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Discussion Starter #3
Mike: I have been reading the owners manual...yes, 8 speed...flick the gear shift from "D" to the left and use the paddles! Great for passing and hills up and down shifts. Terrific transmission. Looking forward to my first drive tomorrow, about 110 miles. Breaking in is important...per the manual, for first 1000 miles not over 4k rpm and vary speed plus light on the brakes. Thanks!
 

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Mike: I have been reading the owners manual...yes, 8 speed...flick the gear shift from "D" to the left and use the paddles! Great for passing and hills up and down shifts. Terrific transmission. Looking forward to my first drive tomorrow, about 110 miles. Breaking in is important...per the manual, for first 1000 miles not over 4k rpm and vary speed plus light on the brakes. Thanks!
Do you have a link to the owners manual?
 

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Don't even have to go to M to use them. Just click. Click twice quickly to jump down two.

I'm not really sure what the point of M is given that. Not much difference that I can see and the car keeps you from being able to do anything stupid either way. I think that the driver's display changes to show you what gear changes are available in M.

Edit to add: Now that I think about it, I believe that the difference is that when using the paddles in D the car will automatically return to the higher gear after. In M it probably will hold the gear. So potentially maybe you could do something stupid with it in M if you just kept running it up. Haven't had a chance to play with that much and as you say trying to kind of take it easy with it for a while.
 

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It’s not a new feature. Same in my 2019, although there are eight simulated gears vs. six as I recall. I use the paddles for passing now and then, and will in the mountains for engine braking.

Had them in my XT Forester, also.


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It’s not a new feature. Same in my 2019, although there are eight simulated gears vs. six as I recall. I use the paddles for passing now and then, and will in the mountains for engine braking.

Had them in my XT Forester, also.


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They added one simulated gear in 2018 to the 2.5, so those have 7.

The car will stay in a simulated gear for a short time if you leave it in D and use the paddles. If you aren't using the accelerator much (less than some small percent) then it stays in the downshifted gear (like going down a long hill) - as soon as you start using the accelerator beyond a certain amount at that point, it goes back to D.

The purpose of M is so it does not revert back to D when you are accelerating and decelerating in the simulated gears (you'll see what I mean once you try it out).

Also, the shifts aren't very sporty - so using it as a passing tool isn't as quick or efficient as simply stepping on the accelerator. Shame the NA cars don't the the SI-Drive option.
 

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At least in my FXT, the SI drive was sort of useful, but still not a crisp shifter in any manual mode. Main advantage was the “S” mode, which had a more aggressive “shift” pattern and S# if you really needed to do a super fast merge but leaving it in auto, not manual. I found myself fiddling with it more than I wanted to because none of the modes was really satisfactory for everyday town driving. I have enjoyed S mode in the mountains and used the paddles a lot there for up and downshifting, which was fun.

In the 3.6 OB, I drive differently. The power is so linear, so silent, and so smooth that the one mode is nearly perfect for me. It drives like a near luxury sedan. I don’t fiddle or fret like I used to do with the FXT. I have now and then downshifted with the paddle in the OB for an extra passing boost but very seldom needed.

I don’t know how the 2020 OBXT will drive, but I suspect it will have plenty of passing power without an SI drive. Passing (or at altitude) is where a turbo really shines, not so much off the line, where there is lag.

EJ


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Even the 5EAT paddles worked in drive, without flipping over to Manual mode. - As does my wife's '18 Crosstrek. When using in 'D', after a short period of no inputs, they usually return to full Auto mode, putting back the 'D' on the dash indicator. - If you're coasting down, it will stay at the chosen gear, until your near steady state. (I'm 'assuming' that last part still works the same, does it?)
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
My first 2020 Outback 2.5 drive review: 132 miles, 99 degrees outside temperature....brutal gridlock 90% of the journey between San Antonio and Austin.

Starting miles on the odometer: 7, ending miles 139. Average MPG 31.9, average speed 21mph. Did I say brutal stop and go traffic?

