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Subaru Impreza Outback Sport & TS



  • brekkebrekke Posts: 304
    The OBS has a softer suspension than the WRX but it is still fun to drive. You're probably spoiled by the 5sp WRX tho. Is your wife that against learning a manual? I learned on an '87 Honda less than 2 years ago and in my limited experience, today's manuals are so much easier to drive.
  • gotwrxgotwrx Posts: 52
    a little late but here's a couple of threads from i-club that might be of interest to you

    A suggested solution:
    "Fold the mirror in and put some weather stripping along the fold.

    Once you unfold it, the stripping should disrupt the wind flow and windnoise. Making it all better."

  • barresa62barresa62 Posts: 1,379
    Nice pics of the new OBS and old in the "Calling All Wagons" thread over on i-club! I thought I recognized the pic of the black beauty. :-) It's nice to see something other than a WRX.

  • gotwrxgotwrx Posts: 52
    I take exception to the WRX only being about "drive". The WRX wagon is just as much about value and utility as the OBS. Value and utility is why I bought the WRX.

    The real difference the OBS brings is slightly more off road capability, more resilient paint on the lower body (at the cost of having two tone), the words "Outback Sport" on the side (a serious non selling point according to my wife) and the outside thermometer thingy. Its a "Fun Outdoor Lifestyle" car which is fine. We all need a bit of that.

    The WRX adds a turbo, better brakes, better handling, better AWD system, better audio system, side air bags, better seats, better interior appointments, (no two tone paint or embarassing words) and remote locking is standard. These are all useful when driving. In wagon form it has the same utility as the OBS minus the rear floor mat and cross rails (~$200).

    I like the OBS alot and, but for the WRX, I would have bought one. The reason I chose (rationalized) the WRX is that I spend 98% of my time on reasonable roads and I can enjoy the Turbo anytime I drive. I love the idea of the extra off road capbility of the OBS but it would only be valuable to me 2% or less of the time I drive and then it would only be marginally better than the WRX.

    Now is the turbo alone really worth the extra? Of course not! No one needs to go 0 to 60 in < 6 seconds or buy premium gas but that's not the point. It's a blast!

    On the performance nut thing, I definately wasn't one before I bought the WRX (17 years driving a Honda civic - the same one! - now there's value) but the WRX is rotting my brain. So be warned! If you get one you might become slightly crazed too! That alone might be the best reason to stick with the OBS!

    Personally I wouldn't buy either car with an automatic but then I'm biased. Best thing to do is get someone to teach your wife to drive a manual assuming that is her only objection. Say you'd like her to learn as your bithday present. My wife learned when we got the Civic and loved it.

    Assuming that is not an option, I haven't read a bad word from any WRX owners that bought the auto. They all seem to love it. So I would base my decision on maximizing the fun/utility you are going to get from the car rather than the transmission alone.

    Other factors are that the turbo will wear out sooner and be more expensive to fix that the OBS which makes the OBS a far more sensible choice.

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Also the OBS can tow better, and has more low-end grunt than the WRX does.

  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    Even though the WRX is listed at a 2000 pound tow limit, and unlike other Imprezas, SOA does NOT offer a tow kit for this car. So that must tell you something about SOA's confidence in its ability to tow.

    Again, if performance is not at the top of your *wants* list, the OBS is in many ways a better choice, IMO&#151;especially for the money.

  • celeste2celeste2 Posts: 362
    I was doing a search to see if I could remember that "Calling All Wagons" thread you mentioned but the search function was down. Did I put a picture of both OBS's I've owned? I know I did yesterday in the Tire/Wheel forum about some Enkei's someone was mentioning.

    Here's one thought I have regarding WRX vs. OBS: you can do with the OBS what some old school Rally Sport owners have been doing with their 2.5 liter engines: add a turbo with the money you save on the difference between the two cars. The beauty in this is that you have both low end and high end power.

    I'm toying with doing this at some point, especially if there's a way to do it without a hood scoop, just in order to make it look completely stock.

    You can take off the sticky letters on the side, which I will do as soon as I can coax up a free afternoon.

    The rear bumper step guard is nice to have. I talked to a WRX owner at a club meet the other day who is getting one for her WRX wagon to protect it since her dogs get in and out of the back end.

    It's also nice to just buy regular gas especially now when gas prices are going way up again.

    However I did ride in a WRX and they are undoubtedly a little rocket!
  • gotwrxgotwrx Posts: 52
    from what I read they didn't make it an explicit option since they didn't think there would be much demand. The OE Impresa tow bar fits the WRX. The only issue is that the car is not pre-wired for it. The tow bar has a 1.25 inch reciever btw.

