Snowy weather, icy roads and off-road driving can test even the most experienced drivers. Little wonder then that manufacturers continue to build all-wheel drive (AWD) vehicles, offering piece of mind on a wide variety of terrain and road conditions. But AWD isn't just for off-roading anymore. Having power to all four wheels can provide better control and handling on many different surfaces. Below is a list of some of the best all-wheel drive offerings on the market.
When it comes to all-wheel drive, few companies have done so much to popularize and promote it as Subaru. The Forester is an excellent example of Subaru's innovation. Good clearance, respectable fuel economy, comfortable ride, Subaru's BOXER engine and an all-wheel drive system that truly delivers off-road, make the Forester an outstanding option regardless of whether you're commuting in the city or enjoying a remote getaway in the middle of nowhere.
Given their stature in the all-wheel drive market, it should come as no surprise that Subaru has two models on the list. While the Outback may not be quite as capable off-road as the Forester, it still has plenty of all-wheel drive traction for the conditions most people will be driving in. Add in a roomy interior, comfortable ride, high ground clearance and good fuel economy and Subaru scores another hit.
If you think having an all-wheel drive vehicle, and the piece of mind it offers, automatically means giving up a sporty car for a wagon or SUV...think again. Enter the Volvo S60 T5 AWD, a vehicle that doesn't sacrifice sporty looks, or performance, for the sake of traction. Thanks to a next generation Haldex AWD system, the S60 T5 delivers impressive traction on a variety of road conditions. By defaulting to 95% front / 5% rear torque distribution under normal driving conditions, the S60 T5 AWD still delivers fuel economy on par with the 2012 FWD model.
Buick has long been known for building dependable, comfortable sedans with smooth rides and plenty of room. The LaCrosse is no exception. The LaCrosse is loaded with luxury features and boasts some of the roomiest rear seating in its class, besting offerings from Lexus, Acura and Infiniti. A rear-seat DVD player and rearview camera, along with rear parking assist, are just a few of the high-tech features available. Thanks to GM's eAssist technology, the LaCross delivers up to 36 MPG. Add in AWD and the Buick LaCrosse has a lot to offer.
The Ford Flex is one of those vehicles that defies categorization, yet still has a broad appeal. Boxy lines, retro looks and a bevy of features and options prove to be a winning combination. Comfort and versatility, in particular, are where the Flex really shows its strength. With a cabin large enough to be comfortable for even the tallest passengers, third-row seating, room for seven people, heated front seats with optional cooling, 83.2 cubic feet of cargo space and slew of included and optional technology, it's easy to see why the Flex is so popular. Intelligent AWD is optional on models with the standard 3.5-liter V6 and included on the EcoBoost model.