Subaru Impreza Interior & Passenger Comfort Concerns

PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Member Posts: 9,372
From seating adjustments, to cleaning up that strange stain on the carpet, this is the place to discuss interior issues with your Impreza.


  • flamencoracer1flamencoracer1 Member Posts: 2
    For me, the driver's seat is not all that comfortable. My seat and others I have sat in (at the Chicago auto show and in dealers) feel like there is a stiff ridge running across the seat cushion, right where my pelvic bone contacts the seat when I sit all the way into the seat (like you are supposed to do). I have sat in other maker's seats that are firm (sporty), but are contoured to not have pressure points. Even the aluminum driver's seat in my race car is marginally more comfortable..... Doesn't sound like rocket science if other car makers can do it.

    Does anyone else have front seats like I am describing?
  • lilbluewgn02lilbluewgn02 Member Posts: 1,089
    I've had my 2002 since new and have aboslutely no fact, they are the most comfortable car seats I sat in....
  • bkaiser1bkaiser1 Member Posts: 464
    I liked the 02/03 seats so much that I pulled the seats out of my 04 WRX, sold them, and bought a set of used 03 seats to replace them with! Without a doubt, those 02/03 were the most comfortable seats I've ever owned. Maybe something's broken in your seat if you can feel metal or a ridge in the seat...have you sampled other seats of that vintage?

  • flamencoracer1flamencoracer1 Member Posts: 2
    From the 2 replies to my post, I fear that there are people out there that have never sat in comfortable seats. All of the seats from that vintage WRX were similar, and even the mechanics at the Subaru dealer agreed. The seat bottom at the back of the seat was malformed, too stiff. If my seats were made badly, so were the seats in the WRX at the Chicago Auto Show......
  • merrycynicmerrycynic Member Posts: 340
    The 2006 models have more sound insulation than previous models. I can't comment on how effective it is. My '02 WRX wagon is a wee bit on the noisy side. The benefits certainly outweigh this minor inconvience.
  • hypovhypov Member Posts: 3,068
    Don't think the '03 is any quieter than the '02.
    I too think the '06 would be quieter.

    My '03 WRX wagon is defintely quieter than my '98 OB and the '99 OBS but not as quiet as the '05 RS wagon.

  • onitisonitis Member Posts: 1
    Although embarrassing, I need help. It was really cold this morning and there was frost on the windows. After starting my 2002 WRX wagon I tried to open the driver's front window to say something to someone outside. It opened really slowly until about 1/3 of the way down and then stopped. It will now not do anything. I assumed I blew a fuse but could not find anything labeled for power windows. Is there a simple problem I am missing? Any help would be very much appreciated. Thank you.
  • searcherboysearcherboy Member Posts: 32
    You said it was really cold out when this happened. If you haven't already done so, move the car into a heated garage for several hours to warm up the window mechanism and motor, and see if this has any effect. You may have some condensation in your door which froze and affected the motor/relay/winder.

    I live in Vancouver, BC, where it rains a lot. Years ago I drove an Audi which tended to suffer odd electrical and mechanical problems when I drove to the mountains in winter. My passenger-door window motor died once, which may have been due to leaks around the window seals.
  • nightvznnightvzn Member Posts: 232
    Hi all. This is my first time starting a discussion here so I hope I'm doing this right.

    I recently bought a 2006 Subaru Impreza WRX STI, and I have a question about the automatic climate control system. When operating the air conditioner, it doesn't seem to settle on a comfortable "moderate" temperature; instead, it turns the compressor on and off repeatedly, resulting in very cold air alternating with lukewarm air, and never a great degree of comfort.

    I have found this mentioned online, and even in the car's manual, but I am lacking a clear answer:

    Motor Trend did a long-term test of a Legacy with, I believe, the same climate control system. They had the same problem. After several trips to the dealer (and being told everything was fine), they finally got it fixed with a new HVAC control unit. They said a new AC compressor RPM sensor fixed a reader's car with the same problem.

    I found at least one other mention of the AC compressor RPM sensor fix online.

    But then it gets confusing. The car's manual says the system is supposed to operate this way in automatic mode. But I detect no difference whatsoever in manual mode; the compressor still turns on and off, and the temperature still fluctuates within an uncomfortably large range.

