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Old 02-06-2021, 07:41 AM   #1
AVANTI R5
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Default Is Subaru AWD The Best? - A New Crosstrek Sport Just Failed The "Slip Test"

Are 2021 Subaru Forester, Outback, and Crosstrek the best all-wheel-drive SUVs? Check out a 2021 Crosstrek Sport that failed the TFL slip test.

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The 2021 Subaru Forester, Outback, Crosstrek, and Ascent SUVs all come standard with Symmetrical all-wheel-drive, but is it the best? The Fast Lane Car (TFL) puts the newly-refreshed 2021 Subaru Crosstrek Sport through a "slip test," and it doesn't do well.

What is a slip test?

TFL uses a slip test to put a car on a small section of an industrial conveyor roller to see if the car can pull itself off. This simulates having a wheel stuck in extremely slick conditions like ice or deep snow where there is minimal traction. TFL puts the 2021 Subaru Crosstrek through three tests.

The first test puts both front wheels of the 2021 Crosstrek Sport in the rollers. The small SUV pulls itself off with no problem. Next, they do a diagonal slip test where the front left and rear right wheel is put in the rollers. The driver puts the Crosstrek in X-Mode, and it takes a bit more power, and the car drives off the two diagonal rollers.

Next is the three-wheel slip test. Both rear wheels are stuck along with the front left wheel. The Crosstrek does not get itself off the rollers in regular all-wheel-drive or X-Mode. When the driver puts it in deep snow and mud dual-function X-Mode, the small SUV gets off the three rollers.

The last test puts both front wheels in the rollers along with the rear left wheel. In standard all-wheel-drive, the car sits on the rollers and the wheels spin. In dual-function X-Mode, the Crosstrek eventually makes it off the rollers. The driver says, "That was way too hard for a Subaru."

Does the TFL slip test prove the 2021 Subaru Crosstrek is not as effective in snow and ice as it should be? Torque News reached out to Subaru of America and asked for their response to the slip test. A Subaru spokesman said, "I had the opportunity to review the video. No comment on TFL's test."

What is our response to the TFL video? We live at 8300 feet elevation in the mountains west of Denver, Colorado, where the conditions are severe. We have owned many Subaru vehicles and have tested every model Subaru manufactures. In deep snow, ice, mud, and off-pavement conditions, we have never been stuck in a Subaru vehicle.

With the right winter tires, Subaru's Symmetrical all-wheel-drive offers the best traction of any small SUV. X-Mode will help in every day driving to capitalize on the traction available and provide sure-footedness over and above what is afforded by Subaru's full-time all-wheel-drive system.

We think TFL's slip test using industrial rollers to spin the wheels does not provide a real-world scenario of what happens when one, two, or three wheels begin to slip. It would be too hard for any small SUV.

Are the 2021 Subaru Forester, Outback, and Crosstrek the best all-wheel-drive SUVs? In our experience, in severe weather conditions, Subaru's Symmetrical all-wheel-drive system will get you home safely. X-Mode offers additional traction in challenging off-road conditions where there is deep snow, ice, and mud.
https://www.torquenews.com/1084/suba...iled-slip-test
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Old 02-06-2021, 09:10 AM   #2
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How could Active AWD ever be called the best AWD? STI has the only three mechanical differential AWD, which would be the best.

TFL's rollers have a very wide gap opening for the rollers, unlike CQ, which I think makes it harder. A lot of AWD have problem with only 1 tire with traction on TFL tests.
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Old 02-06-2021, 10:32 AM   #3
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Wow. A car without a single mechanically locked differential struggles to move when having 0 traction underneath 3 out of 4 wheels

Next week's headline, "non-hybrid subarus have 0 range on electricity alone"
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Old 02-06-2021, 12:42 PM   #4
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We got a Challenger


