Subaru - best AWD technology?

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if you get a used Subaru, get one old enough that has a rear viscous LSD. The roller video, the legacy GT has a rear viscous LSD. I would imagine a lower trim Legacy in that video would not have made it up the 1 wheel challenge, due to having an open differential.
 
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emg

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Originally Posted By: KrisZ
As mentioned before, there is a video of Mazda CX-5 beating a Forrester I believe. These videos can be staged in all sorts of ways.
Yes. As far as I remember, some people at Mazda discovered that Subaru cut power to the rear wheels when the front wheels are spinning at full lock, so they've been exploiting that ever since, because the CX-5 doesn't. Now, how many times in the real world do you try to start moving with the front wheels at full lock and no grip? Back on the original topic, I'm sure Subaru don't have the best AWD system, but they almost certainly have the best system in their price range. The big difference is that most of the others start off with all power going to the front wheels and only shift power to the rear when they have to: I don't know about the current version, but, for example, the CR-V used to rapidly overheat the diff and shut down power transfer if the front wheels were continually slipping, because it was only designed to power the rear wheels now and again. Subaru have a bunch of different systems, but the modern ones default to 40-50% of the power going to the rear wheels and reduce the power transfer when it's not required. Oh, here's our Forester with winter tires vs random pronably FWD Ford without:
 
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Originally Posted By: TinyVoices
Yeah they replaced it with ridiculous oil consumption issue.
Not true. A small handful of cars consume more than average. Just as every other car brand on Earth. Over 99% of drivers do not have an excessive consumption issue. And if small oil consumption puts you off a car, then you should buy a Volvo or something that needs to be taken to a dealer to do even the tiniest service, because it doesn't get much easier than adding a little oil once in a while.
 

emg

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Originally Posted By: horse123
Over 99% of drivers do not have an excessive consumption issue.
These days it mostly seems to be an issue with manual transmissions: I've seen far more manual Forester owners reporting problems lately than CVTs. I'm guessing that oil burning mostly happens at high rpms, and the CVT tries to stay as low as it can.
 
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Originally Posted By: emg
Originally Posted By: horse123
Over 99% of drivers do not have an excessive consumption issue.
These days it mostly seems to be an issue with manual transmissions: I've seen far more manual Forester owners reporting problems lately than CVTs. I'm guessing that oil burning mostly happens at high rpms, and the CVT tries to stay as low as it can.
As a Subi owner I've read that the MT seem to have more oil related problems than the CVTs. But I can tell you that its not because the CVT keeps the revs low. When cruising the CVT may keep the rpms down but during normal driving when accelerating from a stop the rpm will jump to 4000 to 5000 rpm and stay there until the speed you want to obtain is reached. When the engine is cold I try to keep the revs under 3000 but the car wants to rev.
 
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Originally Posted By: 92saturnsl2
Originally Posted By: d00df00d
For winter traction, the advantages of winter tires are FAR more important than the advantages of AWD vs. 2WD, let alone one AWD system vs. another. Unless you absolutely cannot afford the remotest possibility of staying home for a day or two per year due to snow, you're better off buying the car you want regardless of which wheels are driven, and then keeping a second set of cheap wheels with winter tires for the snowy months.
You seem to contradict yourself-- so if one can't afford the possibility of staying home, are you implying that 4wd is better? Wouldn't that indicate that 4wd has better traction? I think it depends on which type of traction you value more.
Just realized I missed an aspect of this post. My apologies. For the VAST majority of people, getting stuck in a situation where AWD would help is VERY unlikely, and the potential consequences are almost always manageable. So, for most people, it doesn't make sense to incur a lot of extra cost to avoid it. It's also pretty unlikely that a person will crash due to an inability to stop or turn, but the potential consequences are much worse. Plus, the way to address stopping and turning -- winter tires -- also happens to reduce the likelihood of getting stuck anyway. So, again for most people, turning and stopping makes much more sense to focus on. If you can't afford the possibility of staying home even for one day, then the consequences of getting stuck are much worse than they are for most people. Similarly, if you live where there are a lot of hills and a lot of ice and/or tons of snow accumulation, then the likelihood of getting stuck is much higher than it is for most people, and the consequences might be less manageable as well because the only alternative would be staying cooped up in your home for weeks or months at a time. Those are cases where it makes sense to focus on the risk of getting stuck. But even that doesn't support the argument that AWD is preferable to winter tires because a person in that situation should really have both. It also doesn't cover the vast majority of drivers, if we're honest.
 
