The days are getting shorter and the weather is cooling down, meaning that winter will soon be upon us. With the imminent prospect of weekend ski getaways, now is a great time to look at an all-wheel drive vehicle that can help navigate the snow-covered roads on your way to the slopes.
All-wheel drive (AWD) vehicles feed power to all four wheels in order to maximize forward traction which can be helpful when driving on slippery or uneven terrain. If you’re planning to drive regularly in wintery conditions (or live in a state other than California where snow is a part of your daily life) AWD can be a must-have option for your new vehicle.
At Cartelligent, we help thousands of people decide which vehicle will work best for them. We’ve used this data to compile a list of our top-selling AWD vehicles. It’s worth noting that where AWD is standard we’ve included all sales of that vehicle, but where it’s optional we’ve only counted vehicles where AWD was added to the configuration.
10. Subaru Forester (Standard AWD)
Why we love it: In addition to standard Symmetrical All-wheel drive, all Subarus are equipped with Vehicle Dynamics Control and Smart Braking Systems. These combine to provide extra stability and control in wintery conditions. The Forester is an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ when equipped with the top-rated EyeSight crash prevention system. (See Should your next car have a crash prevention system?)
9. Porsche Cayenne (Standard AWD)
Why we love it: With a standard turbo V6 and available V8, fuel-saving V6 diesel and hybrid engines, the Cayenne arguably offers the most enjoyable drive on this list. Porsche Traction Management combines active all-wheel drive with an electronically variable, map-controlled multi-plate clutch, automatic brake differential and anti-slip regulation to provide optimum distribution of drive torque regardless of road conditions.
8. Mercedes-Benz GL-Class (Standard AWD)
Why we love it: Mercedes-Benz 4MATIC all-wheel drive and 4-wheel independent AIRMATIC® suspension provide a smooth drive and agile handling even in snowy conditions. A surprisingly comfortable, optional third row is available for extra passengers that join the trip.
7. Jeep Grand Cherokee (Available AWD)
Why we love it: Jeeps are known for their off-road capabilities so it’s only logical that the Grand Cherokee would be a top choice for winter weather as well. Jeep Selec-Terrain® traction control offers five modes to tackle weather conditions including snow. Available Quadra-Trac® and Quadra-Drive® 4WD systems further enhance traction and the Quadra-Lift® air suspension system offers five height settings to optimize ride performance. The Grand Cherokee is also available in a fuel-efficient 3.0L EcoDiesel V6. (See Why you should consider clean diesel.)
6. Audi Q7 (Standard AWD)
Why we love it: Every Q7 is equipped with quattro® all-wheel drive, an Anti-lock Brake System with Electronic Brake-pressure distribution and Electronic Stability Control with Off-road mode and traction control to ensure a smooth drive even in wintery weather. In addition, the Q7 comes standard with a third row of seats and a supercharged V6 engine. A turbocharged clean diesel engine is also available.
5. Lexus RX (Available AWD)
Why we love it: The base model RX 350 is available with all-wheel drive. The upgraded F Sport model comes standard with Active Torque all-wheel drive system. For those looking for additional fuel-economy the hybrid version is also available with all-wheel drive. (See Hybrid Payback Period: Lexus)
4. Subaru Outback (Standard AWD)
Why we love it: Like the Forester the Outback comes standard with AWD, stability control and anti-lock brakes and is an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ when configured with EyeSight. Additionally, the Outback combines the cargo space of an SUV with a more car-like drive.
3. Toyota Highlander (Available AWD)
Why we love it: Toyota’s Star Safety System™ comes standard and includes Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control, Anti-lock brakes and Electronic Brake-force distribution. When combined with available Dynamic Torque-Control All-Wheel Drive, the Highlander can be an excellent choice for snow-covered roads. Add optional front crash prevention technology and the Highlander is an IIHS Top Safety Pick+.
2. BMW X5 (Available AWD)
Why we love it: All-wheel drive is optional on the X5, but over 90% of our clients upgrade to include it. (See Should your new BMW SUV have 2WD or 4WD?) Active Suspension Packages and Active Steering are also available options for additional control under wet conditions.
1. Audi Q5 (Standard AWD)
Why we love it: Like the Q7, the Audi Q5 comes standard with AWD, anti-lock brakes and stability control. The smaller Q5 offers a sporty, car-like drive with a turbo-charged engine and a plush, comfortable interior. (See SUV vs Wagon, Round 2: Audi)
Whether or not an all-wheel drive vehicle is right for you, Cartelligent can help you get a great deal on exactly what you want. Call our team of car-buying experts at 888-427-4270 or get started today.