2009 Outback Sport Mode

mfifemfife Member Posts: 2
edited April 2014 in Subaru
Can someone explain "Sport" mode in the 2009 Outbacks? My 2000 Outback gears were "drive-3-2-1" and that made sense to me. "Sport" does not seem to correspond to 3, and I can't figure out how to use it. The dealer explanation did not help me - I don't think they got it either. Thanks for your help.


  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    Sport mode allows you to select 1,2,3,4 by pushing the shifter toward the +/- Also if you just leave it in "S" and don't shift it yourself, then the transmission is put into a more agressive shifting pattern (higher shift points).

    Subaru Guru and Track Instructor
  • mfifemfife Member Posts: 2
    Thanks for the reply. I tried Sport mode and could only find 1,2 gears. Is there a trick to getting 3,4?

    "a more agressive shifting pattern (higher shift points)." . . . I am a complete newbie with these things and kind of slow just in general . . . what does it mean for it to be "more aggressive" and what is a higher shift point? I apologize.

    For example, when going up a steep hill, will the car be happier in drive, sport, or 2nd? In my 2000 Outback I would put it in 3rd and it always seemed happy with that.

    Thanks for your reply, sorry to be asking such basic questions
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaMember Posts: 15,939
    Not sure if this will help, but higher shift point means that the transmission holds a given gear longer as the engine accelerates. So, if starting from a stop with the transmission in "D", your car might shift from 1 to 2 at 2,000 RPM, then from 2 to 3 at 2,200 RPM, then 3 to 4 at 2,000 RPM. Now, if starting from the same stop with the transmission in "sport" (shift lever pulled to the left of "D"), your car might shift from 1 to 2 at 3,000 RPM, then from 2 to 3 at 2,800 RPM, then 3 to 4 at 2,800 RPM again.

    Of course, these numbers are completely made up, but you can see that in the second scenario, the engine speed is higher when the car makes the shift between gears. This equates to faster acceleration in the second scenario, all else being equal. Ergo, it makes the car feel "sportier." ;)

    As for going up a steep hill, the car should do fine in drive or sport. The final gear will be selected based on throttle input and sensor feedback. If you choose "manumatic" and have it in second, that's fine as long as it is appropriate for the hill. I tested my '08 Outback's manual mode and it held gears up to redline before automatically shifting, and down to a near stop, before resetting in first. So, you do need to be paying some amount of attention to shifting. However, the car will not let you shift into a gear if it is not safe to do so (you cannot shift into first at 50 mph nor fourth at 15 mph).
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
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