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Old 12-11-2012, 01:26 PM   #1
SubaDuba420
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Default BRZ Owners, Review / thoughts after living with daily

So now that the BRZ has been out for several months I'd like to hear what the owners opinions are after living with the car daily after the initial "awesomeness" wears off. I've read and watched nearly every review, but I'd like to hear the opinion of people who've spent more than 10 hours in the car. After reading the following long term review I figured I'd ask the owners here of similar experiences / opinions.

http://www.automobilemag.com/reviews...cember_update/

Quote:
Two hatchback-owning associate Web editors find the BRZ difficult to live with on a daily basis. Over a weekend with car, Jake Holmes disliked the "middling rear visibility, thrashy engine, notchy gearbox, somewhat stiff and buzzy highway ride, and a real lack of back seat room." Donny Nordlicht took issue with the "hard, cheap plastic everywhere, the black-black-fake silver color scheme, the unusable center console (I didn't dare try to get Starbucks with this car), or the infuriating infotainment system with too-small controls (both hard buttons and on the screen) and Bluetooth system that refuses to stay connected."
Good or bad, minor little annoyances you missed on the test drive or major issues requiring days in the shop due to lack of parts availability.
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Old 12-11-2012, 01:38 PM   #2
spaceywilly
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I read that automobile mag post as well and I agree with what they say (I currently have 12,000 miles on my BRZ). If Subaru really wants to be a major contender in the auto market they need to sweat out these details. For me personally it doesn't affect my enjoyment of the car, but these kinds of minor annoyances are definitely holding them back as a company. Many of these annoyances could be fixed easily if they would just show some interest in creating a quality product, and how this GPS system ever made it into a production car is just mind boggling. I would not expect such a terrible interface on a $50 Chinese GPS, they can do better than this.

Here is the full post, it's worth reading

Quote:

There's no good daily driver that's also a perfect driver's car.

After living with a 2013 Subaru BRZ Premium for five months, we've noticed a few problems with the car. The day after our last monthly update, we had to order a replacement right taillight because ours filled with condensation. A simple fix, right? Sure, if you can find the part, which is currently back-ordered until January. A minor problem, but our new car no longer looks so new.

There have also been sporadic problems with the navigation system. At first we spent all of our time running our favorite roads in the new BRZ to enjoy its stellar chassis and predictable handling. Lately we've been venturing a bit farther afield and discovered how poorly the navigation system performs. Everyone who tried to use navigation has reported multiple instances of the unit losing the GPS signal. A visit to the dealer was in order.

We learned the BRZ has a technical service bulletin for the GPS antenna mount as well as an SD card exchange program for the navigation software. Another simple fix, right? Again, it would be only if the parts are on hand. We're told the new mounting bracket and SD card will be available in a week or two. Such is life with a brand-new car before the bins at the factory parts depots are full. In any case, don't expect to see our new Subaru BRZ on a long road trip for a while.

While we spent our first few months enjoying the Subie as driver's car and fair weather toy, the experience of daily driving is finally putting us in touch with reality. We expected the stereo to sound much better with our new driver's door speaker installed, but the speakers still serve up "a constant stream of distortion," according to senior editor Eric Tingwall. The touchscreen interface's tiny buttons have yet to find a fan and Tingwall has gone so far as to suggest an aftermarket Sony head unit for the car. We aren't quite ready to give up on the factory unit until we test the revised navigation software, but the universal loathing for the stereo controls is difficult to ignore.

Two hatchback-owning associate Web editors find the BRZ difficult to live with on a daily basis. Over a weekend with car, Jake Holmes disliked the "middling rear visibility, thrashy engine, notchy gearbox, somewhat stiff and buzzy highway ride, and a real lack of back seat room." Donny Nordlicht took issue with the "hard, cheap plastic everywhere, the black-black-fake silver color scheme, the unusable center console (I didn't dare try to get Starbucks with this car), or the infuriating infotainment system with too-small controls (both hard buttons and on the screen) and Bluetooth system that refuses to stay connected."

On the other hand,, deputy editor Joe DeMatio found the BRZ Premium to be surprisingly practical for a run to Costco with two kids in tow, ages 13 and 11: "I was a little worried about packing it all in, but I needn't have been concerned. Anna fit nicely in the front passenger's seat, Logan was nestled in behind her, and I was able to pack a cart full of stuff into the trunk, including two 40-lb bags of dog food, a case of La Croix water, 6 gallons of apple juice and assorted other grocery items."

