The Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive Difference

What Makes Subaru's Symmetrical All-wheel Drive So Unique?

You might think that all-wheel drive is all-wheel drive and there isn't much difference between makes and models. Subaru has dedicated themselves to creating a sophisticated set of all-wheel drive systems that are well rounded, ideal for driving in any conditions. No matter the weather and road conditions around Lyme, CT, any Subaru all-wheel drive vehicle you choose will be able to handle it all.

Subaru offers four different all-wheel drive systems for their models. The only model that doesn't offer all-wheel drive is the BRZ, which is rear-wheel drive. Each of these systems offers an open differential in the front and rear, except on the STI which has its own system.

  1. Available on the manual transmission Crosstrek, Forester and more, is the Viscous Center Differential (VCD). This option splits torque 50/50 between the front and rear wheels. The viscous coupling will automatically send power to each wheel with more traction, letting you tackle icy or wet road conditions easier.
  2. The Active Torque Split (ATS) system included on all continuously variable transmission (CVT) models except the WRX, is your next most common system. Slightly different from the VCD, the ATS splits power 60/40 between the front and rear. This slight front bias offers better fuel economy, while still delivering power to the rear. This one doesn't have a center differential, but a multi-plate clutch that is in a viscous fluid to allow slip, while still being partially engaged continually.
  3. Available only on the CVT WRX models is the Variable Torque Distribution (VTD) system. With a more rear biased standard configuration, the split is 45/55 on the WRX. Sport-like driving requires more power in the rear, and the VTD delivers. The planetary center differential and electronic hydraulic transfer clutch are smooth and agile when you need more power to different wheels.
  4. The unique STI drivetrain is highly sophisticated and tuned to create a driving experience like no other. A Driver Controlled Center Differential (DCCD) combines a mechanical and electronic limited slip differential allowing the computer to decide where power is needed, or if so desired, the driver can lock the differential in their preferred configuration. The front axle offers a Helical limited slip differential while the rear holds a Torsen limited slip differential.

2018 Subaru Outback Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive

Different from Other All-Wheel Drive Vehicles

The Subaru all-wheel drive systems are built differently, and made to work better for you. Unlike other all-wheel drive systems, Subaru integrates their transfer case directly into the transmission. The transfer case is the module that sends power to the front and rear wheels, and most other brands use a separate section for the transmission and transfer case.

Another main point of difference is that most all-wheel drive systems only send power to the rear wheels when it is needed, where Subaru continuously delivers power to all wheels, even though some models have a slight front or rear wheel bias. This means that no matter the weather, road conditions, or your driving style, you'll have superior handling and grip.

Why You Should Have an AWD Vehicle

All-Wheel Drive offers many benefits, namely things like:

  • Better Handling
  • Better Traction
  • Increased Safety in Inclement Weather
There are many other reasons to choose a Subaru for your next all-wheel drive vehicle, and when you're looking to keep your family safe and still have a fun-to-drive, performance vehicle, Subaru fits the bill.

The Smart Choice for New England Drivers

An oft-talked about feature when it comes to winter-weather driving, all-wheel drive is a practical choice if you live in a snowier region. All-wheel drive Subaru vehicles are capable, but for your best cold-weather driving experience, you really need a set of winter tires. All-season and summer tires can't match the performance that comes with winter tires, as the rubber remains soft even in below freezing temps.

The ideal choice for Connecticut drivers, from sunny days to cold winter nights, no matter which Subaru model you choose you'll be able to handle it all. While most vehicles that offer all-wheel drive require you to sacrifice fuel efficiency, you can get comparable fuel economy ratings to front-wheel drive competitors.

Schedule a test drive of your favorite new Subaru model with Reynolds' Subaru in Lyme. We have the selection of vehicles to meet your needs, so feel free to browse our online inventory 24 hours a day. Our finance experts can help you find an affordable payment option to meet your budget needs.


Click here to browse our selection of Symmetrical AWD equipped Subaru vehicles!


Reynolds' Subaru

268 Hamburg Rd.
Directions Lyme, CT 06371

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