posted on December 19, 2019

Subaru is the best choice for handling winter weather

All-wheel drive (AWD) vehicles are continuing to grow in popularity within the car community not just among enthusiasts, but for everyone who’s looking for a versatile vehicle that can handle all sorts of driving conditions. While luxury and performance brands like BMW, Audi, Porsche, and more offer high-end AWD models, Subaru is still the people’s choice. With its longstanding reputation for affordability and dependability, Subaru has been a favorite among adventurers and outdoorsy types for a long time.

With winter already here, many people are looking for safe and capable cars for their holiday travels. Subaru is the best choice in my (and many others’) opinion. If you’re looking for a car that you can book for a weekend snow adventure, then a model like the Subaru Outback is the way to go.

Caleb’s 2017 Subaru Outback (Aurora, CO)

I’m someone who comes from a Subaru Outback family and has driven it through the snow many times, and I couldn’t ask for a car that makes me feel more in control. What really makes Subaru stand out are their various AWD systems offered throughout their lineup. The Viscous Center Differential (VCD) system and the Active Torque Split (ATS) system are the most common and found in most models.

The VCD system, offered on the manual versions of the Forester, Crosstrek, WRX, and Impreza, is able to split the torque 50/50 between both the rear and front wheels. If the car is stuck and one of the wheels starts to spin, the VCD system will divert more torque to the wheels that have traction while braking the wheels that are spinning.

Jason’s 2019 Subaru Outback (Portland, OR)
Milan’s 2016 Subaru Outback (Calgary, AB)

The ATS system offers the same sort of setup, but for the automatic versions of the same models, plus the Outback and Legacy. The biggest difference is that it splits the power 60/40, with more going to the front wheels and less going to the back.

Alexandra’s 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek (Toronto, ON)
Otto’s 2019 Subaru Impreza (Snoqualmie, WA)
Dan’s 2019 Subaru Forester (Cambridge, MA)
Ganesh’s 2019 Subaru Ascent (Brampton, ON)

Subaru has a couple of other systems that divert even more power to the rear wheels, but they’re exclusive to their sportiest models — the Impreza WRX and STI. The bias toward the rear may not always be quite as ideal in ice and snow, but it sure is a lot of fun.

Hugo’s 2018 Subaru WRX (Markham, ON)
Eric’s 2016 Subaru WRX STi (Los Angeles, CA)

It’s this variety that really sets Subaru apart from other brands that offer AWD. Whether you’re driving one of their sports models like the WRX or their fan-favorite crossover SUV the Outback, there is something for everybody. So if you’re looking for a sports car that can handle the snow, or an SUV to haul the family during the holidays, you can’t go wrong with an AWD Subaru!

Danny Benson is a car fanatic and writer from rural Northern California (aka Bigfoot country). His friends are hoping that his being able to write about cars for a living will get him to stop talking their ears off with useless car trivia.