Tag Archives: All-Wheel Drive

Symmetrical All Wheel Drive vs Regular All Wheel Drive AWD


Posted on Aug 3, 2016

Symmetrical All Wheel Drive vs Regular All Wheel Drive AWD

Subaru has made a name for itself because of it’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system. While owners of vehicles with normal AWD might not see the benefit of owning a Subaru, it is actually much safer to drive and is more efficient.

If you look at the drivetrain in a Subaru vehicle, you’ll notice that one side is just a mirror image of the other. While the symmetry may not seem important, it is actually a lot safer than normal AWD. The symmetry allows for better balance of the vehicle and gives you better control as a driver.

The most important thing about Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive is that it sends power to all four wheels continuously. In All-Wheel Drive, that only happens after the vehicle senses slippage and may not be able to react in time. Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive greatly reduces the chances of you slipping in the first place, making it a much safer option.

Finally, Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive is more efficient which means your vehicle will last longer. It uses fewer components and loses less power due to friction compared to normal All-Wheel Drive. Therefore, not only will you be safer when you drive a Subaru, but you will also be getting your money’s worth.


Learn more with some videos showing how Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system matches up with the competition here


Four-Wheel Drive vs All-Wheel Drive


Posted on Nov 4, 2015

Four-Wheel Drive vs All-Wheel Drive

Unless you’re an avid fan of automobiles, you likely aren’t aware of the difference between four-wheel drive (4WD) and all-wheel drive (AWD). Although many people believe the two terms are interchangeable, they’re actually quite different, and knowing these differences can help you significantly on your next car buying hunt.

Four-Wheel Drive

4WD is designed for the vehicle to go over uneven terrain, such as mud, dirt, gravel, etc. If you live in a remote area with a lot of unpaved roads, 4×4 may be your best bet, especially if you have to go up and down a lot of hills.

Four-wheel drive is at its best when you’re driving forward, since it does an excellent job propelling the car forward. However, it’s not as effective when you need to turn.

In a proper turn, the inside wheel needs to move slower than the outside wheel, since it doesn’t need to cover as much ground. Since 4WD distributes power evenly, you could lose traction during a sharp turn, so it’s important to turn your four-wheel drive off when you’re driving on even terrain.

Although 4WD can be very beneficial, you’ll have to pay for the added value at the pump. Since your vehicle will be heavier, the added weight will cause your car to work harder, thus putting a damper on your fuel economy.

Finally, since 4WD is really only optimal for off-road conditions, you probably don’t want to bother with it if you live in the city, as it may just end up costing you more money. In this case, you can go with two-wheel drive or AWD instead.

All-Wheel Drive

While four-wheel drive is intended for off-road use, AWD is the exact opposite.

Like 4WD, all-wheel Drive provides power to all four tires. However, unlike four-wheel drive, many AWD systems deliver power to a set of wheels, instead of distributing it evenly among all four. If the car detects that the vehicle is slipping, it will compensate by shifting its power to the opposite axle, in hopes of finding traction.

The disbursement of power between axles depends on the vehicle, but all AWD systems work to shift the power when slippage occurs. If you’re unfortunate enough to start skidding on a cold, icy day, all-wheel drive can kick in to help save you from a serious collision.

It’s sometimes very difficult to clearly see ice on the road during the winter, especially at night. While you’ll obviously still need to drive with caution, all-wheel drive can help to keep you safe when you most need it.

Lastly, all-wheel drive isn’t just useful during winter. It’s helpful whenever the roads are slippery, which means you may still need it during the rest of the year when it’s raining out.

Which is Better?

While 4WD can be useful for drivers who live in a rural, temperate area, Canadians who do a lot of their driving on paved roads should purchase all-wheel drive when the option is possible.

AWD will help you to grip the icy roads much better, and the superior weight distribution will make turning much easier. Since it is great in all weather conditions, you can feel more comfortable every time you buckle up.


Mazda i-ACTIV AWD Technology


Posted on Oct 19, 2015



Mazda’s predictive i-ACTIV AWD is an on-demand system featuring sensors that check road conditions 200 times every second. Built to sense, and respond to these conditions, i-ACTIV AWD helps to ensure a more confident drive.  "Confidence ignited by intuition."




The i-ACTIV AWD system uses numerous sensors to determine the driver’s intentions. Is the driver intending to accelerate? How sharply is the steering wheel turned? How much pressure is on the brakes? These and other considerations are taken into account, and determine how the system reacts in order to achieve optimum control.



i-ACTIV AWD constantly monitors exterior temperature, wiper operation, the amount of torque required to turn the front wheels and the load on the engine. As a result, the system knows if it’s snowing or raining, if the road is slippery, if the driver is on a hill or attempting to turn. This enables the i-ACTIV AWD system to accurately predict when slippage will occur.



i-ACTIV AWD is designed to send just enough torque to the rear wheels to prevent slippage from occurring. By doing this, it provides the traction associated with all-wheel drive, while minimizing the impact on fuel consumption.



