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2007 Subaru Outback L.L. Bean
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173 Posts
Hi there!

My '07 has the "boy racer" shifter with the funky shift gate and "sport" mode. It's neat, I guess, but mostly useless. I do lock it in 2nd or 3rd sometimes in my neighborhood to ensure I don't exceed the 25MPH speed limit, but I don't shift it manually in any kind of sporty fashion. For that I would rather have three pedals. I see the benefit in manually shifting an auto, but in a passenger car like my Outback, I doubt it comes up often enough to warrant paddle shifters. I'm guessing the paddle shifters are more for marketing/sales than anything else.

I'm not sure, but I would think that older Gen4 OBs that didn't have paddle shifters could be used as donor for parts to get rid of them, but I think you'll find it to get pretty involved. I'm guessing that you'd probably end up swapping out the whole steering column rather than trying to piece together the steering wheel, trim, etc. to convert your column. Something tells me that you would end up swapping out the floor shifter, too, and there would be some wiring involved. All of this, of course, would hurt resale tremendously.

I don't think any dealer would do it, and it would certainly void the warranty on all sorts of parts (not the whole car, but certainly anything that was swapped out).

Anyway, you don't need less levers, you need more: :D

 

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'11 Outback 2.5i CVT - '06 Forester X 5MT
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1,766 Posts
For that I would rather have three pedals. I see the benefit in manually shifting an auto, but in a passenger car like my Outback, I doubt it comes up often enough to warrant paddle shifters. I'm guessing the paddle shifters are more for marketing/sales than anything else.
I think the "sport shift" was a whole marketing gig. I think manufacturers realized they can save space with paddles, as well as being more practical. If anything an imitation MT shifter is more gimmicky IMO.

I'm not sure, but I would think that older Gen4 OBs that didn't have paddle shifters could be used as donor for parts to get rid of them, but I think you'll find it to get pretty involved
ALL AT 4th Gen OBs have paddles, that's why everyone is so surprised he didn't see them when he test drove the car. I doubt you could use much from a Gen 3 because they changed the car so much.
 

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'08 Veracruz Limited
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3,992 Posts
ALL AT 4th Gen OBs have paddles, that's why everyone is so surprised he didn't see them when he test drove the car. I doubt you could use much from a Gen 3 because they changed the car so much.
Might be able to use parts made for the 6MT models.
 

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2008 Outback 2.5i
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1,148 Posts
I don't understand why there are paddles on a CVT anyways, there are no gears.
It is like putting a clutch pedal with an automatic.
 

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'15 STi and '13 GTI
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1,009 Posts
I don't understand why there are paddles on a CVT anyways, there are no gears.
It is like putting a clutch pedal with an automatic.
Just because you don't understand something doesn't make it useless.

The fact that there are no "gears" is why having the paddle shifters is so important. The paddles allow you to set the transmission to a specifically defined ratio so you can "hold" a gear.

If you want to accelerate with any sense of urgency in the 2.5i you have to use the paddle shifters.
 

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11' Outback 2.5i CVT Limited
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216 Posts
^^^^thank you. For someone who drives MT and wears "save manuals" t-shirt with pride. ....CVT paired with paddle shifters enjoyment was a little shocker. I was sure I would hate it with passion when we bought it for my wife. LOVE IT. CVT with paddles is much closer to MT drivability and characteristics than any AT will ever be. Priceless in the mountains !!! Reacts instantly with zero lag. I was expecting early Nissan CVT like crap. FOr what it is, a crap cvt in economy car - works amazing. Has nice feature where it will downshift and go to M mode and return to D after 5 seconds just to get you up to speed when you say merge on HWY and blip "-" paddle. People that whine about paddle shifters are mostly those that never use it. Just like people who never driven MT and say they couldn't because the sit in traffic a lot. Downshifting, engine braking on slippery surface in the winter etc. all that is so much faster, easier, more enjoyable than crap AT. It will hold rpms up to 6k easily too not like some crappy "automated manuals"
 

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2007 Subaru Outback L.L. Bean
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173 Posts
Hi there!

I think the "sport shift" was a whole marketing gig. I think manufacturers realized they can save space with paddles, as well as being more practical. If anything an imitation MT shifter is more gimmicky IMO.
I agree, though something tells me a manual H-pattern shifter might be fun for a bit...

I've "played" with Sport mode on my OB but not much. At 400k on the clock, I don't exactly hammer on it. Besides, it does its job as a people mover and stuff mover, and mountain lion in bad weather, very well. I rarely have to convince the 5-speed automatic to do something different. In that respect it may be the best automatic I've ever driven. Anyway, I have the Solstice for hotrodding around. (Too bad Subaru doesn't make an AWD 2-door, either as a Legacy w/the 3.6, or the smaller turbo'd WRX. It's really too bad they don't package that as a convertible, but that's a different topic.)

ALL AT 4th Gen OBs have paddles, that's why everyone is so surprised he didn't see them when he test drove the car. I doubt you could use much from a Gen 3 because they changed the car so much.
Good to know. I haven't had the chance to drive a 4th gen, so I wasn't sure. The idea of using a manual trans. column may work unless there are other differences that goof that up.
 

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Paddles work for me

I live in the mountains of northern New Mexico, and paddles are hugely beneficial for me when I go down mountains or deal with radical curves, which I do every day. My brakes lasted 1/3 longer because I can slow down without using them.
 

