Discovering Which Subaru Model is Best in Snow: A Comprehensive Guide

Winter is just around the corner, and with it comes two distinct camps of Subaru drivers – those who love to tackle the snow-packed roads, and those who dread it. If you fall into the former, you’re probably asking yourself which Subaru model is best in snow. After all, the brand has built its reputation on reliable and capable All-Wheel Drive (AWD) systems, which can keep you safely on the road, no matter what Mother Nature might throw your way.

While all Subaru models come equipped with AWD as standard, there’s one that stands out as the ultimate winter warrior – the Subaru Outback. In fact, the Outback is specifically designed to operate in harsh conditions, with advanced features like high ground clearance, an X-Mode all-wheel drive system, and symmetrical all-wheel drive. Even better, the Outback offers supreme versatility, making it a perfect fit for any adventure you might have in store, whether commuting to work or heading off-road for the weekend.

Of course, deciding which Subaru model best fits your snowy driving needs, is about more than just the specific features and capabilities of each vehicle. It’s also about finding the right balance of comfort and performance that matches your personal preferences. With that said, if you’re looking for the ideal combination of rugged utility and everyday drivability, the Subaru Outback should be at the top of your list for the upcoming winter season.

Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive System

Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive System is a cornerstone of their vehicles’ reputation for handling tough weather conditions. This system distributes power evenly to all four wheels, which provides better traction on slippery surfaces. This technology ensures that one wheel does not get more power than another, which can be an issue with other all-wheel drive systems that aren’t symmetrical.

  • This system includes features such as a viscous-coupling locking center differential that splits torque 50/50 between the front and rear axles when engaged. This provides traction control in all situations, on or off the pavement.
  • The vehicles with Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive System are available with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) which allows for seamless power delivery with no gear changes, and helps retain good fuel economy even though the powertrain is driving all four wheels.
  • Additionally, Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive System works in tandem with other features such as Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) and Traction Control Systems (TCS) to provide maximum stability and control on challenging road conditions.

One of the unique elements of Subaru’s symmetrical system is how it’s designed using a straight-line configuration, which provides several advantages. Firstly, the powertrain is balanced side-to-side, equipping the vehicle to tackle harsh weather conditions better. Secondly, the engine is positioned in line with the transmission to create a balanced distribution of weight between both ends of the vehicle.

It’s worth noting that even the base-level Subaru models come equipped with standard all-wheel drive, meaning that drivers reap the benefits of this feature no matter which Subaru model they choose. In summation, the Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive System is an essential component of Subaru’s reputation for producing reliable vehicles that drivers can count on in all weather conditions.

Advantages of Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive System
Better traction on slippery surfaces
Distributes power evenly to all four wheels
Works in tandem with Vehicle Dynamics Control and Traction Control Systems for maximum stability and control
Straight-line configuration provides a balanced distribution of weight between both ends of the vehicle

If you’re in the market for a vehicle that can handle tough weather conditions with ease, look no further than a Subaru model equipped with Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive System.

Comparison of Subaru Models in Snow Conditions

When it comes to choosing a car that can handle snowy conditions, Subaru is a brand that comes to mind. With their all-wheel drive system and rugged capabilities, every Subaru model is designed to tackle even the toughest winter weather. However, some models are better suited for snow than others. In this article, we will compare the best Subaru models to drive in snowy conditions.

Top 3 Subaru Models for Snow

  • Subaru Outback: This all-wheel drive wagon is a popular choice during winter months. It has plenty of ground clearance, which makes driving in deep snow and slush a breeze. Additionally, the Outback has X-mode, a feature that adjusts the throttle and brakes to prevent wheel slipping and help with traction on icy roads. The Outback can handle any weather condition, whether it’s snow, rain, or ice.
  • Subaru Crosstrek: The Crosstrek is a great choice if you want a smaller vehicle that’s easier to maneuver in tight spaces. This SUV has a higher ground clearance than most cars in its segment, which makes it easier to navigate snowy and icy roads. Plus, it comes with standard all-wheel drive, which means you get extra traction and stability on slippery surfaces. The Crosstrek also has EyeSight®, a safety feature that uses cameras to monitor traffic and can automatically apply emergency braking if needed.
  • Subaru Forester: The Forester is a reliable and capable crossover that’s packed with features for winter driving. It comes with all-wheel drive as standard and has a high ground clearance – both of which make it ideal for snowy conditions. The Forester also has a Snow/Dirt mode, which adjusts the throttle response for more precise control on icy roads. If you’re looking for a roomy vehicle that can handle snow and also be used for outdoor adventures, the Forester is a great choice.

