Driving in the winter can be difficult, as roads can become slippery and dangerous conditions can pop up without a little warning.
All-wheel drive (AWD) cars are such popular choices among drivers who want to keep driving to an absolute minimum during the harsh winter months.
But which are the best AWD cars on the market? We did some research to find out, and here’s what we found.
Best AWD Cars
1. Subaru Outback
Those looking for a car to handle all different kinds of weather may want to consider an All-Wheel Drive (AWD) vehicle.
These cars will give you traction, especially during snowy or rainy seasons, to safely drive through slippery conditions.
One f the best AWD cars are the Subaru Outback; it has earned several awards for its performance and affordable price tag.
With a large interior and high safety ratings, it’s no wonder why many people choose it as their car of choice for bad weather days.
For those that prefer a sportier driving experience when it’s not pouring rain outside, there is also a 2.5i model. It comes with a sports suspension and turbocharged engine!
2. Audi Q5
Among the best AWD cars is the Audi Q5. This little gem is a perfect example of why many people love German engineering. It features Audi’s trademark styling, but it also comes loaded with some pretty cool features.
It has an adjustable air suspension for starters, which lets you choose between driving modes for a smooth ride or performance feel. It’s lightweight and nimble, meaning that maneuvering around tight corners won’t be a problem for drivers!
3. BMW X3
Known as a sports activity vehicle, BMW’s X3 is a niche product that straddles both off-road and on-road performance. Well, sort of, it doesn’t have four-wheel drive.
It does have an all-wheel system that distributes power to each wheel (via its xDrive system) to maximize traction in wet or snow conditions.
Unlike other AWD vehicles, however, BMW insists you need not use 4WD unless there’s inclement weather present.
Turning on the 4WD mode will automatically send more power to your front wheels for more control. This means X3 drivers can experience all the benefits—i.e., better handling on slick roads—without thinking about it too much during normal driving conditions. It’s part of the fastest and Best AWD cars in the market today.
4. Mercedes-AMG C 43 4 Matic Estate
This car from Mercedes is perfect for family road trips or commuting to work. It has a powerful engine and excellent interior space, making it suitable for weather conditions.
It’s hard to find something wrong about it, aside from its price. It’s no surprise when you take into account how advanced it is. This is one of the best AWD cars we can recommend without hesitation.
5. Cadillac XT5
Cadillac is your brand if you want to choose among the luxurious and best AWD cars. You’ll love having an XT5 on your driveway, from its lavish interiors to its quiet ride. It’s one of our picks for the best AWD cars, especially if you live in an area where it snows a lot.
For drivers who want a high level of quality without breaking their budget, it’s hard to beat. One thing we love about it? The comfort – passengers report that there’s enough legroom for even tall adults to sit comfortably inside.
However, if comfort isn’t necessary to you and you’re simply looking for power and efficiency, look at these other options below instead.
6. Infiniti QX60
Winner of 2016 Motor Trend Car of the Year, it’s no surprise that Infiniti’s luxury SUV took home the title. With excellent fuel economy and a high level of quality, it’s easy to see why drivers love it.
It may not be a small car, but it is among the most powerful and best AWD cars. In addition, its seating capacity is impressive for an SUV, and its sleek styling looks great on any road.
Don’t let winter weather get in your way—drive in style with one of these best AWD cars from Subaru, Toyota, Acura, and other top brands!
7. Lexus RX350/RX450h
Very few luxury vehicles can claim to be all-wheel drive, but it’s a must for owners who live in areas where the weather changes quickly.
In those climates, it’s essential to have full power at all four wheels to maximize traction. Also, keep your Lexus driving smoothly down snowy roads or over slick bridges.
Two great examples are the 2017 Lexus RX350 and its hybrid counterpart, two of Consumer Reports’ highest rated best AWD cars in 2016.
Both earned an overall score of 90 out of 100 and high marks for reliability (yes, even for hybrids). If you’re shopping for a vehicle that will last you multiple decades, your best bet is any Lexus SUV—the brand never receives poor ratings from CR.
8. Fiat Panda 4×4
Remember those games where you pick a car, put it through its paces, and then compare your performance with your friends? This is real life.
If you’re looking for a fun, inexpensive little car that can handle off-road and on, look no further than Fiat’s Panda 4×4. A small city car that looks like a cross between a golf cart and an oversized watermelon won’t blow you away with horsepower or aerodynamics.
But its low curb weight makes up for that—so does four-wheel drive (your kids will love pretending they’re in control).
