THE EXCELLENT RIDE AND HANDLING PERFORMANCE PROVIDED BY EVERY SUBARU IS DUE IN PART TO ITS INDEPENDENT REAR SUSPENSION. SO WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?
A vehicle's suspension system holds up the body structure. It also determines how the wheels encounter the surface that the vehicle is traveling on. There are a number of components involved: tires, wheels, springs, shock absorbers, and often a series of metal links between the body or frame. These suspension components not held up by the vehicle's springs represent its unsprung weight.
Solid Rear Suspension
To appreciate today's Subaru suspension, consider how the majority of automotive rear suspension systems used to be designed. They had solid (also called live) axles, meaning that the rear wheels were connected by a tube that housed the axle shafts in rear-wheel drive vehicles. In front-wheel drive vehicles, solid rear axles without axle shafts connected the rear wheel assemblies. Solid-axle design still is employed in some vehicles.
When wheels are attached to a solid rear axle, they move together in response to the road surface. If the right wheel moves up, it tips the axle, thereby tipping the left wheel, and vice versa. The axle of a rear-drive vehicle includes the rear driveshaft, so that weight is carried in the axle's movement.