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What's the difference? Do I need the latter if I anticipate doing some occasional mild off-roading and snowy/icy roads?

It would be a $1600 upgrade to go from X-Mode to Dual-Function X-Mode because the only the Sport Trim and above have it standard.

Thoughts?
 

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What's the difference?
The difference is that in dual X-Mode the 'Deep Snow and Mud' setting is regular X-Mode with traction control turned off. You can get the same outcome by manually switching it off with the single X-Mode. So it depends on whether you think not having to press a button yourself is worth $1,600
 

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2020 Forester, Crystal While Pearl, Saddle Brown Leather
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That is my understanding on the 'Deep Snow/Mud' mode, ie, it is X-Mode with Traction Control turned off. Apparently in these situations, spinning wheels allow the vehicle to maintain forward momentum and shed snow/mud from the tires.
 

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I also researched this and found that the X-Mode is functionally the same, just activated differently. As said, Deep Snow/Mud is just X-Mode with no T/C. Save the $1600 if that is the only reason you would go to the Sport.
 

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Hi All

I was interested in this question as well and reached out to the people that made this video about the difference between standard X-mode and Dual X-mode.

2019 Forester Dual X-Mode Explained and Real World Test

This is the response I got from them.
"We spoke to the engineer and though it’s similar, the engineer says that X mode optimizes more aspects than just traction in dual mode. Is it a major difference? Probably depends on the exact conditions."

Just wanted to share the response for people who are wondering if the upgrade is worth the cost.

Del
 

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After reading this thread, I get the impression that -- after getting stuck in deep snow -- the Dual X-Mode driver could turn the X-Mode off and get the same result as he would have when he turned the X-Mode knob to Deep Snow / Mud. Is that accurate? So, regular X-Mode prevents wheels from spinning, while Dual X-Mode (Deep Snow) allows wheels to spin freely, as vehicles since the dawn of automakers, have allowed stuck vehicles' wheels to spin freely.

Is it as simple as that? If not, what am I missing?

Thanks.

Hi All

I was interested in this question as well and reached out to the people that made this video about the difference between standard X-mode and Dual X-mode.

2019 Forester Dual X-Mode Explained and Real World Test

This is the response I got from them.
"We spoke to the engineer and though it’s similar, the engineer says that X mode optimizes more aspects than just traction in dual mode. Is it a major difference? Probably depends on the exact conditions."

Just wanted to share the response for people who are wondering if the upgrade is worth the cost.

Del
 

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after getting stuck in deep snow -- the Dual X-Mode driver could turn the X-Mode off and get the same result as he would have when he turned the X-Mode knob to Deep Snow / Mud. Is that accurate?
No, X-Mode is kept on, but traction control is turned off. And don't forget to switch it back on before going back on-road.
 

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How do you turn traction control off on a Premium that doesn't have the Deep Snow / Mud setting?

I get the impression that if the Deep Snow / Mud setting is the only reason somebody wants to upgrade to a Sport or higher, don't bother to upgrade because you can get the same result by turning traction control off?
 

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Oh, THAT traction control button. I have that in my 10-year-old front-wheel drive sedan, which I would never take in deep snow. Let me try this again -- if somebody doesn't want to spend the extra money for a Sport or above, in order to get the same results as Deep Snow/Mud setting of Dual X-Mode, one can buy a Premium and achieve the same thing by turning on their regular Dirt/Snow X-Mode, but pressing the traction control button, so the Forester will be allowed to spin its wheels as fast as you want?

Regardless, any vehicle that is in a situation where all four tires are spinning in snow, especially if in high enough snow (9+ inches, since the Forester's ground clearance is 8.7 inches) their undercarriage is going to drag on the snow, which will cause extreme difficulty getting out of that situation without being towed or shovel.
 

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Yes, although I think there are still limits to how much wheel spin is allowed. Many traction controls are not completely off when deactivated. But certainly more latitude than if it wasn't switched off.
 

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@Bob S.
Tested that theory last winter in my Subaru 19 Sport. Worked great on about 2 feet of fresh but any higher and I high centered. Fooling around in it though I was pleased. Not a jeep or truck could make it through what I did. Knock on those drivers more than their vehicles.
 

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Another plus side about the sport trim is the manual mode/paddle shifters in addition to the sillyish but pleasing Sport# and the dual function X-mode. The sport# mode doesn't have any major fault, besides that in automatic mode it forgoes any gas saving for highway travels preferring to leave it in a 5 "gear"(preset RPM range) vs a 7.

My preferred method while traveling is sport# mode on and shifting using the manual mode/paddle shifters. It's not perfect as you have to turn the wheel a considerable amount to where it becomes a difficulty shifting on really tight turns (The paddles will be on the side of the opposing hand and is annoying). The availability to put it in a preferred RPM range for the setting or style of your drive is nice without always having to shift. I was averaging close to 24 MPG combined driving in sport# constantly for a period of a 1500 miles or so.
 
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