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#1
Old 06-25-2004, 03:45 PM
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Choosing a Subaru (Outback vs. Impreza)

I'm going to be buying a new car soon, and I had decided on the Subaru Outback Sport.

I like small cars with good gas mileage, but I sometimes need to carry a lot of stuff. I keep my cars til they fall apart, so I need one that's long-term durable. And I like being able to drive to work through snow. (I live in Baltimore, where it doesn't snow much more than a few inches very often, so I don't need anything really super snow-worthy.)

The Outback Sport meets all these requirements.

When I looked in more detail, however, I found that Subaru's Impreza 2.5 RS Sport Wagon might suit me better: I don't do any off-roading, which the Outback models seem more designed for. And the fact that the Impreza is about $1000 cheaper makes me wonder if I'd be buying more car than I need with the Outback.

A friend of mine, though, says the Outback might be more long-term durable. (His wife owned one. She just used it to drive to work, and and she loved it).

I'd be interested in hearing people's opinions on this, especially if they've owned either model.
#2
Old 06-25-2004, 04:01 PM
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I have a 95 Impreza. Bought it used. The only differences I can tell between it and a 95 Outback are:
  • The paint job on the Outback is two-tone while the Impreza is monotone
  • The stock wheels are slightly different on the Outback. A bit wider, I believe, but I put the wheel size that's standard for an Outback onto my Impreza with no problems.
  • The stock engine is the same. The difference in engine size is dependent on the transmission (manual 1.8L, automatic 2.2L).

There might be slight differences in the suspension and handling as well as some of the extras, but I don't know of anything important.

Seriously, unless Subaru has made major changes in the last decade, the differences are minor.

Look at this page, about halfway down. There's a list of the differences between the Impreza and the Outback Sport.
#3
Old 06-25-2004, 05:02 PM
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As Asterion noted, the Outback Sport is basically a tarted-up Impreza wagon. I bought the base version of my '01 Impreza (last body style) specifically because I didn't personally care for the two-tone effect.

The current '04 models have the same 2.5L 165-HP engine; the Outback Sport has some extra content, including alloys as standard, and a slightly higher ride height, but much of this can be duplicated from the options list on the base model.

BTW, my Impreza just turned 60K miles this week and so far I've never had to do anything but normal servicing, plus a new set of tires at about 42K miles.

There's a known clutch chatter problem in manually-equiped versions of the pre-02 Imprezas, and mine does that a bit, but not so badly that I feel the need to fix it. Otherwise, most reliable vehicle I've ever owned. Cheers.
#4
Old 06-25-2004, 10:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El_Kabong
There's a known clutch chatter problem in manually-equiped versions of the pre-02 Imprezas, and mine does that a bit, but not so badly that I feel the need to fix it. Otherwise, most reliable vehicle I've ever owned. Cheers.
What do you mean by a "known clutch chatter problem"? I've noticed a lot of jerking when I'm driving at low speeds, but I chalked that up to the gearing ratios.
#5
Old 06-25-2004, 11:52 PM
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The problem manifests itself as a shudder in the drivetrain (as if the clutch were grabbing and releasing) when you let off the clutch. It's most noticable in cold weather and/or at very low RPMs.
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