5 Settings That Will Make a Big Difference in How Your New Subaru AWD Drives

5 Settings That Will Make a Big Difference in How Your New Subaru AWD Drives

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Lots of settings inside Your new Subaru Outback, Forester, Crosstrek, or any other Subaru all-wheel drive vehicle affects how it drives and how you use it. In this report, I cover the five most important settings that change how your Subaru performs on the road. The controls in my report apply to 2020 and newer Subaru models.

All 2020 Subaru models with large touch screen display use it for the settings i will share. Some models without a touchscreen also have some of the same features.

2024 Subaru Outback on the road

1. Adaptive cruise control system

To keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you, select the distance you want to maintain, and EyeSight will automatically adjust your speed to maintain the selected distance.

Subaru adaptive cruise control it performs several functions by viewing the road through the cameras located above the interior rearview mirror. It’s a feature designed to make you less active behind the wheel as the system will automatically adjust your speed to maintain a pre-set safe distance from the vehicle in front of you.

2024 Subaru Forester in the snow

And all of this can be done without you needing to brake or gas. No pedals? No problem! All you need to worry about is keeping your eyes on the road, and you can turn off this technology whenever you want to continue driving as usual.

Subaru’s advanced cruise control is also designed to help prevent accidents on the road as it will slow your car down or even bring it to a complete stop if necessary, as the vehicle in front of you slows down. This can happen when the freeway changes to bumper-to-bumper traffic or if there is slow traffic on the road.

2024 Subaru Crosstrek front view

2. Acceleration setting for dynamic cruise control

Set the acceleration setting (how your car will speed up or slow down after being slowed down by another car or object) in the cruise control by clicking on the car icon. Under vehicle control, select cruise control acceleration. Eco will be the slowest speed setting; you have Comfort, Normal, and Dynamic settings from slow to fastest speed.

3. Route Departure Arrangement

To set a lane departure, click on the car icon, go to Driving Assistance, and click Lane Departure. You can turn off the buzzer, only the buzzer, or you can turn it off.

The notification opt-out setting can be annoying, and many customers want to know if you can turn it off. The answer is yes. The camera picks up lines on the road and is sensitive.

I don’t really like the lane departure warning because I hug the inside lane while driving on narrow dual-mountain roads, and it always goes off but it can be turned off.

Go to car settings, click on the car icon, driving assistance, then go off track. There are a few settings you can change. Leaving the path and centering the path depends on the feature you want to disable.

4. Automatic Vehicle Holding Arrangement

Automatic Vehicle Hold (AVH) is a driver-selectable feature designed to help reduce driving fatigue by allowing you to stop the vehicle and take your foot off the brake. This feature holds the car in place when sitting at a light, in heavy traffic, or if you’re waiting for a train.

To turn it off, tap the AVH button on the touch screen. Remember, when you turn off your car, it must be restarted because it will automatically reset to default settings.

5. Auto Start/Stop setting

The most annoying feature on the new Subaru is Auto Start/Stop. I’ve written a report on why it’s the least favorite feature on any Subaru model.

Constantly starting and stopping the engine is tiring for some urban drivers, especially if you travel in heavy traffic every day. And many Subaru Forester, Outback, Crosstrek, and Ascent owners say they don’t like the car to stop and start because it shakes the car every time the engine starts.

The new Outback and Legacy feature a new 11.6-inch touchscreen menu, and you can turn off the system. On the home screen, press the car icon button to change the settings and click “Other,” allowing you to turn off the Auto Shutdown system.


It is important to know that with most Subaru settings, once you turn the car off and on again, the settings will default to the previous setting.

X Mode Setting

I’ve covered X-Mode before, but here’s a rundown of what X-Mode is, how to enable it, and why and when you’ll want to use it.

The X-Mode button elevates driving confidence and provides superior traction and control. On newer models with a larger touch screen, click on the up arrow on the screen and scroll to X Mode. Press the button up.

What is X-Mode?

Pressing the X-Mode switch activates five different modes of control to reduce tire slippage:

1. Engine Throttle

The engine bay opens when the driver steps on the accelerator pedal in everyday driving. However, X-Mode is designed so that the throat does not open too quickly. If the driver presses the accelerator harder, the engine produces more torque faster. X-Mode uses a unique setting that produces torque gradually at first but then builds up more power.

2. Distribution

X-Mode puts the transmission in a low gear so that the engine’s power can be delivered powerfully. When X-Mode is ON, this shift pattern allows the driver to make better use of the available power.

3. All Wheel Drive

AWD control is improved by increasing the front/rear linkage force when X-Mode is ON, which helps the driver distribute power more evenly between the four wheels. This increases the traction of the tires.

4. Vehicle Dynamics Control System

The VDC system, when X-Mode is ON, includes “Enhanced LSD Control.” For example, if the left and right wheels are acting differently, the system applies the brakes only to the skidding wheels. Compared to normal operation, the brakes are applied much earlier when X-Mode is ON, causing the LSD control to activate more quickly.

5. Hill Descent Control

At low speeds (below 12 mph), Hill Descent Control helps maintain the vehicle’s starting speed for safer driving–the vehicle controls traction and braking, allowing the driver to focus entirely on steering.

This is the latest information on the Subaru Outback, Subaru Forester, Subaru Crosstrek, or other Subaru all-wheel drive models; however, Subaru makes changes to their new models all the time, so I’ll let you know when I learn more about new design features.

Until then, visit torquenews.com/subaru regularly for my latest updates.

Your Turn

What do you think; what do you think What Subaru features do you like and use the most? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Thanks for reading, everyone. I hope you enjoyed the new Subaru tuning story. See you tomorrow for my new Subaru Report.

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I’m Denis Flierl, Torque News’ 12-year senior writer with 20+ years of Subaru and automotive journalism experience. I am excited to bring you, Subaru fans and customers, the most up-to-date Subaru news, reviews and new model details. You’ll find the latest Subaru stories on the Subaru page. Follow me on mine Dirty Subaru website, Dirty Subaru blog, Subaru Report, All Subarus, WRXSTI, @DenisFlierl, Facebookand Instagram.

I’ve got you covered! – I handle all Subarus all the time – It’s called the “Subaru Report.” Check back every day for my Subaru analysis!

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photo courtesy of: Subaru Corporation

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