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Subaru is known for making some of the best and cheapest all-wheel drive cars. The brand enjoys a great reputation for reliability, durability, and capability in part because of its Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system. However, you may be surprised to learn that not all Subaru models come standard with AWD. One car doesn’t offer it at all.

What Subarus have all-wheel drive? 

Close up of the front right headlight on a new Subaru BRZ. The BRZ is the only car to not offer Subaru all-wheel drive
Subaru BRZ | Subaru

All but one Subaru car comes standard with a Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system. All of Subaru’s crossovers and SUVs run on AWD, and most of its sedans and performance cars, too. You’ll find all-wheel drive on these models:

  • Crosstrek
  • Forester
  • Outback
  • Ascent
  • Impreza
  • Legacy
  • WRX
  • Solterra (future vehicle) 

And the odd man out?

The Subaru BRZ does not have all-wheel drive

Subaru’s one and only coupe is also the one and only car in its entire lineup not to offer AWD. The 2022 Subaru BRZ comes standard with a rear-wheel-drive system that’s still plenty capable and lots of fun.

Are any Subaru BRZ AWD? Why doesn’t this coupe offer all-wheel drive? Will that change in the future? All great questions—the answer to the first is, no. Not a single BRZ trim level is available with anything other than a rear-wheel-drive system. Answers to the other questions are a little tougher.

The BRZ doesn’t offer all-wheel drive because this model was developed alongside two other cars: the Toyota 86 and the Scion FR-S. Since the coupe wasn’t really a true Subaru car, some compromises had to be made. As to whether Subaru will ever give its BRZ coupe the gift of AWD, that’s anyone’s guess. 

But, it’s still a wildly fun car to drive and holds up to Subaru’s standards of quality. And, even without all-wheel drive, the 2022 Subaru BRZ was still able to receive an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ rating.

Want to know more about this cool little coupe? Check out a history of the Subaru BRZ.

Does Subaru have the best AWD?

Red Subaru WRX sports sedan, one of the many Subaru models with standard Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive
Subaru WRX with standard all-wheel drive | Subaru

Not all AWD systems are created equal. While it’s hard to determine a clear winner against competitors, Subaru’s all-wheel drive system is one of the best in the industry. 

All of Subaru’s drivetrains are called “Symmetrical AWD,” but there are a few different flavors available. There’s the “Viscous Center Differential (VCD)” all-wheel drive system, as well as Active Torque Split (ATS), Variable Torque Distribution (VTD), and Driver Controlled Center Differential (DCCD) systems.

While there have been some Subaru AWD problems over the years, Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive is widely considered to be the most reliable and capable system.

Subaru’s all-wheel drive system explained

Unlike some other AWD or 4WD systems, Subaru’s all-wheel drive is on all the time. That means you never have to worry about turning AWD on or off in your Subaru Forester, Outback, WRX, or Impreza.

According to Subaru, the company’s all-wheel drive system is designed for “optimal balance and an even distribution of power so you can count on maximum traction, exceptional stability, and impressive efficiency.”

Watch the video above to learn exactly how Subaru’s AWD systems work.


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