The Subaru Boxer Engine is the name for the series of gasoline engines that are found in every Subaru vehicle, from sedans to SUVs. This name, which has been used by the Japanese automaker for 50 years plus, comes from the engine's boxy shape, which it gets from its horizontally opposed formation. The Subaru Boxer Engine is made in both four-cylinder and six-cylinder versions - turbocharged as well as naturally aspirated. 

In this "Boxer" formation, the pistons are laid out symmetrically, facing away from each other, surrounding the crankshaft. This arrangement allows them to more or less cancel out each other's vibrations and limit any engine tremors for optimally smooth driving. Another advantage of this compact configuration is that it takes up less space in the engine compartment, since it's both shorter and lower in profile. It can also be mounted significantly lower in the engine compartment than other engines and evenly balanced left to right, in addition to being positioned closer to the center of the vehicle. All of this results in a superior balance and stability, meaning that the vehicle is less likely to roll over - and more enjoyable to drive.

Subaru's Symmetrical AWD

All-wheel drive is almost entirely standard fare across Subaru's lineup; only the super-sporty BRZ does not (it has rear-wheel drive). This drivetrain's namesake symmetrical design works beautifully with the Boxer engine for best performance, stability, and traction on the road, delivering a pleasant ride for every occupant in varied driving conditions through all four seasons.

The symmetry in the formation leads to even balance of the vehicle's weight among the four wheels, with the transmission and engine both situated near the center. This stability and inertia control bring about great handling, especially on turns and during quick braking.


Subaru offers a full lineup of transmissions to work in conjunction with the family of Boxer engines. The most notable is the Lineartronic continuously variable transmission, a very smooth shifter that provides flawless gear changes and maximizes fuel efficiency with its intelligent gear ratio selection. It also chooses the most efficient operating ranges to constantly require as little fuel as possible. Subaru also offers a 6MT (six-speed manual transmission) on some models, in an age where stickshifts have nearly disappeared. 

For the absolute best in traction and overall vehicle control, X-Mode is available on some Subaru models. This technology provides the ultimate coordination of systems - the Subaru Boxer Engine, transmission, Symmetrical AWD, and braking - no matter how or where you're driving, from smooth and dry pavement to slick and rutted roads.

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