Another staffer put the daily driving complaints into perspective: "This is a fantastic driver's car. It's not at all surprising that it's compromised as a daily driver. There's no good daily driver that's also a perfect driver's car, so far as I know. The two missions will always be at odds with each other. But something like a Volkswagen GTI would be a better compromise daily driver than the Subaru BRZ."

Although the 2013 Subaru BRZ Premium isn't the perfect daily driver, we're not going to park it for the winter. A set of 215/45R-17 Bridgestone Blizzak LM60 performance winter tires just arrived from the Tire Rack, our official wheel and tire supplier, and we mounted them on the stock wheels. We didn't want to give up the steering feel or precision we've come to expect from our BRZ, so we opted for a little less ultimate handling capability in the snow and a bit more responsiveness on dry pavement.

There's a chance these tires won't get us through a huge snowstorm, but we're willing to park the car for a night or two if winter turns out to be especially white this year. So far we find the BRZ's steering with the Bridgestone Blizzaks to be almost as good as it has been with the stock summer tires, though we haven't yet had an opportunity to assess performance in slippery conditions. Check back next month to see if we get the White Christmas of our dreams.

Last edited by spaceywilly; 12-11-2012 at 01:44 PM.
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Old 12-11-2012, 01:49 PM   #3
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I drive a Limited, so I made sure I went all-out to get the best of what Subaru/Toyota had to offer.

If you drive this car during the winter and live where it's cold, the windows tend to require resetting once a week, if not more often. I just reset them this morning. It's annoying when you heard exceptional wind noise, then realize the windows have failed to go back up after getting in the car.

The soft-touch material on top of the console is FABULOUS for cell phone placement, I just discovered! It grips very well.

The GPS unit is terrible. There's no getting around that. Recently it's began to lose satellites regularly. For about a month it was fine. I don't use the GPS, but it's annoying being told "lost satellite reception" after driving in the car for every little trip throughout the day. Okay, I exaggerate. It's not EVERY trip, but it is about once a day that I hear that voice.

The seats aren't very comfortable after several hours of driving. Compared to my 2011 WRX and 2008 Forester (or even 2005 STI), they just don't have very good back support. Good side bolstering, though. Of course, I'm a chunky monkey, so that might have something to do with it.

It's silly to complain about the lack of usable space this thing has. If you want usable space, don't drive a coupe. I actually LOVE the back seats because they're perfect for holding things AND I can reach them much easier than I could with a sedan chassis Subaru.

I really hate that more buttons aren't lit up. The buttons to switch trips, speed and other items are annoying to search for. Also the seat-warmer buttons would be nice to have lit up.

Most things about the car can be changed aftermarket. Color scheme, stereo, wheels, even seats (for the most part). It rides very well and it's only noisy if you don't listen to loud music!

This mentality that people have of "one car needing to be everything" is what's killed off the purist sports coupe, in my opinion. People started wanting justification for spending all of their hard-earned money. Everyone wants a small, 4-adult-passenger, AWD coupe that weight 2,500lbs and makes 300HP while being able to tow boats, haul wood and use regular and diesel fuel.
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Old 12-11-2012, 02:17 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chanomatik View Post

This mentality that people have of "one car needing to be everything" is what's killed off the purist sports coupe, in my opinion. People started wanting justification for spending all of their hard-earned money. Everyone wants a small, 4-adult-passenger, AWD coupe that weight 2,500lbs and makes 300HP while being able to tow boats, haul wood and use regular and diesel fuel.
I don't think anyone is asking for all these things, just asking for some more refinement. Subaru could easily fix these minor issues with the car and sell it for the same price, but they don't seem interested and I think they are losing sales because of it. If they want to accomplish their long term expansion goals and grow out of their current AWD niche markets, they need to fix these issues.
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:38 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spaceywilly View Post
I don't think anyone is asking for all these things, just asking for some more refinement. Subaru could easily fix these minor issues with the car and sell it for the same price, but they don't seem interested and I think they are losing sales because of it. If they want to accomplish their long term expansion goals and grow out of their current AWD niche markets, they need to fix these issues.
Oh I know no one's asking specifically, but where does it stop? I do agree they need a better GPS unit, but they also need to keep the price low, which I think where a snag is met.

Does anyone else get annoyed with the door swing? Mine always tries to eat people upon exiting. It's just not very strong for holding itself open.
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Old 12-12-2012, 11:09 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chanomatik View Post
Oh I know no one's asking specifically, but where does it stop? I do agree they need a better GPS unit, but they also need to keep the price low, which I think where a snag is met.

