Tackle tough road conditions in style with these 15 best AWD cars!

Best 15 AWD Cars of 2017 | CarMax
Whether you need to navigate rough terrain or require a bit more traction during your daily drives, cars with all-wheel drive offer the ease and confidence to navigate just about any road conditions. With so many options available these days, it isn’t always easy to choose the right used AWD vehicle. To help you with your research, we’ve used our sales data from the first half of the year to compile this list of some of the best-selling AWD cars and AWD sedans of 2017 so far. Check out our list below.
  1. Subaru WRX
  2. Cadillac ATS
  3. Cadillac CTS
  4. Chrysler 300
  5. Audi A5
  6. Lexus IS
  7. Subaru Legacy
  8. Audi A4
  9. Subaru XV Crosstrek
  10. BMW 5 Series
  11. Mercedes-Benz E Class
  12. Subaru Impreza
  13. Infiniti G
  14. BMW 3 Series
  15. Mercedes-Benz C Class


Subaru WRX

Research or Buy a Used Subaru WRX | CarMax

If you’re seeking a sporty car with style, versatility, and power, you’ll want to check out the Subaru WRX.

Available in sedan and hatchback, these cars pack a lot of punch for their size. For example, the turbocharged 2017 Subaru WRX premium CVT sedan with automatic transmission has a 268-hp, six-speed engine and gets an estimated 18/27 mpg.*

Features also abound. You may find it reassuring that the 2017 sedan-style manual WRXs have a low tire pressure warning system, rear-door child safety locks, and an airbag occupancy sensor for front seats. WRX drivers also enjoy the convenience of Bluetooth® and Sirius XM® All Access radio (with a subscription, of course).



Cadillac ATS

Research or Buy a Used Cadillac ATS | CarMax

For the last two years, the CTS has consistently ranked 8.5 out of 10 on the Luxury Midsize Car list by U.S. News & World Report. This AWD car has some real pep for those who don’t need a lot of cargo space or added features in their used vehicle.

While the Cadillac ATS seats up to five people, some passengers may feel cramped in the backseat, making it a better choice for toting children than adults. Families do need to consider this vehicle’s rather small trunk and limited cargo space.

The 2017 Cadillac ATS Premium Performance package offers a sport engine option with an estimated 335 horsepower and a 3.6L, six-cylinder engine and an eight-speed automatic transmission.


Cadillac CTS

Research or Buy a Used Cadillac CTS | CarMax

If you want a used AWD car with hot performance to match its good looks, Car and Driver magazine touts the Cadillac CTS as the vehicle to beat.

Featuring a turbocharged four-cylinder base engine with 268 horsepower, the 2016 and 2017 CTS also comes with an eight-speed automatic transmission, available in all trims. If you really want to boost your available power, opt for either the 335-hp V6 or the twin-turbo, 420-hp V6.

The 2016 CTS offers six trim levels: Standard, Luxury, Performance, Premium, V-Sport, and V-Sport Premium. The CTS Standard features:

  • keyless ignition
  • keyless entry
  • dual-zone climate control
  • eight-way power front seats
  • leatherette (premium vinyl) upholstery
  • an eight-inch touchscreen interface
  • a Bose® sound system with 11 speakers

The 2017 CTS Luxury trim offers an even more opulent ride with high-intensity discharge headlights, a panoramic sunroof, four-way power lumbar for front passengers, a navigation system, and 13-speaker Bose sound system.


Chrysler 300

Research or Buy a Used Chrysler 300 | CarMax

The AWD Chrysler 300 is considered a top vehicle for families who want comfort, quiet, and a strong engine under the hood. The 2017 Chrysler 300 has a consumer rating of 9.2 out of 10, according to Kelley Blue Book®.

The powerful, 363 hp HEMI® V8 engine in the 2016 Chrysler 300 great acceleration to help you merge onto busy highways. The 2016 version comes in four trim levels: 300 Limited, 300S, 300C, and 300C Platinum. Standard equipment on the base 300 Limited includes keyless entry and ignition, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, and, with all-wheel drive, 19-inch alloy wheels.


Audi A5

Research or Buy a Used Audi A5 | CarMax

The Audi A5 AWD coupe or sedan offers a solid mix of sophisticated design and high performance.

The 2008 model was coupe-only, but newer models are also available as AWD sedans. In 2009, the Audi drive select system debuted, and the 2010 model featured a revised interface and navigational system.

Later versions have upgraded technology plus all the power and luxury of previous models. The 2016 model comes in two trim levels, Premium and Premium Plus, and features a turbocharged, 2.0L, four-cylinder engine that produces 220 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard on the 2016 coupe. An eight-speed automatic is standard for the convertible and available as an option on the coupe.

