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The Top 5 Hidden Settings On Your Subaru Forester, Outback, Crosstrek

Exclusively for Subaru owners, my report unveils five hidden settings on the 2024 Forester, Outback, Crosstrek, and other new Subaru models. These are not widely known, and they could significantly enhance your driving experience. 

They aren't secret, just hidden.

These five new hidden Subaru features, which I've not covered in my hidden features reports, are not just novelties. They are practical tools that can enhance your driving experience. Most of them are hidden in plain sight, but with the right guidance, you can easily unlock their potential. 

If you recently purchased a new Forester, Outback, Crosstrek, or other new Subaru vehicle, or if you're looking at a Subaru, you'll want to check out these features.

Most of these features are standard on the 2020 and newer Subaru models. Every one of these features can make living with your Subaru easier. And once you've used them, you'll be glad you found them. 

Alex Prestigiacomo from Bachman Subaru says, "These are newer Subaru settings that new owners most commonly miss. Most of these Subaru hidden settings are hidden in plain sight." 

Your Subaru salesperson may only know some of them. So, let's get started. 

Hidden Feature #1

The first feature concerns keyless entry. You likely know this. You can have the key fob in your pocket and open the door. The vehicle knows, and you can pull the handle up and open the door. To lock the car, you touch the groove on top of the handle. This also works on the passenger front door. 

These hidden features of keyless entry are surprisingly user-friendly. By simply using your vehicle's touchscreen, you can access and customize the keyless entry settings. 

You'll have four different settings. The most common question is about the driver's door setting. Click on All, and all the doors will unlock when you open the driver's door. You can also adjust your rear gate to unlock it.

If you leave your key fob in the vehicle for some reason or it falls out of your pocket, the car door will not lock. This prevents you from accidentally locking your keys in the car. 

Hidden Feature #2

There is a piece of material that appears loose between the driver's and front passenger's seats and the console. Why is it there? It protects the leather or cloth seats from wear and tear when moving them forward or backward. It's an added layer of protection to keep your seats in good shape from content up and backward movement.

Hidden Feature #3

The third setting is hidden in your vehicle's adaptive cruise control on your steering wheel. If you do not want to use the adaptive cruise, you can push the up or down arrow and click and hold. You will hear a beep, see the lines go away, and an icon will appear on your dash. If you want to change it, click and hold the arrow. 

Hidden Feature #4 

The next hidden feature is within the light control. Your Subaru has an automatic setting, so your lights come on automatically when needed. The hidden feature has to do with the high beam assist. When your headlights are set to automatic and your high beams are on, your high beams will automatically turn to low beams when oncoming car lights come toward you. When the vehicle passes, your low beams will automatically go back to high beams. 

When your fog lights are on in your headlight's automatic mode, they are turned on automatically and come on when needed. 

You can also change the sensitivity of the auto headlight switch. Click on settings, scroll to the Car setting, and click on the Auto Light Sensor. You'll have four settings: Minimum, Low, Mid, and Max. If you want your headlights to come on with the slightest bit of darkness, click on Max. 

Hidden Feature #5

The fifth hidden setting is located in the blinker or turn signal. In settings, you can set your turn signal to a one-touch lane changer. Click on settings, go to the Car setting, and click on One Touch Lane Changer. When you have this setting, you can tap your turn signal, and it will auto-blink three times and turn off. 

If you have comments, please leave one by clicking the red Add New Comment link below. Also, let us know which setting you like best. If you know of any helpful tips for owners, leave them here. 

Before you go.

Here are six of my recent hidden features series of stories you'll also find useful:

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


Dan Martin (not verified)    July 2, 2024 - 2:06PM

I love this '5 Hidden Subaru features article.' Our salesperson had no clue. She did not explain these features or even know of the Key Fob lock-out feature that saves the Fob battery when it is not currently in use. This feature is important to us as our keys are stored within 10' of our '21 Crosstrek. As I read this article, I expected this feature to be one of the five. To activate this Fob battery-saving lockout feature, I'm sure you know that the procedure is to hold the lock button on the Fob and then press the unlock button twice. The confirmation is four upper left side Fob light blinks. To cancel, unlock the vehicle with the fob. Note, sometimes you can perform this battery-saving lock-out without locking the doors. I am not sure how or why the doors don't lock every time with this procedure. For the first two weeks and before reading the entire Owner's Manual our Salesperson suggested placing our Key Fobs in a metal can to help save Fob battery life. I don't think she knows about this valuable Fob battery-saving feature.

Chris (not verified)    July 2, 2024 - 3:01PM

These are only hidden if you can't read an owners manual, or have common sense. 2ndly. The car will lock its doors even of the keyfob is in it. It's happened to me.

The Subre (not verified)    July 2, 2024 - 10:00PM

Thanks but these are useless “hidden” features. A little research and you could have done better.
A real hidden feature? Opening your car without the key or fob using the tailgate hidden button…

Heather Chadwi… (not verified)    July 4, 2024 - 7:49PM

If you leave your key fob in your car and start your car remotely with your phone, you have now locked your fob in your car. You can unlock your car from your phone.