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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone - first time posting here. Just bought a 05 OBS with the Special Edition package - got a nice deal! This will be replacing a (much loved) 98 Outback Limited.

I got the gray metallic color, looks really nice. I should take delivery in a day or 2.

Has anyone here "downsized" from a full-size OB to the OBS? Besides the obvious size difference, anything else differences I'll notice?

Glad I found this forum!
 

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2004 OBS 5MT
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Congratulations on the new car! I've driven a '97 Outback back-to-back with my '04 OBS and my seat-of-the-pants impression was that my car was a fair bit peppier in the engine department, had noticeably crisper handling, and seemed much more solid. Of course, all of those things are exactly what you'd expect when comparing a relatively brand-new car to one that's seven years and 100,000 miles old. You'll probably notice that the new car feels quite different.

I haven't seen an OBS in that new crystal grey colour, so if you have the ability, please post some photos when you get it.

My 2004 is one year and one week old today. Zero problems to date and it's been better than expected on gas. Hope yours is as good.
 

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02 OB sport, 2.5, 5MT, WRX seats/catback/rear bar, Hellas, Home Despot CAI and roof rack
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bienvenidos!

i used to live with a 95 Legacy (same gen as yr OB) and now have an 02 OBS. while car feels like i'm wearing it and won't carry much inside, it feels like an "optimized" version of Legacy to drive due to less weight, shorter wheelbase, possibly tighter strut valving. i suspect, all else being equal, a Legacy is theoretically slightly more directionally stable at 85+ mph or in crosswind due to longer wheelbase, but i sure have no complaints abt the OBS in this dept. if you get off road much, the OBS appears to have significantly less front and rear overhang to snag on terrain.

can't speak for power as the ole 95 was a 2.2 rather than a 2.5, but this car flat scoots with slightly opened up int and exh (home depot CAI, K&N in stock airbox, and WRX pipe, total cost <$100).

altho "much loved 98 OB" is redundant around here....

bw
 

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Superb Moderator, ,
MY12 WRX, MY07 FXT
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I have one of each. Well, a MY02 OBS and a MY03 Baja (Legacy) And my little OBS is much more fun to drive than the Baja. The Baja is more comfy for the long haul, but my OBS is funner to drive. And my OBS kicks butt on the wife's Baja when it comes to quickness.

Then again, my car isn't stock and her's is minus the Heinzflow CAI. Brian
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the reponses! Well I picked up the car this wednesday, and so far I'm thrilled! Lots less room compared to my 98 OB, but I'm by myself in car almost all the time. Not to brag (too much, anyway), but the color combo of this thing is REALLY NICE - it's gray metallic with crystal gray. Nice and subtle, you can hardly see the "Outback Sport" decals! Being that this color combo is only available on SE models, I'm hopeful I won't see one every 2 miles like I did with my green 98 OB. It's a blast to drive compared to the OB! Handles really nice. Are those Potenza tires OK in the wet/snow? Stock stereo with sub sounds pretty good to me - nice dash layout, also.

A question: what is that plastic thing next to the middle rear seat headrest? (I know, I know read the manual...)
 

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Tokyo's between my toes
2001 Wintergreen Outback 5MT
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I won't see one every 2 miles like I did with my green 98 OB.
:D

Yeah, that's exactly what I have ("Spruce Pearl") and I see my car all over the place.
 

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OBS Obsessed, ,
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Pwilli said:
Thanks for the reponses! Well I picked up the car this wednesday, and so far I'm thrilled! Lots less room compared to my 98 OB, but I'm by myself in car almost all the time. Not to brag (too much, anyway), but the color combo of this thing is REALLY NICE - it's gray metallic with crystal gray. Nice and subtle, you can hardly see the "Outback Sport" decals! Being that this color combo is only available on SE models, I'm hopeful I won't see one every 2 miles like I did with my green 98 OB. It's a blast to drive compared to the OB! Handles really nice. Are those Potenza tires OK in the wet/snow? Stock stereo with sub sounds pretty good to me - nice dash layout, also.

A question: what is that plastic thing next to the middle rear seat headrest? (I know, I know read the manual...)
Congrats! That color is nice and yeah, the downsizing will take some getting used to. I went from a Legacy wagon to the 04 OBS and while I gained HP I lost room. The OBS are great (I have 2)! Not only will you not see many cars the same color as yours, you won't see many fellow Outback Sports around period. They only make about 6000 of these a year. The Potenzas are ok but not great as long as they are new. Once they get some wear on them they wont be much good in snow. And I found that they hydroplane very easily even brand new!

Enjoy the new car. I don't know what that piece is either. :)
 

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Tokyo's between my toes
2001 Wintergreen Outback 5MT
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Plastic thing - child seat anchor point?
 

