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Discussion Starter #1
My head is fairly flat in the back, and the headrests of my 2012 OB don't bother me much, but my wife cannot stand them, as she has a more protruding nape.
Right now, she uses her headrest installed backwards, but it's not the best solution. Do they sell custom replacement headrests for the 2012 OB?
 

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2019 Forester Sport. Love the Orange.
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A lot has been made of the stock headrests being uncomfotable but I have not seen any report of custom installs.
 

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The ONLY other head rest I have seen is the ones that have the LCD monitors in the back. They are less aggressive. My wife also dislikes the stock so I'm consitering this for the kids. but they are expensive.


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I saw, somewhere, where the headrests are designed in such a way so as to "meet" the back of your head in the event of a rear-end collision.

In light of the above, it is my opinion that, altering any kind of Original Equipment 'Engineered-Components' by replacing them with something not specifically ENGINEERED for that vehicle may be asking for trouble at a time when you need the headrests the most!
 

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I saw, somewhere, where the headrests are designed in such a way so as to "meet" the back of your head in the event of a rear-end collision.

In light of the above, it is my opinion that, altering any kind of Original Equipment 'Engineered-Components' by replacing them with something not specifically ENGINEERED for that vehicle may be asking for trouble at a time when you need the headrests the most!
Yes tell your wife that the headrests are for safety not for your comfort. See how that plays out.


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'11 outback 2.5i premium '12 impreza sport limited
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you'll hafta go with something custom. lots of people turn them around which is funny because its the exact opposite of the reason they are there
 

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The government, NHTSA and IIHS and product liability attorneys designed the headrests like that. Don't blame Subaru, all new cars have awkwardly designed headrests.
 

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2017 Outback, 14 Jeep Grand Cherokee, 07 BMW E-93
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It is no big deal to turn these around and still have adequate whiplash protection. I plan to do that since it is rediculous where the head rest hits my head. I do not appreciate driving with my chin down. This is a personal choice and tweak the headrest for your application.
Any good upholstrey shop worth their salt can redo your headrests to suit your needs...
 

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2019 Forester Sport. Love the Orange.
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Turning them around will work...if you're short. Once turned around there is no height adjustment. They keep sliding down until they rest on the top of the seat back.
 

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Any good upholstrey shop worth their salt can redo your headrests to suit your needs...
A good upholstery shop might not stick their neck (pun intended) out though. Modifying a headrest might get the shop involved in a lawsuit if you are injured in a rear-ender.
 

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Just bend them back a little, maybe? Clamp the two metal rods in a vice, tight enough to hold them but not flatten them, then pull back to the desired angle. I haven't personally done it, but a salesman was talking about how he has had multiple customers do it.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Yes tell your wife that the headrests are for safety not for your comfort. See how that plays out.


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Hehe. My wife is stronger willed than that. Right now she's turning them the other way round, but with her, the options are (a) change car or (b) have new headrests built a way that fit HER.

And I agree with her. Life is too short to put up with other people's silliness. They designed those headrests for the worst case head shape, giving no thought to the variance in people heads. Fear of the lawyers, that is. But the car is our money, and has to fit US.
 

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Yes tell your wife that the headrests are for safety not for your comfort. See how that plays out.


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May not work for all.

Some may find themselves looking for another car while their ex has the house and the new Subaru and looking for someone who will fix the headrest problem and other things. I have found it best not to mess with the wife.
 

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When I was test driving rigs before I got the 2012 Outback many had the same headrest problem. Most salesmen either ignored my comment or suggested that I turn them around.
 

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1. Chin down when the posts extended

2. I am 6'4" and if i don't want my chin so far down, i leave the posts all the way down and deal with the bottom of the headrest hitting my shoulders.

Only way to go is a custom job to reupholster these aboninations.

I had a 98 Forester and those headrests were absolutely perfect.
 

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2011 Outback 2.5i Premium, CVT, Steel Silver, all-weather package. Upgrades: Tweeter kit, BlueConnect, media hub, remote start, Curt 2" receiver hitch.
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I'm 6'2" and I don't notice it. I guess a lot of people really lean back I to the seat more than I do. I don't think my head touches the headrest normally. I'll have to think about it more on my way home from work today. May e it's just me, though... I'm not an "easy chair" driver. I learned to drive from a Porsche race car driver, and still heed his advice when it comes to driving position.
 

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1. Chin down when the posts extended

2. I am 6'4" and if i don't want my chin so far down, i leave the posts all the way down and deal with the bottom of the headrest hitting my shoulders.

Only way to go is a custom job to reupholster these aboninations.

I had a 98 Forester and those headrests were absolutely perfect.
Take the rests to TJ or your local upholstery district and re-do the foam, get some black velvet with a Hesoos, Elvis, or a Chihuahua painted on, then pimp it out with some red piping or tuck and roll accents to set it off - tight!
 

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I've heard on another forum that our Outback/ Legacy's have the same seat design as the last gen Camry/ Lexus ES. Generally every Toyota should have the same headrest attatchment points as our Subaru. I would look through and see if there are any Toyota models that have a less protruding design, then find a color close or have a fabric maker make them match.

As an example my 2011 Ford F150 pickup came with an equally annoying design that pushed your head forward and down (perfect for people that text and drive lol) Anyway, as luck would have it, for the 2013 model year Ford changed the shape and added a tilt feature that allows you to tilt the headrest in 12 different positions. Anyway I bought all of the parts myself from the 2013 truck and installed them on my 2011. I got lucky as even the fabric on the new headrests were a perfect match.

You guys might check to see if the posts on the Impreza & XV are the same as our Outbacks. Those cars have the tilt feature that allows you to position the headrest away from your head or up against it. I think the dark interior color on the XV & Impreza matches the dark interior of the Outback. Probably exactly the same for leather wether black or tan?? Anyway would be worth looking into.

By the way the restraints in the Outback don't bother me nearly as much as my Ford truck did, but I'm '5 6" and my wife is '5 4" so perhaps this is only an issue for six footers. I also don't drive upright, I'm more laid back when I drive the Outback, but not in a gangsta lean.
 

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The government, NHTSA and IIHS and product liability attorneys designed the headrests like that. Don't blame Subaru, all new cars have awkwardly designed headrests.
Not true. Imprezas have tilt-adjustable headrests that are far more comfortable than the Outback ones.
 
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