An ideal split of torque between the front and rear wheels is achieved through the i-ACTIV AWD command module’s innovative 200-times-per-second calculations, allowing for quick and responsive reactions that ensure a better, controlled drive.

Mazda i-ACTIV All-Wheel Drive


i-ACTIV All-wheel drive was designed to deliver exceptional responsiveness and to challenge the convention that an AWD vehicle must be inefficient.  In order to deliver the benefits of all-wheel drive and excellent fuel efficiency they set out to reduce the weight of the AWD components and to minimize frictional losses.  "Uncompromised fuel efficiency."



Direction from the command module lets the i-ACTIV AWD system apply the required torque to the wheels to deliver an exceptionally stable driving experience with better control over acceleration, turns, breaking and slippage.





Engineers even studied the way the oil moves through the gears in order to enhance the efficiency of the system.

i-ACTIV ALL-WHEEL-DRIVE weight reduction

In creating i-ACTIV AWD, engineers carefully scrutinized the design and materials used for every component. The result of these efforts is a 43% weight reduction compared to the previous generation system.

Understanding Subaru All-Wheel Drive


Posted on May 3, 2015

Understanding Subaru All-Wheel Drive


Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive from Subaru.
You need balance and even distribution of power for maximum traction, instead of the slip-then-grip alternatives offered by our competition. Subaru symmetrical AWD provides better stability, efficiency and a quicker response to slippery conditions.



All-Wheel Drive Uphill Comparison Testing
This test compares Subaru’s all-wheel drive to the AWD systems of Honda, Ford, Toyota, Chevrolet and Nissan. Proof is in the pudding.



Showing How Effective Subaru’s AWD System is
Live demonstration of Subaru Forester and Outback’s 4×4 symmetrical all wheel drive system.



An independently certified study comparing Subaru’s Symmetrical AWD and Vehicle Dynamics Cotrol (traction and stability control) to its competition).







Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive | Balance, Control and Traction


Posted on Jan 6, 2015

Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive is no “ordinary” AWD system. It gives drivers confidence, control and traction in some of the worst conditions that you’ll find in nature. See how it works in this engaging visual demonstration.


This is an all-wheel drive uphill comparison test showing the effectiveness of a Subaru over other vehicles with AWD systems – brands such as Honda, Ford, Toyota, Chevrolet and Nissan. Proof is in the pudding…


Testing the Subaru Forester vs Honda CRV, Ford Escape, Mazda CX 5 and Toyota RAV4 – who has the better all-wheel drive technology (pretend like you don’t already know!)


An independently certified study comparing Subaru’s Symmetrical AWD and Vehicle Dynamics Control (traction and stability control) to its competition.

Learn more about Subaru Engineering here.


Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive

2014 Subaru Forester Wins Big with Consumer Reports


Posted on May 22, 2013

Photo 2014 Subaru Forester Review


By Seyth Miersma, Autoblog


2014 Subaru Forester gets big nod of approval from Consumer Reports



While more and more buyers seem to be opting for the functionality of car-based crossover vehicles every day, it’s rare that your read much in the way of passionate praise for one. And, while Consumer Reports doesn’t exactly lavish written paeans on the Subaru Forester in its latest review – that’s just not its style – it did give the CUV a remarkably high overall score.


Praising its excellent fuel economy, visibility, roomy interior and a whole lot more, the testing publication bestowed an overall score of 88 out of 100 on the Forester. That’s a really excellent number for just about any vehicle, but it’s also a top-of-the-class mark for the Forester’s small CUV division. Just about the only major gripe was that of ride quality.


Most of the direct competitors to the Forester have earned CR marks in the mid-70s. The Honda CR-V is some 11 points behind, for instance, while the Toyota RAV4 and the Mazda CX-5 earn scores of 75 and 74, respectively.


Source:  http://ca.autoblog.com/2013/05/22/2014-subaru-forester-gets-big-approval-consumer-repo/



Learn about Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive AWD


Posted on Sep 24, 2012

Learn about Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive AWD

Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive – Control the road.


You need balance and an even distribution of power for maximum traction, instead of the slip-then-grip alternative. Almost every Subaru comes standard with Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive for better stability, efficiency and a quicker response to slippery conditions.


Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive standard on all Subaru Models except BRZ


Efficiency and Durability


Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive has the engine mounted in-line with the drivetrain, helping provide a seamless transfer of power to all four wheels.


Other AWD systems need additional drivetrain components to route the same power to the wheels, often using complex designs. More components tend to reduce vehicle efficiency and could add to higher maintenance costs.


Stability and Control


The balanced design of Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive helps add control through uniform stability. With power being distributed to the wheels with the best traction, it helps you hold true to the path.


Front-wheel drive vehicles generally understeer or push in a turn, while rear-wheel drive vehicles can often oversteer in a turn.


Power and Traction

Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive sends power to all wheels simultaneously for maximum traction and acceleration.


In slippery conditions, that power instinctively flows to the wheels with the best traction.