Snow Driving in the Subaru Crosstrek

There’s a saying amongst Subaru drivers, that goes, "if you know, you know."

It’s about the ride, I think. I mean, I am a Subaru driver, and have been since taking a 1983 Touring Wagon across Australia and back in 1987. So, I reckon I know what “if you know you know,” means. At least, I know what it means to me.

We’ve got our Subaru Outback from 2018 and I can’t see it’s going anywhere. Ever. I know at least one child of ours whose eyes are fairly and squarely on it for her own.

It is most definitely about the ride. There’s talk of the 'plantedness' of Subaru’s, of the handling and holding the road and the Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive. But, surely, it’s about more than that. “If you know, you know” is about a certain intangible quality that driving a Subaru has. It’s a mishmash of feelings that run the gamut of safety all the way to performance. They’re cool without being ostentatious, they’re capable without being clunky. They’re just good cars that are fit for the purpose of getting from here to there without a whole lot of fuss, almost regardless of what the road looks like.

So, you can imagine my surprise when I was long hauling from Sydney to Hotham to shoot an episode of Subaru's Great Australian Detour, when I realised, you don’t know what you don’t know. 

It was a horrendous night. The ski season was drawing to a close and we were optimistic of the weather Gods offering one last great dump so we could film the all-new Subaru Crosstrek in the snow. The idea of the Great Australian Detour is pretty simple, we take the cars and instead of bolting from home to the destination, we find little detours along the route, or around the area we’re in. The Victorian High Country is a perfect place for us. It’s visually stunning, there’s a stack of things to do and the drive is gorgeous.

Only this time, the drive up the mountain was on the teeth chattering side of frightening. As I pushed the Crosstrek up the mountain, it seemed to get very dark, very quickly. The conditions deteriorated from average to horrendous. In the end, and at its worst, it was literally like driving in a cloud.

A windy cloud.

A windy cloud you couldn’t see through.

If you know, you know, right? Whilst you’d normally employ the high beams on a lonely country or mountain road at night time, the cloud made this impossible. Besides, visibility was down to literally a few metres in front of the vehicle. I don’t know the road, so it was a case of hugging that left hand yellow line and backing right off.  
And that’s when I realised something I didn’t know.

The Subaru Crosstrek has steering responsive headlights* that follow the road with you. I know. Amazing. How could I not know that? So, as I turned the wheel left into a corner, the beam of the headlights turned as well. The same thing for turning right. At first, I thought I was seeing things. And then, on a left-hand hairpin, it was as if the whole left hand side of the road lit up, the Subaru Crosstrek also has front cornering lights*, so when these two features work together to complement each other, it was like I was a taxi with the roof light on looking for a house number. It was brilliant. Whilst it didn’t make the road ahead any clearer, this new feature certainly lit up what I wanted to see. It was slow going, but I was going- exactly as Subaru intended.

So now, I know. And you know, too. Or maybe you knew already, clever you.

You can see this Great Australian Detour episode at, it’s definitely one of my favourites.



Andrew Daddo

Subaru Ambassador

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