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Guest patjdixon

Value of VDC

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Guest patjdixon

I am considering purchasing an Outback wagon with the 3 liter engine. The 2004 models offer the 6 cylinder without having to get the more expensive VDC model. I know VDC itself is a more sophisticated design to improve traction, but is it worth it? If it helps keep the car on the road when I hit an ice patch or slick pavement, keeps me out of the hospital and the car out of the body shop, it is worth it to me.

 

Does anyone have an opinion on this?

 

patjdixon@earthlink.net

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Guest gbhrps

I'm jealous! I passed on the H6 for the very reasons you stated back in 02, and settled with the OB LTD with the H4. Love the car, could use more power, but I was not prepared to pay to put high test fuel into a daily driver. At that time one of the major auto publications (Car Driver, Road and Track, etc.) tested the H6 with the VDC and said that it indeed would keep you safer, but that they felt it was intrusive, in that they knew they could get the car around an icy and snowy track faster than the VDC would allow them. It kept putting on the brakes and cutting the throttle soon than they would have liked, if I recall correctly. And there was no switch to turn it off. As I recall it was also another $4000 Cdn. If money is no problem, and you really feel the need to be cocooned..............go for it. As you say...what price are you willing to pay to stay out of an accident?

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Guest Setright

That is odd! Here in Europe the VDC is on auto trans only, because it doesn't just use the car's brakes. Prodrive helped develop a system that can send torque to one wheel. It works by accelerating the opposite wheel to what and ESP system would brake.

 

"CAR" Magazine says that you can get away with insane manouevres - and haven't complained about it feeling intrusive.

 

(Mind you, if Leonard Setright were still writing for them, he would no doubt argue that building a fence not only shuts things out, but also keeps them inside. This is the man who could brake faster without Mercedes' "Brake Assist", and made a mockery of Ford's engineering department twenty years ago when he exploited a fault in their ABS system and locked all four wheels as he passed by the other journalists waiting to try the car! This is a man who commands respect!)

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Guest Legacy777

If you haven't driven a VDC or ESP system, I suggest you do so, and I suggest you test drive it to the point of activating it to see if you feel it's intrusive or not. Go around an industrial park or some low traveled back roads and take some sharp turns.

 

The VDC is only available with an auto.....the H6 is only available with an auto for that matter.

 

My uncle's A6 has a similar ESP system, and you pretty much can just mash the gas, turn the wheel and the car will track where you want it to go.

 

The VDC system will be the ultimate in traction vs the standard AWD system because it can send power left to right by applying brakes to the slipping side. Subaru's add campaign "wheels that slip, to the wheels that grip" is very misleading, and on the standard AWD systems, is far from being true. Without a limited slip differential or some other traction control power will be sent to the wheel with the least resistance and spin......you get stuck.

 

So there are some definite merits to the VDC system. I think you need to look at where you live, would you use this feature (ie winter driving), etc.

 

I do believe there is a way to turn it off....might want to double check on that though.

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The new model VDC can be turned off by using a VDC off switch. I have it on my '03 and love it. I have tried driving in some extreme conditions with it on and off. I insist my wife leaves it on but turn it off myself at times, when I want to be in full control.

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