and 99 was /is a transition year.
the 99 outback got the phase 2 auto trans with a hybrid ej25D engine. hybrid because it has the phase 2 block with the DOHC heads and intake.
the 99 forester got the phase 2 ej25 SOHC engine.
and on some sites, like http://opposedforces.com/parts
, the dates are actually build dates, not model year dates.