I've also driven a non-OBS wagon and although I didn't notice any difference in the ride, it did seem a little flatter through the corners. That's about the only thing I noticed.

    Personally I think the OBS in Canada is overpriced, so I'd recommend paying more attention to the RS wagon, particularly the RS wagon Special Edition (the one with a sunroof) if you can still find one. There are a lot fewer differences between the RS and OBS for 2005 than there were for 2004, but for some reason they made the price gap larger for 2005 instead of smaller.

    The OBS gives you heated seats, fog lights, the outside temperature display, and a few extra accessories, but it's not even close to 4000 bucks worth. Save your money and go with the RS or RS SE.
  • billmchalebillmchale Posts: 107
    How come you get the sunroof in the Impreza Wagon and we don't in the USA. It just aint fair :(. About the only thing that is keeping the Impreza from being at the top of my list for my next car is that you can't get an Impreza Wagon (Or OBS or WRX either) with a sun roof. I know its silly, but I have become quite fond of having one and use my current one all the time.

  • damish003damish003 Posts: 303
    We also don't get heated seats for the OBS or the RS wagon, unlike you lucky Canadians. On the flip side, you have Subaru of Canada. From what I've heard, you can keep it. Now if we could share Subaru of America and get sunroofs in our Impreza's in return...well, that would be OK, right? Heh,heh.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Yeah, you guys get all the cool stuff. Like heated seats on plenty of models, and unique special edition models. Then again your prices are higher and service is not as good.

    SoC did not match SoA's 8/100 warranty for the head gaskets, and that's a biggie.

  • cbmortoncbmorton Posts: 252
    Yes, Subaru in Canada has made some interesting decisions on pricing, marketing and service.

    As far as the sunroof goes the OBS is the only wagon that you can't get with a sunroof here, so also being a sunroof fanatic I had to have an aftermarket one installed. Works great and I use it all the time. But if I was shopping now I'd pick up the RS SE wagon, with the sport interior, factory sunroof, spoiler, 6-disc CD, etc. That's an attractive package.

    I recall there being an OBS SE in the US that we didn't get, but there wasn't a sunroof in that one either. Guess SoA figures Americans don't want them.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Yes we do have a discussion on the Impreza sedan but it was archived. I reopened it and you are welcome to get it revived! Here's the link: Subaru Impreza.

    Have fun!
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  • pl67pl67 Posts: 1
    Quick question. My front bumper piece of my 2004 impreza was hit, but the rest of the car is totally fine. Does anyone know the approximate cost of replacing the front bumper on the impreza? any help would be greatly appreciated :"> :sick:
  • enjoienjoi Posts: 1
    Hey there, i have been an avid reader of this forum for about 6 months and now i actually have something important to post!

    Anyways, i have a 2005 OBS SE which i absolutely love. The best car i have ever driven and there is only one think i dont like about it. I have never been a spoiler kind of guy, but the only way to get an SE was with a spoiler. Every other option in the package was an incredible deal, but i just cant stand the way the spoiler looks on this car. It is just not for me. Not to mention the fact that it really gets in the way when i have my skis on the roof rack. I always have to watch out and make sure i dont hit the spoiler on my skis and ding up the back, it is quite the pain.

    I am wondering a couple of things. I know the panel on the top of the tailgate comes off, so i am wondering if there is anyone out there who can tell me where i might be able to find a woodland green pearl tailgate panel without a spoiler. i would be willing to trade with someone if they are interested. But if anyone knows where i can find one i would love to know.

    next, i have spoken to a couple auto repair shops and all of them tell me it would cost me about 300 dollars to take the spoiler off, weld up the holes and re paint the panel. one of them said that it is a very invasive procedure and he wouldnt reccommend it because of future corrosion possibilities. The other told me it would be a problem.

    I would just like to know what anyone thinks about this, and if anyone has any other suggestions. Who wants to help me out and tell me what they think i should do? do i have any options? Hope to hear from someone soon! feel free to e-amil me,

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Maybe you'll find a wrecked one here with the hatch intact:

    That's a junk yard that specializes in Subies.

