Subaru Outback Forums banner

1 - 20 of 37 Posts

·
Registered
2018 Outback Touring 3.6R
Joined
·
350 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
When I test drove a '18 Touring this morning, it was chilly enough that I turned on the heated wheel, which is an option I'd really been looking forward to. But my first impression was a bit of a disappointment. First off, it doesn't heat all that much of the wheel's circumference, and it didn't seem to get as hot as I expected it to -- especially compared to how heated seats feel on high! I wasn't wearing gloves, but expected a bit more warmth.

Anyone have comments on their experience?
 

·
Registered
2018 Outback Touring 2.5i
Joined
·
28 Posts
My 2018 Touring Edition wheel warms more slowly than my 2013 BMW X3 and doesn't get quite as hot but it does get much warmer as the vehicle ambient temperature rises. On the other hand, it's significantly warmer that my 2008 BMW X3.

As you observed, there is an unheated area at the top of the wheel. Subaru is not alone in this approach to heated steering wheels, but at least they heat the bottom - some, like Lexus only heat the "2-4" and "8-10" zones - the proper driving positions. It occurred to me some years ago that with hands on the top of the wheel, your hands would be blown into your face during an airbag deployment. Perhaps this is a reason because of Subaru's emphasis on safety.
 

·
Registered
'18 Outback 2.5i Touring
Joined
·
63 Posts
It doesn't heat the top center of the steering wheel so that you have options while it's on. I find it warm enough to be comfortable without getting too hot. Oddly enough, it sort of encourages 10 and 2 driving, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, particularly in poor conditions.

If it got too hot, that could clearly be dangerous, so for me at least, it definitely takes the cold edge off and eliminates the need for gloves.

One thing I haven't checked yet is if you leave it on, will it stay on with a remote start.

-Grumpy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
The heated wheel is too warm for me in our current weather (Seattle - 40's and drizzly). I'm sure I'll love itl once I get in some really cold weather. My wife, who keeps the heated seats turned on year round, loves it.
 

·
Registered
2017 2.5 Touring
Joined
·
1,413 Posts
I'm in Minnesota. The heated wheel is better than the heated seats!
Gets warm quickly. Very warm. My hands know where they need to go to get toasty.
No complaints at all.
 

·
Registered
'20 Outback Limited XT
Joined
·
46 Posts
I love the heated wheel. The longer it's on, the warmer it gets. I usually have it on around 15 minutes and then the ambient temp is warm enough and I shut off the wheel. Very happy that Subaru finally added this feature, considering so many of us owners live in cold climates.
 

·
Registered
'16 Outback 2.5i Premium WAM, Factory Hitch, Infinity speakers, Alpine Sub, Cargo Tray/Seat Protectors, Husky Liners, Rally Armor Mudflaps, LED Int Ltg, Subaru LOGO LED Projection Puddle Lights, OUTB
Joined
·
407 Posts
It doesn't heat the top center of the steering wheel so that you have options while it's on. I find it warm enough to be comfortable without getting too hot. Oddly enough, it sort of encourages 10 and 2 driving, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, particularly in poor conditions.
...
-Grumpy
I recently learned that with the advent of airbags, drivers education teachers (and the NTSA) are teaching an entirely different neutral hand position, one that does much less damage to hands, wrists and arms when airbags deploy.


9 & 3 o'clock is the new 10 & 2, with palms up, and thumbs pointing up and resting on the wheel.
 

·
Registered
2018 Outback Touring 3.6R
Joined
·
350 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I'm in Minnesota. The heated wheel is better than the heated seats!
Gets warm quickly. Very warm. My hands know where they need to go to get toasty.
No complaints at all.
I assume you also wear gloves, right? In the garage, our car rarely gets below freezing as far as I can tell, but if I leave it in a parking lot for an hour or so it can really be cold when I get back in here in Michigan.

Vikings are going down on Thanksgiving, by the way. :)
 

·
Registered
2018 3.6R limited w/eyesight Subaru Outback....sold my 2011, Subaru Outback, 2,5i Spt Pack.
Joined
·
159 Posts
Up North here, I always use my heated steering wheel every morning and it gets toasty after 5 minutes where it's too hot for me.
However I do find the heated seats a bit slow to warm up compared to my 11" 2.5 where on "high", your buns get mighty toasty fast in a few minutes....too hot at time. On my 18"....it's really slow to warm up on the default 3rd setting. Maybe it's the leather....compared to the cloth seats.
 

·
Registered
2017 2.5 Touring
Joined
·
1,413 Posts
I assume you also wear gloves, right? In the garage, our car rarely gets below freezing as far as I can tell, but if I leave it in a parking lot for an hour or so it can really be cold when I get back in here in Michigan.

Vikings are going down on Thanksgiving, by the way. :)
I don't always wear gloves. But when I do...

Seriously, I have them with me in the winter, but don't always put them on (big fat hands). 3 minutes and that wheel is toasty.
Re: Vikings. Never bet on that team. Ever.
 

