Subaru Outback Forums banner
1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
New Subaru owner here (‘18 Outback) and I’m hoping someone can give me a straightforward and practical explanation of why these two buttons do. I read about them in the manual but didn’t feel entirely enlightened. From reading some posts on this forum I think I’ve got a handle on X-Mode, but I’m still not sure about the other one.

Just for reference I spend a decent bit of time driving down steep and winding mountain roads in the Pacific Northwest. Sometimes these roads are paved, sometimes they’re not, but I’m generally looking to keep my speed down to between 10 and 20 mph depending on the road surface and other hazards.

Thanks!

Motor vehicle Grey Bag Font Vehicle door
 

·
Registered
MY19 Outback 3.6R Premium
Joined
·
143 Posts
The hill holder (right button) is used when climbing a hill. To prevent the car rolling back when you get off the brake. Each time you stop, the car will automatically apply the handbrake (e-brake) and automatically disengage it when you accelerate.

To descend a hill forward-first, you can turn on X-Mode and let the car roll down the hill, which will cause the car to manage the braking for you - you just steer for a slow and safe decent. Likewise, when driving on slippery surfaces (up, down or flat), X-Mode will make the car manage navigation by applying brakes individually on the wheels that slip to allow the wheels that grip to drive the car forward. X-Mode will generally limit the speed of the vehicle as well.
 

·
Premium Member
2020 Onyx
Joined
·
14,262 Posts
X-mode is a more intelligent form of hill descent control than just downshifting, but X-mode's hill descent control only works at very low speeds 12mph or slower, so if it's above x-mode speed range then yes using paddle downshifts will do you.

 

·
Registered
2022 Outback Wilderness
Joined
·
23 Posts
Assuming it works like my '14 Forester did, I used X-Mode primarily to descend a short steep hill with a turn at the bottom that leads to my house. I only bother when it's icy or snowy. It does a MUCH better job than I could do to keep my speed in check without locking the brakes, even with ABS. I just don't see a need when I've got good traction. Might make sense for dirt road descents.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
X-mode is a more intelligent form of hill descent control than just downshifting, but X-mode's hill descent control only works at very low speeds 12mph or slower, so if it's above x-mode speed range then yes using paddle downshifts will do you.
Thank you for the video. You mention that it can run up to about 12 MPH, while in the video he showed it keeping the car at about 2 MPH. It's not uncommon for my to be descending a gnarly hill at about 10 MPH, but when I tried out X-Mode last week it seemed to want to keep my speed very low. How would you go about speeding up X-Mode? Just apply a little gas?
 

·
Premium Member
2020 Onyx
Joined
·
14,262 Posts
I'm not entirely sure how it works but worst case scenario as long as x-mode is engaged if you take your foot off the gas it should go into hill descent mode where all you need to do is steer. If you have light throttle it may go faster (up to 12mph), still in x-mode, but not necessarily full-on hill descent mode.

Try it out and let us know your observations.
 

·
Premium Member
2020 Onyx
Joined
·
14,262 Posts
We need clarification for what happens if you over-ride x-mode's pedal-free hill descent mode. You're not supposed to press gas or brakes, but if you do, the car will respond to your input, but at that point, it's not in true hill descent mode. The question is whether not since the car is still in x-mode, lifting both pedals will re-activate hill descent mode automatically.
 

·
Registered
2022 Outback Wilderness
Joined
·
23 Posts
What do you mean, about being on my own? Does applying the brakes while in X-Mode do something to it?
On my '14 Forester, if I hit the brakes then XMode stopped controlling the speed, even after I took my foot off the brakes.
Try it out on your car in good conditions, so you know how it will behave when you need it. I haven't yet fully tested my Wilderness yet to see if it behaves like my Fozzie did, but I will.

I have a steep hill to navigate to get home from anywhere. X-Mode was a huge selling point when I got my Forester, and was still one for my Outback. Maybe it's more prevalent in other AWDs than I think, but I trust Subaru's.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
Applying the brakes in hill descent control slows the crawl but remains engaged. IIRC as long as either X-mode is selected HDC will be engaged on a slope. If you give it some gas it will speed up and hold where you let off. If you step on the brakes it will slow down and continue at whatever lower speed is now set. Stepping on the gas or brake doesn't disable HDC unless you speed up to the point where X-mode disengages.
 

·
Registered
20 Outback Premium; former 19 Outback Premium, 85 GL Wagon, 87 GL-10 Wagon
Joined
·
2,671 Posts
Applying the brakes in hill descent control slows the crawl but remains engaged. IIRC as long as either X-mode is selected HDC will be engaged on a slope. If you give it some gas it will speed up and hold where you let off. If you step on the brakes it will slow down and continue at whatever lower speed is now set. Stepping on the gas or brake doesn't disable HDC unless you speed up to the point where X-mode disengages.
Agreed, that's how it works for me, and it does it quite well.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top