    Same color? Odds are slim. To repaint would cost a couple hundred, so it may not be worth it.

    pl67: use the same place to find a front bumper. Should be $150 or less.

  • skiliftskilift Posts: 6
    Anyone have any idea how involved replacing the front bumper cover on an '04 OBS is? I have been trying to decide whether to make an attempt myself, or just take it to a body shop. Also, for anyone who is interested: I have found my OBS to be bulletproof when driven in a reasonable manner no matter the conditions (including up steep roads with 1+ feet of fresh snow over a layer of packed snow/ice). However, I would not recommend repeatedly and intentionally putting it sideways on a narrow, snow-covered road (don't worry, the road was deserted) to see if you are able to pull it out of the slide. After two successful corrections, I missed the third. Luckily, all I hit was a snow bank. Unluckily, I tore the narrow strip of the front bumper cover that runs under the license plate. Lesson learned.
  • tjump42tjump42 Posts: 3
    I'll mostly second your statement damish ... I just "put down" on a RS wagon yesteday, hopefully taking delivery today, and since I mountainbike quite a bit poor-surface roads are de-rigeur for me.

    I drove the wrx, rs, and obs models of the impreza and pretty much liked them all, and ended up deciding the rs was best for me.

    I didn't, in the end, want as much power as the wrx has, nor the fuel bill, and probably not the insurance.

    I found that while the obs would have been exceptional on the poor roads, I did not like the body motion that I got when, er, manouvering the vehicle somewhat, compared to the stiffer more road-oriented rs.

    I know that I'll pay with some more vibration and bounce, and needing some more attentive driving on some of the crap roads, but seeing as I never had much problems with my old honda civic years ago I figure I'm still way ahead of the game there, and since most of my driving will in fact be paved I'm going to be happier with the RS.

    But like you said ... which are you going to spend more time on ... dirt or pavement.

    I'm probably also going to miss the extra power outlet that's in the obs, but not enough for the xtra $$$ of the vehicle. :^)
  • wonswons Posts: 10
    I have to sell my car, so I put an ad in the local paper, but have gotten very few calls. What is important to include in an ad? I have an OBS, but I wondered if people get confused seeing Impreza and OB together. Not Subie fans, of course, but the general population. I'm in lower MI, several Subies around. Maybe the used car market just isn't very good right now.

    I love my car, I'm selling only because of a back injury which makes it difficult to sit in a bucket seat or drive a stick shift.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Is definitely a buyer's market, not a seller's. Discounts on new cars are so heavy that most people just buy new.

    When I look in an ad, is MUST include the following info or I won't even bother calling: asking price (most important) and whether that's OBO or Firm, miles, tranny type, color, condition, year, and important options. If you have service receipts mention that. If state inspection is required before the sale and you've done it definitely mention that as well.

    Put a For Sale sign on the car itself. Also consider an ad on one of the web shopping sites like or Craigslist.

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    I must add that you should DEFINITELY call it an Outback Sport in your ad, NOT an Impreza Outback. Nobody has heard of Impreza - I learned that quickly when talking to people by phone when I sold mine three years ago. Plus, lots of people know what an Outback is - when they call you just have to make sure they know your car is the "smaller, faster version" of the Outback.

    Also, it can't hurt to include that it is AWD in the ad. Yes, Subarus are all AWD, but it is a selling point and the buying public is notoriously ignorant on things ike that.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Timing - sell it in October or November, when the first snow forecast comes...

  • wonswons Posts: 10
    for all the good info! I had a feeling that Impreza would just confuse folks. I did put all the important stuff in there, except mpg and maintenance records. And, I wish I had the luxury of time to sell this car, but I haven't driven in 4 1/2 months...and now that I'm feeling better, I can't wait to get on the road. Just a shame that I can't drive my favorite car!

    Now to change the ad. Thanks again, everyone!
  • I own a '97 Impreza OBS and I have just installed a draw-tite hitch (fantastic alternative to OEM hitch). However I am having trouble with wiring. Can I please get some advice on the following:

    (1) Where is the exact location for the factory plug-n-play adapter for the trailer wiring? I have looked in the spare tire area and cannot find it there. Anyone know?

