- Apr 14, 2010
2010 Subaru Legacy 2.5GT: Automatic hill-holder is a great feature, but why the idiot lamp?
2010 Subaru Legacy 2.5GT - Click above for high-res image gallery
Like all new-for-2010 Subaru Legacy models, our long-term 2.5GT has an electronic parking brake that has a hill holder feature. We think these are great, particularly on manual transmission cars like ours, where rollback on uphill starts can be require a bit of pedal dancing that's particularly nerve-racking for newer stick-shift drivers. It's also mighty convenient for those that live in hilly areas where incline starts are a frequent occurrence.
So... great feature, right? Yes, but why does switching it on illuminate a green indicator lamp in the gauge cluster, and why does it turn itself off every time you turn off the car? We understand the advantage of a defeat button (usage is potentially ill-advised if you're towing something or carrying a heavy load), but we would prefer that once the feature is activated, that it stay that way until the driver specifies otherwise.
Oddly enough, Subaru actually offered a mechanical hill holder on its cars long before going to an electronic parking brake, but as best we can remember, that system wasn't defeatable. Still, we don't recall hearing anyone grouse about it staying on all the time, and we're not sure why the default setting for this new system is off, or why it requires an idiot lamp at all. As it is, we've stopped using it regularly to avoid the extra light in the cluster. That, and we couldn't get The Smiths' "There is a Light that Never Goes Out" bounding through our head every time we used it.