Subaru Legacy - All wheel drive

What does all wheel drive mean? Is that the same as 4 wheel drive? Can the Subaru Legacy drive in snow?

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1 answer

  • All Wheel Drive (AWD) is essentially the same thing as 4-wheel drive (4WD), but there are differences. And while many manufacturers like to coin their own terms for this technology (BMW has X-Drive, Jeep likes 4-wheel drive, Subaru is AWD, Mercedes calls it 4matic) they all tend to have the same outcome. However, due to patent laws and specific functional requirements (particularly in trucks), most of these manufacturers do things slightly different.

    AWD technically means the vehicle uses a front, rear and center differential that splits power among all four wheels. This tends to be better for the sporty vehicles as it's more efficient at quickly distributing power. The dash in my Forester actually shows the variable distribution of power and you can see it take action when a tire is losing traction.

    4WD vehicles have two differentials and a transfer case to provide power to all four wheels. This tends to be better for vehicles that need more torque and power under heavier loads.

    For the average driver, this doesn't mean much of a difference. I own a Subaru Forester and have owned a Subaru Legacy in the past and they both handle extremely well in the snow and other inclement weather. I've driven Jeeps & BMWs in the snow on numerous occasions and they also handle very well. If you're just worried about being able to handle snow and things like that, I would recommend going with your preference.

    However, I will always recommend a Subaru! They are excellent vehicles, each and every one in their line. They have top-tier lifespans, great customer service at their dealerships, and are very cheap to repair (if you ever even have the need -- I've seen people go upwards of 150,000-200,000 miles without anything but standard maintenance).

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