An anonymous fan writes...
My parents own an '84 Subaru, and I've experienced the greatness of the "Hill-Holder" clutch technology. Assuming you haven't been enlightened, let me describe it's beauty...
Imagine that you pull up to a stop light on an uphill grade. While stopped, you have your left foot on clutch and right foot on brake. Now, an amateur monster truck pulls up behind you.
In a normal car, you then proceed to sweat buckets in anticipation of (a) stalling the motor and being squashed, or ( doing a foot dance while burning up your little clutch plate.
But with the "Hill-Holder", as my experience has shown, it's like a magic foot sent from high above conveniently pushing the break pedal in your time of need. Imagine a third leg coming out between your regular legs. Wait, don't imagine that. Anyway, once you push all the way in on the clutch AND brake, you can take your foot off the brake and push the gas; it keeps the brake ON until you release the clutch. Amazing!
See the "Hill Holder Clutch" defined here: http://www.cars101.com/subaru_terms.html
I think, due to re-designs of the subaru AWD, they had to lose the "Hill Holder" option, but guess what... the "Hill Holder" is back (in Foresters?) for 2003 according to this: http://auto.consumerguide.com/auto/new/reviews/full/index.cfm/id/23328.htm
Hope that clears things up for you.