All-Wheel Drive Cars

November 22, 2012
2013 Audi A3 Euro Spec Hatchback Front Left View
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With the winter months approaching, many Americans are looking for the safety and stability provided by all-wheel drive. Sending power to all four wheels can help a vehicle gain traction in all weather conditions. Luckily for all-wheel drive shoppers, there are many options to choose from without venturing into the realm of high-riding trucks and SUVs. Although the advantages of four driven wheels are obvious in slippery road conditions, the technology usually comes at a cost - both upfront and at the pump. We've indicated the extra cost of the all-wheel-drive option, or the cost differential compared with the equivalent two-wheel-drive model, as well as its EPA gas mileage ratings, and the fuel economy penalty versus the two-wheel-drive version of the same car for every vehicle on our list.

Acura

Acura's best-selling model is the MDX crossover, so it's not surprising to see the brand lend a little bit of all-weather appeal from the MDX to some of its other cars. The brand's flagship RL sedan comes standard with all-wheel drive, while Acura's midsize offering - the TL - adds the brand's Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive system as an option for performance-minded buyers.
RL
MSRP
(including destination): $49,095
AWD Cost: standard
City/Highway MPG: 17/24
AWD Penalty: n/a
TL SH-AWD
MSRP
(including destination): $40,150
AWD Cost: $3550
City/Highway MPG: 18/26
AWD Penalty: 2 mpg city, 3 mpg highway

Audi

If there is one luxury automaker uses all-wheel drive to define its place in the market, it's Audi. The Quattro all-wheel drive system was originally honed for rally racing, and it has since been re-tuned to create some of the best-driving street cars on the market, rivaling the rear-wheel drive competition from across the globe. All of Audi's non-SUV offerings can be ordered with Quattro and several cars can only be had with the awd system.
A3 2.0T Quattro
MSRP
(including destination): $31,725
AWD Cost: $3580
City/Highway MPG: 21/28
AWD Penalty: 2 mpg highway
A4 2.0T Quattro/S4
MSRP
(including destination): $34,295/$48,495
AWD Cost: $900/standard on S4
City/Highway MPG: 22/32, 18/28
AWD Penalty: 2 mpg city, 2 mpg highway (A4)
A5 Coupe/Cabriolet 2.0T Quattro
MSRP
(including destination): $38,745/$44,245
AWD Cost: standard on A5 Coupe/$2100
City/Highway MPG: 22/32, 20/30
AWD Penalty: 4 mpg city, 1 mpg highway (Cabriolet)
S5 Coupe/Cabriolet
MSRP
(including destination): $51,795/$60,195
AWD Cost: standard
City/Highway MPG: 18/28, 18/26
AWD Penalty: n/a
RS5 Coupe
MSRP
(including destination): $69,795
AWD Cost: standard
City/Highway MPG: 16/23
AWD Penalty: n/a
Allroad
MSRP
(including destination): $40,495
AWD Cost: standard
City/Highway MPG: 20/27
AWD Penalty: n/a
A6 2.0T Quattro/3.0T Quattro
MSRP
(including destination): $45,295/$51,295
AWD Cost: $2200/standard
City/Highway MPG: 20/30, 18/27
AWD Penalty: 5 mpg city, 3 mpg highway (2.0T)
A7
MSRP
(including destination): $60,995
AWD Cost: standard
City/Highway MPG: 18/28
AWD Penalty: n/a
A8 3.0T/4.0T/W12
MSRP
(including destination): $73,095/$81,795/$137,495
AWD Cost: standard
City/Highway MPG: 18/28, 17/28, 13/21
AWD Penalty: n/a
TT Coupe/Roadster
MSRP
(including destination): $39,545/$42,545
AWD Cost: standard
City/Highway MPG: 22/31, 21/31
AWD Penalty: n/a
TTS Coupe/Roadster
MSRP
(including destination): $48,245/$51,245
AWD Cost: standard
City/Highway MPG: 22/31, 21/31
AWD Penalty: n/a
TT RS
MSRP
(including destination): $58,095
AWD Cost: standard
City/Highway MPG: 18/25
AWD Penalty: n/a
R8 4.2 Coupe/Spyder
MSRP
(including destination): $118,450/$131,950
AWD Cost: standard
City/Highway MPG: 13/21
AWD Penalty: n/a
R8 5.2 Coupe/Spyder
MSRP
(including destination): $153,250/$166,950
AWD Cost: standard
City/Highway MPG: 13/19
AWD Penalty: n/a

