Last post on Mar 06, 2008 at 9:25 AM
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Subaru Impreza, Subaru Outback, Subaru, Sedan, Wagon
#1 of 37 '07 vs '08 Outback Sport Driving Impressions
Aug 27, 2007 (7:20 am)
Hi there - I'm on the market for an Ouback Sport (OBS) and haven't figured out what's best for me yet. I drove the '07 and '08 OBS yesterday. The dealer let me take the cars out alone and I drove each on city streets and the freeway for about half an hour.
The '08 is a little more spirited during acceleration, but the major thing I noticed was the wind noise when traveling 55+. I'm pretty sure it was due to the roof rack. This one has huge cross bars and pillars. You could actually here a soft whistling sound while on the freeay. The '07 I drove was quieter in terms of wind noise, but I could hear a little more tire slap and road noise. It did feel a little slower while speeding up. I know it has 173 hp vs the 170 hp of the '08. The '08 has that Sportshift feature, which I played around with and did not figure out. Maybe that makes a difference?
The interior of the two cars feel pretty much the same - subuaru simple. I do like the red back lit gauges and the blue LED light where the coin tray is on the '08. The '07 was very smiple and plain, which isn't necessarily bad. I felt the '07 had more shiny silver plastic molding inside though. The cloth materials in the '07 was stiffer and dotted, while the '08 cloth had black stripes and was more giving. Oh, the '08 OBS had standard heated seats.
Cargo space and back seat room was the biggest difference. I felt more comfortable sitting the backseat of the '08. Apparently it has about 3 inches more leg room over the '07. However, the cargo/trunk space in the '08 looks much smaller. The '08 doors also open wider, which did make it a little easier getting in and out.
At the end of the day, I lost on what I should get. The dealer said he was closing out the rest of the '07s and could offer it around 18,500 before TTL and probably destination charges. The '08 I drove, which had the premium package and VDC, was about $23k. I just don’t know. My original plan was to get the ‘07s on the year-end close out, but the “updated” ’08 has some appeal. I don’t hate the new design shape of the ’08. I like the idea of the red gauges over the plain white of the ’07. I like the wider doors, bigger backseat, and guess the wind noise/whistle would be gone if I took off the rack when not in use. (is it a pain to take these off?).
So does any one out there care to share their comparison thoughts or offer any direction? It’s my first car purchase and I’ll probably drive it to the ground, so I want to make the “right” choice. Thanks!
#2 of 37 Re: '07 vs '08 Outback Sport Driving Impressions [javert_123]
Aug 27, 2007 (11:19 am)
Sounds like you prefer the 08.
Consider taking a 2nd test drive. Make sure the cross bars on the roof rack have the pointy edges facing back, like the wings of an airplane.
$23k sounds way too steep, though. I bet prices will settle within a couple of months, and we'll be seeing much better pricing. I don't see $4500 worth of extra content, though, so right now the 07 is a better value.
#3 of 37 Re: '07 vs '08 Outback Sport Driving Impressions [javert_123]
Sep 16, 2007 (5:39 pm)
Javert, this is coming to you weeks later from your original and only posting. I test drove the '08 Impreza Outback Sport a few nights ago. This is the only version of the Impreza that includes heated seats, VDC, and heated power outside mirrors. I believe that at least the heated mirrors and VDC (has on/off switch) should be STANDARD on ALL Subaru's, regardless of trim level. Alas, the importer won't be doing that anytime soon...except on these higher end trim levels.
I did note the whistle sound from the overhead tube roof rack at speeds above 40mph. They can be removed, but I did not attempt that. The sound becomes even louder as I headed past 60mph.
Headlight coverage at night was okay, but nothing impressive. The red lighting on the instrument panel is nice. But, you cannot turn it off completely when you use the fader to control illumination levels.
Interior room was adequate. However, why does a person sit so low on the passenger side? There is no manual seat height adjustment for that side, though the driver side seat does offer that feature. The seat is so low that you might find it objectionable. I could barely see above the dashboard. Wish there was height adjustable capability there!
The stock radio along with clock and outside temperature readout was nice. But, I found myself scratching my head that an idiot light is used for coolant temperature, instead of a gauge on the instrument panel. Legacy and Outback have it.
Overall, I liked the vehicle a whole lot. For MSRP of $21800 for the 4EAT tranny, its not a bad deal. I have already found decent discounting on this particular vehicle in the Rochester/Syracuse market...where snow is a way of life here for 5-6 months a year.
