Originally Posted by ThurzNite
Firstly, lets not forget that those videos are staged
by Subaru, and those are almost never real-world conditions. Seriously, when have you had 3 wheels on frictionless ice and 1 wheel on dry pavement, going uphill?
Subaru also conveniently doesn't describe the settings
in each vehicle. For example, maybe they did, or did not. turn TRAC off on the RAV4, or didn't push the Lock button to ensure maximum power available went to the rear wheels, if it was a rear wheel that had traction. You can bet Subaru did everything they could to make the Subaru look good, and all competitors look bad.
Also, I saw at least one video by an independent outfit (AMCI Testing), filmed on a hockey rink, where they showed a Subaru Outback and a Toyota Venza (also with Active Torque Control), and both vehicles performed nearly identically in every test. Sometimes the Venza was a tiny bit better, sometimes the Subaru was a tiny bit better. Here it is, much more real-world, and very interesting stuff:
To quote: "In automotive testing, results are only valid predictors of real-world performance when the tests are conducted in real-world conditions."
That's not to say that Subaru's symmetric all-wheel drive system isn't great: it is. Though some believe the fuel economy hit it takes compared to other systems isn't worth it when it comes to real-world driving.