·
Registered
2015 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited
Joined
·
34 Posts
Had the heated steering wheel on an '18 Touring loaner, of all the features on that car that I don't have on my premium, that's the one I wish I could add.

Sent from my VS987 using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
2018 Outback Touring 3.6r
Joined
·
12 Posts
Aeros, I had a 17 Outback loaner w cloth heated seats while the dealer installed my hitch. Yes, seat material makes all the difference. Leather is unforgiving in the cold.

I thought the heated wheel would be silly in my new car. Never had one before. Now, I won't have a car without a heated steering wheel. It doesn't warm my knuckles, but at 10 and 2 or 6 o'clock all 10 fingers are wrapped around that wheel.
 

·
Registered
2015 Outback 3.6R Package 23
Joined
·
1,695 Posts
9 & 3 o'clock is the new 10 & 2, with palms up, and thumbs pointing up and resting on the wheel.
Or throwback to the 1960's when you'd use your leg so you could smoke a cigarette and drink your beer. :)

My usual comment in any heated steering wheel thread is that it is kind of pathetic that a car marketed to cold/snow/ski country doesn't have a heated steering wheel available at all the trim levels.
 

·
Registered
2018 Outback Touring 3.6R
Joined
·
350 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
My usual comment in any heated steering wheel thread is that it is kind of pathetic that a car marketed to cold/snow/ski country doesn't have a heated steering wheel available at all the trim levels.
One of the cars I briefly considered was a Honda CR-V. The CR-Vs sold in Canada all come standard with a heated wheel, and in the U.S. it is a dealer-installed option for about $500 + labor. You could actually buy one here and install it yourself -- it does come with instructions -- but there's no way I'd think of doing my own installation on such a critical piece of equipment, especially when removing and replacing the air-bag module is involved!
 

·
Registered
2015 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited
Joined
·
34 Posts
My usual comment in any heated steering wheel thread is that it is kind of pathetic that a car marketed to cold/snow/ski country doesn't have a heated steering wheel available at all the trim levels.
I would normally be inclined to agree, however most skiers wear gloves to keep their hands warm, sooooo....

Now if we were talking about a car marketed to the Polar Bear Club of America, well then that's a different story ?

Sent from my VS987 using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
2018 Outback
Joined
·
25 Posts
I too noticed that both the steering wheel and the heated seats don't heat all that well. During my 20 mile commute, the steering wheel although starts heating up right away, barely gets lukewarm.
The heated seats are just not warm enough on lvl3 compared to lvl2 in my previous SpecB, and 3 other Subarus I've had.
 

·
Premium Member
Bought a 2018 Outback Limited 2.5i 50th Anniversary Special Edition, 2/17/2018
Joined
·
29 Posts
Does anyone know if the 2019 Outback Limited will offer the heated steerign wheel (standard or as an option)? The 2019 Ascent Limited does.

I also looked up on subaru.com all of the parts needed to install a heated steering wheel on a 2018 Outback Limited. They show the assembly pictorial, part numbers, prices, etc. Parts are <$500. Looks pretty simple to do, but I don't want to void my warranty or risk messing up the airbag system. Tough finding a dealer that will install it, even though subaru.com says that it will fit (is compatible with the 2018 Limited).

I am on the verge of buying (or ordering) a 2018 Limited. But perhaps I should wait for the 2019 with the hopes that the Limited can be spec'ed with the heated steering wheel. I already told the dealer I intend to order/buy about $4K in accessories and also likely the 8 year/. 120K mile bumper-to-bumper warranty form them if they will mark the warranty down some. But the are flat out refusing to do the heated steering wheel.
 

·
Registered
2018 Outback Touring 3.6R
Joined
·
971 Posts
I have to admit the heated wheel isn't as great as I was hoping. With your hands at the natural 10-2 position, my thumbs extend into the unheated portion on the top of the wheel. Because of a circulatory issue I have, I was really hoping it could keep my hands comfortable. I actually feel my thumbs are colder that without the wheel being heated. Don't know if the heat on my palms is drawing blood flow out of my fingers, but that's one possibility. I still overall like it, but it doesn't do everything I had expected. I didn't get a long enough time driving one with the heated wheel to find this out, but it wouldn't have been a deal breaker even if I had.
 

·
Registered
2020 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 2.0 T AWD
Joined
·
508 Posts
When I test drove a '18 Touring this morning, it was chilly enough that I turned on the heated wheel, which is an option I'd really been looking forward to. But my first impression was a bit of a disappointment. First off, it doesn't heat all that much of the wheel's circumference, and it didn't seem to get as hot as I expected it to -- especially compared to how heated seats feel on high! I wasn't wearing gloves, but expected a bit more warmth.

Anyone have comments on their experience?
Yes. After owning many Gen 4 and 5 Subarus. This is how Subaru implements new "Nice to have" features. Cheaply and half heartedly. Just look at their new infotainment system and all the threads, posts, etc on the problems with it. And that their automatic HVAC system has never really worked well in ANY vehicle they make.
 
1 - 20 of 37 Posts
Top