Features to Look for in a Snow-Friendly Subaru

While all Subaru models are designed to handle winter weather conditions, there are some features that make them more snow-friendly than others. Here are some things to look for when shopping for a Subaru for winter driving:

– All-wheel drive: Subaru’s all-wheel drive system provides extra traction in snow, ice, and other slippery conditions. It’s standard across the lineup, but make sure you choose a model that has it.

– Ground clearance: The more ground clearance a vehicle has, the better it can handle deep snow and slush. Look for a Subaru model that has at least 8 inches of ground clearance.

– Winter tires: While all Subarus come with all-season tires, winter tires are a must-have if you live in an area with heavy snowfall. They provide better grip on icy and snowy roads, and can improve your car’s handling and braking.

– X-Mode: This is a feature found on some Subaru models that optimizes engine output and adjusts the brakes to improve traction in snow, sand, and other difficult conditions.


Model Ground Clearance All-Wheel Drive Special Features
Outback 8.7 inches Standard X-Mode
Crosstrek 8.7 inches Standard EyeSight®
Forester 8.7 inches Standard Snow/Dirt mode

When it comes to driving in snowy conditions, Subaru’s all-wheel drive system and rugged capabilities make it a top choice. The Outback, Crosstrek, and Forester are three of the best models to drive in snow, thanks to their high ground clearance and extra features like X-mode, EyeSight®, and Snow/Dirt mode. When shopping for a snow-friendly Subaru, make sure you look for all-wheel drive, ground clearance, and features that optimize traction on slippery surfaces.

Subarus with Ground Clearance of 8.7 inches or Higher

If you live in a part of the world that experiences snowy winters, owning a car that can handle the conditions is crucial. Subaru is a brand known for its all-wheel drive capability and sturdy, reliable vehicles. When it comes to snow, Subarus with ground clearance of 8.7 inches or higher are particularly well-suited for handling challenging weather conditions.

  • Subaru Outback: With a ground clearance of 8.7 inches, the Subaru Outback is one of the top options for snowy terrain. Its all-wheel drive system and standard features such as heated front seats and a windshield wiper de-icer make it an ideal choice for winters.
  • Subaru Crosstrek: The Crosstrek has a slightly higher ground clearance of 8.9 inches, making it a superb option for challenging weather. Its X-Mode feature helps the car maintain traction in the slickest situations, and its EyeSight safety suite provides added protection on slippery roads.
  • Subaru Forester: With a ground clearance of 8.7 inches and features such as hill descent control, the Subaru Forester is a strong contender for snowy conditions. Its advanced symmetrical all-wheel drive and robust 2.5-liter engine make it a powerful and reliable option for winter driving.

These Subarus also offer additional features such as roof rails for carrying equipment, de-icer mirrors, and heated steering wheels to make your winter driving experience safer and more comfortable. Investing in a car with the proper ground clearance and features to handle snowy terrain could make all the difference in ensuring your safety and preventing accidents.

If you are looking for a vehicle that can navigate the snowy roads with ease, consider a Subaru with ground clearance of 8.7 inches or higher. With their exceptional all-wheel drive system, impressive safety options, and added creature comforts, these cars offer an unparalleled winter driving experience.

Model Ground Clearance Noteworthy Features
Subaru Outback 8.7 inches Standard All-Wheel Drive, Hill Descent Control, Heated Front Seats
Subaru Crosstrek 8.9 inches X-Mode, EyeSight Driver Assist Technology, Raised Roof Rails
Subaru Forester 8.7 inches Hill Descent Control, Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, Heated Steering Wheel


Subaru Outback vs. Subaru Crosstrek: Which is Better for Snow?

When it comes to driving in snow, Subaru is a brand that is often associated with reliability and performance. The Outback and Crosstrek are both popular choices for drivers who need a vehicle that can handle slippery roads and snowy conditions. Here’s a closer look at how these two models compare when it comes to winter driving:

Differences in Size and Ground Clearance

  • The Outback is larger than the Crosstrek and has more ground clearance, which can be an advantage when driving through deep snow or over uneven terrain.
  • The Crosstrek, on the other hand, is more compact and maneuverable. This can be helpful when navigating narrow roads or tight parking spots in snowy conditions.

Features for Winter Driving

Both the Outback and Crosstrek come standard with all-wheel drive, which is a must-have feature for driving in snow and ice. The Outback also offers a few additional features that can be helpful in winter weather:

  • Heated front and rear seats are available, which can keep passengers warm and comfortable during long drives in the cold.
  • Subaru’s EyeSight driver-assist system is an option on some Outback models. This system uses cameras and sensors to monitor the road ahead and can apply brakes or adjust speed to help avoid collisions.

