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. 

Standard on every one of Subaru's SUV models, from the compact Crosstrek all the way to the luxurious Ascent, 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.