Improve Efficiency and Performance With Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive (AWD)

If you live in New England, you know winters can be harsh and road conditions can vary greatly from town to town. There could be a dusting of snow in downtown Keene, NH while at the same time in neighboring Brattleboro, VT or Peterborough, NH there are snow-covered roads to maneuver. That's why an All-Wheel Drive (AWD) system is a top feature sought-after by New England car shoppers. Yet there are different kinds of AWD systems out there and it's important to know the difference before you buy just any AWD vehicle for you and your loved ones.

Whether you are just starting your new or used vehicle research at Subaru of Keene or already own a Subaru and just want to learn a little more about how your AWD system works, this page is sure to give you greater insight!

Subaru first developed their Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive AWD system in the early 70's as an optional feature for drivers that needed a little extra power and control on their outdoor/off-road adventures. Today, Subaru's AWD system comes standard on all their models (except for the Subaru BRZ sports car), a feature that surely sets Subaru apart from its competitors. Still Subaru's unique Symmetrical AWD goes a step farther in terms of performance and value. Scroll down to learn more!

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What is Symmetrical AWD?
All-wheel drive isn't unique, but Subaru's Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive is. The left and right sides of the drive train are balanced - like a butterfly or an airplane. This balance ensures stability and its efficiency at transmitting power to all wheels ensures greater grip and a quick response to slippage. Providing more than just safety on slick roads, it delivers intensified performance on any road, allowing you to drive with ease no matter the terrain or weather condition. 

Benefits of Symmetrical AWD

Subaru's Boxer engine sends power to all four-wheels continuously, providing you with enhanced traction, allowing you to navigate the Monadnock regions windy back roads and sharp turns with ease.
Dividing power among all four-wheels rather than two helps provide stability and control regardless of driving conditions.

(For fun, Google "Subaru pulling truck" and you'll see a number of videos where Subaru's saved the day by pulling out a variety of trucks, police cruisers and ambulances stuck in snow!)
Subaru's 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.
Better Fuel Economy
The linear flow of power that the symmetrical AWD system provides helps extend your fuel efficiency as you navigate the Keene, NH region.

Symmetrical AWD vs. the Competition


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.

Optional 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.

Front-Wheel Drive

Front-wheel drive vehicles 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.

Subaru Symmetrical AWD

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.

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.

Anyone who lives in NH, VT or MA understands the importance of AWD. 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.