Subaru SI-DRIVE Explained, Modes

Subaru SI-DRIVE explained

Balancing performance, smoothness, and efficiency are easy with Subaru SI-DRIVE. It's an advanced drivetrain management system with selectable modes to fit the conditions or driver mood at hand. Want a sporty drive that is also efficient? This system lets you achieve both while taking your Subaru vehicle's performance to the next level. You'll find two types: the first using two modes and the second using three. As well, you can find it on vehicles from the rally-bred Subaru WRX to the dutiful adventurer known as the Subaru Forester.

Just like our guide that'll show you the Subaru X-MODE explained, we'll take you through how this innovative system works and how it maximizes the potential of your Subaru vehicle in any driving condition. So read on, and see how this system can enhance your driving style, no matter if efficiency or performance is your priority.

Subaru SI-DRIVE Explained

To start, SI-DRIVE stands for "Subaru Intelligent Drive." But think about it this way: an engine and transmission are dynamic, complex machines in and of themselves. How the vehicle delivers power can vary greatly. Factors include the engine tuning characteristics (i.e., maximizing power output at lower revs or vice versa), how fast the throttle opens up, and when the transmission changes gear or simulated gear ratio on a continuously variable transmission (CVT). How these factors change will significantly affect performance and efficiency.

As an example, when the throttle opens rapidly, it gives greater performance but lower efficiency.

Let's say for example that you want your Subaru Forester SI-DRIVE system to meet your desired driving demands. The system will optimize all these factors accordingly. Want more fuel efficiency? You got it. Want to bring forth all the performance potential your Subaru vehicle has? Not a problem. Now that you know what SI-DRIVE does, let's move on to how you use it.

The Subaru SI-DRIVE Modes

Intelligent Mode

This is your choice for daily driving demands. Subaru SI-DRIVE Intelligent Mode makes open-road commuting a smooth and efficient experience. It works wonders in stop-and-go traffic and on city streets thanks to increased fuel efficiency. And it is exceptional in challenging driving conditions like a road covered in snow or gravel thanks to smoother throttle and engine response.

Sport (S) Mode

Not just for having some fun, Subaru SI-DRIVE Sport Mode is your choice for a balanced drive. With increased passing power, it's the perfect mode for highway cruising, mountain driving, and suburban commuting. When the roads get twisty, it lets you have some fun with a faster engine response on-demand. Whether for pleasure or practical driving, Sport Mode makes your ride an optimal one.

Sport Sharp (S#) Mode

Plain and simple, this is your Subaru SI-DRIVE mode for maximum fun. You'll power through those twisty roads or even a racetrack with uncompromising driver engagement. You'll also find that merging or passing on the highway is a simple task in this mode. Overall, Sport Sharp is the no-compromise performance enthusiast's choice for driving thrills.

Which Models Have Subaru SI-DRIVE?

Subaru WRX and WRX STI

The sporty pair of rally-racing champions, both a new Subaru WRX (when equipped with Lineartronic CVT) and WRX STI come with Subaru SI-DRIVE. Specifically, they come with Intelligent Mode, Sport Mode, and Sport Sharp Mode.

Subaru Forester

On any of our new Subaru Forester lease deals, or model from 2019 onward, SI-DRIVE comes standard. On the Forester Sport trim, you get Intelligent and Sport Sharp modes, while all other Forester trims come with Intelligent and Sport.

Subaru Crosstrek

A compact SUV with an adventurous difference, any new Subaru Crosstrek from after the 2020 model year and equipped with the Lineartronic CVT offers SI-DRIVE as a standard feature. Specifically, it will come with Intelligent and Sport modes.

Experience Subaru SI-DRIVE at Wilkins Subaru

It all sounds great in theory but gets even better as you feel your Subaru vehicle's personality change on the road. If you want an in-person taste of what Subaru SI-DRIVE can do, contact us today to take a test-drive of any model equipped with it. We'd be thrilled to help you discover SI-DRIVE and the many more advanced systems found across the Subaru model lineup.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is SI-DRIVE on a Subaru?

Subaru SI-DRIVE is an advanced system that tailors engine and transmission characteristics to the driving conditions and driver mood at hand. Whether you want to prioritize greater efficiency, smoothness, or performance, selectable modes like Intelligent (I) or Sport (S) will optimize factors like throttle response, engine mapping, transmission ratio, and more to achieve your desired drive.

How does Subaru SI-DRIVE work?

Subaru SI-DRIVE works by optimizing engine and transmission characteristics to enhance the selected driving style. For example, Intelligent (I) Mode will prioritize smooth, fuel-efficient driving by adjusting throttle response, engine mapping, and transmission ratio. Sport (S) Mode gives a balance of efficiency and fun. Meanwhile, Sport Sharp (S#) Mode brings out the best performance possible from your vehicle based on the same factors.

How do you use Subaru SI-DRIVE?

Subaru SI-DRIVE is used by turning the drive mode selector to your desired mode. The mode selector can be found on your vehicle's center console, marked with "SI-DRIVE." By default, your Subaru vehicle will start in Intelligent (I) Mode for an efficient and smooth ride. Turn it to Sport (S) Mode to draw out more performance potential, or engage Sport Sharp (S#) Mode to achieve the best performance your vehicle can offer.

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