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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When you guys are using your Subarus on x-mode, do you guys notice a difference or benefit? Thinking about getting a 2019 Forester but not sure if x-mode is worth it. I know the base model has a low-gear and wondering if that is good enough.

Maybe planning to do a little moderate off-roading and I live in a region where it can snow heavily sometimes. Is x-mode worth it or is low-gear good enough?

I heard x-mode just utilizes the safety system better along with the engine and transmission response, so x-mode is just a software and not an additional hardware in the car.
 

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2018 Forester XT
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1,607 Posts
You probably won't use X-mode very much if at all.

I live in a very harsh environment and don't use it. If you have the right tires, you really don't need it.

In addition, you can only use it at very low speeds...unless that changed for 2019.
 

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2018 2.0 FXT-Touring CVT
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3,082 Posts
I use X-Mode all the time. Very useful when going up a gravel driveway full of snow and ice. Very very useful.
 

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2019 Forester Sport CVT
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659 Posts
Coming from an 09 Forester base model to the 2019 Forester Sport, I love the X-Mode. Sport model has two X-mode settings. It makes a huge difference. There are a few things worth noting. You can think of X-Mode as software, it will change the motor and axle performance to be very torque heavy. You feel it engage. It revs the motor higher and provides better traction. X-Mode only works from 0 to 20mph. You can only start X-Mode when under 10mph. So, it is important to know that X-Mode is only designed to be used when on very rough terrain at slow speeds. As you speed up to 20mph and leave the dicing terrain, X-Mode will disengage.

IMO, it is totally worth it. I would also say that there are a ton of little improvements between the base and premium models that makes it worth the package jump. I think the Premium package is the best value by far. I know there are a lot more than this, but some of those really important upgarades are: Rear seat angle adjustment, X-Mode and a color dash display (instead of B&W) with more options that I love. When using X-Mode you will see the wheel engagement and slope angle on this color display. I really love the Sport model. My favorite feature is the paddel shifters. Again, when driving in dicing terrain (snow-packed roads) I switch to manual mode and use the paddle shifters. Both hands stay on the wheel unlike other models where you have to use the shifter to change gears. Manual mode driving is key in dicy conditions. You allow the motor to slow the vehicle, rather than the brakes which are easy to lock up and then you slide on the icy roads. I totally love and regularly use these features in the Sport. It makes driving up the mountain to ski a true pleasure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Coming from an 09 Forester base model to the 2019 Forester Sport, I love the X-Mode. Sport model has two X-mode settings. It makes a huge difference. There are a few things worth noting. You can think of X-Mode as software, it will change the motor and axle performance to be very torque heavy. You feel it engage. It revs the motor higher and provides better traction. X-Mode only works from 0 to 20mph. You can only start X-Mode when under 10mph. So, it is important to know that X-Mode is only designed to be used when on very rough terrain at slow speeds. As you speed up to 20mph and leave the dicing terrain, X-Mode will disengage.

IMO, it is totally worth it. I would also say that there are a ton of little improvements between the base and premium models that makes it worth the package jump. I think the Premium package is the best value by far. I know there are a lot more than this, but some of those really important upgarades are: Rear seat angle adjustment, X-Mode and a color dash display (instead of B&W) with more options that I love. When using X-Mode you will see the wheel engagement and slope angle on this color display. I really love the Sport model. My favorite feature is the paddel shifters. Again, when driving in dicing terrain (snow-packed roads) I switch to manual mode and use the paddle shifters. Both hands stay on the wheel unlike other models where you have to use the shifter to change gears. Manual mode driving is key in dicy conditions. You allow the motor to slow the vehicle, rather than the brakes which are easy to lock up and then you slide on the icy roads. I totally love and regularly use these features in the Sport. It makes driving up the mountain to ski a true pleasure.
This is the type of response I was looking for. Thank you.

There are two types of Premiums I think: one with the B&W display and one with the multi-color that displays more valuable vehicle information. $3000 and $3500, respectively, more than the base model I am looking at. I wish I can find extra money to buy a premium with the color display.

Have you used low-gear mode on the base model yet, is it not at least somewhat good?
 

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2019 Forester Sport CVT
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659 Posts
My 09 Foz does not have x-mode and it is the best car I have ever driven in extreme snow conditions, until the 2019. It is one of those things where you don't know what you are missing unless you have it. The Forester base will still outperform most other vehicles in its class without the X-mode. I think the premium models are much more common than the base model. You can likely get a better deal on one of those over the base, so don't be afraid to bargain. You should be able to buy a car for 2-2.5k less than the list price regardless of what the dealer may tell you when you start shopping.
 

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2016 Forester
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898 Posts
This video seems to show the 19 "normal" AWD mode has been detuned, previous gen made the same ramp regardless of x-mode, but 19 Forester couldn't do it without.

 

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2018 and live in snow county and have never used X-Mode. Never had a problem and really went some places I shouldn't of just to try the car out. As far as the wheel engagement and slope angle I looked at it a couple of times then forgot it. Rear seat angle? Don't know if I have it or not. Don't spend a lot of time in back.
 

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2018 Forester XT
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1,607 Posts
2018 and live in snow county and have never used X-Mode. Never had a problem and really went some places I shouldn't of just to try the car out. As far as the wheel engagement and slope angle I looked at it a couple of times then forgot it. Rear seat angle? Don't know if I have it or not. Don't spend a lot of time in back.
Yup. With my Nokians I’m going much too fast in snow/ice for x-mode. I’ve used it a couple times when off road on steep declines ... but overall, my set up (and the cars ability) never really requires it.
 

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2019 Forester Sport CVT
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659 Posts
Impressive videos, thanks for sharing. I have the dual x-mode Sport. With winter ending, I am hoping to find some videos and performance comments on how it does in deep sand. I live in an area that many people even with 4x4 fear of getting stuck. This vid make me think I can power through the sand in Deep mode.
 
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