Does anyone else get annoyed with the door swing? Mine always tries to eat people upon exiting. It's just not very strong for holding itself open.
I have this problem as well..the open points are poorly defined and my door is always swinging closed when I open it.
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Old 12-12-2012, 11:10 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chanomatik View Post
Oh I know no one's asking specifically, but where does it stop? I do agree they need a better GPS unit, but they also need to keep the price low, which I think where a snag is met.

Does anyone else get annoyed with the door swing? Mine always tries to eat people upon exiting. It's just not very strong for holding itself open.
Yeah I personally I am fine with the GPS, at first I thought I would upgrade it but now that they have a fix for the signal issue, I really can't see any reason to. It's functional, even if it's not the greatest. But, that being said, I think they could at least offer an upgraded unit for people who are pickier. I agree about the doors, but I think it is just inherent to 2 door coupe designs. The doors are always going to be long and heavy.
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Old 12-12-2012, 11:55 AM   #8
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FWIW, I previously owned a '10 WRX hatch.

The BRZ is my daily driver.

Comfort:
Make no mistake, the BRZ is MUCH stiffer than the WRX. Part of this is a trade off for the roadfeel which I prefer versus the (relatively) numb experience in the WRX. I find that the same bumps I took in the WRX which I barely felt are more noticeable now. I wouldn't say the BRZ is uncomfortable because there are never instances where I find it harsh. No complaints from me here, but the fiance has commented on the bumpy ride on occasion.

NVH:
The intake resonator noise doesn't bother me. Interior noise is quieter
than the WRX on the highway.

Ergonomics:
The BRZ's interior quality is leaps ahead of the Fisher Price WRX interior. The soft touch dash is quality. My only real complaint is that the silver trim piece in front of the passenger seat can often times catch the sun, creating some glare for the driver. HVAC controls feel solid. But again my day to day experience comes from a '10 WRX and a bugeye.

I'm not a huge fan of the center console, neither position for the cupholders are ideal. However, you can securely fit a 32 oz Nalgene in the space not occupied by the cupholders. The glovebox is too small, and there's not a whole lot of space for miscellaneous items. No problems with the trunk for groceries, though full Whole Foods/Trader Joe's bags might get squished.


Headunit/Nav:
Ugh, where to start. The Bluetooth connection to my iPhone is reliable. I've never had issues where the call dropped. The voice recognition is poor, though I've programmed my favorites into the speed dial menu which makes it easier. There's far too many steps to actually make the call however. The stereo sound quality is is average, no real complaints there.

GPS is passable, however it cannot navigate Boston proper very well. I hate the feature where addresses are grayed out once the car is moving. This makes it impossible when you have a passenger trying to help navigate. The buttons, especially the touch buttons aren't the most responsive, nor are they properly sized. Most inputs require a second press or more.

Gas Mileage:
31-33 MPG average, which is pretty solid. I do have a reverse commute out of the city which is 95% highway though.

So far no major regrets. Coming from a hatch I thought the compromises were exaggerated. The space is really the only thing that I find lacking but I knew this before I purchased the car. The driving experience more than makes up for it.
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Old 12-11-2012, 01:59 PM   #9
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Unusable center console? Stop going to Starbucks, prick. I fit my thermos of coffee in there every morning! Granted the placement is a little more rearward than I'd like...
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Old 12-11-2012, 02:14 PM   #10
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Thank you! That beast has FOUR cupholders if you count the doors! How many coupes have FOUR cupholders?!
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Old 12-11-2012, 05:13 PM   #11
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I've had mine for a few months now. Have about 4k miles and have done 3 track days.

I haven't had any issues with the GPS. I have had one CEL, but I yanked the battery cable to reset and it hasn't come back. I expect it to though.

I did a 400 mile road trip in one day. No issues. Comfortable ride, peppy. Handles hills well. Still got over 30mpg.

I do agree that a few more lighted buttons would be nice. I'd also like a little more interior storage. Not a lot, but maybe one small closed compartment to stash a remote or an ipod.

I also do regular Costco runs with this and haven't had to put the seat back down yet.

Is it the most practical car? Nope. Not at all. but that's not what I bought it for. If I wanted more practical, I would have kept my STI Hatch instead of selling it to buy the BRZ.
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Old 12-11-2012, 05:22 PM   #12
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I've had mine for about 1600 miles so far, no problems with the Nav, fuel pump, engine codes or anything else.
Every time I drive my WRX for more than a day, I remember why I got the BRZ:
turns and cornering are great,
the car doesn't feel heavy,
quick steering rack,
seats are great,
and when I stab the gas at 2k RPM the engine actually does something instantly, whereas with the WRX it thinks about it for a bit.

