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Old 07-24-2004, 04:51 PM   #1
Chrspy640
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Default Outback Sport vs 2.5 RS Wagon

I'm planning on buying a new Impreza wagon. I'm interested in either an OBS or the RS Wagon. I haven't been able to find an OBS in my area to test drive; can anyone compare it with the RS wagon? Specifically, how much of a difference does the raised suspension make as far as handling is concerned? I drive mostly on paved roads (although the roads here in mid Michigan are pretty bad) and occasionally on dirt/gravel. Apart from the suspension, I like that the OBS comes with foglights, crossbars, the extra power outlet and temperature gauge. Thanks!
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Old 07-24-2004, 07:32 PM   #2
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You can get all that stuff on an RS Wagon except the rear power outlet, so don't let that be the "decider" for you. All things being equal if I had to choose, it would be a new 05 Outback. They are just too nice looking. Subaru has so many nice looking wagons though, so if the money is there, compare the Forester, WRX Wagon, and Legacy Wagon as well.
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Old 07-24-2004, 10:25 PM   #3
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The suspension is different on the two - the outback sport has a larger turning radius, as well as more ground clearance - so something is different - no idea if that's something you would notice on the road. The other thing the outback sport has is the rear cargo light. You can add the fog lights and roof rack to the RS as an accessory (and wiring up the light and the rear outlet wouldn't be too much of a challenge, either). Comparably equipped (differences above aside) the RS is a little cheaper. (to make the two comparable as you can, the RS needs the roof rack, rear bumper cover, cargo tray, fog lights, and splash guards, I think)
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Old 07-25-2004, 09:40 PM   #4
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Thank you for the replies. Unfortunately the Legacy-based cars are a little out of my price range, and the Forrester doesn't seem to have any real advantage over the RS Wagon or the OBS. Subaru's website lists the turning circle of both as 33.5 feet, so I guess the suspension can't be that different. I guess I'll probably go with an Outback Sport.
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Old 07-25-2004, 09:57 PM   #5
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It's a bit higher, different springs but the same struts... at least on the 03s.
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Old 07-26-2004, 10:31 AM   #6
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The OBS is better if you even hint of the idea of going off pavement. It also has an outdoor temp gauge, and neat two-tone paint. If you get the bas 2.5TS, don't they still come with 15" steelies? I have a MY02 OBS and I like it a lot. Brian
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Old 07-26-2004, 10:56 AM   #7
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The RS wagon gets 16" alloys for 2005. I've driven a 2004 TS wagon back-to-back with my 2004 OBS and I found the OBS rolls a bit more on hard corners, but that's what you'd expect with it sitting slightly taller. Apart from that I didn't notice any difference. The extra ground clearance is nice when driving through very deep snow or on rough washed-out dirt tracks through the bush but the difference in height is so small that I don't think an RS would be noticeably less capable. Personally I went with the OBS because of the equipment differences: the OBS came with things standard that you'd either have to add to the TS or couldn't get at all.
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Old 07-26-2004, 12:35 PM   #8
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not sure how the 05 RS wagons are, but the 04 TS definitely need a bit tighter suspension. I test drove both before settling on the OBS. The TS dove quite a bit under heavy braking, and fast lane changes caused plenty of drama(felt like my old coROLLa). Though the OBS is taller and seems to roll more than the TS initially, the stiffer suspension calmed things down much faster than the TS. I did like the single color scheme of the TS better than the OBS though, I guess w/ some suspension tweaks the two would be pretty much equal.
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Old 07-27-2004, 10:10 AM   #9
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You really need to drive them back to back on both twisty paved roads and on gravel. Unless you really really need the extra ground clearance I think you will find the RS wagon handles a lot better and is still fine on gravel roads. (I drove my 95 legacy wagon over all sorts of crappy gravel roads and through snow with no problems. I also just got back from Iceland where our rental car was an Impreza wagon similar to the RS. It also had no trouble with lousy gravel roads.)
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Old 07-27-2004, 03:10 PM   #10
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Don't forget that MY05 OBS also now have heated seats!
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Old 07-27-2004, 03:25 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kulaid982
Don't forget that MY05 OBS also now have heated seats!
That is not the case as far as I know. Unless you are talking Canadian vehicles.
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Old 07-27-2004, 05:29 PM   #12
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I wonder what a PRE '02 RS Wagon would have looked like? hmmm...Anybody got ideas/pics?
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Old 07-27-2004, 07:09 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CatchMyDrift
I wonder what a PRE '02 RS Wagon would have looked like? hmmm...Anybody got ideas/pics?
I would describe the progression of the N/A non-OBS wagon model line this way:

Current RS Wagon took the place of the 04-02 TS which replaced the 01 and earlier L Wagons.

I 'think' you were asking a serious question, thus my response.

Last edited by Rice & Gravy; 07-27-2004 at 07:16 PM.
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Old 07-27-2004, 07:19 PM   #14
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I assume the PRE 02 RS wagon would have looked a lot like the JDM or EDM WRX wagons. I liked the dual rear spoilers on the GC8 Wagons.
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Old 07-28-2004, 02:13 AM   #15
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When I drove them the only differences where in features.

