Subaru For 1999
By Carey Russ
Subaru has had tremendous success with its Outback "sport- utility wagons" based on its Legacy and Impreza wagons. Now that an increasing number of competitors are copying the Outback formula, Subaru plans to keep a step or two ahead with the world's first sport- utility sedan (SUS), based on the Legacy.
The Impreza, Forester, and Legacy all have new engines and transmissions for 1999. As for the past few years, all 1999 Subarus feature the "Subaru All-Wheel Driving System", a combination of horizontally-opposed four-cylinder engine , longitudinally-mounted transmission, long-travel suspension, and all-wheel drive for safe traction in all driving conditions.
Now that Outback-inspired wagons, with increased ground clearance and sport-utility-inspired styling, are appearing in the offerings of more than a few manufacturers, Subaru has come up with something new. It's called the Legacy Sport-Utility Sedan, or SUS for short. The SUS is to a regular Legacy sedan as an Outback is to a Legacy wagon. It has appeared in limited quantities in test markets around the country for the past few years, but went on sale nationwide as a 1999 model early in 1998.
The SUS is well-equipped, with power windows, mirrors, and locks, heated seats and mirrors, a windshield de-icer, four-speed automatic transmission, and four-wheel antilock disc brakes. Subaru's 165-hp 2.5-liter twin-cam engine powers it.
Other Legacy models include the Outback and Outback Limited, and several equipment levels of sedans and wagons. A new 2.2-liter, 142-hp single-overhead-cam engine is found in some.
The Impreza is offered in Outback Sport, 2.5 RS sports coupe, and Impreza L coupe, sedan, and wagon trim. The 2.5 RS has a new 165-hp single-overhead-cam engine shared with the Forester; other models use the new 2.2-liter engine also found in some Legacy models.
The Forester is Subaru's answer for those people who want something that is more of a sport-utility than an Outback but still has car-like handling and comfort. It has the SUV look, and as much ground clearance as some of the big ones. All three trim levels get the new 2.5-liter single-overhead-cam engine for 1999.