It's a little more work to climb into,
and I whack my right knee frequently on the center console, steering wheel or handbrake when I climb in to sit down (I'm 6' 1" and about 200lbs).

The back seats clearly aren't meant for passengers if anyone up front is more than 5 feet tall, but I don't mind that at all.

But otherwise, I can't think of anything I dislike about it.

Maybe if the center console compartment had a sliding cover or something, that might be neat...so I could load it up with junk that I don't really need to keep with me :P

After driving it through the winter and probably autocrossing it next summer, I should know more.
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Old 12-11-2012, 05:24 PM   #13
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The GPS problem has a fix. Just tell the dealer - they can order parts.

I really like it as a daily. My only gripes would be:
-Poor visibility in the rear
-The GPS / stereo is OK, but the controls are tricky to find. I wish it had steering wheel controls
-Backseat is laughable. The trunk is actually OK.
-The bluetooth is almost unusable. No one can hear me while driving.
-"Chirp" at hot idle. Also a recall and a fix.

But all of these things I kind of expected. If you want a cushy econobox, get a ****ing Camry. I thought the article was a little whiny. I bet they don't have the same comments on their Porsches. It's a damn first model year sports car. There are compromises.

I do like:
-Great mileage - 28 mpg avg.
-Very good looking car. A lot of people ask me about it
-Tight and sporty, but not uncomfortable
-Stereo sound quality is not bad.
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Old 12-12-2012, 11:08 AM   #14
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I've had mine for about 1500 miles...being 21 I could for the most part care less about the comfortability of the car...I dislike the poor visability in the rear and on the sides... the little side windows are useless and the car has bigger blind spots than my convertible.

The back seats are laughable and if you have to regularly haul more than one other person I would say definitely don't get a BRZ. I actually haven't had any problems with the nav system and enjoy the bluetooth... The voice recognition sucks though and I am constantly repeating instructions and commands... It would definitely be helpful to have steering wheel controls which would help with how hard to press the small buttons on the head unit. I'm definitely going to try and upgrade to one with buttons if it is possible.


Coming from BMW's I can't stand the transmission and gear box...seems very sloppy and rough compared to what I'm used to, but I have gotten over it. I plan on deleting the noice maker off the intake, it is actually the loudest aspect of the car which I can't stand...other then that the road noise is nothing to write home about imo.

Other than the usual complaints that it is slow I love how it drives and I really don't even mind the traction control since it is nowhere near as invasive as I thought it would be.
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Old 12-12-2012, 01:11 PM   #15
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You folks brought up a few good points I had forgotten.

Steering wheel controls for the radio would be awesome. Also, the door is a pita. I have become used to it and no longer try to amputate my leg on a daily basis, but passengers always get the swingback.

As for blindspots, no issues. I installed those lame ass little convex mirrors and readjusted my mirrors according to http://www.caranddriver.com/features...id-blind-spots.
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Old 12-12-2012, 01:32 PM   #16
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I have had my brz for a few months and love everything. Other than me needing to get the GPS signals fixed and the Nav not really being user friendly, nothing else bothers me really. Well the lack of an armrest is probably the only thing.

I don't understand how they install a navigation with bluetooth recognition for hands free calling, yet require you to touch the screen to answer, or touch the screen to scroll through music. Its a pain in the ass. If it had physical buttons for track up/down, I would probably love it.

The few times i've used the nav it worked great, minus the last couple trips where it told me the satellite signal was lost.

Not sure what the voice recognition complaints are for...i'm pretty impressed actually. I can talk normal and not like a "robot" and it picks up everything. I don't have to yell either lol.
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Old 12-12-2012, 01:52 PM   #17
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I could do with a voice input steering wheel control other than that I don't really want them.

I actually don't mind the nav when it works, I just need to not be lazy and take it in for the GPS fix. Better than the UConnect system in my Jeep. I don't like the UI though on the whole unit and hate the touchscreen for selecting an audio input. I'd rather cycle through them with a hard button.

As for comfort and whatnot I have yet to take a really long drive in the BRZ, I've had it for 7 months and just hit 3800 miles, but so far don't have any real issues with the seats.

Cupholders are fine, no issues with Starbucks for me.

