Talk about Subaru and the brand’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive (SAWD) system is a highlight. The full-time all-wheel drive system from the Japanese company is highly praised due to its low placed boxer engine, and the symmetrical drivetrain that provides optimum weight distribution for a low centre of gravity that equates to better handling.
While superior traction is the main focus for Subaru vehicles, not many know the capabilities or have experienced the system in proper application when it comes to going off the beaten path.
At a recent off-road experiential drive conducted at the Most Fun Gym in Sungai Penchala, the guys at Subaru took the opportunity to showcase proper driving technique. With the Subaru XV and Forester as the SUVs of choice, this is what we learnt last weekend.
The key to driving off road is not about speed but control. When it comes to uphill terrain, the driver would need to carry enough momentum to bring the vehicle forward on an upwards incline. Thanks to the 220 mm ground clearance and the SAWD for both the XV and Forester, turning circles are also better to navigate tight corners.
When it comes to X-Mode, drivers need to understand what happens when the system is active. In application, X-Mode reduces throttle input for increased control of engine power, which helps control wheelspin for better traction on slippery and rough terrain. With X-Mode switched on, engine throttle is controlled, transmission is low, all-wheel drive control is improved, Vehicle Dynamics Control works in tandem with the situation and finally Hill Descent Control helps the wheels from slipping.
(Vehicle Dynamics Control System is a host of safety systems that consists of Electronic Stability Control, Traction Control System, TCS with Limited Slip, Anti-lock Braking System, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution and Brake Assist.)
As seen in the video, with X-Mode switched on, Hill Descent Control kicks in when the system detects a downward incline and is able to brake the individual wheels automatically. The driver would then need to allow the system to work independently without driver input. Should the driver apply the brakes, the wheels could lock.
Should the driver want to move away from Hill Descent Control during active use, the throttle only needs to be applied to negate operation.
Hill Descent Control can be seen at the lower left corner.
The vehicle information on incline and how the X-Mode is working can be viewed from the Multifunction Display located on the top-centre of the dashboard. The Multifunction Display provides the status of steering angle, driving wheel status, activation of the ABS system and the operation of Vehicle Dynamics Control System. Here the driver will be able to keep note on whether the X-Mode is functioning – green and blue on normal conditions, and yellow when it is active.
What do you think? Feeling a little more confident of Subaru's SUVs?
Forester Hybrid? That's what the e-Boxer is all about. Click here to read more on the Singapore launch earlier this year.
Click here to read what we thought about the XV!
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