    I agree the OBS would probably tow better, especially with the auto gear box, but neither is exactly the ideal car for towing, especially long distances. If you tow alot I'd look elsewhere. If you need to occasionally tow something small across town or to a local lake I'm sure either car will do it fine. I am considering getting a tow bar for mine since I have a small sailing dingy. It would just be more sensible to put it on our Camry station wagon....but I want to drive the WRX....sickness.

    PS: Performance doesn't have to "top of your list" you just have to like the idea enough to pay extra. Rationalise the cost because of the side air bags. Very sensible.
  • rblelandrbleland Posts: 312
    ..shift in post 1683 above reminded me that my wife drove my month-old 5 spd. TS on Friday for the first time, and her comment was "I like it lots but I seem to be over the speed limit in it always". I think that that was a real positive statement!! Not that the auto would be any different; the stick is just more fun IMO.

  • barresa62barresa62 Posts: 1,379
    Ode to Subymomma:

    Page 16, posted 4/11

    Stephen :-)
  • twrxtwrx Posts: 647
    I think the difference is blurry. As to "offroad" capability, the OBS has 6.5" ground clearance vs. 6.1 for the WRX. Don't think either would be too good on jeep roads in Colorado without low range. As to the "drive", although the WRX way out acelerates the OBS, this years OBS now rides on the same wheel and tire combo as the WRX so it too should be a blast in the curves. Having owned a Forester with the 2.5 engine and now owning a WRX with the turbo here are some observations: the WRX's perfornmance is breathtaking, stunning, outrageous. The rush from this thing is not like anything I have ever owned before in my life. Don't worry I am sure that the OBS is fast too. When my Forester hit the streets in '98 the rave from the reviewers was how much better the acceleration performance was than any of the other small sport utes. So the OBS has the same weight vs HP that my Forester had. My Forester was a blast to drive fast. Freeway merging, lane changing, and passing were great in that car.

    So why did I get a WRX? I wanted to own the most outrageous car on the road and I still needed a wagon. Also I like my tunes on the road so the disc changer was a selling point. So were the side airbags, rear discs, momo wheel, sport seats and lsd. I optioned on the rear bumper pad and cargo tray for less than $100. I don't miss roof crossbars, never used them on my Forester. The thing I miss the most from a Forester/OBS is the rear power outlet. My ideal WRX wagon would have that and a sunroof added.

    Oh yes, did I mention how cool the hood scoop for the intercooler looks? hehe

    I think that the major point is money though. There is a $5k difference. The OBS with the larger engine and larger wheels compared to last generation should be a major improvment from the last generation. For $18k where can you get a wagon with that kind of acceleration and handling? If you don't have $24K for a WRX and cost of gas, insurance and licensing is a problem then don't pass the OBS for another brand of wagon.

  • gotwrxgotwrx Posts: 52
    The increased low end torque should make the OBS be better mannered offroad or on bad roads than the WRX. I don't think the very noticable turbo power curve would be too helpful in those situations.

    In theory, the "heavy duty suspension" vs the "sport tuned suspension" also contibutes though it hard to judge the difference from afar.

    The thicker lower body paint is another factor as is the more practical interior fabric. The WRX fabric seems a bit high maintenance being embroidered and a lint trap. There's a lot of lint off road I hear:)

    The OBS is definatly not a true offroad vehicle but it is definately a bit more rugged than the WRX imo. Maybe I'm just suckered by the marketing.

  • barresa62barresa62 Posts: 1,379 are, but that's ok, most of us are to some degree or marketing wouldn't be so necessary. :-)

    To those concerned:
    BTW, crossbars are available for the WRX wagon at the dealer or any place that sells Yahama products since this is who makes them for Subaru. I ended up getting a much better locking set of crossbars from Yahama for almost the same price as the dealer was asking. :-)
  • gotwrxgotwrx Posts: 52
    But those round ones don't look as cool as the OE ones and I think you can only get those from an authorized Subaru dealer.

    A lot of the after market stuff fits the OE rails but the round ones (or square if you get Thule) are definitely more versatile.

    PS: Us WRX folks should probably sneak off to our own thread now you've let the cat out of the bag about the marketing thing:)
  • lark6lark6 Posts: 2,565
    Yakima round bars are more versatile than the OEM ones but they're noisier. Fortunately you can buy plastic clip-on airfoils that reduce the wind noise.

  • gotwrxgotwrx Posts: 52
    but watch out. The problem I have is that while the WRX is nominally my car my wife keeps wanting to borrow it! Oh well maybe next year i can buy a STI so she can drive he WRX all she wants....Well I can dream can't I.