    I have a service appointment with the dealer next Monday to look at a few issues, and I mentioned this. The service advisor said the compressor is supposed to turn on and off (to prevent the condenser from freezing), even in manual mode.

    To my knowledge, this is different from every other automatic climate control system I've seen. If other cars turn the compressor on and off, at least they do a better job of maintaining a steady temperature. Even my previous car's manual HVAC controls gave me greater control (and comfort), and it shouldn't be that way.

    So, I have conflicting sources. Motor Trend (and other web sites) say this is a problem that can be fixed in a documented way. The car's manual says the system is operating as designed in auto mode, but that manual mode lets you control the compressor. The dealer says it's supposed to operate this way in auto AND manual mode.

    And no matter how you look at it, the current style of operation detracts from occupant comfort, and I'd like it remedied if at all possible.

    Can anybody settle any of this confusion? Anybody have the same experience?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Ah, welcome to HAL, the climate control-freak.

    There are some minor changes you can make to get it more accurate, search on Scooby Mods.

    Some Forester owners have installed tiny fans to get the air moving around, and your car shares the interior with those.

  • kenskens Member Posts: 5,869
    I have a 2005 Legacy GT wagon but I have not experienced the problem that others have mentioned. In my case, I have not seen the fluctuation -- or at least I don't notice it. I find that I typically only need to adjust the temperature between a 2-3 degree range to get a comfortable setting.

    Not quite sure why there are so many different experiences...

  • nightvznnightvzn Member Posts: 232
    Well, my car is at the dealer today for several small issues, and they gave me an Outback as a loaner. It has manual climate control and, guess what, it does the same thing! If I put my hand by the vent, I can feel a back-and-forth between "super cold" and "kinda lukewarm." Each cycle lasts 5-10 seconds.

    And the service advisor said all cars cycle the compressor. When I pointed out that my last car (Maxima) didn't do that, he said all Subarus do, anyway.

    But like you said, strange that people have different experiences with the same hardware.
  • nightvznnightvzn Member Posts: 232
    So are you saying it's behaving correctly (or at least, "as designed")?

    The only part that confuses me is the conflicting information I'm getting from various sources. Motor Trend supposedly got this problem fixed at the dealer (after several attempts), and reported having received mail from many readers who also had it fixed (either by replacing the control unit, or looking at the RPM sensor on the compressor).

    The manual says the system cycles the compressor in auto mode, but doesn't in manual mode. I detect no difference whatsoever between the modes.

    The dealer service advisor says it cycles in all modes.

    No wonder I'm confused. I'm the type who is mostly willing to live with the problem if the system is at least functioning as intended, but that's the big question here.
  • stevesparadisestevesparadise Member Posts: 3
    Does anyone feel the seats are uncomfortable on the Impreza?
  • nine51nine51 Member Posts: 77
    edited November 2010
    We bought a 2010 Outback Sport in August this year. My only problem with the OBS is the seats. The head restraints have got to be the most uncomfortable I have ever experienced. I normally like to have my seat reclined fairly far back from the wheel but even as far as I recline the seat, they are still pushing my head too far forward. Subaru, in the next generation of vehicles, could you please install some type of head restraint adjustment other than just up or down? I also have a 2004 Honda Civic EX. It's head restraint looks to be raked forward almost as much as the ones in the OBS, but they have a hole in the center section of the restraint that allows some room for my pointy little head. I realize the automakers are forced to comply with new crash safety regulations from the government, but do they have to send us all to the chiropractor with neck pains after driving your cars? From what I have read, this is beginning to be a common complaint with other manufacturers cars, but I expect more from Subaru. I'm afraid that most people who hate these restraints as much as I do will just remove them and have no rear end crash protection at all. Some people don't seem to mind it but everyones shape is different, so one size does not fit all. Make them adjustable.

    For the record, We are both Subaru fans and this is our 7th one. We still have an 02 Legacy GT wagon that I refuse to part with. I'm not just ranting on Subaru. It seems that many other manufacturers are having the same issue with head restraint comfort. I just think Subaru should be taking the lead and making them safe AND comfortable.
  • highway_starhighway_star Member Posts: 2
    Nine, I've been car-shopping lately, and I have to say I COMPLETELY agree with you.