Current car a 2013 Prius and 2003 Tundra with 277k miles (sold and replaced with this Outback).

No sugar coating! Mind you, never even sat in a Subaru, period!

First 25 miles, stop and go and the start/stop was apparent every 50 yards. The stop is very soft and smooth, barely noticeable, the start is noticeable, but not aggravating; really no different than the Prius when the engine cuts in and out with the battery when necessary. The steering seemed over sensitive (keeping to the center of the lane) and the acceleration from stop to 20mph quickly jumped 500-1000 rpm from just barely any pedal pressure. Note: Coming from an old heavy V8 truck and a grandma throttle Prius. The engine without a doubt has ample power, very quiet and refined.

Second 25 miles of gridlock stop and go with cars cutting in and out mostly tailgating: Discovered the brake pedal has 2 stages of pedal pressure...stage one...upon stopping with a light foot eliminated the stop/start! The second stage (further pressure) activated the stop/start. I quickly learned that if I did not tailgate like an idiot, and let others cut in and out tailgating and cramming their brakes on......I could easily slow down and come to a complete stop using stage one pedal pressure.....and remain a safe distance behind the front vehicle....the last 100 miles of gridlock...absolutely no engine stop/go. Stage one pedal pressure became SOP and automatic...kept my distance, let others cut in, slowed down and never needed the second brake stage....got used to it and actually it was fun!

During the rest of the 80 miles, I got used to what I thought was sensitive steering....became no big deal coming from a ponderous pickup. The gas pedal...got used to it before I even realized it. When I got home and the tires cooled off after several hours from the hot drive, they were 9 pounds over recommended pressure all the way around! I am sure that acerbated the twitchiness problem. Next drive will tell.

Now to the Outback body...I was really surprised how tight, drum free, solid this Outback is. On normal roads with smooth asphalt, incredibly quiet....with that cheap crappy chip coating that is becoming the norm...tire noise was dominant...also maybe because of the over pressure. Absolutely NO wind noise whatsoever...blew my mind (no pun intended)!

Infotainment system: Way to much information for me...but great for a techie which may be the majority today. The dealer helped me preset my 9 satellite channels. While driving...that was difficult because every time my bouncing finger tried to touch one....I touched something else. Bingo...I forgot that the dealer showed me two buttons on the steering wheel, up and down channels...wow, no more problem!! Really no different than the dials on my other cars...driving on other than smooth roads, makes for a jumpy turning of the dials. The A/C temp change may be best done while stopped at a light or whatever. Bouncing fingers again...but the system is very intuitive, simple, big numbers and buttons and a non techie like me has no problem adjusting to this new reality. Really just getting used to. In fact I really like it! I think my new iMac is much more complicated. My 30 something neighbors all came over and thought it was the cats meow! Over the next weeks I plan on delving deeper into the infotainment system and all the cool things in the cabin and on the panel.. including the forward camera which I never realized was there.....and will report back..

The seats.....oh my gosh...beyond description. No elaboration necessary. Wish they were in my home!

Transmission.....very smooth and seemed to sense when I was slowing down, like it had a lower gear...and no I did not have a chance to use the M stick or paddles....next trip out.

Overall....I would not trade this Outback for anything out there....very happy and can't wait to discover more about this new Outback...which, by the way is the 12th new car I have owned over the years and its growing on me fast! Just an incredible machine.....the hype is real!

EDIT: Failed to mention...when I nudged the white line on either side of my lane, besides the audible warning, a facsimile showed up in the lower portion of the windshield.....two vertical Green lines, the one nudged was flashing...neat!

Later
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Mr. Cantu...can't wait to read you're reviews.....please be more professional than mine! Also check your tire pressure before you leave the dealership!
 

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My first 2020 Outback 2.5 drive review: 132 miles, 99 degrees outside temperature....brutal gridlock 90% of the journey between San Antonio and Austin.

Starting miles on the odometer: 7, ending miles 139. Average MPG 31.9, average speed 21mph. Did I say brutal stop and go traffic?