Doors swingback is definitely a PITA. I park on a driveway which is inclined, my wife hates the doors.

Ride quality, NVH, etc. are not really an issue, we have quite a bit of curvy roads around here and I love driving the car as much as I did when I first got it. Transmission is fine, it shifts a little smoother since I changed the fluid, reminds me of the STi 6MT with a shorter throw.

I have no issues with the car apart from the GPS, no CELs, no weird idle, etc.
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Old 12-13-2012, 02:43 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwx View Post
Doors swingback is definitely a PITA. I park on a driveway which is inclined, my wife hates the doors.
I nearly amputate my leg every morning when I leave and every night when I park on my driveway.
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Old 12-12-2012, 10:23 PM   #19
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BRZ Limited 6MT:
  1. ~5,700 miles (mostly short trips and only 1,221 highway).
  2. 28.4 MPG average so far (~29 MPG with normal gas, ~25 MPG with winter gas blend and snow tires) .
  3. I carry my two boys (ages 11 and almost 8) on the passenger side (one in front, one in back) a couple times per week. They love it.
  4. I fit three large adults in the car a few times for short trips. Not recommended for long trips, but useful in a pinch.
  5. I fit two adults plus two kids in the car for a few medium trips (the 8 year old fit OK behind me driving, but I wouldn't want to put anyone larger behind me).
  6. I put down the rear seat to carry stuff once every couple weeks. Coming from an MX5, this car feels like an SUV.
  7. Ride is pretty stiff, but not as bad as, say, the JCW mini or ITR. Livable.
  8. Driving dynamics, shifter, steering, and placement of pedals are all excellent. As expected, steering is deadened by the snow tires.
  9. More fun in the snow than ether my RX8 or WRX (I got to play quite a bit on Dec 1st). Not quite as toss-able as my MX5, but almost.
  10. Infotainment system is pretty good. Complaints are: laggy when searching navigation by voice, could use more thump (but low-end is decent and sound is pretty clear), screen resolution could be higher, UI mediocre (but I like the split audio/map screen). I haven't missed having wheel controls.
  11. Rear visibility not great, but it's fine once you get used to it.
  12. Bluetooth and USB have been reliable.
  13. Having two 12V plugs plus USB is handy.
  14. Auto HVAC, heated seats, and heated mirrors all have been more useful than I expected.
  15. Seats are superb: firm, supportive, and comfortable.
  16. Problems:
    • A minor rattle from the rear deck, but I don't notice it unless I have the stereo off.
    • Occasional GPS reception issues (TSB already out, but my dealer doesn't yet have the parts).
    • Have seen a small amount condensation in taillights a couple times (not enough for me to worry about).
    • FWIW, I haven't had any of the other issues I've seen reported at ft86club (engine chirp, stuck windows, or rough idling).
Overall, the best car I've owned.
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Old 12-13-2012, 01:46 PM   #20
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Quote:
Problems:
A minor rattle from the rear deck, but I don't notice it unless I have the stereo off.
TSB 12-140-12 will fix that problem.
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Old 12-13-2012, 08:05 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by illmatic View Post
TSB 12-140-12 will fix that problem.
Thanks for the link. Not sure how I feel about them prying apart, spraying grease into, and hammering the underside of the rear deck. Unless it gets louder, I'm not going to worry about it (or I'll just take care of it myself).
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Old 12-13-2012, 03:44 PM   #22
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It's time for lambo doors..
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Old 12-13-2012, 04:22 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Calamity Jesus View Post
It's time for lambo doors..
Ask and you shall receive.

http://rumors.automobilemag.com/lamb...#axzz2EhWYuHFh
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Old 12-14-2012, 10:06 PM   #24
pornie
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a quick question for you all.. how far down can you dim the nav/radio screen for night time driving? In everything I drive, I usually have the interior dimmer set to one click from the dimmest setting.
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Old 12-14-2012, 10:52 PM   #25
OrbitalEllipses
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pornie View Post
a quick question for you all.. how far down can you dim the nav/radio screen for night time driving? In everything I drive, I usually have the interior dimmer set to one click from the dimmest setting.
I'm about to drive home so I'll check if this is even possible since I haven't messed with the head unit very much. The night-time NAV screen isn't too bad from what I recall of the one time I used it.

EDIT: head unit backlight auto dims when the lights come on.
2ND EDIT: dims proportionally with the gauge cluster/interior light adjustment knob.

Last edited by OrbitalEllipses; 12-14-2012 at 11:50 PM.
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