When you need Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive

Every season. Every condition. Every time you drive. Confidence behind the wheel comes from one place, where your tires meet the road. A sure grip of the road can give you the control to step around danger. The assurance to tackle any road surface or brave challenging weather conditions. And the poise and responsiveness to make every mile more engaging. Subaru has spent nearly 40 years developing a system for traction and control that employs an almost perfectly symmetrical layout to maximize power delivery and to generate balance and stability for control that's inspiring in nearly any condition.

All Weather Conditions

Seasons are beautiful things. But snow, rain, and other conditions can surprise even the best planners and intimidate even the most adventurous. Subaru Symmetrical AWD can help give you the power to embrace every weather turn. It keeps power fed to each of your tires so your vehicle holds on to every bit of road traction available. And if it gets really slippery out there, Subaru Symmetrical AWD reacts to slippage by routing power away from the wheels without traction to those that have it. Even if you encounter challenging weather conditions between you and your destination, you're always ready with a Subaru.

All-Road Agility

Sometimes the best adventures begin when the immaculate asphalt stops. Subaru Symmetrical AWD combined with the rugged build of our vehicles helps give you the freedom to stray off the beaten path onto gravel, dirt, or other road types. Subaru AWD continually sends power to all wheels to help securely grip nearly any surface. Its balanced design and poised handling enable you to navigate rough spots with a feeling of confidence. What's more, it reacts quickly to slippage by redistributing power away from the wheels that have hold of the road.

Spirited Handling


You deserve the power to delight in every mountain road, every curving onramp, every tight turn between you and your destination. With Subaru Symmetrical AWD, conquering curves can become a pure inspiration. Power flows continuously to each wheel-giving a feeling of being connected to the road as you enter a curve. Balance and stability coming from the symmetrical layout of Subaru AWD help you track precisely through the curve. And as you exit, each wheel engages the road, helping you accelerate quickly and predictably and helping reduce the chance of understeer or oversteer. The stable chassis helps you nimbly regain your balance and get ready for the next one.

Accident Avoidance


When danger steps into your path, the safest route is to step right around it. Subaru Symmetrical AWD routes power continuously to all four wheels, which means each of your four tires is fully engaged with the road as possible at all times. Should you encounter a hazard, you're more likely to have the traction to react and get out of the way. While securely holding the road can make a decisive difference in dry conditions, it's essential when road conditions are less than ideal. And because you need exceptional control and poise to make that evasive maneuver without overcorrecting, the balance layout of Subaru Symmetrical AWD helps give you the stability to act quickly without making a bad situation even worse.

How Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive is Different

Many all-wheel drive systems found on other vehicles don't start as all-wheel drive.  These systems are adapted from 2-wheel drive to be all-wheel drive.  Each Subaru model, unlike most other vehicles in its class, starts out as all-wheel drive.  This allows us to build a system for holding the road unlike any other offered.  Power is fed directly from the engine, through the transmission, then through the transmission, then to the driveshaft and then delivered to each wheel in the most direct route possible.  The result is constant traction for continual confidence.

Symmetrical AWD vs. Front-Wheel Drive-based AWD


All-wheel drive systems adapted from front-wheel drive typically feature a transverse-mounted engine. This engine configuration requires additional drive train components to transfer power through several 90-degree turns in order to get it to the rear wheels.  This increases weight, reduces efficiency and makes creating a symmetrical layout virtually impossible.  Also, these systems are often 2-wheel drive under most conditions – the rear wheels only engaging when the system detects wheel spin.  By then, you've already sacrificed some control

Subaru Symmetrical AWD vs. Rear-Wheel Drive-based AWD

Some all-wheel drive systems start with a rear-wheel drive platform that is adapted to be AWD.  This system requires power to be sent to a differential with an additional driveshaft that directs power to the front wheels.  This additional driveshaft reroutes power, changing its direction so it can be sent to the front wheels.  This extra routing sacrifices efficiency, and the extra componentry creates a drivetrain layout that is not symmetrical and balanced.  Often in such systems, most or all of the power is routed to the rear wheels.  When slippage is detected, the front wheels are engaged, and by the time power is rerouted, further slippage has already occurred.

Subaru Symmetrical AWD vs. Front-Wheel Drive

A front-wheel drive system leaves the rear wheels without any power, so they can't help you regain traction if you encounter slippage.  Also, if traction becomes loose when you enter a corner, centrifugal forces that act on your vehicle during a maneuver can cause the front to drift to the outside.  This effect-understeer-disrupts your ability to steer and track confidently through a corner.

Subaru Symmetrical AWD vs. Rear Wheel Drive

It's much easier for your vehicle to break traction if only two tires are required to handle all the engines power.  And if slippage occurs when only your rear wheels are engaged, your control is greatly compromised.  The rear wheels can move sideways, out of alignment with the rest of the vehicle.  You'll feel an unsettling loss of control, and possibly experience oversteer in a corner.  In a worst-case scenario, a highly dangerous spinout may result if the rear wheels don't regain traction.