Like the steering wheel paddle shifters in your new 2020 Subaru Outback, Forester, Crosstrek or Ascent, most owners don’t use the vehicle’s X-Mode feature much if at all. The problem is, you have seen the button on the console, but you aren’t really sure what it’s for. It’s one of the best safety features for winter driving, and you will use it more after reading this.
Not everyone who owns a Subaru vehicle uses the car to go off-road or uses it for extreme off-pavement adventures. With the X-Mode system activated, the vehicle is better able to capitalize on the traction available and provides sure-footed-ness over and above what is afforded by Subaru's symmetrical full-time all-wheel-drive. Here is a brief explanation of how the X-Mode system works and how to get the most from it in everyday use.
Subaru X-Mode can get you to winter sports activities safely
Keep safety in mind when thinking of Subaru X-Mode, especially when doing winter sports activities. The system controls the engine, transmission, all-wheel-drive torque split and braking system when road conditions are challenging and there is a need to capitalize on the grip. It uses the CVT transmission to better direct power to the wheels that need the most traction. This is useful in every day driving where there is snow, ice, mud, or wet conditions on the road.
X-Mode also increases hill driving capability. The Hill Descent Control maintains a constant speed when traveling down steep declines. This can be useful when you are on a steep icy road or coming to a stop sign. The system reads the road conditions for you and automatically applies the needed traction to each wheel independently. This allows the driver to focus exclusively on steering, keep their foot off the brake and concentrate on negotiating curves in the road.
X-Mode can be used to negotiate steep curves in the road
Another useful way to use X-Mode is when you are backing out of a steep driveway that is icy or covered with snow. Because of the all-wheel-drive torque split, the uphill wheel will slip without X-Mode being engaged. As soon as you engage the system, it will direct power to the wheels that need the most traction, and you can easily back the Subaru Outback, Forester, Crosstrek, or Ascent out of the slippery spot.
Most Subaru owners won't take their vehicle off-road or use it for extreme off-pavement adventures. X-Mode will help you in every day driving to capitalize on the traction available and provide sure-footed-ness over and above what is afforded by Subaru's symmetrical full-time all-wheel-drive.
How do I engage X-Mode on the new 2020 Outback?
If you are looking to use the Subaru X-Mode on the new 2020 Outback consider this. On your 2020 Subaru Outback touchscreen, touch the X-Mode screen from the scrollable top menu, then press the X-Mode on or off button. When X-Mode is activated an indicator will appear on the meter information display.
You Might Also Like: The Best AWD SUVs Are Still The New Subaru Outback, Forester, Crosstrek, And Ascent
Denis Flierl has invested nearly 30 years in the automotive industry in a variety of roles. All of his reports are archived on our Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Subaru Report. Check back tomorrow for more Subaru news and updates!
Leave your comments below, share the article with friends and tweet it out to your followers!
Photo credit: Subaru USA, Subaru Canada, Subaru Russia