What is Subaru X-Mode? | How Does Subaru X-Mode Work? | Why Would A Driver Use Subaru X-Mode?


Goal of X-Mode:  increase traction and control under the most vicious road 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.

Two pictures of X-Mode display 

X-Mode display in dash

X-Mode buttons near shifter.  
X-Mode buttons close up.

Pressing the X-Mode switch activates 5 different forms of control to limit slipping tires:

1. Engine Throttle

In normal driving, when the driver steps on the accelerator pedal, the engine throttle opens up, however X-Mode is designed so that the throttle doesn't open too quickly. If the driver presses the accelerator further, the engine then delivers torque faster. X-Mode employs special settings that deliver torque gradually at first, but then makes it come on stronger.

2. Transmission

X-Mode keeps transmission in a lower gear so that engine power can be delivered stronger. This shifting pattern, while X-Mode is ON, lets the driver make the most of the power that is available.

3. All Wheel Drive

AWD control is improved by raising the front/rear coupling force when X-Mode is ON, which helps the driver drive power more evenly between the four wheels. This maximizes the traction of the tires.

4. Vehicle Dynamics Control System

The VDC system, when X-Mode is ON, includes a specially-tuned "Enhanced LSD Control". For example, if the left and right wheels are behaving differently, the system applies brakes only to wheels that are slipping. Compared to ordinary operation, the brakes are applied a lot earlier when X-Mode is ON, resulting in LSD control activating much faster.

5. Hill Descent Control

At low speeds (under 12 mph) Hill Descent Control helps maintain vehicle starting speed for safer maneuvering--the car itself manages the throttle and breaking allowing the driver to fully concentrate on steering.

The video below explains the functions of X-Mode and shows a Forester climbing impossibly steep terrain!