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Don't Even Think About Keeping Your New Subaru Locked In The Garage This Weekend

The 2019 Subaru Forester, Crosstrek, Outback, or Ascent were meant to play in the dirt. See what sets Subaru's all-wheel-drive system apart.

Your new Subaru Forester, Crosstrek, Outback or Ascent should not be sitting in the garage this Labor Day weekend. It’s considered the last day of summer and Subaru has the best all-wheel-drive system that needs to be put to it’s highest and best use. If you are new to the Subaru brand, the all-wheel-drive vehicles are designed to be used for more than a grocery hauler on the weekends.

Subaru has a “go-anywhere” attitude and its unique all-wheel-drive system is at the core, but it’s different than what the competition offers. Subaru doesn’t adapt AWD components to a front-or rear-wheel drive vehicle, they develop all their multi-use vehicles around Symmetrical all-wheel-drive. Many automakers do adapt their AWD system to fit a front-drive configuration and thus they function passively, transferring torque away from the main drive wheels only when they slip.

2019 Subaru Forester AWD

The competition equipped with such systems essentially operates in two-wheel-drive when there is no slippage. They can be better than a front-drive car, but don’t provide the “full-time” benefits and road handling ability that a true full-time all-wheel-drive system like Subaru’s does.

Subaru doesn’t use the same all-wheel-drive system for every transmission type. The Forester, Crosstrek, Outback, and Ascent, equipped with the Lineartronic continuously variable transmission (CVT) uses Active Torque Split (ATS). How does it work?

2019 Subaru Crosstrek

An electronically managed continuously variable transfer clutch actively manages torque distribution in response to driving conditions, acceleration, deceleration, and cornering. Slippage at the front or rear wheels causes torque to transfer (up to 100 percent) to the opposite set of wheels. You can be in a precarious situation and not get stuck.

If you have a new Crosstrek with a 6-speed manual transmission, your vehicle uses a Continuous AWD system. Here’s how it works. A viscous-coupling locking bevel-gear center differential built into the transmission case distributes torque 50:50 front-to-rear. Slippage at the front or rear wheels causes torque to transfer (up to 100%) to the opposite set of wheels. Either system will keep you from getting stuck, but Subaru doesn't stop there.

2020 Subaru Outback


For extreme off-road use, Subaru offers its X-Mode all-terrain system on Forester, Crosstrek, Outback, and Ascent. It works to coordinate the engine, transmission, Symmetrical AWD and brakes to safely drive over almost any type of terrain. X-Mode assists in those situations where the vehicle starts moving faster as it drives downhill, like when driving down snowy roads or gravel slopes. You also have Hill Descent Control available that will maintain the vehicle’s speed so the driver can focus more on steering.

Your new Forester, Crosstrek, Outback or Ascent is designed to get you away from civilization and into the wilderness this Labor Day weekend. Subaru’s Symmetrical AWD is the best small SUV all-wheel-drive system for the weekend adventures.

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Photo credit: Subaru