Performance on Snowy Roads

The Outback and Crosstrek both perform well on snowy roads, thanks to their all-wheel drive and other features. However, there are a few factors that can affect their performance:

  • Tire choice can make a big difference in how a vehicle handles in snow. All-season tires may be adequate for light snow, but for heavier snowfall or icy conditions, winter tires are recommended.
  • Driver skill and experience also play a role in how a car performs in snow and ice. Even the most capable vehicle can be difficult to handle if a driver is inexperienced or reckless.

Comparison of Snowy-Weather Specs

Subaru Outback Subaru Crosstrek
Ground Clearance 8.7 inches 8.7 inches
Weight 3,601-3,937 lbs 3,113-3,239 lbs
Power Output 182-260 hp 152-182 hp

As you can see from the table above, the Outback and Crosstrek have similar specs when it comes to ground clearance, but the Outback is heavier and has more power. However, these differences may not be significant enough to sway your decision one way or the other.

Ultimately, the choice between the Subaru Outback and Crosstrek comes down to your individual needs and preferences. If you need a larger vehicle with more cargo space and towing capacity, the Outback may be the better choice. If you prioritize fuel efficiency and maneuverability, the Crosstrek may be the way to go. Either way, you can rest assured that both models are capable of handling snowy conditions with ease.

Snow Tires vs. All-Wheel Drive: Which is More Important for Driving in Snowy Conditions?

As winter weather approaches, drivers in snowy areas must consider how to best prepare their vehicles for safe travel. Two popular options are snow tires and all-wheel-drive vehicles, but which is more important for driving in snowy conditions? Here we explore the pros and cons of each.

  • Snow Tires – The most significant difference between snow tires and regular tires is the tread pattern. Snow tires have deeper grooves and special patterns to create traction on snow and ice. They are also made of a different type of rubber that remains flexible at lower temperatures, which ensures a better grip. While snow tires can improve traction for any type of vehicle, they are especially beneficial to cars without AWD.
  • All-Wheel Drive (AWD) – AWD systems distribute power evenly to all four wheels, which can provide better grip on snowy and icy roads. It also helps with acceleration, making it easier to get up steep hills. However, AWD alone does not improve braking or cornering ability, which are crucial for driving in snowy conditions.
  • The Best Option – The truth is, both snow tires and AWD can provide significant benefits for winter driving. However, if you had to choose just one, we recommend investing in a good set of snow tires. Snow tires improve braking, cornering, and acceleration, and are the most effective way to combat snowy and icy roads.

If you have the option, we suggest pairing snow tires with an AWD vehicle. The combination of the two creates the ultimate winter-driving setup. But even if you have an AWD vehicle, snow tires are still crucial for optimal safety in snowy conditions.

Keep in mind that winter driving requires a combination of good vehicle maintenance, cautious driving habits, and proper tires or other traction options. Always prepare, slow down, and give yourself ample time to brake, accelerate and steer in winter weather conditions.

Here is a quick comparison of snow tires and AWD systems:

Snow Tires All-Wheel Drive (AWD)
Pros Better braking and cornering ability
Improved acceleration in snowy and icy conditions
Provides better grip on snowy and icy roads
Easier acceleration up steep hills
Cons Must be changed each winter and stored during off seasons
No improvement in acceleration, braking, or cornering on dry or wet roads
Does not improve braking or cornering ability
Can provide a false sense of security for drivers

Advantages of a Front Engine and Transaxle in Subaru Models for Snow Driving

Subaru is renowned for producing some of the best cars for snow and off-road driving, and a significant reason for this is the front engine and transaxle design in their vehicles. When it comes to driving in snowy or slippery conditions, it’s crucial to have a vehicle that offers excellent traction, stability, and control. And that’s precisely what you get with Subaru cars.

  • Weight Distribution: The front engine and transaxle design in Subaru models put the weight distribution towards the front of the car, which is beneficial for driving on slippery roads. By having more weight over the front wheels, the tires have more traction, which means more control and stability while driving in snow or ice.
  • Better Handling: A front-engine layout provides better handling compared to a rear-engine layout in snow-driving conditions. As the rear-engine layout concentrates weight over the rear tires, it makes them prone to slipping, especially when negotiating corners. In contrast, with a front-engine layout, you get better cornering ability, which makes Subaru cars perfect for snow driving.
  • Improved Traction: Besides weight distribution, Subaru’s front-engine layout allows for an even distribution of traction among the tires. This type of system ensures that all four wheels get sufficient power to move forward, making it easier to get unstuck from snow. Furthermore, this design enables the car’s weight to be evenly spread over all tires, which means more traction, especially when accelerating or braking.

The front engine and transaxle set-up, along with the deployment of Subaru’s advanced all-wheel-drive system, provides a perfect combination for driving in the snow. This results in a car that is easy to drive in slippery conditions and one that ensures the passengers inside are safer. The front engine provides exceptional control, while the transaxle design improves balance, which is what every driver wants when driving on snow-covered roads.

