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2014 Forester Auto
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm having a love hate relationship with my first Subaru. It's a 2014 and I love most everything about it except the dash. There is a visor that extends out over the dash that creates a dark shadow in low light and overcast conditions. Sure I can turn the headlights on to get the dash to light up but why should I have to turn the headlights on in the middle of the day just to see the dash? Then there is that speedometer. Besides being poorly lit, it is difficult to make out how fast your are going and how much fuel you have left. I have to look a couple of times to check my speed and fuel level. I like to keep my eyes on the road. Then there are the turn signals. I'd like to meet the genius that designed them. For one thing, at 6'3" I can only find one position for the steering wheel where it doesn't block the in dash, turn signal indicators from my view and that is at the very top of its swing. It is not at all comfortable there and I can only just barely see the indicators. On top of that the indicators are rather dim and to make it even worse, I have hearing loss and can't hear the audible blinker sound. That may not seem like a big problem but if someone pulls out in front of you because you accidentally left your blinkers on, it's a big problem. Lastly, what's with the red dash lights? My smarter brother said that it was similar to airplanes, so you didn't get night blindness from the lights. Night blindness? I'm not flying into a dog fight. The oncoming car with it's headlights on high beam is what I'm worried about. I want my instrument panel to look like an instrument panel, with normal lighting. How can you tell when a red warning light goes on? Evey thing is red, oh, except for the blue, cold engine warning light. I can see that. Why do I need to know my engine is cold? I know it's cold, I just started it up. The rest of the car is great but if I ever meet the guy who designed the dash, I have a few choice words for him.

If anyone has figured out a work around for the blinkers I'd like to know. I saw one outfit selling a turn signal light that went in the door mirrors and were viable by the driver but there would have to be turn signal wires in the mirror itself and I don't think the Forester has that option. You used to be able to replace the turn signal relay with one that made a louder noise but I think the 2014 Forester has a relay switch, it's handled by the cars computer now. I might have to run some wires of my own from under the hood and adding some extra turn signal lights on the dash.
 

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2014 Forester Auto
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I suppose I could have asked to take it out for a week but I figured they wouldn't go for that. The seat felt a little stiff but it takes about twenty miles of driving for it to start to get uncomfortable. Test drives are usually shorter than that. As for the dash, it was a bright sunny day when I tested it. The real problem with the dash is that it isn't illuminated for day driving. For situations where it is overcast or dusk, its nearly impossible to see because the dash visor cast a shadow over the instruments. With no illumination, all you can see is a couple of red indicator pointing into the darkness. I drive with the night lights on during the day now just so the dash is illuminated. As for the turn signals I probably should have noticed that during the test drive but I was too interested in other, more important stuff like steering, ride, acceleration, braking. All in all, even knowing what I know now I still would buy it. Nothing else even came close. I'm just saying that whoever designed the dash must have been asleep.
 

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2014 Premuim CVT
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104 Posts
Well, I don't have mine yet, (picking it up this weekend) but I am the same height as you, so I hope I don't have the same issues. I noticed when researching the car, that the base and premuim have red dash lights and LCD digital display, while the limited and higher have a different type of instrument illumination and digital display (don't know what its called) but it looks like it might be easier to read at night. I ordered the premium because the wife hates leather and I didn't care for the rear spolier. But I wish the premium had the better dash illumination. How does the LCD display light up at night?

Rob
 

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2000 Impreza, 2003 Bugeye Sport, 2010 Base, 2014 Base, 2015 Premium, 2017 Limited, 2020 Touring
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I am 6'2" and stout, LOL. The steering wheel position I like and find comfortable blocks the turn signal indicators as well. I did not test drive the car before purchase because we bought it from out-of-state and had it delivered. All in all I like the car a lot, but as time goes by, comparison to my 2010 is inevitable.
 

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2011 2.5x Auto
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346 Posts
Louder flasher

I increased the sound of the flasher in my 2011 by glueing an empty Tic Tac breath mint box to the top of it. It made a noticeable difference.
 

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2014 Forester CVT
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95 Posts
Love The Foz

Wow, Hope you get stuff figured out.
my only small complaint is that the turn signal ticker is loud compared to the rest of the vehicle which is quiet.

