Subaru of Keene

11 Production Ave
Directions Keene, NH 03431

  • Sales: (888) 466-1070
  • Service: (888) 461-8077
  • Parts: (888) 691-4539

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Subaru All-Wheel Drive




All-wheel drive (AWD) is not a unique concept, but symmetrical all-wheel drive is. Unlike most AWD systems that are adapted from 2-wheel drive, Subaru's symmetrical AWD starts out as all-wheel drive. Power for the symmetrical AWD system comes directly from Subaru's Boxer engine, which gives adequate power to each wheel, continuously, to prevent slippage in any road condition. Learn how symmetrical AWD is different from the competition, and why it is the right choice for you and your family.

In 1974, Subaru was the first vehicle manufacturer to offer four-wheel drive in a mass produced vehicle. Since then, Subaru has made improvements and multiple all-wheel drive systems that are found in every vehicle. At Subaru of Keene , we want to make your driving experience exciting and safe, regardless of weather conditions. Subaru's symmetrical all-wheel drive system produces power, excellent handling and traction to ensure you and your family has a safe driving experience.


Subaru Symmetrical AWD

What is Symmetrical AWD?

All-wheel drive isn't unique, but Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive is. Notice how the left and right sides of the drive train are in balance - like a butterfly or an airplane. This balance is unique to Subaru's Symmetrical All-Wheel drive and ensures stability and its efficiency at transmitting power ensures greater grip and quick response to slippage. Providing more than just safety on slick roads, it delivers intensified performance on any road.

Benefits of Symmetrical AWD

Subaru's Boxer engine sends power to all four-wheel continuously, which doubles the change of tires finding traction in any weather condition.
Symmetrical engine sends more power to the wheels with the most grip (traction) to reduce sliding.

Dividing power among all four-wheels helps provide stability and control regardless of driving conditions, which decreases the chance of a sideways spin.

The Symmetrical drive train is balanced, on both the right and left side, which provides a constant and predictable driving experience regardless of conditions. The balanced weight ratio increases control, regardless of a sharp right or left-hand curve.


Symmetrical AWD vs. the Competition

Symmetrical AWD starts with Subaru's Boxer engine, which provides a balanced weight ratio. The Boxer engine sends power, continuously, to each wheel to provide maximum stability and control. Traditional four-wheel drive vehicles only send power to all four wheels when the vehicle senses slippage. However, symmetrical AWD sends power, all the time, not just when slippage occurs. The boxer engine sits horizontally, rather than vertically, which provides a balanced weight ratio during sharp turns. Vertically placed engines weigh down a certain side of the vehicle, which decreases stability during sharp turns and slippage.

Symmetrical AWD vs. Front-Wheel Drive-based AWD

Front-wheel drive-based AWD systems are adapted by a transverse mounted engine. Because the engine is not symmetrical, or balanced on both the right and left side, it requires additional components to send power to the wheels. Additional components increase weight on one side and reduced the efficiency of the engines power. Losing engine power and increasing weight, decreases the efficiency of the AWD system. Typically, this setup runs as a 2-wheel drive system until the vehicle detects wheelspin. Not only do you lose control by the time the vehicle detects wheelspin, but also if the vehicle does not detect the spin you don't have the power of AWD. Notice how the Honda and Toyota's AWD system struggles to kick in on the video to the top right.        

Subaru Symmetrical AWD vs. Optional AWD Systems

Looking at the chart below (scroll down), we see that many of our competitors offer either four-wheel drive or AWD systems with their vehicles. Did you notice how many of these systems are standard? Subaru's symmetrical AWD system derives power from its horizontally mounted Boxer engine. The Boxer engine comes built as one big unit that does not have the extra parts required that most AWD vehicles do. Less parts means less mechanical problems, fewer parts to repair and a more efficient AWD system.

Optional AWD systems require extra parts in order for the engine to denote power to the rear wheels. The picture on the right shows a Subaru Boxer engine (left), optional AWD engine (middle) and a truck engine (right). Did you notice the extra parts on the middle engine? Those extra pieces are required for the engine to give power the rear wheels when it is needed. That power is only sent when sensors in the vehicle detect slippage. Subaru's symmetrical AWD system gives a 50/50 split of power to both the rear and front wheels. This gives power all the time, better control and a safer AWD system. Not all AWD systems are created equal; don't be fooled by optional add-on systems.

Symmetrical AWD vs. Front-Wheel Drive

Anyone who lives in an area that experiences snow or heavy rain understands the importance of AWD. Front-wheel drive vehicles are just that, the engine sends power to the front wheels, causing the back wheels to spin as the vehicle is in motion. When the front wheels are stuck in snow, or slip on ice, the engine cannot send power to the rear wheels. This can result in injury, death, or shoveling snow or water until the front wheels gain traction. Symmetrical AWD sends power to the back wheels all the time, increasing control and greatly reducing the chances of your vehicle being stuck,regardless of road condtions.This life saving advantage is standard on all Subaru vehicles.