Bentley

With the introduction of the Continental range of less-expensive cars in 2003, the venerable British automaker added all-wheel drive to its lineup. Tapping the know-how of parent company Volkswagen and corporate cousin Audi, the less-opulent Flying B models use four-wheel traction as a performance aid to help put massive amounts of power to the ground.
Continental Flying Spur/Flying Spur Speed
MSRP
(including destination): $189,925/$215,325
AWD Cost: standard
City/Highway MPG: 10/17
AWD Penalty: n/a
Continental GT V8/W12
MSRP
(including destination): $176,725/$198,975
AWD Cost: standard
City/Highway MPG: 15/24, 12/19
AWD Penalty: n/a
Continental GTC V8/W12
MSRP
(including destination): $195,125/$215,525
AWD Cost: standard
City/Highway MPG: 14/24, 11/19
AWD Penalty: n/a
Continental GT Speed
MSRP
(including destination): $220,725
AWD Cost: standard
City/Highway MPG: 13/20
AWD Penalty: n/a
Continental Supersports Convertible
MSRP
(including destination): $297,625
AWD Cost: standard
City/Highway MPG: 12/19
AWD Penalty: n/a

BMW

BMW has actually been adding all-wheel drive to some of its vehicles since the late 1980s, but it wasn't until recently that the Bavarian automaker really started pushing its optional drivetrain system. xDrive is a rear-biased electronically-controlled all-wheel drive setup that can send up to 50 percent of the vehicle's power to the front wheels when wheel slip is detected. xDrive is available on at least one model in every BMW range except for the 1 Series and Z4.
328i xDrive Sedan/Coupe
MSRP
(including destination): $39,395/$41,295
AWD Cost: $2000/$1700
City/Highway MPG: 22/33, 16/25
AWD Penalty: 1 mpg city (sedan)/3 mpg city, 3 mpg highway (coupe)
335i xDrive Sedan/Coupe
MSRP
(including destination): $45,695/$47,695
AWD Cost: $2000/$1700
City/Highway MPG: 21/31, 20/28
AWD Penalty: 4 mpg city, 2 mpg highway (sedan)/1 mpg city (coupe)
528i/535i/550i xDrive Sedan
MSRP
(including destination): $50,695/$56,295/$65,595
AWD Cost: $2300
City/Highway MPG: 22/32, 21/30, 15/20
AWD Penalty:1 mpg city, 2 mpg city (528i)/ 2 mpg highway (550i)
535i/550i xDrive Gran Turismo
MSRP
(including destination): $61,195/$70,695
AWD Cost: $2300
City/Highway MPG: 18/27, 15/19
AWD Penalty: 1 mpg city, 1 mpg highway (535i)/ 4 mpg highway (550i)
650i xDrive Coupe/Convertible/Gran Coupe
MSRP
(including destination): $89,395/$96,895/$90,395
AWD Cost: $3000
City/Highway MPG: 15/20
AWD Penalty: 3 mpg highway
740Li/750i/Alpina B7 xDrive
MSRP
(including destination): $81,195/$90,195/$131,495
AWD Cost: $3000
City/Highway MPG: 16/24, 14/20, 16/24
AWD Penalty: 1 mpg city, 1 mpg highway (740Li)/1 mpg city, 2 mpg highway (750i)

Buick

Thanks to the flexibility of the Epsilon II platform the Buick LaCrosse rides on, Buick is able to offer its largest sedan in both front- and all-wheel drive configurations. Oddly, Chevrolet does not offer all-wheel drive on the Malibu, which shares its underpinnings with the other Epsilon II vehicles.
LaCrosse
MSRP
(including destination): $35,745
AWD Cost: $2165
City/Highway MPG: 17/25
AWD Penalty: 2 mpg city

Cadillac

Cadillac is serious about taking on the German and Japanese luxury giants. First it worked on creating composed rear-wheel drive platforms, and then it expanded past two-wheel drive to optional all-wheel drive to court snow-belt buyers away from xDrive equipped BMWs, 4Matic Mercedes, and Quattro Audis.
ATS 2.0T/3.6
MSRP
(including destination): $37,795/$44,090
AWD Cost: $2000
City/Highway MPG: 22/32, 19/28
AWD Penalty: none
CTS 4 Sedan/Coupe/Sport Wagon
MSRP
(including destination): $41,815/$41,700/$42,000
AWD Cost: $1825/$1900/$1900
City/Highway MPG: 16/26 (Sedan, Sport Wagon), 18/27
AWD Penalty: 1 mpg city, 1 mpg highway (Sedan, Sport Wagon)
XTS 4
MSRP
(including destination): $51,835
AWD Cost: $2225
City/Highway MPG: 17/28
AWD Penalty: none