    One speculation about the automatic. I hear its "adaptive" which seems like a problem if you have two drivers with differnt styles. I'm a bit dubious about the whole thing. The WRX auto drivers here seem fairly rabid that its great but then WRX drivers seem to be in love with their cars. Any OBS/TS drivers care to comment?
  • gotwrxgotwrx Posts: 52
    Think Stephen is a bit of an audiophile so I'm sure he got the Yamaha :)

  • rblelandrbleland Posts: 312
    Bev is a pretty good 5 spd driver - her very 1st car was a Mini Cooper (std. of course) and I mean the original Mini - not the new one! She just prefers the auto (Solara coupe) now - phew!!

    Open question to any one who can help. My TS (in Canada) comes without the roof rails. I am considering getting them added (not the cross-bars - just the rails). I seem to recall some talk of wind noise from the rails? or cross-bars? Can anyone clarify for me please, before I go do it. Thanks.

  • barresa62barresa62 Posts: 1,379
    yeah, I meant Yakima...must have been a Freudian slip.. :-)

  • gotwrxgotwrx Posts: 52
    I learned to drive in a mini. My mum had one of the early ones - a 1959 I think. Not a Cooper tho. Great little cars.

    I haven't noticed any wind noise from my rails and OE cross rails on my WRX so I think you'll be ok.

    I've only heard of the problems like that with the yakima/thule cross bars and it is, apparently, fixable.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The Forester, Outback, and Outback Sport are all pre-wired, so the harness for the tow hitch plugs right in. IMO this is a huge bonus if you plan to tow and will install the hitch yourself (like I did). Do you really want to splice wires and risk screwing up the electricals? Not me.

    I'm not saying you can't tow with a WRX, but I'd leave the hitch installation to a pro.

    What's amazing is the flexibility of this vehicle. You have people comparing the OBS to RAV4s, while WRX wagons are test driven after Audi S4 Avants. What other car has that kind of reach in terms of competition?

  • celeste2celeste2 Posts: 362
    thanks for posting that link. I had no idea it had gone to that many pages! Do you see many 2002 Imprezas in Ireland? Where I live I'm probably the only 2002 OBS in all of Central Florida, however almost every day a see a WRX sedan. There are alot of those out there. People complain about the two tone, but except for the WRX wagon in blue, I think the two tone really adds something to the wagon that seems to lack in just one color on the WRX wagon.
  • barresa62barresa62 Posts: 1,379
    I don't live in Ireland, I just changed the city name in my profile so that I could get an Irish flag by my name to reflect the majority of my heritage. I actually live in Seattle where I see a ton o'Soobies everyday. :-) I actually post a lot in the i-club NW chapter. Here's a two-week old pic of my car:


    I also like the 2-tone on the current OBS. It's well done and not too garish. The secondary color is a lot more pleasing to the eye than the greyish color that was used prior.

  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    Hi Folks - Interesting Town Hall Subaru chat, this evening (18 April), for both Subaru Owners and non-Subaru owners. Rick Rhoades, Subaru of America Technical Service Instructor, and Pete Eike, Subaru National Fixed Operations Training Manager will discuss all aspects of maintaining your vehicle, including which areas need attention prior to making those long trips.

    If you are around at 6-7 pm Pacific Time or 9-10 ET please join us. And don't forget to fill out the interesting survey in the Chat area as well. Here's the link:


    Hatchbacks & Station Wagons Boards
  • celeste2celeste2 Posts: 362
    Nice car. If you lived in Florida you'd have to get those windows tinted dark like mine!! Silver looks pretty cool with dark tint too!!! Some get that reflective tint on the silver wagon, which looks even better IMO.

    Here's a little I-Club member showing off how the exhaust sounds on his dad's WRX wagon:

  • barresa62barresa62 Posts: 1,379
    Yeah, tinting is on my list. Of course, living in Seattle as opposed to Florida kept the tinting a little lower on my list, LOL!

  • brekkebrekke Posts: 304
    yet, in the two weeks I was in FL I saw 3 2002 OBSes, including yours!

    BTW did you get your goodies installed yet?
  • celeste2celeste2 Posts: 362
    Stephen: Did you see the pic of that little guy I inserted?

    Caroline: No I didn't order the sway bar yet. Soon, though.

    However I did switch to synthetic motor oil yesterday, Mobil 1. The engine just seems to run even quiter and smoother. It will be interesting to see if the gas mileage goes up a little, too!

    Oh yes, I did get the mudflaps yesterday and they are on now. Really look soooo nice and molded on!
  • barresa62barresa62 Posts: 1,379
    Great pic! We get em' into Subarus early, don't we? :-)

    Here's a pic of my latest (and I might add, most important) mod!
    Say hello to Mr.Mahoney. He loves bellying up to the bar...Cusco strut bar, that is.

    Stephen :-)
  • 99gs99gs Posts: 109
    How do you like the strut? Jack
This discussion has been closed.