#4 of 37 Re: '07 vs '08 Outback Sport Driving Impressions [ike3]
Sep 17, 2007 (7:12 am)
Thanks for your input. I hadn't thought to sit in the front passenger seat. Now that I think about it, the chair did look a bit lower.
When I drive it again, I plan to take off the roof racks. I've seen some pictures online that make it look pretty easy. I've also heard from a dealer that the hitch is not a factory option so I'll have to go aftermarket to get it and the hitch mounted bike attachment. I don't like having to hoist bikes up on the roof. Anyone with any insight on how I would add a hitch later?
I've been getting some quotes around the SF Bay Area and they are comming out to be around 20.5k before TTL. These Outback Sports are pretty scarce though. Two dealers have said there aren't many rolling out of the factory because Subaru is pushing out WRXs. I'm not sure how true it is, but it could explain why a number of dealers I called didn't have any.
#5 of 37 Re: '07 vs '08 Outback Sport Driving Impressions [ike3]
Sep 17, 2007 (7:30 am)
This is the only version of the Impreza that includes heated seats, VDC, and heated power outside mirrors. I believe that at least the heated mirrors and VDC (has on/off switch) should be STANDARD on ALL Subaru's, regardless of trim level.
The WRX with premium package also has all these features.
#6 of 37 Re: '07 vs '08 Outback Sport Driving Impressions [javert_123]
Sep 17, 2007 (11:18 am)
Hitches are not that hard to install. They're a bit heavy, but it was just seven 17mm bolts on my Forester. I did it myself, with a jack to help lift and hold it in place.
I'm sure anyone could do it if they had a 2nd person helping.
#7 of 37 Re: '07 vs '08 Outback Sport Driving Impressions [javert_123]
Sep 18, 2007 (6:01 am)
Javert, your comments are noted. Yes, absolutely check out that very low slung passenger seat. The only thing I can think of is that it keeps the center of gravity low. Any regular sized or small person will need to use a seat cushion there, and that's not a safe option.
Also, regarding the removeable roof tubes...it was more of a wind roar or wind rush sound
above 40 m.p.h. Whistle sound was an incorrect term from my earlier posting.
The Outback Sport versions are not that scarce here, but are not plentiful either. The second largest Subuau dealer in the country resides less than 10 miles from my home. Yet, they had only two of them. One was a stick, the other an automatic 4 speed....4EAT in Subaru speak. Might you want to contact them and have them ship it to you? Costly, true. Or check with a dealer in Minnesota or in the Rockies? Such as Salt Lake City, Denver/Boulder area? Just an idea.
#8 of 37 Re: '07 vs '08 Outback Sport Driving Impressions [ike3]
Sep 26, 2007 (12:21 am)
Thanks for the info. I'm now debating if the outback sport is worth it. The main two reasons I like it over the regular 2.5i wagon are 1) I think the seats are made of better materials, and 2) I like the concept of a "heavy duty suspension".
I admit my ignorance when it comes to the suspension... The real reason I want it (and please correct me if I'm wrong) is that I thought a raised suspension might help make the ride more comfortable/smoother when going over rough streets. The freeways in the bay area are torn to shreds and I feel every bump in my civic. Does a heavy duty suspension address this at all?
#9 of 37 Re: '07 vs '08 Outback Sport Driving Impressions [javert_123]
Sep 26, 2007 (6:44 am)
That's exactly what it would address, at least in theory. In reality I'm not sure just how different the suspension is.
#10 of 37 Re: '07 vs '08 Outback Sport Driving Impressions [javert_123]
Oct 17, 2007 (10:07 pm)
Hello, here is the difference in the suspension. The Outback is about 2" higher than the standard model, 2.5i. After driving both extensively, I can tell you definitively that the Outback Sport is more tuned for "sporting" driving, has considerably better ground clearance, and is a lot stiffer in response. This comes in very handy with the symmetrical AWD because here in Colorado with both straight hiways and deep snows to contend with, the car does great. With the suspension coupled with the seats, the ride can be stiff. It can handle dry roads more aggressively in corners (WATCH the rear end-it tends to come about in extreme cornering). The factory 2.5i suspension in the sedan will not handle the rigors of deeper snow (8"+). Believe me, we have both cars ('06 sedan and wagon). When the going is really snowy, hands down the wagon is the pick. When it's shiny, either the sedan or wagon is fun. Bulletproof cars; don't hesitate buying one when you choose the right one for you. The difference between the 06 and 07 is literally the 07 does not come with an ashtray - ask any dealer.