What is Subaru X-Mode?

August 1, 2019

Subaru’s X-Mode is one X that won’t leave you looking in your rear view.

Subaru’s symmetrical All-Wheel-Drive system is world renowned for its ability to tackle trails, creep corners and stick the road, but X Mode ups the ante by using innovative technology to maximize traction in slippery, rough and inclement conditions. X may mark the spot, but Subaru’s X mode offers world class All-Wheel-Drive capabilities. Available only on Subaru vehicles, X-MODE complements Subaru symmetrical full-time AWD to allow drivers to take the road less traveled, get muddier and have more daring adventures. The system provides advanced, all-road capability and rugged performance — and elevates driving confidence, especially on uneven surfaces or challenging inclines.

While X-Mode was previously only available in the Forester, Subaru has expanded its offerings to include X-Mode in the XV and Outback models. The mode excels at steep hills, rough trails as well as ice and snow by sending the needed amount of traction to each individual wheel and optimizing control of brakes, engine and transmission to accommodate whatever conditions you throw at it.

Confidence in Motion Wherever You Go

When travelling below 40 km/h, activating X-Mode softens the gad pedal to make driving on rough roads smoother, preventing motorists from over-revving. But if you’re climbing a slippery slope, slamming the pedal to the medal will send you back into overdrive. The mode also speeds up the locking between front and rear axles by roughly 25%, while improving grip in challenging terrain and boosting traction control to prevent wheel-spin in both reverse and forward.

X-Mode includes hill descent control, controlled via the gas and brake pedals, while also curbing the throttle sensitivity so your car doesn’t lurch forward in sensitive situations like when adjusting speed while descending a hill. Hill descent control works up until 20 km/h but remains on standby up to 40 km/h, working in both reverse and forward modes if you decide a hill is too step to traverse safely.

X-Mode includes three different controls. Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) enhances differential control and improves traction by counterbalancing the rotation between right and left wheels, especially while turning, to prevent wheel slip. Traction Control Unit (TCU), meanwhile, boost All-Wheel-Drive clutch pressure by up to 25 per cent to help the front and rear wheels work better in concert, hereby further improving traction. Finally, Engine Control Unit (ECU) advances acceleration to avoid rapid torque changes on slippery and gravel surfaces, which makes the vehicle stick to the ground with far greater efficacy.

When X-Mode is activated, an indicator light displays when its operational, providing the status of driving wheel, steering angle and activation of the ABS system if needed. X-Mode improves road traction by pushing performance of the Limited Slip Differential and applying Si-Drive technology to the transmission, engine as well as electronic components for optimal traction in slippery conditions. Meanwhile, accelerator input increases control of engine output, significantly reducing chance of wheel-spin and enhancing grip. X-Mode allows you to concentrate on steering for a safer and more enjoyable driving experience, keeping the transmission in a lower gear and controlling torque for maximum performance.