Current car a 2013 Prius and 2003 Tundra with 277k miles (sold and replaced with this Outback).

No sugar coating! Mind you, never even sat in a Subaru, period!

First 25 miles, stop and go and the start/stop was apparent every 50 yards. The stop is very soft and smooth, barely noticeable, the start is noticeable, but not aggravating; really no different than the Prius when the engine cuts in and out with the battery when necessary. The steering seemed over sensitive (keeping to the center of the lane) and the acceleration from stop to 20mph quickly jumped 500-1000 rpm from just barely any pedal pressure. Note: Coming from an old heavy V8 truck and a grandma throttle Prius. The engine without a doubt has ample power, very quiet and refined.

Second 25 miles of gridlock stop and go with cars cutting in and out mostly tailgating: Discovered the brake pedal has 2 stages of pedal pressure...stage one...upon stopping with a light foot eliminated the stop/start! The second stage (further pressure) activated the stop/start. I quickly learned that if I did not tailgate like an idiot, and let others cut in and out tailgating and cramming their brakes on......I could easily slow down and come to a complete stop using stage one pedal pressure.....and remain a safe distance behind the front vehicle....the last 100 miles of gridlock...absolutely no engine stop/go. Stage one pedal pressure became SOP and automatic...kept my distance, let others cut in, slowed down and never needed the second brake stage....got used to it and actually it was fun!

During the rest of the 80 miles, I got used to what I thought was sensitive steering....became no big deal coming from a ponderous pickup. The gas pedal...got used to it before I even realized it. When I got home and the tires cooled off after several hours from the hot drive, they were 9 pounds over recommended pressure all the way around! I am sure that acerbated the twitchiness problem. Next drive will tell.

Now to the Outback body...I was really surprised how tight, drum free, solid this Outback is. On normal roads with smooth asphalt, incredibly quiet....with that cheap crappy chip coating that is becoming the norm...tire noise was dominant...also maybe because of the over pressure. Absolutely NO wind noise whatsoever...blew my mind (no pun intended)!

Infotainment system: Way to much information for me...but great for a techie which may be the majority today. The dealer helped me preset my 9 satellite channels. While driving...that was difficult because every time my bouncing finger tried to touch one....I touched something else. Bingo...I forgot that the dealer showed me two buttons on the steering wheel, up and down channels...wow, no more problem!! Really no different than the dials on my other cars...driving on other than smooth roads, makes for a jumpy turning of the dials. The A/C temp change may be best done while stopped at a light or whatever. Bouncing fingers again...but the system is very intuitive, simple, big numbers and buttons and a non techie like me has no problem adjusting to this new reality. Really just getting used to. In fact I really like it! I think my new iMac is much more complicated. My 30 something neighbors all came over and thought it was the cats meow! Over the next weeks I plan on delving deeper into the infotainment system and all the cool things in the cabin and on the panel.. including the forward camera which I never realized was there.....and will report back..

The seats.....oh my gosh...beyond description. No elaboration necessary. Wish they were in my home!

Transmission.....very smooth and seemed to sense when I was slowing down, like it had a lower gear...and no I did not have a chance to use the M stick or paddles....next trip out.

Overall....I would not trade this Outback for anything out there....very happy and can't wait to discover more about this new Outback...which, by the way is the 12th new car I have owned over the years and its growing on me fast! Just an incredible machine.....the hype is real!

EDIT: Failed to mention...when I nudged the white line on either side of my lane, besides the audible warning, a facsimile showed up in the lower portion of the windshield.....two vertical Green lines, the one nudged was flashing...neat!

Later
Really great feedback! I was hoping someone else who had or still has a Prius in the family would compare it to the start/stop👌I laughed when you said 'grandma throttle Prius'. Yes, the turbo will be night and day different.

Keep the feedback and/or pics coming. All of us who haven't received our cars yet are kinda living vicariously through you guys haha😁
 
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