Best AWD cars include the Subaru Forester.

Best All-Wheel-Drive Cars and SUVs

Readers report on performance in snowy conditions

It's generally better to have four wheels pulling your car forward than just two when conditions are slippery. Vehicles with all- and four-wheel-drive systems feed power to each tire to provide maximum traction when you’re going forward.

But these systems aren’t foolproof—they do nothing to improve braking on slick surfaces. If you’re shopping for a new car and live in an area where roadways are regularly covered with ice or snow, consider these top-ranked models from our 2016 Annual Auto Survey. We asked subscribers to rate their vehicle’s performance in snowy conditions.

Advice on Winter Driving

The results, based on 36,000 vehicles between model years 2013 and 2016, show that some AWD and 4WD models are better than others. All respondents had driven their vehicles without changing to winter/snow tires and had faced at least six snowy days during the winter of 2015 to 2016.

The rankings are based on the percentage of vehicles that were rated Very Good in snow performance.

Winter tires will make these cars and SUVs perform even better.

See our all-season and winter/snow tire ratings

1. Subaru Outback