    I both test-drove and rented an Impreza/OBS, and the '011 headrests are an utter TRAVESTY on an otherwise pretty nice car.

    I have to wonder during focus-testing, did anyone actually say to the design engineers, "Hey, y'know what this car really needs? Headrests that RAM YOUR HEAD FORWARD really far and uncomfortably." :sick:

    I've seen side-by-side comparo pics of the '010 and '011 headrests, and yup, the '010's aren't nearly as tall. Very tall headrests, sharply-angled forward = major redesign FAIL, right there. Why break something that wasn't broken?

    You can *somewhat* alleviate the literal pain-in-the-neck the '011 Impreza/OBS headrests are by lowering the headrest ALL the way down, and tilting your seat back a lot. But that only takes care of about 50% of it, and what if you don't WANT to be all laid-out in your seat? It's not like the Impreza/OBS needs you to be in 'La-Z-Boy' recliner position like some cars do, there's plenty of headroom.

    In short, a REALLY bad design choice, and one of the few things that might prevent me from buying this car. It's really between the Impreza/OBS and the Mazda 3 hatchback for me (which btw, has VERY comfy seats).

    Hmm... if I do go '011 Impreza/OBS in the end, wonder if I could get some replacement '010 headrests from the dealer?? :confuse:

  • xwesxxwesx Member Posts: 16,576
    edited December 2010
    I love the headrest design. It is the first one I have ever come across that is actually usable while driving and cradles my head in a perfectly upright position. In doing so, it helps reduce driving fatigue considerably over long distances. I drove my car 2,200 miles in 48 hours a while back, and I felt great at the end of it (aside from needing a bit of shut-eye!).

    That said, my wife does not like them at all. :sick:
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • highway_starhighway_star Member Posts: 2
    edited December 2010
    Your wife is right. :D

    Srsly though, Nine is correct when he says the best thing for Subaru to do would be to make the torture devices... err, headrests... comfortable for everyone by making them adjustable FORE-AFT, not just up-down.

    But that just would make too much sense. :sick:
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Problem is the IIHS rear-impact tests have more of a say in the design than anything else. They want a Good score no matter what - and often that means a headrest very near the dummy's head.
  • dogdoc1997dogdoc1997 Member Posts: 32
    oK, ITOO NOTICE THIS, WE TRIED AN mdx AND MY WIFE SAID NO; IT HITS HER IN THE BACK OF TEH HEAD, FORD is the ONLY one I know that actually allows moving up.down. and back to front....the 2011 FORD EXPLORER, just read it in the USA TODAY yesterday....
  • ranklarranklar Member Posts: 2
  • ranklarranklar Member Posts: 2
    So, I hopped in my awesome suby tonight ('99 Impreza 2.5RS) and the window was a little foggy,so I flipped defrost on, and moved the selector from recycle to outside air, and it sounded like something broke or fell into the vents. And now there is a rattle sound when the air is on...

    Anyone know where the intake for the air is located? I was hoping to take a look and see if 1. Something might have fallen in, or 2. maybe the latch that closes off the outside air might have broken somehow and now just rattles when the fan is on?

    Any help would be appreciated, thanks!
  • xwesxxwesx Member Posts: 16,576
    The intake is located under the cowling (at the back of the hood - you can easily see the grating there when you have the hood open). The fan, though, is located behind the glove box. It is easy to access and remove once you pull the box out (an easy task as well). Once you slip the motor and fan out, it leaves a bit hole there, so you can feel/see around in there and tell if something is hanging loose.
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • jazzman1911jazzman1911 Member Posts: 1

    Hi all,
    So a bit of embarrassment here - I was fiddling with my headrests and apparently not paying attention when I put them back on. When I did so I put it on backwards, and now it is stuck. It looks like the cut in the side of the post which is supposed to catch the release latch is catching on the lip of the other side's channel for the post. It simply won't budge. Is there anything I can do or should I just take it in to the dealership?
    It is a 2014 impreza sport

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