Chrysler

Chrysler currently sells just three different models (200, 300, and Town & Country), but only offers all-wheel drive on the flagship 300 sedan. Buyers can opt to have all four wheels driven with either the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 or the 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 engine.
300 AWD
MSRP
(including destination): $33,190
AWD Cost: $2350
City/Highway MPG: 18/27
AWD Penalty: 1 mpg city, 4 mpg highway

Dodge

Like its Chrysler cousin, the only car in Dodge's lineup offered with all-wheel drive is the full-size Charger sedan. (Also sold, but front-wheel drive only, are the Avenger and the Dart.) Interestingly, the Dodge sees no mileage penalty when equipped with all-wheel drive, but the system is a pricier option.
Charger AWD
MSRP
(including destination): $30,390
AWD Cost: $3600
City/Highway MPG: 18/27
AWD Penalty: none

Ferrari

Who would have thought that you would see the prancing horse from Maranello on this list? Last year Ferrari introduced the FF - a two-plus-two shooting brake replacement for the 612 Scaglietti complete with a trick all-wheel drive system. Unlike a normal four-wheel drive system, Ferrari's 4RM configuration uses a secondary transmission paired with a limited-slip differential mounted on the front axle.
FF
MSRP
(including destination): $320,000 (est.)
AWD Cost: standard
City/Highway MPG: 11/17
AWD Penalty: n/a

Ford

Ford manages to differentiate itself from other mainstream players in a number of ways: high-tech infotainment systems, slick exterior design, and all-wheel drive. All-wheel drive? Ford is the only mass-market automaker to offer the aided benefit of four-wheel traction on any of its cars; Neither Toyota, nor Honda, nor Nissan, nor Chevrolet, nor Hyundai do so.
Fusion Titanium AWD
MSRP
(including destination): $32,995
AWD Cost: $2000
City/Highway MPG: 23/33
AWD Penalty: none
Taurus SEL AWD/SHO
MSRP
(including destination): $31,445/$39,995
AWD Cost: $1850
City/Highway MPG: 18/26, 17/25
AWD Penalty: 1 mpg city, 3 mpg highway (SEL AWD)

Infiniti

Keeping up with the Joneses, Infiniti offers all-wheel drive on its two rear-wheel-drive G and M sedans. The smaller G37 offers all-wheel drive in both the sedan and the coupe, but the convertible remains a rear-wheel drive affair only. Both the V-6 and V-8 variants of the M sedan are available in rear- or all-wheel drive, but the M35h hybrid is rear-wheel drive only.
G37x Sedan/Coupe
MSRP
(including destination): $39,395/$42,345
AWD Cost: $1600/$1650
City/Highway MPG: 18/25
AWD Penalty: 1 mpg city, 2 mpg highway
M37x/M56x
MSRP
(including destination): $51,245/$63,995
AWD Cost: $2150/$2500
City/Highway MPG: 17/24, 16/23
AWD Penalty: 1 mpg city, 2 mpg highway (M37)/1 mpg highway (M56)

Jaguar

New for the 2013 model year, Jaguar has introduced all-wheel drive on its XF and XJ sedans. The new propulsion system is only available on the also-new-for-2013 3.0-liter supercharge V-6 engine that is rated at 340 hp.
XF 3.0 AWD
MSRP
(including destination): $53,875
AWD Cost: $3000
City/Highway MPG: 16/25
AWD Penalty: 2 mpg city, 3 mpg highway
XJ AWD
MSRP
(including destination): $77,575
AWD Cost: $3500
City/Highway MPG: 16/25
AWD Penalty: 2 mpg city, 3 mpg highway

Lamborghini

Lamborghini began using all-wheel drive after being acquired by Audi in 1998. The sports car maker is able to get an immense amount of power to the ground more quickly by powering all four wheels. Both the Aventador and Gallardo models are standard with all-wheel drive; however, there are some special-edition Gallardo models that use rear-wheel drive.
Aventador
MSRP
(including destination): $393,695 (est.)
AWD Cost: standard
City/Highway MPG: 11/18
AWD Penalty: n/a
Gallardo Coupe/Spyder
MSRP
(including destination): $193,895 (est.)
AWD Cost: standard
City/Highway MPG: 13/20
AWD Penalty: n/a