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Lexus IS

Research or Buy a Used Lexus IS | CarMax

If you seek an upscale cabin with lots of appointments, opt for the 2016 Lexus IS. With standard features like pre-collision braking, pedestrian detection, and lane-change technology, this is one used AWD car that offers luxury and comfort. Any model of this car will offer a variety of luxurious, high-tech features.

A budget-friendly compact sports sedan, the 2016 Lexus IS comes in three models: IS 200t, IS 300, and IS 350.The Lexus IS 200t offers a smooth ride and a turbocharged 241-hp four-cylinder engine with its 2016 version.


Subaru Legacy

Research or Buy a Used Subaru Legacy | CarMax

With its refined-over-decades all-wheel drive capability, the Subaru Legacy is built to handle lots of different weather conditions. Depending on the year and model, you’ve got a choice of two different engines: a 2.5L, four-cylinder engine or a 250-horsepower, 3.6L six-cylinder (more power for the highway on-ramps and towing more than a ton of boat or trailer).

Offering impressive gas mileage (an estimated 34 mpg on the highway in all 2017 trims except the 3.6R, which receives an estimated 28 mpg hwy, with the 2017 Legacy*), this AWD car is a top pick for smaller families. The 2017 Legacy is available in five trims: 2.5i, 2.5i Premium, 2.5i Sport, 2.5i Limited, and 3.6R Limited.


Audi A4

Research or Buy a Used Audi A4 | CarMax

If you’re looking for value and high performance, you won’t want to miss what the Audi A4 brings to the table. Rivaling other midsized cars in its class, the Audi A4 surpasses many cars on the road with its luxurious options and quick acceleration.

Its first-class interior sports modern styling, including an optional 12.3-inch display in the 2017 A4 Premium Plus trim that offers crisp graphics. The 2017 is available in three main trim levels: Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige. There’s plenty of space to accommodate two adults comfortably in the backseat, and enough trunk space to hold standard carry-on suitcases.

This car is both fun to drive and practical for day-to-day living. With good gas mileage (an estimated 31 mpg combined city/highway for the 2017 Audi A4 Ultra*), it’s pretty efficient, too.


Subaru XV Crosstrek

Research or Buy a Used Subaru XV Crosstrek | CarMax

This is a great all-wheel drive option for drivers who need utility in a smaller package. Offering maneuverability and enough clearance to make it through backroads and ruts, this all-weather, versatile, smaller-sized AWD gives drivers the kind of features they want and need in an off-road vehicle.

The smaller four-cylinder engine does tend to make the Crosstrek a bit less powerful than some of its competitors (it produces 148 hp), but in the cabin, the Subaru XV Crosstrek has lots of standard features and plenty of extra foot and head room, which tall passengers especially love.

The 2015 Subaru XV Crosstrek is available in five trim levels: 2.0i, 2.0i Premium, 2.0i Limited, Hybrid, and Hybrid Touring. The 2015 XV Crosstrek dashboard houses easy-to-use controls, a 6.2-inch touchscreen, smartphone integration, and a Bluetooth® compatible system.


BMW 5 Series

Research or Buy a Used BMW 5 Series | CarMax

With its 5 Series cars, BMW stands out in the pack when it comes to sporty, midsized, four-door sedans and wagons. Even after an overhaul of the models available in 2015, the 5 Series BMWs remain a top contender for those seeking a luxury look and strong road performance. Determining which 5 Series cars have AWD (known as xDrive) is easy — just look for the models with “xi” after their numbers.

Featuring tasteful and stylish interiors, the variety of 5 Series models gives buyers a chance to experience the type of smooth and powerful ride this series is known for, whether their 5 Series comes with a smaller four-cylinder engine or the super-powered V8.

The BMW 5 Series gives drivers and their passengers a distinctive ride. Both the sedan and hatchback models are quite comfortable, with plenty of legroom for taller passengers.

With 15 cubic feet of cargo space, the Series 5 AWD sedans can carry quite a bit of gear. When you lower the rear seats, you’ll gain even more storage capacity.

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Mercedes-Benz E Class

Research or Buy a Used Mercedes-Benz E-Class | CarMax

For style, comfort, and performance, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class cars shouldn’t be overlooked as AWD cars. Named the 2016 winner of the best upscale midsize car for families by U.S. News & World Report, the 2016 Mercedes-Benz E-Class knows how to make everyone in the family happy. They’re luxurious, yes, and many of the E-Class cars also come with AWD.

