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Advantages of Driving AWD & SWD Cars

Front wheel drive cars have stood the test of time, and showed how innovation progressed from Henry Ford’s lifechanging Model T — which was a rear-wheel drive — to something less complex and therefore more cost-effective to produce. While economics played an important part in this shift, fuel efficiency is the main reason most cars today are front-wheel drive.

The setup of front-wheel drive cars means that the torque is sent solely to the vehicle’s front wheels, so that the car is effectively being pulled (driven) by its front wheels. The same would be said for rear-wheel drive systems, with the torque being sent to the rear wheels, that then push (drive) the car.

When it comes to all-wheel drive (AWD), the engine’s torque is sent to all four wheels. This is where Subaru differs from most other passenger cars on the market: Subaru cars use our full-time Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive (SAWD) system.

This is different to 4WD (four wheel drive) cars that make use of a switch to convert their front (or rear) wheel drive systems to 4WD — over rocky terrain for example (think off-road adventures). Our system is a permanent feature where the longitudinally mounted boxer engine is coupled to a symmetrical drivetrain with equal length half-axles.

Advantages of Driving AWD & SWD Cars

What are the advantages and disadvantages of all wheel drive?

The advantages of AWD means that there’s much more grip with the surface you are travelling on, giving you better acceleration across all-terrains, be that tarred roads, off-road, snow, ice — you name it! The fundamental advantages of symmetric wheel drive are that your Subaru feels and is stable, and doesn’t slip or fishtail in a way that makes you nervous about feeling out-of-control. In almost any slippery situation — and for your everyday driving enjoyment — Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system means you are able to accelerate and grip the road better than cars with front-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive, only.

Pros And Cons Of All Wheel Drive

In short, the advantages of AWD are very convincing; you get:

  • better traction in slippery conditions
  • less chance of spinning when exiting a corner

Advantages of Driving AWD & SWD Cars | Subaru SA


Given that Confidence in Motion is all-encompassing when it comes to how Subaru approaches everything from a safety aspect first, these two points are paramount. And then of course, when it comes to lifestyle choices, you get a supremely innovative car that ticks the boxes for comfort, usability and safety, all rolled into something you want to drive everyday rather than something that sits in your garage and is only taken out on special adventures. You don’t have to have one car for everyday travels, and another for the weekend.

Of course, any information about the advantages and disadvantages of all wheel drive should be honest enough about the pros to then include the cons. Some things posed as cons to consider with AWD are that:

  1. It doesn’t defy the laws of physics, so being overly confident can lead to accidents that you just don’t want to get into
  2. It is argued that the complexity of the system means that repairs are more costly than the traditional FWD system

When it comes to 1 above, remember that Subaru has always worked tirelessly on safety. Over-confidence in AWD could have you forget that stopping safely is still just about stopping, which has so much to do with your distance behind the car(s) in front of you and your ability to pre-empt a multitude of conditions.

This is why the advantages of AWD are not developed in silos at Subaru. It’s about the whole package with us, which is why our safety features are built to match the torque at your foot’s disposal.

When it comes to 2 above, remember that you have a formidable Approved Repair Network at your fingertips when looking to discuss or book your car in for a service.

We did not take a front-drive or rear-drive platform and adapt it to all-wheel drive like most other carmakers have done… We engineered our system from the ground up. Add that to the fact that we are the only car brand across the globe to have a 5-star safety rating while having achieved several Top Safety Pick Plus awards too, and you can start to understand why the advantages of symmetric wheel drive are an irresistible deal!

All our dealerships across the country are ready to help you find the Subaru of your dreams. Book your test drive today, call us on +27 11 608 0116 or email info@subaru.co.za, and a skilled member of our team will be happy to assist you.

Confidence in Motion awaits you!

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