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2017 Outback 2.5i Premium; 2019 Outback 2.5i Premium
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

Our 'base' (option 11) 2017 2.5L Premium came with an interior auto-dimming rear-view mirror + compass + HomeLink when we purchased our Outback new last year.

Quick question -- would this mirror have been a factory- or dealer-installed option? Is there a way to tell or 'rule of thumb' to use? For instance, are factory-installed options only for the 'main' items, like EyeSight, adaptive cruise control, rear automatic braking system, etc., with all other 'minor options' dealer-installed? Or do some of these 'minor options' (such as the auto-dimming mirror) sometimes come pre-installed on the car directly from the manufacturing plant in W. Layfayette?

Many thanks in advance!
 

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Window sticker...
 

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... are factory-installed options only for the 'main' items, like EyeSight, adaptive cruise control, rear automatic braking system, etc. ...
Yes.

Or do some of these 'minor options' (such as the auto-dimming mirror) sometimes come pre-installed on the car directly from the manufacturing plant in W. Layfayette?
It's slightly more complicated than that. The minor options are designated "port installed," and are often referred to as PIO options. For a vehicle manufactured outside of North America (e.g. the Forester), there is actually a coastal port facility where such options are installed. For Legacys, Outbacks, and (now) Imprezas, which are assembled in Indiana, there is a separate "inland port" building, less than a hundred yards west of the factory final assembly building, where PIO options are installed. In certain areas of the country (New England, New York, and northern New Jersey) Subaru distributors maintain their own separate "port" facilities.

For even more flexibility, PIO options can be dealer installed before or after delivery to the customer, although usually at higher cost due to charges for installation labor. Most PIO options can also be purchased in kit or parts form from a Subaru dealer and installed by an owner with some mechanical aptitude and the proper tools. Some simple PIO options, like floor mats or wheel locks, are substantially cheaper when owner installed.

Any option installed before the first retail sale to a customer, factory-installed or PIO, must be listed on the Monroney sticker affixed to the vehicle.
 

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Don’t confuse options (or trim levels which are groups of options) with accessories. There’s a big difference between these two categories. You can find out which item is an option or an accessory on Subaru’s web site build page.

Options have to be installed at the factory because of the higher degree of complexity needed to install them. Examples of options include sun roof, leather interior, and electronic accident avoidance technology.

Accessories are easier to install and don’t need to be installed at a factory. Accessories can be installed at the manufacturer’s port facility, at a dealership, or by yourself. Examples of accessories include wheel locks, cargo mats, side molding strips, and rear seatback protectors.

If you order an Outback and you have to wait for it, it’s less expensive to have accessories installed at the port facility than it is to have a dealership install them once the car has arrived. The invoice and MSRP price for each accessory can be found on web sites such as Edmund’s.

If you buy an Outback that’s already on a dealer’s lot and you opt to have accessories installed, you’ll pay more for them. Dealerships obviously cannot ship a car back to the port facility to have accessories installed once the car has arrived at a dealership.

Accessories that are installed by a dealership on a new car before the car has been sold will have a different second window sticker listing each accessory.
 

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I'm not a big fan of dealer-installed options but they can be good negotiating items if you can get things added for free or cheap to seal the deal on a purchase.

I worked at a dealership body shop (not Subaru) for a while and nobody wanted to get stuck installing accessories on new cars because you didn't get paid as well compared to collision work.
An employee rushing through a job to get back to the better-paying work isn't necessarily the one you want working on your new car. Higher volume dealerships probably have specific people to do this kind of work though which would be a lot better.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Many sincere thanks for this wealth of info! I never knew any of this ... it gives me a much clearer idea of how to potentially best optimize my selection possibly in the future.

Many thanks again! :smile2:

Yes.

It's slightly more complicated than that. The minor options are designated "port installed," and are often referred to as PIO options. For a vehicle manufactured outside of North America (e.g. the Forester), there is actually a coastal port facility where such options are installed. For Legacys, Outbacks, and (now) Imprezas, which are assembled in Indiana, there is a separate "inland port" building, less than a hundred yards west of the factory final assembly building, where PIO options are installed. In certain areas of the country (New England, New York, and northern New Jersey) Subaru distributors maintain their own separate "port" facilities.

For even more flexibility, PIO options can be dealer installed before or after delivery to the customer, although usually at higher cost due to charges for installation labor. Most PIO options can also be purchased in kit or parts form from a Subaru dealer and installed by an owner with some mechanical aptitude and the proper tools. Some simple PIO options, like floor mats or wheel locks, are substantially cheaper when owner installed.

Any option installed before the first retail sale to a customer, factory-installed or PIO, must be listed on the Monroney sticker affixed to the vehicle.
Don’t confuse options (or trim levels which are groups of options) with accessories. There’s a big difference between these two categories. You can find out which item is an option or an accessory on Subaru’s web site build page.

Options have to be installed at the factory because of the higher degree of complexity needed to install them. Examples of options include sun roof, leather interior, and electronic accident avoidance technology.

Accessories are easier to install and don’t need to be installed at a factory. Accessories can be installed at the manufacturer’s port facility, at a dealership, or by yourself. Examples of accessories include wheel locks, cargo mats, side molding strips, and rear seatback protectors.

If you order an Outback and you have to wait for it, it’s less expensive to have accessories installed at the port facility than it is to have a dealership install them once the car has arrived. The invoice and MSRP price for each accessory can be found on web sites such as Edmund’s.

If you buy an Outback that’s already on a dealer’s lot and you opt to have accessories installed, you’ll pay more for them. Dealerships obviously cannot ship a car back to the port facility to have accessories installed once the car has arrived at a dealership.

Accessories that are installed by a dealership on a new car before the car has been sold will have a different second window sticker listing each accessory.
 

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My dealer told me that the only option I ordered that wouldn't be done at the factory/port location is the sunroof deflector because it would be subject to damage during shipping.
 
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