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Canada Gets It Why Not Subaru USA?

Why does Canada get a desired feature on the 2025 Subaru Outback, and U.S. customers are left out in the cold? See what it is and why you'll want it. 

Turn Up The Heat

It's already summer, I know. Hard to believe, right? So, who cares if the 2025 Subaru Outback has a heated steering wheel? It's the AC that needs to blow cold air now. However, everyone in a colder climate, including those in southern states, will use it if it's a chilly morning. 

On those cold mornings, it's a delight to switch on the heated steering wheel and feel the comforting warmth radiate from it. This feature, available in the 2025 Subaru Outback, is not just a luxury item but a practical one, too. It's a game-changer for those who have experienced it and a missed opportunity for those who haven't.

My Subaru Crosstrek does not have a heated steering wheel, and I would definitely want one on my next new Subaru model. It's one of those luxury items you appreciate. 

Canada Gets It

After reaching out to Subaru, Canada, I discovered an interesting fact. The 2025 Subaru Outback in Canada comes with a 360-degree heated steering wheel as a standard feature across all trim levels. This is not the case for U.S.-spec models. The reason for this difference is not clear, and it raises the question of why U.S. customers are not offered the same level of comfort.

In the U.S., the 2025 Outback Onyx Editions, Limited, Touring, XT, and Wilderness trim levels are the lucky ones to come standard with a 360-degree heated steering wheel. This exclusive feature is not available on all trims, adding a touch of intrigue to the selection process.

Two Trims Get Left Out In The Cold

If you buy a Base or Premium trim, it's not available. You can't even get it as an option. 

It's surprising to see the 2025 Subaru Outback Premium trim, a popular value trim level, not equipped with a heated steering wheel. I understand the disappointment this may cause for potential buyers.

The 2025 Outback Premium trim comes with the All-Weather Package (heated front seats, power exterior mirrors, windshield wiper deicer) but not a heated steering wheel. It seems like a simple enough thing to give Premium trims to me. 

In Subaru's defense, they did make the 360-degree heated steering wheel standard for the first time on all 2025 Outback Limited trims. So why not the Premium trim?

Maybe I'm splitting hairs here, but if Subaru of Canada can get all 2025 Outback trims with it, why not U.S. customers?

It couldn't add that much cost to the Premium and Base trims. 

What Is The 2025 Outback Pricing?

For the 2025 model year, the Outback comes in nine trim levels. 

  • The base is priced at $30,290 
  • Premium ($32,590) 
  • Onyx Edition ($37,500) 
  • Limited ($39,250) 
  • Touring ($41,740) 
  • Onyx Edition XT ($40,755) 
  • Wilderness ($41,355) 
  • Limited XT ($41,590) 
  • Touring XT ($44,190) 

Destination and delivery fees are included in the price above ($1,395).

Last year, Subaru of America introduced the outdoor-themed 2024 Outback Wilderness with a 360-degree heated steering wheel, a feature that was long overdue. This feature is now standard on the recently updated 2024 and 2025 Outback Wilderness trims, further enhancing the comfort and convenience of these models.

Since so many customers use the Outback Wilderness at higher elevations where it's colder, those customers especially appreciate the added warmth of having the heat on their hands. U.S. customers won't need gloves when the temperature drops below freezing in the Northeast, Rocky Mountains, and the Northwest.

Customers who live farther south also have colder mornings when they will use the convenience feature. 

Looking ahead, there's a glimmer of hope for all U.S. customers. It's my speculation that the next-generation 2026 Subaru Outback will make the heated steering wheel a standard feature on all U.S.-spec trims, just like our Canadian counterparts enjoy now. 

What are your thoughts? Would you choose or not choose a trim level because it had a heated steering wheel? Click the red Add New Comment link below and let us know.

I am Denis Flierl, a top Torque News reporter since 2012. I’ve invested over 13 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role, working with every major car brand. I am an experienced Rocky Mountain Automotive Press member. You'll find my expert Subaru analysis here. Follow me on my X SubaruReportAll Subaru, WRXSTI, @DenisFlierlFacebook, and Instagram.

Photo credit: Subaru


scotchbreath (not verified)    June 22, 2024 - 9:46PM

after having the heated steering wheel in my 19 Forester touring I can never go back. it's not full 360 on the steering wheel though. I don't understand why this is not standard when other manufacturers have it base standard.and for the Canada market to get vs the American is bs.they need to get rid of the auto start/stop function it is absolutely dangerous.lawsuit waiting to happen.

NMK (not verified)    June 22, 2024 - 10:27PM

My Taurus has a heated steering wheel. It is one of those features that I can take it or leave it. Being in the oil industry, I know the importance of warming up a vehicle in the winter, despite what the so called journalists and EPA want to tell you. After a few minutes the interior is nice and warm and I really dont care if the wheel is heated or not. What IS. great feature that doesnt get enough attention is ventilated seats. Hands down my favorite modern feature. It is a damn shame that Subaru doesnt offer it in many models. The ones that do, all make you step allllll the way up to the top trim to get them, which sucks because most of the other stuff that comes on those high trims is a bunch of garbage I dont want. But some how the Koreans can put the ventilated seats in a $26k Kia.

Samuel Williams (not verified)    June 23, 2024 - 9:39AM

All this hoopla about heated steering wheel is just that, what has happened to gloves?.

Sean M McCarthy (not verified)    June 23, 2024 - 2:03PM

I live in the Colorado Rockies at approximately $8,500 ft. Above sea level. I would love to have this option available for my Subaru Crosstrek. I would be happy to pay for it!

Jay Mac (not verified)    June 24, 2024 - 8:49PM

If I have to buy an upper trim model ,to get heated seats I'll go some where else.Hay Subaru in the northern states here in the U.S.
AT 450 Ft above sea level it gets to 25 or more below in Jan.
If you can't give it to us at lower trim levels ,you can keep it.