1999 Impreza New Car Test Drive
The Subaru Impreza Outback Sport combines sporty handling and all-weather performance in a practical wagon that's fun to drive. A slight increase in horsepower, a smoother transmission and reduced emissions highlight the refinements for 1999.
All Subarus come with all-wheel drive and Subaru makes one of the best all-wheel-drive systems on the market. Subaru races the Impreza in the World Rally Championship, a challenging form of racing that takes place on narrow, winding roads covered with dirt, gravel, snow, ice and wet and dry pavement. It's the ultimate test of performance and durability. Subaru won at least four World Rally Championships in 1998, including the Acropolis, a race over rough, rocky roads in Greece.
Subaru applies what it has learned from rallying to the design and engineering of its cars. The Impreza Outback Sport (and the Impreza 2.5 RS) shows this in its suspension design. This rally heritage is also reflected in styling cues that make you feel like a world-class rally driver when blasting down backcountry roads.
Subaru's all-wheel-drive system applies power to the whichever tires offer the best grip. Though more expensive, all-wheel drive offers better performance than traction control, which typically limits power to reduce wheelspin. Subaru's system also provides better fuel economy than the part-time four-wheel-drive systems found on many sport-utilities.
It's important not to confuse the Impreza Outback Sport with the larger Legacy Outback. The Outback Sport is smaller, sportier and appeals to a younger crowd.
Based on Subaru's Impreza, the Outback Sport is distinguished by its rugged appearance that includes larger wheels and tires for added ground clearance, a hood scoop, body side molding, and integrated lower front bumper and spoiler. New for 1999 is a cross-hatch grille similar to the one seen on the Legacy Outback. Redesigned halogen headlamps are designed to offer better performance on dark and stormy nights-the type of conditions where Subarus excel.
As an all-wheel-drive subcompact, the Outback Sport is unique to the market. It's a more sure-footed alternative to sporty compact cars. It offers serious dirt road capability with far better handling and acceleration performance than mini sport-utilities.