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Originally Posted By: d00df00d
Just realized I missed an aspect of this post. My apologies. For the VAST majority of people, getting stuck in a situation where AWD would help is VERY unlikely, and the potential consequences are almost always manageable. So, for most people, it doesn't make sense to incur a lot of extra cost to avoid it. It's also pretty unlikely that a person will crash due to an inability to stop or turn, but the potential consequences are much worse. Plus, the way to address stopping and turning -- winter tires -- also happens to reduce the likelihood of getting stuck anyway. So, again for most people, turning and stopping makes much more sense to focus on. If you can't afford the possibility of staying home even for one day, then the consequences of getting stuck are much worse than they are for most people. Similarly, if you live where there are a lot of hills and a lot of ice and/or tons of snow accumulation, then the likelihood of getting stuck is much higher than it is for most people, and the consequences might be less manageable as well because the only alternative would be staying cooped up in your home for weeks or months at a time. Those are cases where it makes sense to focus on the risk of getting stuck. But even that doesn't support the argument that AWD is preferable to winter tires because a person in that situation should really have both. It also doesn't cover the vast majority of drivers, if we're honest.
This, I very much agree with. In situations where a driver feels that AWD is necessary, good winter tires are usually the better first step. Too many people (around here at least) believe AWD is the end all, be all for winter driving, when few actually NEED AWD and would be better served with good tires. But it's nonsense to suggest that a winter tire provides better traction than AWD, unless we're strictly talking lateral grip, braking and the other fundamentals aside from acceleration.
 
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Originally Posted By: 92saturnsl2
Originally Posted By: d00df00d
Just realized I missed an aspect of this post. My apologies. For the VAST majority of people, getting stuck in a situation where AWD would help is VERY unlikely, and the potential consequences are almost always manageable. So, for most people, it doesn't make sense to incur a lot of extra cost to avoid it. It's also pretty unlikely that a person will crash due to an inability to stop or turn, but the potential consequences are much worse. Plus, the way to address stopping and turning -- winter tires -- also happens to reduce the likelihood of getting stuck anyway. So, again for most people, turning and stopping makes much more sense to focus on. If you can't afford the possibility of staying home even for one day, then the consequences of getting stuck are much worse than they are for most people. Similarly, if you live where there are a lot of hills and a lot of ice and/or tons of snow accumulation, then the likelihood of getting stuck is much higher than it is for most people, and the consequences might be less manageable as well because the only alternative would be staying cooped up in your home for weeks or months at a time. Those are cases where it makes sense to focus on the risk of getting stuck. But even that doesn't support the argument that AWD is preferable to winter tires because a person in that situation should really have both. It also doesn't cover the vast majority of drivers, if we're honest.
This, I very much agree with. In situations where a driver feels that AWD is necessary, good winter tires are usually the better first step. Too many people (around here at least) believe AWD is the end all, be all for winter driving, when few actually NEED AWD and would be better served with good tires. But it's nonsense to suggest that a winter tire provides better traction than AWD, unless we're strictly talking lateral grip, braking and the other fundamentals aside from acceleration.
Glad we agree to that extent. :] As I'm sure you'll see if you re-read my posts, I never said that either option "provides better traction" in a simplistic overall sense. I made a pretty detailed and nuanced case, which apparently you largely agree with. Let's not be reductive.
 

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There's a lot more to it than the potential to having "the best AWD tech". My 2016 Forester easily achieves 30-32mpg tank/tank with daily use. There's not a lot of brick shaped, relatively high off the ground vehicles that will do that. Sit in all the seats of something like a Forester vs. the competition and I think you'll find other benefits as well. There's zero blind spots and ease of getting in/out is well thought out as well. Are they the best? Heck no. We've had our share of issues with older Subarus in the family, but most were purchased this way (cheap) and fixed by us. New Soobs have annoyingly weak HVAC. I presume it's this way to squeeze every MPG out of them they can.
 
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One thing you got to remember, Subaru was a great participant in rally racing. The Subaru World Rally Team. They are successful and promoted the brand.
 