    (2) Is there a cheaper alternative than the $90+ subaru plug-n-play harness? If so, could you offer what to do in detail? I have a draw-tite brand harness and I've wired it in but cannot tell if it is working properly. I feel I've hooked it up correctly, but am unsure if the draw will be too heavy on the electrical system.

    I've searched the forum but cannot find the answers to these questions. I'm moving to Denver from San Diego on Friday and I'm planning to tow a small 4'X8' Uhaul with my couch in it (load will be less than 1000 lbs) and I'm worried about getting the wiring sorted out. I will drop $90 for the subaru wiring, but I'm worried I'll have trouble finding the place to plug the wiring into, and also worried that the part won't arrive in time for my move. I fell ill for 2 weeks and wasn't able to get to all of this until recently! Any advise would be greatly appreciated, thanks!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    On my Forester, it was in the spare tire well, towards the back wall near the bumper. IIRC towards the passenger side.

  • jbolkajbolka Posts: 2
    I own a 2004 OBS and am about to move from the West Coast to the East Coast, transporting everything I own in my car. I recently purchased a Yakima Rocket box (wt. 45 lbs) and will be transporting my bike (25 lbs) on my roof rack as well. The stock Subaru roof rack is rated at 100lbs (which would inhibit me from transporting many items in my cargo box given that 70 lbs. are already accounted for, thus making it's purchase almost worthless). My question: has anyone successfully transported more than 100 lbs. on their stock Subaru roof rack a long distance w/o problems? Thanks for any input.
  • Thanks for your answer juice. As I feared I still did not find the plug (my car was rear-ended and perhaps the shop didn't replace this part?). Anyway, I installed the draw-tite trailer harness and I hope that works with the system okay.

    Has anyone heard of using a non-subaru trailer wiring setup?

    To lessen the draw, what if I removed the bulbs from my tail lights while my trailer was attached?

    Thanks for any further advice!
  • blangeblange Posts: 1
    I am thinking about purchasing a 2000 Impreza Outback for my son to take to college. It has 140000 miles on it. Is there anything in particular look out for as I am not familiar with this car. Thanks in advance for any help.
  • ericf1ericf1 Posts: 54
    So no safety updates for sure for 2006? It seems a shame if true- I don't think I can wait for 2007 and I really don't think I'll purchase a car that doesn't pass side impact tests this time around.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    At that mileage make sure they have receipts for the schedule maintenance. The timing belt should have been done at 105k, and by now basically every single thing that is scheduled to be replaced should already have been done.

    '00 so check the head gaskets for oil seepage, block should be oil-stain-free. It was covered for 100k miles but not 140k, no way. Also inspect both rear wheel bearings, listen for noise. Brakes should be smooth, no pulsating.

    With age and high miles it's all about how it was taken care of.

  • 5greyhounds5greyhounds Posts: 338
    I just purchased a 2005 OBS, Aqua Blue Met/Crystal Gray Met trim. It is a very nice looking car. Actually I got it for my wife but I will be the one taking care of it. It has the Special Edition Package with the rear spoiler, armrest extension, 260 watt audio system and auto dimming mirror with compass. My wife liked how it drove (reminded her of her 1990 Maxima). We had to make sure our dogs (Retired Racing Greyhounds) would fit and two of then do just fine. Seems solid and rides well. But then again it only has 104 miles on it. I was surprised by the oil change interval. It says 7,500 in the book but I do Mobil One and a new filter every 5k on my other cars and will keep that up with this one but will get rid of the original oil at 1k along with the filter.
  • damish003damish003 Posts: 303
    Congrads on the purchase there, Paul, and welcome to the Subaru side of the forum. I got my wife an 05 RS, and drive an 04 OBS myself. I'm sure you and your wife will really enjoy the car.

    Depending on how you drive, you're probably safe with oil change every 3000-3500 miles. 5k seems a bit too long.

    How do you like the upgraded stereo? Worth the extra $ ?

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Under the "extreme" driving schedule, which most people qualify for.

This discussion has been closed.