Depending on the model designation, E-Class sedans seat either five or seven passengers. The front seats are both heated and ventilated in the E400 sedans and E63 S sedans and wagon for 2016, but this feature is optional in the E400 wagon. The driver’s seat also offers a massaging feature as an option in the 2016 E63 AMG S. If you choose a 2015 E550, you’ll enjoy standard 18-inch wheels, leather upholstery and upgrade options to include goodies like a color navigation system, satellite radio and surround sound system with an iPod® interface.


Subaru Impreza

Research or Buy a Used Subaru Impreza | CarMax

This AWD car can tackle lots of different weather conditions. With its excellent gas mileage (for example, the 2014 Impreza 2.0i Limited has an estimated 27 mpg city/35 mpg highway)*, both the sedan and wagon are popular with drivers and offer a comfortable ride and roomy seats.

The 2014 Subaru Impreza comes in three trim levels: 2.0i, 2.0i Premium, and 2.0i Limited. The 2014 2.0i Limited provides a good example of all the amenities and comforts you’ll find in this model. It features a six-speaker sound system, automatic climate control, leather upholstery, and a touchscreen audio interface and HD radio. Its 2.0L four-cylinder engine returns impressive mileage numbers (an estimated 27 mpg city/35 mpg highway)*. The 2014 Impreza comes standard with front seat side airbags, side curtain airbags, and a driver knee airbag.

The Impreza is a smaller AWD vehicle, with dimensions similar to the wagon-like Subaru XV Crosstrek.


Infiniti G

Research or Buy a Used Infiniti G | CarMax

The Infiniti G and Q series vehicles are luxury AWD sedans and coupes that offer plenty of style.

The 2013 Infiniti G37 X Premium Package for instance, offers leather seating with front-seat heaters and a full technology package. This includes smart key technology, power seats, BOSE surround sound system, navigation, and a rearview camera.

If you’re looking for luxury and performance, the Infiniti Q40, Q50, or Q60 may fit the bill. The 2014 Q60 offers standard push-button start, a rearview camera, Bluetooth® and a color, 7-inch display infotainment system.

While the 2017 Q60 models offer three engines to choose from, they tend to have less horsepower than their 2015 Q40 counterpart. This is due in part to a smaller four-cylinder engine in the Q60, compared to the V6 in the Q40. You’ll find that each of these vehicles have options for an upgraded navigation system, 10-speaker BOSE audio system and adaptive cruise control.

While the dimensions of the Infiniti G and Q series haven’t changed much in the last 15 years, the newer and heavier models grab lots of attention on the road thanks to their sleeker, more modern style.


BMW 3 Series

Research or Buy a Used BMW 3 Series | CarMax

The BMW 3 Series has been legendary among luxury-class vehicles since the late 1970s. Its distinctive and innovative design is a winner and offers drivers an exhilarating on-the-road experience. Offering more than 20 different models and trim combinations, the BMW 3 Series stand outs in the pack as an all-wheel-drive car in today’s market.

xDrive is BMW’s all-wheel drive system. The xDrive-enabled 3 Series offers a unique look and plenty of style to impress. The 2017 3 Series is available in three body styles – sedan, wagon, and Gran Turismo. The Gran Turismo (GT) comes in two trim levels: 330i xDrive and 340i xDrive. Standard features on all 2017 GTs for instance, offer drivers upgrades like a sunroof/moonroof, multi-zone climate control, a power driver seat, electronic folding mirrors and a power liftgate.

You’ll also enjoy the latest technology package features like USB ports, adaptive cruise control, and Bluetooth®.


Mercedes-Benz C Class

Research or Buy a Used Mercedes-Benz C-Class | CarMax

Topping our own list of the best AWD cars of 2017 are the Mercedes-Benz C-Class vehicles. Not surprisingly, these sedans offer the kind of ride that luxury seekers demand—in lots of different driving conditions. Available as either a sedan or a coupe, they’re packed with high-end interior options to help drivers enjoy all kinds of commutes.

While the ride remains smooth in all types of weather, thanks to their AWD capabilities, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class cars are a bit limited when it comes to backseat space and cargo room. The sedan offers an average sized trunk, and if you plan on toting additional passengers on a regular basis, the sedan is a better choice since it provides a bit more legroom.

The classic-looking design of these cars—from the C250 to the C400—gives buyers lots of high-end options they can enjoy without sacrificing power. Even the four-cylinder versions offer enough get-up-and-go to rival many other cars in this class.

Looking for more? Check out our top 4WD and AWD cars of 2016 or the complete inventory of used AWD cars and SUVs.


*Based on EPA estimates for when vehicle sold as new. See fueleconomy.gov. Fuel economy may vary for reasons like driving conditions and vehicle history.
Unless otherwise noted, information related to these featured vehicles comes from third-party sources, including manufacturer information. Product and company names may be trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of third-party entities. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by these entities.

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