The OBS is supposed to have a stronger suspension, but I don't really know if that is just marketing talk. ie: it is higher, sort of, so it is heavy duty.

The Forester is a little bit different. It offers Everything the OBS offers with more Ground clearance, More head room inside, and more upper cargo space, the part that never gets used, plus the cargo bed is a little bit longer.

Main difference is the Forester has side air bags, has a limited option leather seats, and an option sunroof.

But it is not as big inside as a Legacy, particularly in the back seat. If you plan on taking more then two full size adults anywhere, look at a Legacy sedan or wagon. 04 L's can also be had at very good prices now. 05 2.5i are not much more than an OBS; $2000. The RS wagon is $1000 less.

But it also depends on how big you or your passengers are going to be. The front seats are the WRX high bolstered seats. ie: the seat base has the high bolsters, and if your tall or big, your going to be uncomfortable at best or put your legs to sleep.
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Old 07-28-2004, 10:28 AM   #16
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Go for the OBS- 2 tone paint rules!

I love my OBS- it's been on road, off road, autox'd, etc. It's small enough to still be nimble, and large enough to carry a bunch of stuff.

I test drove the TS when I was looking- the difference in the height of the suspension isn't large enough to really affect the handling IMHO.

I'm sure you'll enjoy whichever one you decide on
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Old 07-28-2004, 11:19 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diabolical1 CC
05 2.5i are not much more than an OBS; $2000. The RS wagon is $1000 less.
RS wagon: $17995 (US) / $22995 (CDN)
OBS: $18895 (US) / $27395 (CDN)
Legacy 2.5i wagon: $21995 (US) / $28995 (CDN)
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Old 07-28-2004, 12:50 PM   #18
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Ahh but the Sedan 2.5i is a $1000 cheaper than the wagon.

The Truck is huge, and it has a pass through that will fit longer things.

The only thing it can't carry is sheets of plywood, or maybe long wide cabinets. Unless you take them apart, like Ikea stuff.

The Trunk has less volume but that is because it doesn't have the height of the wagon, but almost no-one uses the uppermost part of the wagon anyway. (can't see out).

Additions like strut bars in the back still get in the way a little bit, but less so in a sedan. And the Sedan has more rigidity.

The benefit is when you have 2 big people in the back and they have a table between them, arm rests on each side, and a pleasent amount of leg room.

Before I got this Sedan, I was all in support of just getting a wagon. But after I considered the alternative I must say 99% of the time I'm not going to miss it.

Last edited by Diabolical1 CC; 07-28-2004 at 01:10 PM.
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Old 07-28-2004, 12:57 PM   #19
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The 05 RS Wagon comes with some pretty nice alloys and REALLY comfy seats. If I could have waited a little longer and had a few more $$$ I would have gotten the RS Wagon.

I think most of it comes down to if you like the two-tone and a little more ground clearance or race type seats and monotone paint.

Bry.
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Old 07-28-2004, 01:37 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chrspy640
Thank you for the replies. Unfortunately the Legacy-based cars are a little out of my price range, and the Forrester doesn't seem to have any real advantage over the RS Wagon or the OBS. Subaru's website lists the turning circle of both as 33.5 feet, so I guess the suspension can't be that different. I guess I'll probably go with an Outback Sport.
You can fit a bike without removing the wheels in a Forester. That's one major difference
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Old 07-28-2004, 02:05 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ricochet
You can fit a bike without removing the wheels in a Forester. That's one major difference
Actually the Impreza Wagon and Forester are based on the same chassis, so you can fit the same bike in the Forester or Impreza. (Trust me, I've owned both a 2004 Forester and 2004 Impreza)

The only difference is a little bit of height in the rear. You can take off the front wheel of the bike and put it over the back of the seat when put down and store two bikes, wheels, helmets and all your accessories.
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Old 07-28-2004, 04:28 PM   #22
bmorton
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The Legacy 2.5i sedan is $27795, so that's $1200 less than the wagon and $400 more than the OBS, but $4800 more than an RS wagon.

This is my second wagon and personally speaking I'll never go back to a sedan. I've had mine filled up to the ceiling several times, including just last weekend on an Ikea run (not everything they sell is flat). Once I saved on delivery fees by bringing home a 7-cu.ft. chest freezer in its box. I don't need the extra space every day but man, I'm glad to have it regularly enough to make me a wagon convert. I haven't seen a base 2.5i wagon yet but the local dealer has some 2005 Outbacks and they're very sharp.
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Old 07-29-2004, 02:26 AM   #23
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2.5i Sedan
Starting from: $27,995
2.5i Wagon
Starting from: $28,995
2.5i Ltd Sedan
Starting from: $35,195
2.5i Ltd Wagon
Starting from: $36,695
2.5GT Sedan
Starting from: $36,495
2.5GT Wagon
Starting from: $37,495
2.5GT Ltd Sedan
Starting from: $40,295
2.5GT Ltd Wagon
Starting from: $41,795
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Old 07-29-2004, 04:14 AM   #24
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There is fully loaded 2.5 GT Wagon at a local dealer for $31000. $37000 is nuts.
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Old 07-29-2004, 04:21 AM   #25
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Canadian Prices above not US.
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