Lexus

To help keep its edge in the luxury sedan market, Lexus - the brand that pioneered the luxury crossover - equipped all of its rear-wheel-drive-based sedans with optional all-wheel drive. Even the brand's flagship sedan - the LS 600hL - comes standard with all-wheel drive.
GS 350 AWD
MSRP
(including destination): $50,325
AWD Cost: $2550
City/Highway MPG: 19/26
AWD Penalty: 2 mpg highway
IS 250/IS 350 AWD
MSRP
(including destination): $38,420/$43,675
AWD Cost: $2460
City/Highway MPG: 20/27, 18/26
AWD Penalty: 1 mpg city, 3 mpg highway (IS 250)/1 mpg city, 1 mpg highway (IS 350)
LS 460 AWD/LS 600hL
MSRP
(including destination): $70,830/$113,645
AWD Cost: $2305/standard
City/Highway MPG: 16/23, 19/23
AWD Penalty: 1 mpg highway (LS 460)

Lincoln

There is little surprise that Lincoln offers all-wheel drive on its MKZ and MKS sedans - they both based on the Ford Fusion and Taurus, respectively, which also have all-wheel drive options.
MKZ 2.0T/3.7 AWD
MSRP
(including destination): $38,690/TBD
AWD Cost: $1890/TBD
City/Highway MPG: 22/31, 18/26
AWD Penalty: 2 mpg highway (2.0T)/1 mpg city, 2 mpg highway (3.7)
MKS AWD/MKS EcoBoost
MSRP
(including destination): $45,680/$50,675
AWD Cost: $1995/standard
City/Highway MPG: 18/26, 17/25
AWD Penalty: 1 mpg highway (MKS AWD)

Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz has been offering its 4Matic all-wheel drive system in sedans since the 1985 E-Class, giving it a good foothold in the Snow Belt states. 4Matic uses an automatic differential lock to transfer power forward when the rear wheels begin to slip. Every Mercedes sedan comes with the option of 4Matic, and some of the high-level trims come with the system standard.
C300 Sedan/C350 Coupe 4Matic
MSRP
(including destination): $39,855/$46,105
AWD Cost: standard/$2000
City/Highway MPG: 20/28, 19/27
AWD Penalty: 1 mpg city, 1 mpg highway (C350)
CL550 4Matic
MSRP
(including destination): $116,205
AWD Cost: standard
City/Highway MPG: 15/24
AWD Penalty: n/a
CLS550 4Matic
MSRP
(including destination): $75,405
AWD Cost: $2500
City/Highway MPG: 16/25
AWD Penalty: 1 mpg city
E350 Sedan/Coupe/Wagon 4Matic
MSRP
(including destination): $54,405/$54,525/$58,605
AWD Cost: $2500 (sedan, coupe)/standard (wagon)
City/Highway MPG: 19/29 (sedan, coupe), 19/27 (wagon)
AWD Penalty: 1 mpg city, 1 mpg highway (sedan, coupe)
E550 Sedan 4Matic
MSRP
(including destination): $61,305
AWD Cost: standard
City/Highway MPG: 16/26
AWD Penalty: n/a
S350 BlueTec/S550 4Matic
MSRP
(including destination): $93,905/$98,905
AWD Cost: standard/$3000
City/Highway MPG: 21/31, 15/24
AWD Penalty: 1 mpg highway (S550)

Mitsubishi

It may surprise some that mild-mannered Mitsubishi offers all-wheel drive on its Lancer compact, but the company has deep roots in the World Rallying Championship series. Its Lancer Evolution halo car has long been the road-going version of the off-roading monster that has raced on WRC courses the world over.
Lancer SE AWD/Ralliart/Evolution
MSRP
(including destination): $21,090/$28,890/$35,490
AWD Cost: $2300/standard (Ralliart, Evolution)
City/Highway MPG: 22/29, 18/25, 17/22
AWD Penalty: 4 mpg city 5 mpg highway (SE AWD)

Nissan

Nissan, like Lamborghini and Ferrari, puts power to the ground through all-wheel drive as a performance enhancer. Its GT-R supercar has earned the name "Godzilla" thanks to its rocket-like acceleration, which is aided by Nissan's ATTESA E-TS all-wheel drive system that can send 100 percent of its power to the rear wheels.
GT-R
MSRP
(including destination): $97,820
AWD Cost: standard
City/Highway MPG: 16/23
AWD Penalty: n/a

