All-wheel drive is on the rise. While it may not seem strange to think about many luxury cars offering systems as standard or add-ons, expect to see more than just two wheels powering more of our cars in the future; according to analysts, 30 percent of cars sold in the U.S. will be equipped with all-wheel drive by 2015.
Traditionally, all-wheel drive systems appealed mainly to customers who were often faced with bad weather, such as those relegated to our nation’s delightfully frosty snow. The systems usually cost at least a penalty of a few mpg and an additional $1000-plus onto the window sticker.
Still, the availability of all-wheel-drive is increasingly becoming a major shopping point for buyers, particularly in the luxury segment. Audi’s stratospheric rise through the luxury car ranks is thanks in no small part to the availability (and capability) of its Quattro system. BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, and Infiniti also have all-wheel drive available on almost all of the models in their lineups.
The Germans aren’t the only ones building cars with four driven wheels. Ford, Chrysler, Dodge, Lincoln, Cadillac, and Buick all offer all-wheel drive as options on its cars. Cadillac and Lincoln both view all-wheel drive as a core component of their brands: Lincoln offers it on all of its models and Cadillac is aiming to have it availableon more than half of its model lineup. Presently, half of all Cadillac CTS models sold are equipped with all-wheel drive, and a quarter of Lincoln’s midsize MKZ sedans have left dealership with the engine driving all four wheels..
What do you say? Is all-wheel drive a must-have on your shopping list, or would you forego the system?
Source: The Detroit Free Press