General Buying Information

The Best All Wheel Drive Vehicles on the Market


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The term all wheel drive (AWD) describes a specific drivetrain on any four wheel vehicle that allows all four wheels to receive torque from the engine at the same time. All wheel drive is very similar, and often confused with, four-wheel drive or "4x4". The two are similar, except all wheel drive systems are constantly engaged with a center differential that allows torque to be transmitted to wheels as needed. All wheel drive systems are not only great in adverse weather conditions, but also improve drivability in normal, dry conditions.

When it comes to comparing vehicles for all wheel drive superiority, there are certain brands that seem to be more experienced than others. Swedish brands such as Saab and Volvo are used to working with below-freezing temperatures for the majority of the year, and therefore, have been forced to find a solution to driving in adverse weather conditions. With this in mind, here are some of the best AWD cars ranging from a compact car to a luxury SUV:

Small Car:

The Subaru Impreza 2.5i 5-door is perhaps the best in-class all wheel drive small vehicle. It is equipped with a 4-cylinder 170 horsepower engine to deliver the power needed with good gas mileage as well. Also, it is equipped with Subaru's Symmetrical All-Wheel-Drive system to get you through even the worst conditions.

Midsize Sedan:

The Ford Fusion V6 SE AWD is coupled with a 3.0 liter 6-cylinder engine that delivers 221 horsepower, giving you all the power you need in a vehicle. It is built on a very stable platform that is similar to the previous-generationMazda6 and considered to have very balanced handling in all conditions.

Luxury Sedan:

The Acura RL is Acura's prided sedan that is powered by a 300 horsepower V6 and an all-wheel-drive system that continuously shifts torque from the front wheels to the rear wheels and also side to side for very high stability in even the worst weather conditions.

People Carrier/ Van:

The Toyota Sienna LE AWD is powered by a 3.5 liter 266-horsepower V6 and an all-wheel-drive system as an option to make for very comfortable transportation for up to 7 passengers.

Modern Wagon:

The Subaru Outback crossover wagon has been considered one of the best AWD vehicles for over a decade. This year, added ground clearance and better tires have added to that tradition. The Outback is equipped with a 170 horsepower engine on the base model, with a 243 horsepower turbocharged version available for the limited versions.

Compact SUV:

The Subaru Forester is redesigned for this year but still has the same great Subaru technology, making for a very sturdy and safe vehicle with ample power provided by a 224 horsepower turbo engine on the XT model. This will allow users to be safe in every weather condition.

Luxury SUV:

The Acura MDX has the same super-handling AWD system and 300-horsepower engine similarly used on the Acura RL to make for a very safe and controllable SUV with plenty of interior room.

Sports Car:

The new Audi TTS is coupled with either a 200 or 265 horsepower 4-cylinder engine and Audi's signature quattro all-wheel-drive system to get you anywhere you need to go while keeping you safe and sound at the same time.

These days, there are plenty of manufacturers to choose from. Instead of overwhelming yourself searching for a car, start by taking a look at these automakers. Although one of these models may not be exactly what you're looking for, there is a reason these models are ranked the highest at getting you from point A to point B safely.

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