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My wife and I were test driving the Honda Pilot yesterday to compare it with the Ascent. My wife is driving when my son called me. While I’m talking on the phone, the Pilot suddenly, and quite dramatically, started slowing down with the engine sounding like it was going to explode. “WHAT ARE YOU DOING!”, I shouted. In her quiet little grandma voice, she said, “I don’t know, I was pressing these paddle thingys to see what they did.” Luckily, she had to stop for a red light at the same moment, which gave me enough pause to put the Pilot in Park and reset the transmission out of the paddle mode. If we get a Pilot, I don’t want that one.>:)

Beary
 

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2011 outback 3.6R LT. 2015 Outback 2.5 (white) eyesight, tow pakage, skid plate, moon roof
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409 Posts
What you been smokin mate? The paddle shifers are unobtrusive and handy when needed. They perfom well on a very step down grade and in towing If you ever get into a serious back country situation you will appreciate the paddle shifters. They are a primary reason I purchased a Outback.

You would be far better of spening hard earned dollars on a heavy duty sway bar, 2 inch lift kit and skid plate plus optional safety equipment like battery boost kit, car tarp, full size spare and patch kit. Added power source shuld be way ahead of removing paddle shifters.
 

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2010 2.5 CVT Premium
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1,234 Posts
I'd rather the console shifter had a way to command up/down shifts.
The paddle shifters are ok to use so long as you're driving straight down the road.
If I want to make any manual shift inputs while the wheel is turned where my hands are no longer at 9-3, then the paddles are nowhere to be found. But I know where the shifter always is, just like in a true MT car.
 

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'18 Outback Touring Dark Blue Pearl 3.6r
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1,642 Posts
I'd rather the console shifter had a way to command up/down shifts.
The paddle shifters are ok to use so long as you're driving straight down the road.
If I want to make any manual shift inputs while the wheel is turned where my hands are no longer at 9-3, then the paddles are nowhere to be found. But I know where the shifter always is, just like in a true MT car.
Sure but to use the shifter you have to take one hand off the wheel while turning a corner which can be tricky sometimes.
 

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Master Caster
2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
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16,079 Posts
I'd rather the console shifter had a way to command up/down shifts.
The paddle shifters are ok to use so long as you're driving straight down the road.
If I want to make any manual shift inputs while the wheel is turned where my hands are no longer at 9-3, then the paddles are nowhere to be found. But I know where the shifter always is, just like in a true MT car.
Yep. Both my 2005 and 2006 have a Sport mode, which works as an automatic, except I can bump up & down-shifts and it will hold that gear, until put back into automatic or shifted.

Both cars have shift buttons on the wheel and I never use them. I know they work, but ... meh.
 

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2010 2.5 CVT Premium
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Sure but to use the shifter you have to take one hand off the wheel while turning a corner which can be tricky sometimes.
That has never been a problem for me in any of the manual shift cars I have driven. Not even the ones without power steering.
 

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Master Caster
2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
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16,079 Posts
That has never been a problem for me in any of the manual shift cars I have driven. Not even the ones without power steering.
There is nothing more natural than one hand on the wheel and one on the gears. For the drivers out there.
 

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2013 Impreza Sport, 2003 Toyota Highlander 3.0 FWD, 2009 Outback XT Limited 5MT - R.I.P.
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377 Posts
What you been smokin mate? The paddle shifers are unobtrusive and handy when needed. They perfom well on a very step down grade and in towing If you ever get into a serious back country situation you will appreciate the paddle shifters. They are a primary reason I purchased a Outback.

You would be far better of spening hard earned dollars on a heavy duty sway bar, 2 inch lift kit and skid plate plus optional safety equipment like battery boost kit, car tarp, full size spare and patch kit. Added power source shuld be way ahead of removing paddle shifters.
It's been almost 6 years. I'm sure he's figured out a solution by now.
 

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'18 Outback Touring Dark Blue Pearl 3.6r
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That has never been a problem for me in any of the manual shift cars I have driven. Not even the ones without power steering.
Yeah me neither but I bet I could train myself to turn the steering wheel and downshift with the paddles too if I wanted.
 

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06 3.0R JDM facelift SI Drive-shift paddles. 87 Brumby EA81 (Brat) 4MT D/R
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613 Posts
The 3rd Gen H6 5EAT facelift models with SI Drive all got them too in NZ. 06 - 08
My 06 JDM H6 SI Drive has them.
Find them very useful for downshifting manually on hills ( loose less speed doing this compared to waiting for the trans to downshift in auto)
There are 3 modes of shifting with paddles present.
1 Auto and let trans decide what to do.
2 Auto but manually downshift with paddles (as previously mentioned) then a few seconds later trans goes back to Auto mode.
3 select manual and shift manually with paddles (with preset ratios on CVT)

Also agree very useful for downshifting manually for descending hills for engine braking and to help slowing down also - instead of that coasting feeling in auto and fully riding the brakes.

The CVT has 6 preset ratios in manual mode .

Ir seems like some don't understand their CVT transmissions and their capabilities

https://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/66-problems-maintenance/440690-cvt-1-11-description-operation-diagrams-dtc-codes-etc.html
 

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2015 Outback Limited, 2018 Lexus LX570, 1998 Toyota LC 100, 1987 Toyota FJ60
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756 Posts
One thing I do agree with the op on. SOA should design the console shifter on all models to work in manual mode, Nissan does this, pull the shifter to the left out of auto mode and you have a + push shifter forward and - pull shifter back option, it is nice to have two options for manual cvt shifting, paddles or console shifter. This is very nice on curvy roads where it can be tricky to get to the paddles. I miss this from my Nissan Rogue.
My guess is approximately 0% of typical Subaru buyers even know the paddle shifters are there, let alone manually shift their automatic. Not worth the engineering and manufacturing costs. I'm surprised they waste time including the features at all.
 
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