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Tackle tough road conditions in style with these 10 best AWD cars!

Best AWD Cars | CarMax

What does your daily commute look like? If you have a long trip into the office or if you frequently encounter rough terrain, then having an all-wheel-drive car can make your commutes a lot more enjoyable. If you enjoy doing some occasional off-roading, an all-wheel-drive car can also provide you with additional power and control behind the wheel. AWD cars utilize a combination of front, center, and rear differentials to automatically transfer power between different parts of your vehicle as needed.

See also: 3 Best AWD Cars, AWD vs. 4WD, and Best Used Cars.

If you're thinking about buying an all-wheel-drive car, there are plenty of options available to you. Here's a summary of our 10 best AWD cars of 2018, based on CarMax sales data from September 1, 2017, through April 30, 2018. Please note that not all trims and model years of the below vehicles have AWD; it just depends on the specific vehicle you pick:

  1. Dodge Charger
  2. Chrysler 200
  3. Ford Fusion
  4. Mini Cooper
  5. Ford Taurus
  6. Lincoln MKZ
  7. Subaru Crosstrek
  8. Subaru Legacy
  9. Subaru Impreza
  10. Subaru Outback

10

Dodge Charger

Best AWD Cars: Dodge Charger | CarMax
Those in the market for a sporty vehicle with a little bit of attitude won't want to pass up a test drive of the 2017 Dodge Charger, which has available AWD on all its V6 trims. This includes the SXT, R/T, and SXT Plus. Drivers also enjoy the surprisingly spacious cabin found in the 2014 to 2017 Charger, with about 16 cubic feet of trunk space and plenty of head and foot room for seating up to five passengers. The newer 2017 Charger even features an upgraded 8.4-inch touchscreen as a standard feature, which comes with its own navigation system and Apple® and Android™ integration.

09

Chrysler 200

Best AWD Cars: Chrysler 200 | CarMax

If you're looking for an AWD car that's a little more upscale and luxurious, the Chrysler 200 is worth checking out. While the 2014 to 2017 200 is available in four trim levels, only the V6 trims (the S and C) come with all-wheel drive. These trim levels also boast some nice features, like leather upholstery, a panoramic sunroof, and a huge 8.4-inch touchscreen infotainment system.


08

Best AWD Cars: Ford Fusion | CarMax

When it comes to midsize sedans with AWD options, the Ford Fusion is another great pick. There are three trim levels in the 2014 to 2017 Fusion that are specifically available with all-wheel drive: the Titanium, SE, and Sport. Regardless of the trim you select, you'll enjoy some impressive tech features like a rearview camera, smartphone integration with voice commands, and satellite radio availability. Upgrade to the Titanium trim and you'll enjoy a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine for a little more power behind the wheel. In the newer 2017 Fusion, drivers also have the option of selecting a more powerful V6 engine, and each trim comes standard with the upgraded Sync® 3 infotainment system.


07

Mini Cooper

Best AWD Cars: Mini Cooper Countryman | CarMax
Interested in a car that will stand out in a crowd? The Mini Cooper, with its unique design, is bursting with personality and is a joy to drive. On the 2014 to 2017 Cooper Countryman, you'll enjoy AWD in two of its trim offerings: the S and S All 4. Categorized as a crossover, this funky little vehicle seats five passengers and features surprising passenger and cargo space. With rear seats folded back, you'll enjoy more than 42 cubic feet of storage.

06

Ford Taurus

Best AWD Cars: Ford Taurus | CarMax

If you're looking for a full-size sedan that boasts plenty of power and control behind the wheel, check out the Ford Taurus. All of its trim levels except the base SE are available with optional AWD (it's even standard on the sporty SHO trim), along with plenty of other convenient standard features across all trim levels, such as:

  • LED accent lights
  • rear parking sensors
  • a leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • dual-zone climate control

Drivers and passengers alike will also love the quiet, smooth ride that this vehicle delivers, even in rough road conditions.


05

Lincoln MKZ

Best AWD Cars: Lincoln MKZ | CarMax

If you've got your mind set on a luxury sedan with all-wheel drive, be sure to consider the Lincoln MKZ; the 2014 to 2017 MKZ is available in just two trim levels: base and Black Label. Both of these trims are available with standard front-wheel drive and optional AWD, along with some luxurious features like:

  • power side mirrors
  • leatherette interior upholstery
  • keyless entry and ignition
  • heated front seats

In the 2017 MKZ specifically, drivers will enjoy some additional upgrades, such as a more powerful V6 engine when compared to that of the previous model years. Even in its base trims, the 2017 MKZ delivers a slightly more powerful turbocharged engine, so spending a little extra on this newer model may be worth it for those who want the extra power behind the wheel.


04

Subaru Crosstrek

Best AWD Cars: Subaru Crosstrek | CarMax

Subaru is known for its rugged vehicles and is one of very few brands that includes AWD as a standard feature on many of its cars. The Subaru Crosstrek is no exception here, with AWD standard on its Premium, Limited, and even Hybrid Touring trims. The 2014-2017 XV Crosstrek (or simply "Crosstrek," as it is known for the 2016 and 2017 model years) comes with your choice of a 2.0 liter, four-cylinder engine or hybrid engine, as well as plenty of cargo space (up to about 52 cubic feet with rear seats folded back!). It is also worth noting that for the 2017 model year, the Crosstrek's Premium trim comes with a few more features, including:

  • blind-spot monitoring
  • ambient cabin lighting
  • rear cross-traffic alert

03

Subaru Legacy

Best AWD Cars: Subaru Legacy | CarMax

For a family-friendly sedan, the 2014 to 2017 Subaru Legacy is a practical choice all year-round. Not only does it come standard with AWD in each of its three trim levels (Limited, Sport, and Premium), but it also boasts an incredibly smooth ride that will make it a favorite for road trips. Some standard features in all trim levels of this five-passenger sedan include:

  • a rearview camera
  • power accessories
  • touchscreen display
  • smartphone integration

And when you opt for the 2017 Legacy over the 2014 to 2016 model years, you'll enjoy a few additional standard features. These include automatic headlights, as well as auto-up switches for the windows on the driver and front passenger seats. Aside from this, however, the Legacy remains more or less unchanged for 2017.


02

Subaru Impreza

Best AWD Cars: Subaru Impreza | CarMax

If you like the Legacy's standard features and overall design but are looking for an AWD car that's a little more compact, check out the 2014 to 2017 Subaru Impreza. Each of its Premium, Sport Premium, and WRX trims come standard with AWD, though its smaller design also makes it available in both sedan and hatchback styles. Drivers also have a blast behind the wheel of the Impreza, with its excellent handling and overall agility. If you're considering a 2017 Impreza, be aware of some differences between this year and older model years. Specifically, you'll find that the body of the 2017 Impreza is a bit longer, and that it comes with some additional standard features, such as:

  • Apple and Android smartphone integration
  • a more powerful engine (four additional horsepower)
  • more cargo and passenger space

These could be welcome upgrades, but if you prefer the smaller profile, then you may want to stick with the 2016 or older model years.


01

Subaru Outback

Best AWD Cars: Subaru Outback | CarMax

The Subaru Outback is a crossover wagon that looks and drives more like an SUV, making it a great choice for those in need of a little more space. In the 2014 to 2017 model years, all of its trim levels (the Limited, Premium, and Touring) come with AWD for powering over tough terrain. It also boasts ample passenger and cargo space, with more than 73 cubic feet of storage with rear seats folded.

As you can see, there are plenty of options to choose from when it comes to used AWD cars that are ready to take on just about any road condition.

For more information on related topics, check out these other CarMax articles:

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.