Quiet is all relative, my previous car was a 2004 Subaru Forester and it was a noisy car, but I miss it :)


I'm having a love hate relationship with my first Subaru. It's a 2014 and I love most everything about it except the dash. There is a visor that extends out over the dash that creates a dark shadow in low light and overcast conditions. Sure I can turn the headlights on to get the dash to light up but why should I have to turn the headlights on in the middle of the day just to see the dash? Then there is that speedometer. Besides being poorly lit, it is difficult to make out how fast your are going and how much fuel you have left. I have to look a couple of times to check my speed and fuel level. I like to keep my eyes on the road. Then there are the turn signals. I'd like to meet the genius that designed them. For one thing, at 6'3" I can only find one position for the steering wheel where it doesn't block the in dash, turn signal indicators from my view and that is at the very top of its swing. It is not at all comfortable there and I can only just barely see the indicators. On top of that the indicators are rather dim and to make it even worse, I have hearing loss and can't hear the audible blinker sound. That may not seem like a big problem but if someone pulls out in front of you because you accidentally left your blinkers on, it's a big problem. Lastly, what's with the red dash lights? My smarter brother said that it was similar to airplanes, so you didn't get night blindness from the lights. Night blindness? I'm not flying into a dog fight. The oncoming car with it's headlights on high beam is what I'm worried about. I want my instrument panel to look like an instrument panel, with normal lighting. How can you tell when a red warning light goes on? Evey thing is red, oh, except for the blue, cold engine warning light. I can see that. Why do I need to know my engine is cold? I know it's cold, I just started it up. The rest of the car is great but if I ever meet the guy who designed the dash, I have a few choice words for him.

If anyone has figured out a work around for the blinkers I'd like to know. I saw one outfit selling a turn signal light that went in the door mirrors and were viable by the driver but there would have to be turn signal wires in the mirror itself and I don't think the Forester has that option. You used to be able to replace the turn signal relay with one that made a louder noise but I think the 2014 Forester has a relay switch, it's handled by the cars computer now. I might have to run some wires of my own from under the hood and adding some extra turn signal lights on the dash.
 

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2014 Forester 2.5 Premium CVT
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I suppose I could have asked to take it out for a week but I figured they wouldn't go for that. The seat felt a little stiff but it takes about twenty miles of driving for it to start to get uncomfortable. Test drives are usually shorter than that. As for the dash, it was a bright sunny day when I tested it. The real problem with the dash is that it isn't illuminated for day driving. For situations where it is overcast or dusk, its nearly impossible to see because the dash visor cast a shadow over the instruments. With no illumination, all you can see is a couple of red indicator pointing into the darkness. I drive with the night lights on during the day now just so the dash is illuminated. As for the turn signals I probably should have noticed that during the test drive but I was too interested in other, more important stuff like steering, ride, acceleration, braking. All in all, even knowing what I know now I still would buy it. Nothing else even came close. I'm just saying that whoever designed the dash must have been asleep.
As soon as you put the car in drive, driving lights come on automatically. So why not drive with the lights on all the time? I turned my lights on july 20th when i purchased the vehicle and I haven't turned them off since.

As for the seat/steering wheel.. i'm a pretty big dude (6'4"---245) and I may be the only person on the forum who has found the perfect seat position. I have done an 1100 mile trip and a 700 mile trip and felt like a million bucks. Take the time to make some adjustments, and you'll find the right setting.
 

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2014 Forester Auto
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'm going to mess around with the seat a bit and see if there isn't a better position that might work. As for the Tic-Tac suggestion, I don't think that there is a turn signal relay to glue it to. That was the problem. If I am correct they did away with the old relay switch. As for the visability of the digital display. It seems like kind of an afterthought. It's a little gray screen in the middle of the instrument panel. It can be seen easily enough but the information is hard to figure out. I find myself looking at it several times to get the information I want. It should only take a quick glance. I also forgot to mention the three climate control knobs. The indicator marks on them are useless as well. If it is absolutely dark and the headlights are on you can see a little indicator light marking their position. In anything less that that the indicators become invisible, even with the lights on. With the lights off, forget it. They are just dials and where they stop nobody knows. I go by sound on the fan setting and turn the temp knob all the way to the right for heat and all the way to the left for cold but the one that selects defrost and where the air is directed gets a bit trickier. Other than that I love my Subaru! I can't wait for this winter.
 

