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Thread: Third Gen Center Console Differences

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    Administrator rkrenicki's Avatar
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    Third Gen Center Console Differences

    I did a quick search and did not see this outlined, so I figured I would post this up here.

    In the third gen, there are two versions of the center console. The most obvious difference is that one has 1 cupholder, and the other has 2. There are a number of other differences as well, which I will outline here.

    This is a picture of the two different kinds side by side. Here you can clearly see the differences in the top. The black one was used for 2000-2002 cars, the beige one was used in the Late 2002-2004 cars. The square hole on the double cupholder version is where the coin holder or heated seat switches would go.


    The top plate is specific for the center console. This is best shown on these two pictures. Again, this is the earlier 2000-2002 version, you can see where the top plate meets the console at about a 45 degree angle.


    This again is the Late 2002-2004 version, where you can see that it meets up at nearly a 90 degree angle. It also has a thicker/taller armrest.


    Here are the two side by side, with the 02-04 in the front. It is quite obvious that the two are vastly different, and you can see the thickness difference of the armrest cover as well.


    So, the moral of the story here is.. if you want to change a single cupholder for a double.. you will need the entire console. Also if you have heated seats, be aware that the switch locations are different between them, and your wires may not reach without modification.

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    Re: Third Gen Center Console Differences

    Time to find the older one...looks better than the one in mine. No need to have a cup holder for my passenger anyway, they can hold it! Guess I'll be ripping the console out AGAIN.

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    Re: Third Gen Center Console Differences

    2 cup holder > 1 cup holder. I use the 2nd cup holder to hold small knick-knacks :P

    Oh, they went to the 2 cupholder console because they deleted the center stack cupholder by the HVAC controls in the later models.
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    Administrator rkrenicki's Avatar
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    Re: Third Gen Center Console Differences

    Yep, unless you do what I did and swap in that stack trim.. Three cupholders FTW!

    Actually, the stack cupholder holds my cellphone perfectly. I use it for when I am streaming pandora or some other music so I can thumb up/down and skip easily.

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    Re: Third Gen Center Console Differences

    So that trim piece is totally universal? I've been thinking about finding one because 3 cupholders > 2. Also, maybe you could answer this rkrenicki, what is the difference between the heated seat switches?

    Here is my problem, I had my driver side heated seat switch light (green light) burn out. GAH! So I bought the new light bulb, ripped the piece apart and couldn't get it back together. (classic) So, naturally, I threw it all away in a fit of rage. I then went on ebay and immedietly bought a new switch but, its super round. The outback one has some nobbies on it, its a bit more square and it just looks beefier. The one that arrived in the mail was round and... soft. Also, the lights on it didn't work either because that's my luck.

    SO is there a difference between the legacy switch and the outback switch?

    Also, heated seat works fine, the switch works! But, no lights. Not the red, or the green.
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    Administrator rkrenicki's Avatar
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    Re: Third Gen Center Console Differences

    No, the top piece is dependent on the bottom piece. If you want to get the double cupholder one in there, you will need the whole center console from a 2003 or 2004 car.

    The switches themselves are the same, but they are in different spots. On the single cupholder it is up near the armrest where the coin holders are in the picture. On the double, it is in between the cupholders and the shifting mechanism. The wiring of the car may not reach from one location to the other without some modification.

    The Legacy and Outback use the same switch for heated seats. Are you sure the one you picked up was for a 3rd gen? Ebay sellers do not necessarily know what they are selling, they may have sold you one from another generation, or even another make.

    For example, I bought a dashboard dimming knob that was labeled as from a 2000 European Legacy GX. When I received it, it would not fit. Turns out it was from a Mazda of some sort.

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    "FNG" Asphalt Art's Avatar
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    Re: Third Gen Center Console Differences

    For what it is worth, I have an 02 GT wagon with a black (2) cupholder console.

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    Re: Third Gen Center Console Differences

    You know, I was going to update this thread with that.

    When I was at the junkyard on tuesday I saw two different "C" cars (2002 model year). One had the 1 cupholder, the other had the 2 cupholder. It must have been a mid-year transition. I meant to check the production dates on the two cars, but I forgot to before we left.

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    Re: Third Gen Center Console Differences

    My build date is 8/01, and was produced in the U.S. per my door sticker if that helps narrow it down. GT wagon, BGP with charcoal interior. The one in the yard is an 01 with the same interior (1 cupholder)

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    Re: Third Gen Center Console Differences

    Question. Did the the 3rd gen Console box lid[Arm rest] come in a taller variety?

    I have a MY 2004 USDM wagon with dual cup-holder model. The lid in this thing feels so damn low. I read that the '96 had "taller one".

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    Re: Third Gen Center Console Differences

    I guess the overall hight is the same. Too bad there isn't an easy way to make it taller yet still fit in with the design

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    Re: Third Gen Center Console Differences

    There is an Armrest Extension that was sold in Japan for the BE/BH platform that should work, but they are exceedingly rare as it was not an overly popular option there.

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    Re: Third Gen Center Console Differences

    I don't get how it wasn't, I'd kill for one, especially after getting to the newer models that have it here in the US.

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    Any idea of what the part number would be?

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    Quote Originally Posted by rkrenicki View Post
    There is an Armrest Extension that was sold in Japan for the BE/BH platform that should work, but they are exceedingly rare as it was not an overly popular option there.
    Is this the extension you’re talking about? Do you know if it extends longitudinally?



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    One cup holder:
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