9. Suzuki Ignis
This subcompact car is a great city commuter, providing excellent fuel economy and maneuverability. It gets about 34 mpg in combined driving conditions and has a standard 5-speed manual transmission.
Plus, it’s one of the few cars on this list with all four wheels powered by an engine. If you’re looking for the best AWD cars with all-around abilities, check out Suzuki’s Ignis.
10. Lincoln MKC
This little luxury SUV from Lincoln offers a great compromise between luxury and sportiness. You’ll get a beautifully designed interior with plenty of features without sacrificing much handling or performance.
Inside, you’ll find quality materials and nice touches, like door panel storage compartments that pop out when you touch them.
Plus, Lincoln made its infotainment system simple to use. You can even program your favorite stations to play automatically when entering your car. It’s also pretty efficient for an AWD model. Also, it uses less gas than many FWD models on sale today.
In short, it looks good and is fun to drive while still providing all-weather security with its all-wheel-drive system. What more could you ask for?
11. Skoda Superb
Skoda’s Superb is both comfortable and practical, and it provides a smooth drive and makes for an easy family car.
For families who are looking for something a little more luxurious and the best AWD cars but not as expensive as some German brands, Skoda would be a good choice.
This is an excellent all-rounder who can handle anything thrown at him. If you’re looking for the all-wheel drive without breaking your bank balance, then Skoda is worth considering.
12. Volkswagen Golf Alltrack
The Volkswagen Golf Alltrack may be a wagon, but it sure doesn’t drive like one. It’s one of the best AWD cars with a barely noticeable system.
This is because it rarely has to send power to all four wheels. You might only notice a slight bit of resistance when accelerating off a stoplight or while driving around turns on slushy roads on smooth surfaces.
And since you never have to think about switching between front and rear wheels—you can leave it in full time all year long.
The Golf Alltrack is incredibly easy to drive. You could even argue that AWD makes for more fun and confident driving experience.
13. Mercedes-Benz GLC
Suppose you have money to burn, go for a Mercedes. The GLC is sharp and luxurious, with plenty of interior space and intuitive tech, and it’s not just roomy inside.
You can fit a lot into its sizeable trunk too. As a bonus, all models come standard with all-wheel drive. You’ll pay dearly for that privilege, but at least you won’t have to worry about bad weather ruining your industry.
One more thing: The GLC also comes in coupe form, which gives you an excellent choice between style and utility when it comes time to buy new wheels. Most car sellers love this as one of the safest and best AWD cars.
14. Porsche 911 Turbo S
The Porsche 911 Turbo S, officially classified as a sports car by Porsche, is one impressive ride. In 2017, Car and Driver named it one of their 10Best AWD Cars.
It reaches 60 mph in just 2.9 seconds (as part of its Sport Chrono Package). It features four-wheel steering to navigate tight turns better.
It can get from 0 to 60 mph in 3.3 seconds when paired with its Sport Chrono Package. Plus, it comes with a feature that increases torque to 553 lb.-ft.
With launch control activated, This is via steering wheel paddle shifters or next-generation buttons on PDK-equipped models for even faster acceleration on demand.
15. Volvo XC60
Next on our list of best AWD cars is the 2018 Volvo XC60. It is a compact luxury SUV that offers excellent safety and comfort features.
Its engine has been upgraded to include a plug-in hybrid system, ensuring powerful acceleration and high gas mileage.
With both front and rear all-wheel drive, it’s great for anyone who frequently drives in icy or rainy conditions. It also comes with blind-spot monitoring, rear traffic alert, and pedestrian detection systems.
16. Audi A4 Allroad
Want one of the best AWD cars that looks great and performs well in various driving conditions? It’s tough to beat an Audi, and Audi also happens to be a few manufacturers offering an all-wheel-drive version for each model it sells.
While many consumers don’t need AWD, these cars have earned a reputation for being some of the best AWD cars around for those who do.
17. Volvo V90 Cross Country
What is the last on our list of best AWD cars? This is essentially a regular Volvo V90 wagon, and it gets all-season tires, adaptive air suspension, locking center differential, and hill descent control. This makes it perfect for foul weather commuting and light off-roading!
While you might be tempted to buy a crossover over a wagon, consider them far less practical and far more expensive.
Also, note that most crossovers have low ground clearance. So, you’ll have to pay extra for an off-road vehicle if you plan on doing any severe mud bogs or even standard hunting trips.