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2016 Outbacks - limited-slip rear differential?

jim2345jim2345 Posts: 45
edited February 2016 in Subaru
The last time I shopped Subaru Outbacks (2009) the base model did not have a limited-slip rear differential but the "Limited" model did. I did not buy it, but got a good deal on a Jeep instead. It's time to replace my Jeep and I'm looking at Outbacks again and they have changed - bigtime. CVT transmission, paddle shifters, etc. - but what happened to the LSD? I can't find anyone at the dealership who can tell me which (if any) of the new model Outbacks has a limited-slip rear differential. Does anyone out there know for sure?

Comments

  • dcm61dcm61 Posts: 1,564
    No limited slip on 2016 Outback.

    Traction control / VDC (Vehicle Dynamics Control) has replaced limited slip diffs in most non-off road and non-performance vehicles.
  • That's too bad and I suspected that was the case when the dealership guys couldn't answer. So this puts Subaru's AWD system in the same useless pile as the Toyotas, Hondas, etc. When my Jeep was in the shop for a few days last winter, I got some rides home from a friend who drives a RAV4 - AWD. My driveway is steeply uphill for 200 feet with a mailbox halfway up. I usually stop there, roll down my window, get my mail, and then continue on to my garage at the top. Never had a problem doing this with my Jeep, no matter how much snow was on the driveway. One night coming home in his RAV4 we had 2-3 inches of wet snow and after we stopped for the mail, he couldn't get going again. The wheels spun and spun and we kept drifting to the right. He was close to getting stuck sideways so I got out and helped him get straightened out so he could back down and walked the rest of the way up.

    I thought Subaru's were better than this but without the limited slip differential, it will have the same problem as the RAV4, won't it? Selective braking to stop spinning wheels doesn't work on hills because it robs the power needed to get going. Owners of 2016 Outbacks probably have not yet seen much snow, but anyone with a 2015 Outback who has had experiences in winter dring with it (good or bad) - can you comment on this? Am I wrong about the importance of limited-slip?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Well this is where dedicated snow tires would help.
  • dcm61dcm61 Posts: 1,564
    edited November 2015
    Remember, tires make a big difference when it comes to traction. Also, turning OFF traction control often helps to get moving in snow/mud.

    2015/2016 Outbacks have X-mode which should help in low speed/low traction situations.
    http://www.subaru-global.com/tec_xmode.html

    I tried X-mode on my 2015 Forester 2.5i Touring last winter on a steep, slippery, snow-covered slope but I really don't know how much it helped. BTW, I was also able to get up the slope without X-mode engaged.
  • I forgot to mention that my RAV4 friend had snow tires on all 4 wheels and was really upset that he couldn't get up my driveway. So what makes a Subaru any different? What is X-mode exactly? I still believe that simulating a limited-slip differential by substituting selective braking of the spinning wheels is not very effective. Too much power is lost - which I think explains why my Jeep can get going from a stop in the middle of a steep incline but the RAV4 cannot.
  • typesixtypesix Posts: 321
    Subaru awd is different then others from Toyota and Honda, etc., even without the X mode( a refinement of the Subaru awd system using software to provide even better traction on slippery surfaces). The awd is active full time, unlike most others that activate only after front wheel slip is detected. The November 2015 issue of Consumer Reports tested a Forester vs CRV vs RAV4 in the snow using the OEM tires. The Subaru was better at hill climbing, accelerating and cornering. Consumer Reports also has short video of results:
    consumerreports.org/cro/video-hub/cars/suvs/awd-showdown-subaru-forester-vs-honda-crv-vs-toyota-rav4/14684583001/4503044972001/
  • The main difference between Subaru AWD and Honda, Toyota, Mazda, Acura and likewise is that Subaru has a longitudinal engine layout with SYMMETRICAL AWD while the rest has a TRANSVERSE engine layout with front axles of a different length, which makes the handling of right and left turns different. On the top of this, the routing of torque to the rear wheels comes off center from the gear box, goes back with short shaft, after that goes to the center and only then goes to the back wheels. All this extra redirection of the torque makes the AWD system heavier and SLOWER to respond.
    I have a Subaru Legacy Outback, which celebrates this month its 20-th (yes twentieth) birth day with rear LSD part of the winter package ($500 at the time) - heated front seats (my wife likes them), heated rear view mirrors (nice option) engine electrical warm up (who cares if you are not in Alaska) AND rear LSD - this only was worth $500. This car never let me down in snow under 2 ft (it is not a bulldozer anyway), ice, crossing rivers (water up to the top of the driving lights).
    I also have a 2009 Subaru Outback Special edition, which has the rear LSD, too. It has the VDC, which cuts of the power to ALL wheels on ice, so I have to turn it off and count on LSD. Unfortunately, Subaru discontinued the LSD, counting only on the electronics for vehicle handling.
  • dcm61dcm61 Posts: 1,564

    I have a Subaru Legacy Outback, which celebrates this month its 20-th (yes twentieth) birth day with rear LSD part of the winter package ($500 at the time) - heated front seats (my wife likes them), heated rear view mirrors (nice option) engine electrical warm up (who cares if you are not in Alaska) AND rear LSD - this only was worth $500.

    1996 Outback did not have a rear LSD and it was not included with the optional cold weather package.

    I had a 1996 Outback with cold weather package option (build date 2/96) and it definitely did not have rear LSD.

    My 2003 Outback with all weather package did have a rear LSD.

  • dcm61 said:

    1996 Outback did not have a rear LSD and it was not included with the optional cold weather package.

    I had a 1996 Outback with cold weather package option (build date 2/96) and it definitely did not have rear LSD.

    My 2003 Outback with all weather package did have a rear LSD.

    The Outback model year was changed in mid February 1996. Mine is 97 model year and has the LSD
  • dcm61dcm61 Posts: 1,564

    The Outback model year was changed in mid February 1996. Mine is 97 model year and has the LSD

    Where are you located?

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