• Jun 4, 2010
Long-term 2010 Subaru Legacy 2.5GT – Click above for high-res image gallery

Executive Editor Paukert has already complained about one button located on the panel to the left of the steering wheel in our long-term 2010 Subaru Legacy 2.5GT. But now that the keys have traded hands and I've got a beef to share about a different button.

The electronic parking brake is the biggest "button" in the cluster, but it's not so much a button as a push/pull-type switch. Fitted with a manual transmission, we tend to set the parking brake every time we exit the car, so the switch gets a lot of use.

However, Subaru has set up the switch in the exact opposite orientation you'd expect. Every time I go to set the parking brake, I pull it. Every time I go to turn it off, I push it. Unfortunately, it works the other way around. I think what's going on is that my muscle memory is trying to replicate what I would do with a more traditional parking brake lever, i.e. pull to set, push to release. I suppose someone could argue the exact opposite, that pushing to engage and pulling to release makes total sense (because that's how the door on a microwave works?), but we've heard from other late-model Subaru owners that this switch is a source of frustration for them as well, and many other vehicles that we've driven with similar e-brake levers work in the opposite fashion.

For now, we must remember that in this digital age of ours, new technology doesn't necessarily mimic its analog counterpart, which means I'm stuck pulling when I should pushing until my brain decides to relent.

CLICK HERE to check out all of the updates on our long-term 2011 Subaru Legacy 2.5GT.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      Death of the Handbrake turn!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Newer BMW models have the same electronic parking brake configuration. Ergonomics is important to me, but this one feature does not seem backwards to me. Are you dyslexic?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Dude that's nothin fancy. On my supercharged Honda Civic Del Sol I have a 8 inch LCD screen that controls my transmission and can activate the ebrake all via touch screen. It freezes sometimes though so....ya whatever.
      • 4 Years Ago
      This is how Audi and Cadillac do it. It mirrors a foot brake. Press to apply, pull to release.
        • 4 Years Ago
        That reminds me of how headlamp switches used to work in the 70s and 80s! Pull on, push off and turn to dim
        • 4 Years Ago
        Cadillac's electric e-brake is located in the center console between the driver and front passenger on the SRX and CTS-V. IT mimics the handle e-brake motion. Pull up to set, push to release.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Honestly, guys, your level of coverage of this car is a little over the top and it begins, I think - to strain credibility.

      Subaru, make the side-view mirrors fold again and I'll be interested when it its time to replace my Spec. B with a sixth Subie. Better yet, make a Spec. B wagon. But, you know, Legacy-sized. Not "Outbacked."
        • 4 Years Ago
        The '11 does have the folding mirrors. Some folks seem to care quite a bit about this...I can't figure out why.

        I agree about giving us back the Legacy wagon...with some better engine and transmission options.
        • 4 Years Ago

        Parking on narrow streets in old New England cities makes you want to be able to fold in your mirrors. At the least as a courtesy to cyclists. At best, to make sure they are not dangling from the door when you return. Happen's frequently.
      • 4 Years Ago
      But really, aside from a few us, do people really use their parking brakes?

      Personally, it has saved me from a few mistakes --I'm used to manual shift and I have a tendency to leave automatic cars in Drive or Neutral

      Then, for those who do use it, do we set it right. My wife is not strong enough to set it right so it's useless.

      I guess an electronic brake resolves that issue.

      I remember in driving school (1989), we learned how to stop our vehicle with the hand brake --don't think that'd be doable with these electronic brakes.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Reminds me of my old '84 Mazda B2000 pickup. The 5 speed manual transmission that I normally used as my parking brake developed a habit of popping out of gear when parked. One time it jumped out of gear while in my garage (the door was up), it rolled out of the garage across the street and took out my neighbors mail box. Then there was the time at LAX remote lot, where I returning to pick up my truck after a business trip. I get to the lot where I parked the truck, and it was nowhere to be seen. I thought it was stolen. But low an behold there it was maybe a hundred yards a way against a fence. It rolled across the lot never hitting anything (amazing at LAX) and came to rest against the fence. After that I always set the parking brake. :-)
      • 4 Years Ago
      Safety point of view, I think Subaru's scheme makes sense. It's easier to push things accidentally (especially for kids), so pulling = release would be safer.

      As someone mentioned, Mercedes and some GM models have pedal actuated parking brake, and pull lever to release. In this case, Subaru's design is more correlating to the 'analog' world.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Whether the e-brake is backwards or not isn't important for me, as any car without a central handbrake is off my next car selection list.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I'm with you Marz on that one!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Given the placement on the dash, it makes perfect sense to me as I've driven a few cars (and my Dodge Truck) that have the pull to release lever there.
      • 4 Years Ago
      How about those parking brakes where you push a pedal to set the brake and pull a little handle to release the brake. Sounds similar to what they have here on the dashpanel. Much ado about nothing.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Since it's electronic, just access it from some menu on your central media display and tap your select button and there, it's done; and you can see a pretty little icon showing the clamping of the rotor. Better yet, maybe just a voice command: "park brake on" will turn it on with no buttons at all, in fact, why not do away with all buttons altogether, you don't need any of them, they are so confusing and it's so hard to remember how to use them, especially if they are in a car that you own and use often.
      • 4 Years Ago
      You're absolutely right sir. A parking brake should be "pull" to engage, "grasp and set-down" to release.

      Conflating with a foot pedal is all wrong. It's a different function. The brake pedal is used to slow the vehicle, or hold the vehicle while waiting to pull away. It's never used to park.

      It would be totally off-putting if there was a pedal to operate a parking brake that lays down where you pushed it in even when you release your foot.

      Subaru is trying to be the Citroen of the twenty-teens.
        • 4 Years Ago
        funny how people want to argue on a topic they know nothing about lol
        • 4 Years Ago
        you do know floor mounted e-brake pedal does exist right? by the sound of your post it seemed otherwise.
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