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Are Subaru's Good in the Snow?

Subaru is a brand known for great off-road and inclement weather capability, with symmetrical All-Wheel Drive on every vehicle in their lineup, aside from the BRZ sports coupe. In a recent iSeeCars report, Subaru was among the best brands for driving in snow, with the 2022 Outback ranked number one, and 2022 Forester number three in the SUV category.  The 2022 Impreza and 2022 Legacy were the highest-ranked in the non-luxury category.  All four of these vehicles have All-Wheel Drive, and AWD vehicles tend to handle snowy roads better than front and rear-wheel drive vehicles.

How does All-Wheel Drive help your Subaru Navigate in the Snow?

AWD vehicles distribute power to all four wheels at the same time, or automatically engage torque to all four wheels when necessary.  This gives each wheel more traction to drive smoothly over ice or snow without spinning out.  Given that each wheel may have a different amount of snow or ice underneath it, an All-Wheel Drive system ensures that each tire is getting the power or torque it needs to keep the vehicle moving.  Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive has features that go beyond the typical AWD vehicle performance in winter weather.
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What Advantage does Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive Give your Subaru?

Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive gets its name from the low and balanced center of gravity around the Boxer engine. This engine has horizontally opposing cylinders laid out in a straight line, which helps all four tires find a better grip. The low center of gravity and even distribution of weight provides advantages on all terrain, but especially in winter weather.  When a Subaru with Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive hits a patch of ice or snow, the AWD system diverts power from tires on slicker sections, and directs it to the tires with a better grip on the road.  

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Subaru’s symmetrical All-Wheel Drive can also reduce tire wear, and thus the price of replacing tires frequently.  With a balanced distribution of weight on each wheel, the tires are more likely to wear evenly together.  It is recommended to replace all four tires on an All-Wheel Drive vehicle at the same time. This even amount of tire wear ensures that you are getting the most out of your wheels. Other AWD vehicles that have uneven weight distribution will wear down certain tires quicker than others, resulting in more frequently worn out tires.  

What does X-mode do for your Subaru?

Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive provides a foundation of balance in snowy weather, and is further enhanced by X-mode. When conditions get particularly rough, X-mode adjusts the engine throttle and transmission shift points to deliver power smoothly and provide the ideal amount of torque to each wheel.  It also improves the AWD system by raising the front/rear coupling force to maximize traction.  When X-mode is activated, Hill Descent Control also engages. At low speeds (under 12mph) Hill Descent Control helps maintain vehicle starting speed for safer maneuvering. The car itself manages the throttle and braking, allowing the driver to fully concentrate on steering. This means you don’t have to use the brakes on steep slopes and risk them locking up.  
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How do Subaru’s new Wilderness models fare in the Snow?

The Wilderness options available on the 2022 Subaru Forester and Outback are tailored to take on tough off-road adventures and challenging terrain.  On top of the symmetrical All-Wheel Drive with X-mode and Hill Descent Control, the Wilderness models have many extra features that make it possible to navigate ice or high snow safely.  The Wilderness option comes standard with 17-inch matte black off-road wheels, and all-terrain Yokahama GEOLANDER tires, providing improved performance in rough conditions.  Wilderness models also have increased ground clearance for navigating higher snow. The Outback Wilderness has a ground clearance of 9.5 inches, while the Forester Wilderness has 9.2 inches. The Standard Direct-Injection Turbocharged Subaru Boxer Engine with re-tuned gearing provides the po