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2014 Forester XT Touring CVT
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Maybe you missed this ... have you tried increasing the brightness of the dash lights with that knob by your knee?
 

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2014 Forester Ltd. CVT
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You might try the unintuitive seat position. It worked for me. Bring it all the way down and back, that way you can bucket the seat a little to get thigh support.

I'm going to mess around with the seat a bit and see if there isn't a better position that might work. As for the Tic-Tac suggestion, I don't think that there is a turn signal relay to glue it to. That was the problem. If I am correct they did away with the old relay switch. As for the visability of the digital display. It seems like kind of an afterthought. It's a little gray screen in the middle of the instrument panel. It can be seen easily enough but the information is hard to figure out. I find myself looking at it several times to get the information I want. It should only take a quick glance. I also forgot to mention the three climate control knobs. The indicator marks on them are useless as well. If it is absolutely dark and the headlights are on you can see a little indicator light marking their position. In anything less that that the indicators become invisible, even with the lights on. With the lights off, forget it. They are just dials and where they stop nobody knows. I go by sound on the fan setting and turn the temp knob all the way to the right for heat and all the way to the left for cold but the one that selects defrost and where the air is directed gets a bit trickier. Other than that I love my Subaru! I can't wait for this winter.
 

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2014 Forester Auto
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Maybe you missed this ... have you tried increasing the brightness of the dash lights with that knob by your knee?
Yes, that helps but we are back to the original problem which is that the dash is nearly impossible to read in anything but full daylight. I have to drive with the headlights on all the time. That's not a problem but even with the dash fully illuminated, it is still not and easy read. I should be able to read the instrument panel in average daylight conditions with the normal daytime driving lights.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
You might try the unintuitive seat position. It worked for me. Bring it all the way down and back, that way you can bucket the seat a little to get thigh support.
That sounds interesting. It may also put me in a position that I can also see the turn signal indicators. My biggest concern is that I will accidently leave the turn signal on and someone will pull out in front of me.
 

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2014 Forester XT Touring CVT
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I'm really sorry you're having this problem, but I have to say, I have never had any issues reading the dash. The nav maybe - when the sun hits it right (or wrong), but never the dash or instrument panel. I also see most cars built these days have some kind of a dome over the panel that extends towards you.

Maybe like you say, it is the seating position that is causing the problem.

Yes, that helps but we are back to the original problem which is that the dash is nearly impossible to read in anything but full daylight. I have to drive with the headlights on all the time. That's not a problem but even with the dash fully illuminated, it is still not and easy read. I should be able to read the instrument panel in average daylight conditions with the normal daytime driving lights.
 

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2011 2.5X Limited 4-speed automatic
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Wait until you try to clean the dash surface. The material is too rubbery! At least it was on the 2014 loaner I drove for 2 weeks.
 

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2014 Forester XT Touring CVT
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I'm really sorry you're having this problem, but I have to say, I have never had any issues reading the dash. The nav maybe - when the sun hits it right (or wrong), but never the dash or instrument panel. I also see most cars built these days have some kind of a dome over the panel that extends towards you.

Maybe like you say, it is the seating position that is causing the problem.
He probably does not have the electroluminescent display that the higher end models do. No problems with this display.
 

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Wait until you try to clean the dash surface. The material is too rubbery! At least it was on the 2014 loaner I drove for 2 weeks.
Yup, make sure to use a completely lint free cloth, otherwise the dash etc will pull it off the cloth and leave it on the surface. (sorry I know this is sorta highjacking the thread).
 

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2014 Forester LTD 2.5L Slush-box
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Yup, make sure to use a completely lint free cloth, otherwise the dash etc will pull it off the cloth and leave it on the surface. (sorry I know this is sorta highjacking the thread).
It's not unlike the dash on my 2007 New Beetle convertible....sticky rubbery. :shake:
 

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2014 Subaru Forester Auto
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My EXACT thoughts.....perhaps the dash lighting was not available during the day, but surely one would have experienced the other issues during your test drive period??
I have to side with Maxwell, it's so hard to check every little thing in a 10-15 minute test drive. I did a ton of research on the forester, crv, rav4, and a few other vehicles. My brain was too full of information when I got to the forester and I was distracted by all of the gadgets that these new cars have that my 2001 didn't. I ended up missing a few things like the comfort of the seating.

In the end, I don't know what else I would rather have but I will try to find solutions for those problems.
 
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