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The Difference Between AWD And Subaru's Symmetrical AWD

Just because two things share a name doesn’t make them one and the same.

For instance, George Washington was an inspirational leader who laid the foundation for this beautiful country. Whereas your neighbor, George – who never cuts his lawn – likely isn’t equipped to be president.

What does this analogy have to do with Subaru? It directly relates to our symmetrical all-wheel drive (AWD).

You’ll hear plenty of salespeople at dealerships everywhere boasting about their AWD just because the system exists. They act like all AWD was made the same.

And that's the crux of this blog. There are massive differences in quality between your average manufacturer's AWD and what you get with a Subaru.

Read below as we compare and contrast both AWDs and explain how Subaru's offering is one of a kind.

What Does Standard AWD Bring to Your Driving Experience?

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We should first start by saying that your standard all-wheel drive is nothing to scoff at. There are plenty of benefits that vastly improve the driving experience.

It begins with a primary mechanism called a drivetrain. This employs a front, rear, and center differential. As a result, all four wheels of a vehicle receive power.

So, both your front wheels and rear wheels benefit from power at all points.

There are different kinds of AWD you'll receive from manufactures as dictated by the type of drivetrain in the vehicle:

  • Full-time AWD powers all the wheels of your vehicle non-stop, never ceasing with its efforts.
  • Automatic/part-time AWD generally operates in two-wheel-drive mode. Power is only distributed to each corner of the car on an as-needed basis. Namely, when gaining traction is a priority.

Deciding on cars with these features comes down to your driving habits and what kind of terrains you’re traversing.

Still, you might realize that your average manufacturer doesn't bring everything to the table with their AWB upon doing your research.

Most often, anyone seeking the best available AWD options on the market is bound to land themselves in the same place. More specifically, those looking for an all-wheel-drive that provides optimal safety and drivability in all conditions are bound to come across Subaru.

How Does Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive Stand Out From the Pack?

Here’s a list of features you should be seeking with all-wheel drive:

  • Balance and an even distribution of power for maximum traction,
  • Superior stability
  • Optimal efficiency
  • Intuitive, lightning-quick response on slippery terrains

Other manufacturers incorporating AWD tend to take a more slip-and-grip approach, while Subaru brings all the above traits to the table.

Let’s get a bit more into the nuts and bolts of what makes Subaru’s Symmetrical AWB such a high-level option on the market. You’ll find after learning about these details, it’ll be tough to choose anything else when it comes time to make a purchasing decision:

(Note that Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive is standard on All Subaru models except BRZ)

Power and Traction:

So that drivers benefit from maximum traction and acceleration, Subaru’s Symmetrical AWD sends simultaneous power to all wheels.

Say that you’re driving on slick, icy roads—generally the most unforgiving terrains around. In this instance, Symmetrical AWB actively distributes power to the wheels with the best traction.

No matter the road conditions, this sense of control is something that'll offer unparalleled peace of mind. There's no better feeling as a driver knowing that both you and your passengers will be safe—even on slick roads.

Efficiency and Durability:

Other available AWD options on the market might serve you well over a period—but mostly, the shelf-life is brief. All too often, you’ll find yourself not getting the best out of your AWD system after a limited time in the driver’s seat.

Beyond that, standard AWD options can be a drain on efficiency and your budget.

As to route the same power to all wheels, standard AWD systems rely on intricate designs and additional drivetrain components. This results in making your vehicle work harder, sucking away at its shelf-life. Then comes an uptick in maintenance fees.

Conversely, with Symmetrical AWD, the engine is mounted in-line with the drivetrain.

The result?

A seamless, perfectly distributed transfer of power to all four wheels. No added strain to your car. Symmetrical AWD works in harmony with your vehicle, instead of acting like a separate component that turns into a burden.

Stability and Control:

Balanced design is so critical with vehicles driving in less-than-favorable conditions.

For instance, with front-wheel drive vehicles, you'll find understeering or pushing during turns to be a massive problem. Alternatively, rear-wheel-drive leads you to oversteer during a turn.

Now, take Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, which focuses heavily on control and stability. In Subaru vehicles, you'll always maintain a firm grip—even when the roads aren't conducive to traction.

How does this happen? Because power is explicitly distributed to the wheels with the best traction.

An Extraordinary Sum of Excellent Parts:

Subaru vehicles prioritize safety beyond everything else. Manufacturers want people leaving dealerships in cars that keep them and their family's safety.

Therefore, Symmetrical AWD isn’t the only safety feature existing within Subaru Vehicles. Instead, it’s one of many components that keeps everyone inside your vehicle out of harm’s way.

With safety systems such as Electronic Brake-force Distribution and Vehicle Dynamics Control, Symmetrical AWD makes a pivotal puzzle piece in Subaru cars. You'll benefit from more control and confidence no matter the roads you’re driving.

Subaru Does Safety the Right Way

Much like the introduction in this blog, we’re going to make an analogy.

Would you prefer to order a steak from a chain restaurant that sells hundreds of other menu items, or the steakhouse—whose specialty lies in all things beef?

In both instances, you'd be ordering steak. Yet, these are two completely different products of vastly different qualities.

We’re not sitting here criticizing the chain restaurants—it’s just that they don’t have a specialty. Therefore, they can’t offer the expertise in one category that will give you unparalleled quality.

Going to another manufacturer whose vehicles have AWD can be a lot like going to a chain restaurant. They treat the feature like it's just another add on to an already extensive menu. They don't put the tender, love, and care into safety functions needed to design the most reliable and efficient system.

With Subaru, you have a manufacturer whose central focus is ensuring your safety in all conditions. Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive isn't another add-on to pad a list of features. It is one of – if not the primary – component of our vehicles.

Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive is what separates Subaru from the rest of the pack. Our aim is to be the company you come to when safety on the road is your number one priority.

If All-Wheel Drive is Your Top Priority, Subaru Should Be Your Top Choice.

Everybody has different needs and preferences when it comes to their vehicle.

If your goal is to drive the highways like you’re practicing for a NASCAR race, then Subaru likely isn’t for you.

But you're reading this blog. Meaning that AWD is vital to your personal driving experience.

Provided you want to purchase from a manufacturer who’s on the cutting edge of safety features, Subaru – and its Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive – have everything you seek.