- A Buyer's Guide to All Wheel Drive Cars, Wagons and Crossovers

Under $20,000 | $19 - $21,000 | $20 - $23,000 | $22 - $25,000 | $24 - $27,000 | $26 - $29,000 |
      $28 - $30,000 | $29 - $31,000 | $30 - $33,000 | $31 - $34,000 | $32 - $35,000 | $34 - $38,000 |
           $36 - $40,000 | $39 - $42,000 | $41 - $44,000 | $42 - $45,000 | $44 - $47,000 | $45 - $48,000 |
               $46 - $51,000 | $49 - $53,000 | $51 - $57,000 | $55 - $60,000 | $60 - $69,000 |
                        $66 - $73,000 | $69 - $79,000 | $78 - $92,000 | $88 - $125,000 | More than $120,000 |

  All Wheel Drive Report

AWD Vehicles from $31,000 to $34,000

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2009 Dodge Charger
The all-new 2011 Dodge Charger R/T AWD model features an active transfer case and front-axle disconnect system to improve fuel economy. Dodge Charger's innovative AWD system seamlessly transitions between rear-wheel drive and AWD with no driver intervention. When all-wheel drive is not required, the system automatically disconnects the front axle to maximize fuel economy while still providing the outstanding fun-to-drive performance and handling inherent in rear-wheel-drive vehicles.
Only the R/T series can be had with AWD. The base R/T model with AWD brings it on with the 370 horsepower 5.7 liter Hemi engine. Prices for the 2011 AWD Charger R/T start at $32,320.
Standard Features:
  • 370 hp Hemi V-8 engine with 396 Lb/ft torque and variable valve timing
  • 5-speed automatic transmission - no manual options.
  • Electronic Stability Program (ESP)
  • All-speed traction control system (TCS)
  • Performance four-wheel disc, anti-lock brakes
  • 8-way Power heated driver's seat
  • 60/40 split-folding rear seat with armrest
  • Air Conditioning w/filtration
  • 120.2 inch wheelbase carries 4,450 lbs
  • Fog Lamps and HID headlamps
  • Speed control
  • Power windows with power, heated mirrors
  • Power adjustable pedals
  • 19-inch aluminum wheels w/P235/55R19 BSW All Season Performance Michelin Tires
  • 276-watt six-speaker Boston Acoustics sound system with amplifier 
  • Fuel Usage: 87 octane will work, but its happier with 89 octane gas; 15mpg city, 23 highway
2008 Audi A4 Sedan The new 2009 A4 sits on the same platform as Audi's -5 series of vehicles, but is a 4 door variant. Larger and roomier than the 2008 A4, this one is also available with the 2 liter turbo motor as the A4 2.0 TFSI Premium. That's a mouthful for what I would call the base AWD A4 sedan. The engine is tuned to make 211hp; a 5% increase over the A3's output level. The A4 is also avalable in wagon (Avant), convertible (Cabrio) and sport (S) trim levels, with varying powertrains, including a manual 6 speed option. The AWD A4 sedan starts off at $32,700.
Standard Features:
  • 211hp DOHC Turbo 4 w/Intercooler
  • 6 Speed manual transmission is optional; configurable CVT trans is standard
  • 3,715 lbs. on a 110.6 inch wheelbase
  • 17" 6-spoke forged alloy wheels
  • 215/55 R16 all-season tires
  • Leather seats with a 4-spoke, leather-covered multi-function steering wheel
  • Air conditioning with climate control
  • Power glass sunroof with slide-and-tilt functions
  • 6" Multi Media Interface screen
  • 180 watt Audi CD/sound system with 10 speakers, incl. a subwoofer
  • Electronic cruise control
  • Fog lights
  • Folding rear seat back
  • Power adjustable, heated exterior mirrors
  • Remote locking system
  • Fuel Usage: 91 Octane, yielding 21 mpg city/27 mpg highway
2009 Chrysler 300C AWDThe 2009 Chrysler 300 series; developed under Mercedes ownership, was awarded one of Car and Driver Magazine's "10 Best" for its first 3 years in a row. The 300 is available w/AWD on the 250hp V6 Limited and Touring variations as well as the 340hp 5.7 liter Hemi V8 powered 300C . Based on the same platform as Dodge's Charger, the 300's AWD system maintains the rear-wheel-drive bias associated with high performance sedans. If you can swing it, I'd consider investing in an AWD 300C with the Hemi V8 and the Mercedes 5 speed automatic transmission. I believe it will be one for serious collectors down the road. Prices for the plush 300C AWD start at $39,625, while the V6 300 Touring model can be had for $33,140