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2004 OBS 5MT
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The "plastic thing" attached to the centre rear headrest is a guide for the shoulder belt for the middle passenger. I took the centre headrest out anyway to clean up the rear view. No one's ever going to sit back there in my car.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Another question: On the OBS, is there supposed to be a tray that comes standard that fits over the spare tire well? I'm confused because on the Subaru website it lists "concealed under floor storage tray" as standard. In the 2005 brochure, it seems like only the WRX wagon gets this. When I asked my dealer, he says he didn't know, and gave me one out of a WRX wagon. I appreciated it but am still curious if it was supposed to come with the car or not. Also, if it isn't supposed to come with it I want to pay for it - I don't want to come off like I was looking for something for nothing.

TIA for any reponses!
 

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'04 Subaru Impreza Outback Sport H-4 4EAT Platinum Silver Metallic
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Pwilli said:
Another question: On the OBS, is there supposed to be a tray that comes standard that fits over the spare tire well?
Same situation as me, except I never got one of those. I asked about it and the salesman said he'd ask. Never heard back. But what I understood is that "subfloor storage", as mentioned on my itemized price sticker, means those other floor panels that lift up which have places under them. Three altogether, not counting the spare wheel one.

The cargo cover, if you have one, can be removed and will fit into the rearmost pair across the hatch end of the spare's panel.

The other is next to the rear seat, not sure what it would hold but has a rounded place at one end.

As for the thing you got from the dealership, they call that a storage bin, I believe. Although, there's supposedly one that goes in like the cargo mat (or tray), with compartmentalized sections, that I saw at a web page of Subaru stuff for sale. Was called cargo bin, unlike the wording of storage bin.

So I finally figured that maybe the storage kind, like you were given, was only for the larger Outback, esp. since I couldn't locate anything online and the dealership apparently didn't have them.

If it fits okay, then lucky you! Don't look a gift horse in the mouth, as they say. ;)

I might have to check into that again now. The good people here tried to answer this question for me a month or so ago and it was still confusing me, somewhat, without pictures to see.
 

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02 OB sport, 2.5, 5MT, WRX seats/catback/rear bar, Hellas, Home Despot CAI and roof rack
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which "potenza" do you have? Bridgestone now uses that term on all their even vaguely performance oriented tires, sorta like Goodyear does "Eagle" and Goodrich does "T/A".....covers a lot of tires. if yours are RE92s, you'll find lots of commentary on them, mostly but not all bad, on various threads here. i don't hate em too much, but i have em on my old mazda pickup rather than anything with cornering pretensions/aspirations. no idea on snow, tho.

one suggestion: when getting parts/accessories, realize that very few people off this list have ever even heard of an OBS, let alone know it's the Impreza-based OB. you might want to avoid even mentioning word "OB" for stuff other than the suspn etc stuff where there's a difference between the reglr Impreza and the OBS....i've had to return sevl parts sent to me by outfits that think "OB" invariably denotes Legacy-based car.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
You are right - my tires are RE92's. I hear what you're saying regarding Outback vs. Outback Sport designations - when I told people I got the "smaller Outback", they didn't know what I was talking about!

Thanks for the advice, duly noted!!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Well, I now have about 1300 miles on my 05 OBS. You guys were right - the handling is MUCH better than my '98 Outback. Ride is a little rougher, but I have to check tire pressure. All in all, I'm really pleased with it. The SE is a really great value - IMO there's not too much out there that competes with it in it's price range.

One question: Although it hasn't actually come loose yet, the center seat belt holder in the cargo area doesn't look to be capable of holding the seat belt in there. I have had to push it down a few times as it was ALMOST out. Anybody else notice this? (A stupid minor thing, I know, I know....)
 

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02 OB sport, 2.5, 5MT, WRX seats/catback/rear bar, Hellas, Home Despot CAI and roof rack
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The SE is a really great value - IMO there's not too much out there that competes with it in it's price range.

yeah....it's not a corolla or civic, and it's not an SUV....but it does civic better than any SUV and SUV better than any other econobox. and iconoclastic funk better than either....

my only (occasional) regret is that sometimes i wish for the turbo motor of Rex. 'course, given the roughly 20 cent/gal difference between regular and premium, that isn't too often...
 

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2004 OBS 5MT
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Pwilli said:
One question: Although it hasn't actually come loose yet, the center seat belt holder in the cargo area doesn't look to be capable of holding the seat belt in there. I have had to push it down a few times as it was ALMOST out. Anybody else notice this? (A stupid minor thing, I know, I know....)
Yup, if you're talking about that plastic seat belt clip starting to pop out of the side of the cargo bay, mine's the same. I took it all the way out once and it looks like it just doesn't snap in particularly well, so any tension at all on the belt starts to pull it out. However, mine only comes out about 1/4" or less and that's it, so it's not like it's just about to fall off completely.
 
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