If you need to drive in snowy conditions regularly, it’s best to go for a vehicle with a front engine and transaxle design, and Subaru has a range of such cars to choose from.

Subaru Models with Front Engine and Transaxle All-Wheel Drive System
Subaru Legacy Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive
Subaru Impreza Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive
Subaru Outback X-MODE® & Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive
Subaru Ascent Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive with X-MODE®

Having the right car for driving in snow or other challenging conditions can be a game-changer, and that’s where Subaru cars excel. Thanks to the front engine and transaxle design, driving in a Subaru car is not just fun but also safe and convenient. So, if you’re planning to buy a car for snow driving, consider a Subaru car.

The Impact of Subaru’s X-Mode on Snow Performance

When it comes to driving in snowy conditions, Subaru has always been a favorite among car enthusiasts. The brand’s reputation for producing safe and reliable vehicles in harsh weather is well-earned. With the introduction of X-Mode, an advanced feature that optimizes traction and stability, Subaru raised the bar even higher. Here’s a closer look at X-Mode and its impact on snow performance.

  • X-Mode is available on most new Subaru models, including the Crosstrek, Forester, Outback, and Ascent.
  • When activated, X-Mode improves the car’s ability to handle steep inclines, rough terrain, and slippery conditions.
  • One of the key elements of X-Mode is the Hill Descent Control feature, which helps drivers navigate steep downhill slopes by automatically applying the brakes when necessary. This technology is particularly useful when driving on a slippery surface.

But how much of a difference does X-Mode really make in snowy conditions? The answer is, quite a bit. Here are some specific ways X-Mode can help drivers stay safe and in control when driving in the snow:

  • X-Mode adjusts the throttle response to provide better acceleration control, which is particularly helpful when starting from a stop on a slippery surface.
  • The specially designed all-wheel-drive system, paired with X-Mode, helps distribute torque to each wheel more effectively, providing greater traction and stability on snow-covered roads.
  • X-Mode also optimizes the car’s antilock braking system (ABS) and electronic stability control (ESC), which are critical safety features in slippery conditions.

Of course, all of these features are only effective if drivers take the appropriate precautions when driving in the snow. It’s important to reduce speed, increase following distance, and avoid sudden movements or harsh braking. But with X-Mode on your side, you’ll have an extra layer of protection and peace of mind in some of the most challenging driving conditions.

Subaru Model X-Mode Availability
Crosstrek Standard on all trims
Forester Standard on Sport, Limited, and Touring trims
Outback Standard on Premium, Limited, and Touring trims
Ascent Standard on all trims

Overall, X-Mode is a game-changer when it comes to driving in snowy conditions. With its advanced technology and superior capability, Subaru has once again cemented its reputation as a leader in safe and reliable vehicles.

Which Subaru Model is Best in Snow: FAQs

1. Which Subaru model performs the best in snowy conditions?

All Subaru models are known for their excellent performance in snow and slippery conditions. However, the Subaru Outback and Subaru Forester are the most popular models for snowy terrain.

2. Is it necessary to have all-wheel drive for driving in the snow?

Yes, having all-wheel drive is highly recommended for driving in the snow. Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive (AWD) system is designed specifically for tackling tough weather conditions and improving traction.

3. How does Subaru’s AWD system work in snow?

Subaru’s Symmetrical AWD system sends power to all four wheels at all times, ensuring equal distribution of power and grip. This system improves traction and stability in snowy and slippery conditions, making it easier to control the vehicle.

4. Does the size of the vehicle matter when driving in snow?

While larger vehicles may have an advantage in deep snow because of their higher clearance, it is recommended to choose a vehicle that has a good AWD system, good tires, and excellent handling. Subaru models have all of these features.

5. Are Subaru models equipped with snow tires?

Subaru models do not come equipped with snow tires from the factory. However, it is recommended to switch to snow tires during the winter months for improved traction and control.

6. What features should I look for in a Subaru model for snow driving?

Look for a Subaru model with excellent handling, a good AWD system, and winter tires. Additionally, heated seats and mirrors, as well as a windshield wiper de-icer, are great features for driving in the snow.

7. Can I trust Subaru models for snow driving in extreme conditions?

Subaru models are known for their excellent performance in all types of weather conditions. The Symmetrical AWD system, paired with Subaru’s high-quality engineering, make these vehicles a great choice for snow driving, even in extreme conditions.

Closing Thoughts

Driving in the snow can be a challenge, but choosing the right vehicle can make all the difference. Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system and excellent handling make their vehicles a top choice for driving in the snow. Don’t forget to also invest in good quality winter tires for added traction and control. Thank you for reading, and stay safe on the roads this winter. Be sure to come back for more informative content about Subaru vehicles!