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Originally Posted By: Reggaemon
Originally Posted By: emg
Originally Posted By: horse123
Over 99% of drivers do not have an excessive consumption issue.
These days it mostly seems to be an issue with manual transmissions: I've seen far more manual Forester owners reporting problems lately than CVTs. I'm guessing that oil burning mostly happens at high rpms, and the CVT tries to stay as low as it can.
As a Subi owner I've read that the MT seem to have more oil related problems than the CVTs. But I can tell you that its not because the CVT keeps the revs low. When cruising the CVT may keep the rpms down but during normal driving when accelerating from a stop the rpm will jump to 4000 to 5000 rpm and stay there until the speed you want to obtain is reached. When the engine is cold I try to keep the revs under 3000 but the car wants to rev.
You can control the RPMs really well if you understand the CVT better. And I'm saying understand as in you've listened to it, played with it, tried lots of things, and learned what does and doesn't work, not literally "you understand the mechanics of a CVT". I can accelerate at super low RPMs, like 2000 up to 35-40, and below 2500 until highway speeds if I choose. Or I can just stomp on the throttle and let the RPMs slowly climb, or I can play with the pedal a little bit and hit 5500rpms in under a second and quickly climb to over 6000. It all depends on how you use it. All I can say is AWD + super light = one of the best handling entry level cars. Tons of fun. Can't even imagine driving some giant brick of steel SUV with a V16 or some crazy [censored] that tries to make it look cool on paper. I like my handling cool
 
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horse123, can you update your signature please? i have no idea what Subaru you own.... Thank you (interested in a wagon....)
 
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I can tell you from personal experience with three of them that Subaru AWD works really well in harsh winter conditions. AWD also does help with steering and braking in difficult conditions, although you'd have to actually drive one in such conditions to grasp this rather than prattling on at length about the need for winter tires as some in this thread have. I remember driving our '09 Forester when we'd first bought it through 4" or so of fresh wet snow and being amazed to find that it was almost like driving on clear pavement. Tires had nothing to do with it. If you can find one, a good older 2.2 Legacy would be a good pick, although finding one might be difficult. The 2.5 found in all Foresters and later Legacys and Outbacks is known for head gasket failures especially in the early years of this engine, although there are also those here who have many such Subarus in their extended families and have seen few head gasket failures. Subie shops have done many head gaskets, though, so if the worst does happen, remediation in skilled hands is readily available. I'd buy a Subie any time over a Toy or CRV if I really thought I needed AWD. To paraphrase an old Learjet ad (comparing the Lear to the Cessna Citation), it's a better design and it's built better.
 
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Originally Posted By: pandus13
horse123, can you update your signature please? i have no idea what Subaru you own.... Thank you (interested in a wagon....)
He has a 2012 Impreza. He won't be replying back since he's no longer a member on here. If you check the User List his name won't be on it. He just came back from a vacation on here and now he's on a permanent one is my guess.
 
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Originally Posted By: fdcg27
AWD also does help with steering and braking in difficult conditions
Care to clarify? I'm sure this is an oversimplification of what you really meant, because as it's stated, it's physically impossible.
 
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Drive one yourself in snow and you'll see my point. I'm not going to debate theory. The proof is in the driving.
 
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Originally Posted By: fdcg27
Drive one yourself in snow and you'll see my point. I'm not going to debate theory. The proof is in the driving.
I could see torque vectoring possibly helping with steering but there's no possible way AWD helps with braking.
 
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Originally Posted By: glock19
Originally Posted By: fdcg27
Drive one yourself in snow and you'll see my point. I'm not going to debate theory. The proof is in the driving.
I could see torque vectoring possibly helping with steering but there's no possible way AWD helps with braking.
True, mechanical AWD and 4WD , do help with braking as they equalize light braking forces from front to back. Both axles want to turn at the same speed as locking the front axle with AWD requires the engine do drop down to half the rpm. ABS is nice but to get maximum braking you've got to stand on the pedal sending the front axle into full ABS mode to get enough braking to get the back axle involved. With a mechanical link between the axles, both of them can be used at near full braking without ABS getting involved at all. My wife noticed right away switching back front true 4wd in winter to gizmo AWD, that the front tires use ABS all the time on braking... Now I don't think even subaru makes a true mechanical AWD (center differential)system anymore, so the electronic gizmos and clutches try to simulate one. I find in low traction situations though, the simulated AWD systems rely on some amount of slip to activate and then the amount of friction on sliding tire on ice or snow is much less than static friction. Then they brake the spinning tire(s) cutting momentum...
 
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Originally Posted By: fdcg27
Drive one yourself in snow and you'll see my point. I'm not going to debate theory. The proof is in the driving.
I have. Repeatedly. I've also done side-by-side brake distance tests between my old RWD car on winter tires and an AWD Subie on all-seasons. I also have many friends who have gone back and forth between RWD + winter tires and AWD + all-seasons, with the same results. I have no idea what you're talking about. No one I know has any idea what you're talking about. I can't find a single third-party source that doesn't say the opposite of what you're saying. So, again: waiting for you to clarify.
 
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