What is Subaru X-Mode and how does it work?

Two pictures of X-Mode display

X-Mode display in dash

X-Mode buttons near shifter. 

X-Mode buttons close up.

Goal of X-Mode
:  increase traction and control under low-speed, terrible traction conditions.

Subaru's legendary all wheel drive system will get you out of dicey situations where other mortal vehicles would strand you, but X Mode works in addition to the all wheel drive system to give you even greater traction and control. 

Optional on Forester and Crosstrek, and standard on Outback, Subaru X Mode is a software program engineered to get you up and down vertiginous terrain.
  • X-Mode uses lower gear ratios to generate extra power at the wheels that have grip;
  • X-Mode deactivates the transmission's lock-up clutch to better direct power to slipping wheels;
  • X-Mode makes the traction control system extra sensitive so that it intervenes earlier during wheel slippage;
  • X-Mode employs "Hill Descent Control" so you don't need to apply brakes and risk locking them up when headed down steep slopes.  

The video below explains the functions of X-Mode and shows an Outback climbing and descending steep terrain! Off road demo begins at the 7:15 mark in the video.


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Planet loves describing Subaru X Mode to new and used and buyers in Newton, Somerville, Chelsea, Dorchester, and Boston.