Engineering Explained Proves All-Wheel Drive Isn’t Be-All-End-All

Fri, Feb 3, 2017 1,272

If you’ve ever had a Subaru fly past you on Interstate 95 during a snow storm, you know some people put too much faith in all-wheel-drive systems. While all-wheel-drive undeniably is advantageous in tricky conditions, the truth is it’s just one piece of the puzzle.

Jason Fenske from Engineering Explained posted a video Wednesday discussing how his 2017 Subaru Crosstrek long-term tester has handled the winter conditions in Oregon.

The Crosstrek reportedly handled nearly everything he threw at it, including 15 inches of snow, but that wasn’t all down to all-wheel-drive. It partly was due to the Bridgestone Blizzak winter tires Fenske fitted to the Subaru, and partly because of the compact crossover’s excellent ground clearance.

As Fenske noted, despite having a more-advanced all-wheel-drive setup, his old WRX probably wouldn’t have handled everything the Crosstrek did because it didn’t have enough ground clearance. Even though modern vehicles come with plenty of features to help make winter driving easier, this video perfectly highlights the importance of a well-rounded vehicle, rather than just having all-wheel drive.