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Old 02-06-2021, 02:01 PM   #5
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Reading the article, it sounds like the dual function X-Mode did its job. These roller tests are assuming near zero friction on three wheels, like bald tires on ice. Being in Denver, like TFL, and driving to the mountains, way too many people drive with improper condition tires. Having half decent tires will give you some friction for the AWD system to work. After that, it's up to the driver, where any AWD system won't fix.
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Old 02-06-2021, 05:00 PM   #6
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What a waste of time
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Old 02-08-2021, 11:34 AM   #7
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roller tests != real life. I'm sure the crosstrek sport does great in the snow and ice when equipped with proper tires, just like literally every other awd system out there...
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Old 02-08-2021, 01:40 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oichan View Post
What a waste of time
if that isn't TFL's tagline, it should be.
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Old 02-08-2021, 03:30 PM   #9
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I like TFL; they are the only ones running Subaru's gear at altitude and really showing how CVT+FB20/FB25 struggle up there.
And before some of you jump up and down, although everything else struggles too, somehow, CVT+FB20/FB25 is doing worse. Time to move on to CB18, IMO.
Having said that, I agree with you guys about this specific slip test, it's not useful.
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Old 02-08-2021, 03:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neg_matnik View Post
I like TFL; they are the only ones running Subaru's gear at altitude and really showing how CVT+FB20/FB25 struggle up there.
And before some of you jump up and down, although everything else struggles too, somehow, CVT+FB20/FB25 is doing worse. Time to move on to CB18, IMO.
Having said that, I agree with you guys about this specific slip test, it's not useful.
I like them, well because I live in Denver, but it creates a different appreciation on how different factors impact performance. They also take vehicles off-road but not trying to prove a vehicle's Baja capabilities. It's not flawless reviews but much more realistic than the ultimate track times test reviews. Everyday Driver also does good reviews at altitude.
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Old 02-08-2021, 04:20 PM   #11
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This is a great review of the Haldex 5 system. But it required doing all the stuff to show what happens. The slip test can be achieved in the parking lot which basically shows the same thing. A lot of throttle must be applied to get the systems working. Out in the wild it doesn't feel weird to add tons of throttle because there are consequences. It doesn't feel intuitive in a parking lot, so "seems to be trying too hard" is completely disingenuous and ignores what it takes to utilize computer controlled dynamics vs. say mechanical locking diffs on every driveshaft. People taking away the Crosstrek AWD setup fails as an AWD setup is a ridiculous standard TFL and Torque News are creating.

But TFL is annoying. Always have been.
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Old 02-09-2021, 08:22 PM   #12
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What I wonder is how much slip can the centre differential with the CVT take. Ultimately, heat will be an issue.

Here's a non-scientific winter version of the aforementioned test:
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Old 02-09-2021, 09:49 PM   #13
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Subaru AWD is simple and efficient but not the best as the rest of the industry has caught up and some have surpassed Subaru. Surprisingly BMW xDrive destroys the competition in this comparison.

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Old 02-10-2021, 08:57 AM   #14
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Post the video of the direct competitors when he does it. Higher priced cars have had better systems for a while. Key.....higher priced.
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Old 02-10-2021, 10:46 AM   #15
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Subaru's system is fine, though I'm sure that that level of violent bouncing around would have a 5,000 mile Subaru interior sounding like a 500,000 mile Toyota.
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Old 02-10-2021, 12:33 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heavyD View Post
Surprisingly BMW xDrive destroys the competition in this comparison.
I'm fuzzy on my BMW knowledge anymore, but didn't they scrap their excellent AWD system introduced in the e30 325iX for a crappy open diff system (called xDrive) that depended on TCS to transfer torque in the e46, only to turn around and revert to a modernized version of the old (good) system in subsequent models, but carried over the xDrive branding?

If I've got that right, it may not be very surprising unless you automatically associate "xDrive" with the e46 system.

