Subaru models equipped with the Lineartronic CVT transmission feature enhanced Active All Wheel Drive. Select models feature X-Mode. These new safety and performance features help improve vehicle control on low-friction surfaces. When X-Mode is activated, it electronically controls the engine, transmission, All Wheel Drive system, brakes, and the VDC (Vehicle Dynamics Control) system. X-Mode helps reduce potential wheel slip on slippery surfaces, climbing steep inclines, and navigating rough roads. X-Mode helps increase driving performance, confidence, and control.

 How X-Mode Works:

X-Mode is turned on by pushing the X-Mode switch on the center console. An indicator light on the instrument panel illuminates. When X-Mode is operational, the Multi-Function Display provides the status of steering angle, driving wheel status, and activation of the ABS system (if necessary) and operation of the VDC.

 While X-Mode can be activated at speeds below 25 mph, it becomes operational at 18 mph and below. When the vehicle speed exceeds 18 mph, X-Mode stops functioning. Subaru X-Mode operates under three principles: [1.] To increase the potential of the electronically-controlled Limited Slip Differential that lies at the heart of the VDC [2.] To apply the SI-Drive technology to the engine, transmission, and other components for optimum control on slippery roads [3.] To give drivers peace of mind by assuring them added driving assistance.

 X-Mode reduces accelerator input for increased control of engine output, helping control wheelspin for better traction when you are driving on slippery surfaces and rough roads. When X-Mode is activated, wheelspin is reduced and grip is enhanced by controlling the engine, transmission, AWD system, brakes, VDC and other critical components.


Activating X-Mode engages 5 different forms of control to limit slipping tires:


Engine Throttle

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



X-Mode keeps transmission in a lower gear so that the 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.


All Wheel Drive

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

 Vehicle Dynamics Control System

When X-Mode is ON, the VDC system includes a specially-tuned Enhanced Limited Slip Differential Control (LSD). For example, if the left and right wheels are behaving differently, the system applies brakes only to the 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.


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 braking allowing the driver to fully concentrate on steering.



Wilkins Subaru

6917 Ritchie Hwy
Directions Glen Burnie, MD 21061

  • Sales: (410) 689-8000
  • Service: (410) 689-8000
  • Parts: (410) 689-8000


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  1. Wilkins Subaru

    6917 Ritchie Hwy
    Glen Burnie, MD 21061

    • Sales: (410) 689-8000
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