Porsche

All-wheel drive became a staple in Porsche's lineup for high-power sports cars like the 911 Turbo. As the brand's lineup has expanded recently, it has added all-wheel drive to more plebeian models to help increase appeal (and traction) for almost all of its models.
911 Carrera 4 Coupe/Cabriolet
MSRP
(including destination): $91,980/$103,880
AWD Cost: $8930/$9230
City/Highway MPG: 20/28, 20/27
AWD Penalty: 1 mpg highway (Cabriolet)
911 Carrera 4S Coupe/Cabriolet
MSRP
(including destination): $97,350/$118,480
AWD Cost: $9230/$9530
City/Highway MPG: 19/26
AWD Penalty: 1 mpg city, 1 mpg highway
911 Carrera 4 GTS Coupe/Cabriolet
MSRP
(including destination): $111,150/$121,050
AWD Cost: standard
City/Highway MPG: 18/26
AWD Penalty: n/a
911 Turbo Coupe/Cabriolet
MSRP
(including destination): $138,450/$149,950
AWD Cost: standard
City/Highway MPG: 17/25, 16/24
AWD Penalty: n/a
911 Turbo S Coupe/Cabriolet
MSRP
(including destination): $161,650/$173,050
AWD Cost: standard
City/Highway MPG: 17/25, 16/24
AWD Penalty: n/a
Panamera 4/4S
MSRP
(including destination): $81,425/$97,325
AWD Cost: $4600/$5000
City/Highway MPG: 18/26, 16/24
AWD Penalty: 1 mpg highway (Panamera 4)
Panamera Turbo/Turbo S
MSRP
(including destination): $139,625/$176,275
AWD Cost: standard
City/Highway MPG: 15/23
AWD Penalty: n/a

Subaru

If there is one brand most associated with all-wheel drive, it's Subaru. The automaker known for quirky cars and rally-bred monsters (like the WRX STI) just recently lost the distinction of having an awd-only lineup by introducing the BRZ.
Impreza
MSRP (
including destination): $18,665
AWD Cost: standard
City/Highway MPG: 27/36
AWD Penalty: n/a
WRX/WRX STI
MSRP
(including destination): $26,565/$35,065
AWD Cost: standard
City/Highway MPG: 19/25, 17/23
AWD Penalty: n/a
Legacy
MSRP
(including destination): $21,065
AWD Cost: standard
City/Highway MPG: 24/32
AWD Penalty: n/a
Outback
MSRP
(including destination): $24,265
AWD Cost: standard
City/Highway MPG: 24/30
AWD Penalty: n/a
XV Crosstrek
MSRP
(including destination): $22,765
AWD Cost: standard
City/Highway MPG: 25/33
AWD Penalty: n/a

Toyota

Toyota's model range runs the gamut, but just one car is offered with all-wheel drive: the Matrix hatchback. The only way to get all-wheel drive on the Matrix is to opt for the upper-level Matrix S with the 2.4-liter I-4 engine and four-speed automatic.
Matrix S AWD
MSRP
(including destination): $23,210
AWD Cost: $960
City/Highway MPG: 20/26
AWD Penalty: 1 mpg city, 3 mpg highway

Volkswagen

Volkswagen has decided that its 4Motion all-wheel drive system would be reserved for wealthy enthusiasts. Just two VW cars offer the system: the top-of-the-line CC VR6 4Motion Executive and the limited-production Golf R.
CC VR6 4Motion Exclusive
MSRP
(including destination): $42,245
AWD Cost: $3690 (compared to CC V6 Lux)
City/Highway MPG: 17/25
AWD Penalty: 2 mpg highway (compared to CC V6 Lux)
Golf R
MSRP
(including destination): $34,785
AWD Cost: standard
City/Highway MPG: 19/27
AWD Penalty: n/a

Volvo

Volvo offers all-wheel drive on all three of its mainstream passenger cars; the smaller (and older) C30 and C70 hatch and convertible are front-wheel drive only. However, with the exception of the S60, a larger, more powerful engine is required to net the all-wheel drive system.
S60 T5 AWD/T6 AWD/T6 AWD R-Design
MSRP
(including destination): $32,645/$41,345/$44,795
AWD Cost: $2000 (T5)/standard (T6, R-Design)
City/Highway MPG: 20/29 (T5), 18/25 (T6, R-Design)
AWD Penalty: 1 mpg city, 1 mpg highway
S80 T6 AWD
MSRP
(including destination): $43,845
AWD Cost: $4000 (compared to 3.2)
City/Highway MPG: 18/25
AWD Penalty: 1 mpg city, 3 mpg highway (compared to 3.2)
XC70 T6 AWD
MSRP
(including destination): $40,995
AWD Cost: $6650 (compared to 3.2)
City/Highway MPG: 17/23
AWD Penalty: 2 mpg city, 2 mpg highway (compared to 3.2)

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