Which stick-shift cars have "hill holders"?

A number manual transmission Subarus have a device called a
“hill-holder” that reduces rollback when starting on a hill. When the
driver takes his/her foot off the brake, the gadget keeps the brakes
on until the clutch is released. This seems like a way to solve the
manual-vs-automatic debate currently going on in my household.
Besides the Subarus, what other cars made in the last 15 years have
this feature?


My Honda Civic has a hand-activated parking brake. That’s my “hill holder.”

Cars with manual transmissions and a hand-activated parking brake don’t need a special “hill holder.”

The hill holder is just one more thing to break after a few years.

I use the same method Whitey mentioned (hand-activated parking brake) if I feel the need for a hill holder, which might happen once every five or six years.

Can’t he/she just learn to drive stick?

If not you’ll just to get an automatic, but beware, many modern automatics will roll back on a hill just like a manual-transmission vehicle.

I knew owners of manual transmission Studebakers back in the 1950s who had the optional hill holders on their Studebakers. I don’t remember any of these Studebaker owners complaining about problems with the hill holder.
My mother was an excellent driver, but she complained about the manual transmission Buick that my parents owned. The Buick had a step-on parking brake. Our previous cars had a hand controlled parking brake. It was harder to use the parking brake as a hill holder on the Buick. The Buick not only had the three pedals for the accelerator, brake and clutch, but had the starter combined with the accelerator, the step-on parking brake and a floor button to move the radio to the next station. My mother was also a church organist and thought the pedal board on the church organ was more logical and easier to operate than the pedals on the Buick.

The VW GTI has one and so do other Volkswagen’s I think. Its kind of a nice feature especially when I’m sitting in my slanted driveway waiting for the garage door to open.

Every manual car with the pedals properly positioned has a hill holder…I put one side of my right foot on the brake and the other side on the throttle, then I just rev the engine to about 1,300 RPM and slide my foot off the brake as I engage the clutch. With practice, one can also use this trick to match revs on a downshift while braking, but I never find it necessary to do this in street driving.

I loved the post about the Buick…As a church organist myself, I will say the pedals on the organ had better be logically arranged. There are an awful lot of them on most pipe organs! Many of them have 2 or more expression pedals plus stop control studs in addition to the 32 note pedal keyboard.

In the early 1950s, I went to an organ recital given by the late Richard Ellsasser. I remember he played one composition entirely on the pedal keyboard with his hands up in the air. Hmm–I wonder how he would have driven the Buick?

In the last 15 years? Subaru only as far as I know…or find an old Studebaker.

But if you must have a hill holder for health or physical limitation reasons then get an automatic. Otherwise, the best way to deal with hills with a manual is to simply learn how to do it properly.

I trust the parking brake more so than the hill holder. Especially when I’m parallel parking on a hill. I want to be able to release the parking brake when I’m good and ready, rather than the precise moment that some engineers think the parking brake should be released.

I’ve read of some Subaru owners that dislike the hill holder, claiming it results in rough clutch engagement at other times. Worth checking out.

My mini had one and I hated it.