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7 Subaru Winter Driving Features And One That's Still Missing On Many Models

Check out Subaru's cold weather features that make winter driving more comfortable. And there's one feature many Subaru owners want but can't get on many models. 

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Consumer Reports (by subscription) says seven car features make winter driving more comfortable. Subaru offers seven, and one more you may not be aware of listed below.

  • A remote start
  • Heated seats
  • Heated side mirrors
  • Windshield wiper deicers
  • Heated washer jets
  • A heated steering wheel
  • One-piece winter windshield wiper blades

The snow-friendly "beam" one-piece windshield wiper blades are not standard on Subaru models, but you can install them at a Subaru retailer.

The one Subaru winter feature that's missing on many models and trim levels.

Unfortunately, a heated steering wheel is unavailable on many Subaru Outback, Crosstrek, Forester, Ascent, and Solterra trim levels. For example, you can't get a heated steering wheel on the 2024 Subaru Forester Base, Premium, Sport, and Wilderness trim levels. You can only get it on Limited and Touring trims. I think it's the one feature Subaru should have available on more trim levels.

Subaru remote start feature.

Every 2024 Subaru model, including the 2024 Subaru Forester, Outback, and Crosstrek, has remote start available on many trim levels. A Subaru Starlink connected services subscription is standard on most trim levels. The remote start app is available using your smartphone.

All-weather package. 

The Subaru Crosstrek, Outback, Forester, Ascent, and Solterra offer an all-weather package with heated front and rear seats, a heated steering wheel, windshield wiper deicer, and heated side mirrors. All are must-have features if you live in a cold-weather climate.

Road surface freeze warning indicator.

There is a unique feature on the Crosstrek, Outback, Forester, and Ascent you may need to be made aware of, and it often needs to be understood. It's the road surface freeze warning indicator, and here's how it works.

2023 Subaru Solterra driving in the snow
When winter weather strikes in many parts of the country, drivers often face the added challenge of icy roads. Subaru vehicles with a road surface freeze warning indicator can alert you to potentially slippery conditions based on outside temperatures.

When the outside temperature drops to 37F (3C) or lower, the temperature indication flashes to show that the road surface may be frozen. If the outside temperature drops to 37F (3C) or lower while the display gives an indication other than the outside temperature, the display switches to the outside temperature indication and flashes for 5 seconds before returning to its original indication.

If the display indicates an outside temperature of 37F (3C) or lower when the ignition switch is turned to the "ON" position, the indication does not flash.

Note: The outside temperature indication may differ from the actual outside temperature. The road surface freeze warning indication should be treated only as a guide. Be sure to check the condition of the road surface before driving.

Remember, the indicator is intended as a guide only. Drivers should check and monitor the actual condition of the road surfaces.

Be especially wary of black ice. According to AAA, pavement with black ice will be slightly darker and duller than the rest of the road surface.

Know where ice builds up.

Look for ice build-up on intersections, bridge decks, ramps, and overpasses. This is especially true if you travel on the highway and then pass over a bridge. The cold air surrounds the surface of a bridge from above and below, and bridges lose heat from both sides. 

Bridges cannot trap heat and will ice rapidly when the temperature decreases to freezing. Roads, on the other hand, only lose heat from their surface. The road surface freeze warning indicator could keep you out of the ditch this winter.

The 2024 Subaru Crosstrek, Outback, Forester, Ascent, and Solterra SUVs have many winter-friendly features. Why doesn't Subaru offer a heated steering wheel on more models and trim levels? 

Thanks for reading, everyone. I hope you enjoyed this Subaru story. See you tomorrow for my latest Subaru Report.

For additional articles related to new Subaru models, here are a few of my top stories you may enjoy. 

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Check out the Subaru X-Mode Winter Snow Test - Outback Onyx XT from Driving Sports TV YouTube video

I am Denis Flierl, a 12-year Torque News senior writer with 20+ years of Subaru and automotive journalism experience. I enjoy bringing you, the Subaru fans and customers, the most up-to-date Subaru news, reviews, and new model information. You'll find the latest Subaru stories on the Subaru page. Follow me on my The Dirty Subaru website, Dirty Subaru blogSubaruReportAll Subaru, WRXSTI, @DenisFlierlFacebook, and Instagram.

I’ve got you covered! - I cover all Subaru all the time - It’s called the “Subaru Report.” Check back daily for my expert Subaru analysis!

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photo credit: Subaru

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