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Best all-wheel drive cars

These vehicles will take you through the snow and ice of the season

Published: February 2014

Photo: Jim Reed

When winter’s wrath hits hard, a car with all-wheel drive is your best bet to help navigate the roads safely.

All-wheel drive (AWD) feeds power to all four wheels and provides maximum forward traction. It is especially helpful in wintry conditions and when driving over moderate off-road terrain. Its lightness and compactness makes AWD the system of choice for cars and crossovers. Many modern systems exact only a slight fuel economy penalty, and their engagement is seamless.

But there are limitations of AWD, as it does nothing to improve braking or regular cornering. Thus, such systems don't enable you to drive the same way or at the same speed as you would on a dry road.

If you’re considering a new car and live in an area where roadways could be covered with ice, snow, or other traction challenges, take a look at the models below to find AWD choices in a variety of vehicle categories. 

   

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