Ask TFL: What’s the best AWD System?

What's the Best AWD System?
What’s the Best AWD System?

At The Fast Lane Car we’re lucky to get plenty  of interesting new car emails everyday. Starting today we’ll be publishing the best letters and answer them right here.

We think that these questions, and specifically our editor’s answers, might be useful for all TFLcar readers and viewers. Today’s most excellent email come from Jos who asks us:

Your recent review of the 2014 Regal made me wonder if my Subaru is still the best AWD vehicle out there.  We have found our 2011 Outback to be great in snow but not the best driving or most technologically advanced car.  Is the Haldex system from GM, Ford’s AWD system or any others just as good?  It comes down to one thing; is the price premium to get AWD from a Subaru worth it or have the others caught up and/or surpassed them?


Jos, what a great question and we have a great answer. First, if you have not yet watched this video…please check it out below.

In this video the Buick Regal’s AWD engineer goes into great detail about the latest electronically controlled and hydrological actuated gen 4 Haldex  system in the new  2014 AWD Regal GS system. If you cut to the chase he explains that the system can allocate power both left to right as well front to back. Basically the AWD Regal will send power to whichever wheel has the most traction.

Of course the same can be said for Subaru’s Symmetric AWD System but the Buick’s Haldex system has another party trick up the sleeve. According to the GM engineer in the video the Buick’s system can pre-actively apply torque to the wheels that will need it most. In other words, it can anticipate the torque need of the wheels with the most traction. The AWD system reacts in about a tenth of a second which is much faster than you or I can react.  Furthermore, the Haldex system comes with an integrated electronic limited slip differential which gives you another level of stability and traction.

How does Subaru’s system compare?

The honest answer is we don’t know but we’ve asked Subaru your question. We’ll publish their response once we get the answer.

Please stay tuned. In the meantime we we know that by far the most important aspect of winter traction and stability is the part of the car that actually touches the road. You can have the very best AWD system in the world but it cannot compensate for poor tires.

Capable modern and dedicated snow and ice tires are always going to trump any AWD system. Of course we’re assuming that your question is regarding which system is the best when both the Buck and the Subaru the same dedicated snow tires.

Do you have a question for one of our TFLcar editors? If so please send it to: and we’ll be happy to publish your question, answer it and hopefully share your thought with the entire TFL community.

Please note that all emails and Letters sent to us become property of TFLcar and can be used for publication.