I nearly bought a used e30 325iX back before I bought my '99 2.5RS. I was already very familiar with Subaru's AWD and the Bimmer was absolutely superior on some slippery wet roads. I really enjoyed my RS, but a part of me wishes I'd jumped on the iX while I still had a chance. I spent a lot of time and money fixing the Subaru's suspension to win autocross trophies and it still paled in comparison to the iX's stock steady-state handling (the RS was a low speed slalom/transition rocket).
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Old 02-10-2021, 02:49 PM   #17
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I haven't watched TFL in years because they, particularly Roman, were so biased against Subaru...almost like there was a personal vendetta.
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Old 02-10-2021, 03:47 PM   #18
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Subaru dropping turbo offerings across the range for the last decade might have something to do with that.
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Old 02-10-2021, 04:35 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4S-TURBO View Post
Subaru dropping turbo offerings across the range for the last decade might have something to do with that.
I was about to write something along these lines.
Especially when you consider than TFL reviews everything at 5,000+ ft.
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Old 02-10-2021, 04:51 PM   #20
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Everything always has a depends on X. I know from experience in Pennsylvania for my driving conditions that the economy of an Impreza or Crosstrek are pretty hard to beat if you want an all wheel drive. Yes you can find an outlier where something else works better, and you can find plenty of cars that cost more that will be better under specific circumstances however for the money I think Subarus are pretty good. I am not a fan of any German auto maker because of the extraordinary cost of repair or maintenance relative to the rapid loss of value. I love cars, I used to dream of a BMW but when I had a choice this time around I did my research again and I just won:t pay the money for a new or used BMW, Audi, Volkswagen, Mercedes. Too much money for almost any work that ever has to be done on any contemporary version. Car magazines and reviews never factor in effectively long term cost of these things. A BMW will depreciate over 5 years by the cost of a new Cross Trek. I loved the episode of Wheeler Dealers where they worked on an Audi Twin Turbo. They had to take the whole front end off the car just do do maintenance work.
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Old 02-10-2021, 05:48 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cbk57 View Post
Everything always has a depends on X. I know from experience in Pennsylvania for my driving conditions that the economy of an Impreza or Crosstrek are pretty hard to beat if you want an all wheel drive. Yes you can find an outlier where something else works better, and you can find plenty of cars that cost more that will be better under specific circumstances however for the money I think Subarus are pretty good. I am not a fan of any German auto maker because of the extraordinary cost of repair or maintenance relative to the rapid loss of value. I love cars, I used to dream of a BMW but when I had a choice this time around I did my research again and I just won:t pay the money for a new or used BMW, Audi, Volkswagen, Mercedes. Too much money for almost any work that ever has to be done on any contemporary version. Car magazines and reviews never factor in effectively long term cost of these things. A BMW will depreciate over 5 years by the cost of a new Cross Trek. I loved the episode of Wheeler Dealers where they worked on an Audi Twin Turbo. They had to take the whole front end off the car just do do maintenance work.
You should wait for an episode in which they have to pull a Subie engine out to replace head gaskets.
Pulling the entire front end of the Audi will seem reasonable in comparison .
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Old 02-11-2021, 07:19 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cbk57 View Post
Everything always has a depends on X. I know from experience in Pennsylvania for my driving conditions that the economy of an Impreza or Crosstrek are pretty hard to beat if you want an all wheel drive. Yes you can find an outlier where something else works better, and you can find plenty of cars that cost more that will be better under specific circumstances however for the money I think Subarus are pretty good. I am not a fan of any German auto maker because of the extraordinary cost of repair or maintenance relative to the rapid loss of value. I love cars, I used to dream of a BMW but when I had a choice this time around I did my research again and I just won:t pay the money for a new or used BMW, Audi, Volkswagen, Mercedes. Too much money for almost any work that ever has to be done on any contemporary version. Car magazines and reviews never factor in effectively long term cost of these things. A BMW will depreciate over 5 years by the cost of a new Cross Trek. I loved the episode of Wheeler Dealers where they worked on an Audi Twin Turbo. They had to take the whole front end off the car just do do maintenance work.
Quote:
Originally Posted by neg_matnik View Post
You should wait for an episode in which they have to pull a Subie engine out to replace head gaskets.
Pulling the entire front end of the Audi will seem reasonable in comparison .
Toyota/Lexus - maintenance is easy, the vehicles are designed to get them in and out of service centers quickly, and they are durable, reliable & relatively cheap.
Edit: and Lexus service is on-par cost wise with Toyota service, unlike VAG products where VW<Audi<Porsche even though a lot of the fluids/services are the same or at least similar.

Last edited by Sid03SVT; 02-11-2021 at 07:30 AM.
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Old 02-11-2021, 09:57 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by moshter11 View Post
I haven't watched TFL in years because they, particularly Roman, were so biased against Subaru...almost like there was a personal vendetta.
I'm sure there is. It seems like they are using dealership vehicles for testing and not vehicles from Subaru directly. Something is up.
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Old 02-11-2021, 12:09 PM   #24
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I'm sure there is. It seems like they are using dealership vehicles for testing and not vehicles from Subaru directly. Something is up.
Roman explained a little while back that Subaru no longer wanted to send them vehicle because they (allegedly ) thrashed a 2015+ Outback 3.6R during some offroad testing.
More recently, they posted a video saying they were back in Subaru's good graces. Maybe that's not true? Don't know.
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Old 02-11-2021, 12:28 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sid03SVT View Post
Toyota/Lexus - maintenance is easy, the vehicles are designed to get them in and out of service centers quickly, and they are durable, reliable & relatively cheap.
Edit: and Lexus service is on-par cost wise with Toyota service, unlike VAG products where VW<Audi<Porsche even though a lot of the fluids/services are the same or at least similar.
I'm about to find out soon enough; got myself a used '19 Golf R back in December.
The first thing is that VAG uses a bunch of one-time use stretch bolts (torque to yield) all around suspension components.
I'm going to upgrade the front knuckles and I had to order nearly 3 lbs of OEM bolts and nuts .
Dealers must love getting paid to work on these cars.
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