Standard Features:
  • 3.5-liter high-output SOHC 24-valve V6 engine generates 250 horsepower at 6,400 RPM with 250 pounds-feet of torque at 3,800 RPM
  • 5-Speed Automatic Transmission w/AWD - Active T/Case w/Frt Axle Disconnect
  • Lifetime (!) powertrain warranty
  • Long 120" Wheelbase
  • 18" x 7.5" Aluminum Chrome Clad Wheels w/P225/60R18 BSW Touring Tires
  • 4 Speaker AM/FM Radio with CD and MP3 Players
  • Power Heated Mirrors
  • Power windows and door locks
  • Leather-Trimmed Low-Back Bucket Seats
  • 8-Way Power, heated Driver's Seat
  • Rear 60/40 Folding Seat
  • Air Conditioning w/filtration
  • Front/Rear Climate Control Outlets
  • Electronic Stability Program
  • All-Speed Traction Control
  • Performance Anti-Lock 4-Wheel Disc Brakes
  • Halogen headlamps with Fog Lamps
  • Cruise control
  • Fuel Usage: 87 Octane, yielding 17mpg City / 23mpg highway
2008 Volvo S60 2.5 SedanThe Volvo S60 2.5T with AWD sedan carries the low pressure turbo with 208hp. The Higher horsepower motor is not mated to the AWD system in this model. The S60 has a 109 inch wheelbase. It has the most front legroom of all the sedans, but only by a half inch. Prices for the S60 2.5T AWD start at $32,735
Standard Features:
  • 208hp 2.5-liter, 5-Cylinder, double-overhead cam, Turbocharger with Intercooler
  • Electronically Controlled All Wheel Drive
  • 5-speed microprocessor-controlled automatic w/lock-up torque converter. In Winter mode, the car takes off in third gear to help avoid wheel spin.
  • 16" x 6.5" Echo Alloy Wheels with 205/55/R16 Tires
  • Power-Adjustable Heated Exterior Rearview Mirrors with Memory Function
  • Audio System with In-Dash Single CD Player, AM/FM Stereo, Dolby "B" Noise Reduction, 4x25-Watt Amplifier, 6 Speakers
  • Tilt/Telescopic Steering Wheel with Illuminated Cruise and Audio Controls
  • Power-Adjustable Driver Seat, 8-Way with 3-Position Memory and Lumbar Support
  • Front and Rear Fog Lights
  • Dynamic Stability and Traction Control (DSTC)
  • Fuel Usage: 91 Octane, yielding 21 mpg city/30 mpg highway
2009 Saturn OutlookThe 2009 Saturn Outlook has 2 AWD versions avaiable; the base XE and the upscale XR. The 8 passenger SUV sits on a 118.9 inch wheelbase. Try as hard as you can, you will NOT find A/C on the Outlook XE's list of standard equipment. That's absurd for a car that cost more than 30 grand. For some reason, to get A/C you have to order the $935 Bose Audio package! Outlook's all-wheel drive system delivers power to all four wheels when you need it. If your front wheels are slipping, power is diverted to the rear wheels until you regain traction. It also monitors throttle position and vehicle speed to adjust engine torque for improved handling. Its GM siblings are Chevy Traverse, GMC Acadia, and the Buick Enclave. The baseline Outlook XE AWD starts at $32,625.
Standard Features:
  • 281hp 3.6-liter,V6
  • 6 speed automatic transmission
  • 118.9 inch wheelbase, supporting 4,903 lbs.
  • Four-wheel disc brakes with ABS and dynamic rear proportioning
  • Steering column adjusts up and down and telescopes in and out
  • 6 speaker CD/MP3 player with AM/FM stereo
  • Second row 60/40-split folding rear seatbacks that slide out of the way for easy access to the third row
  • Power windows and door locks
  • Cruise control
  • 18-inch painted alloy wheels with P225/65R18 all-season blackwall tires
  • Fuel Usage: 87 Octane, yielding 16 mpg city/23 mpg highway
209 GMC Acadia The GMC Acadia has a long 118.9 inch wheelbase, and is powered by a 275hp 3.6 liter V6. AWD is optional on both the SLE and SLT trim levels. No engine options are available. The GMC Acadia SLE w/AWD trips the scales at more than 4,900 lbs. That's a lot of mass for unibody construction. As GMC's first try at a crossover, they are late to the party, and have a lot of competition to contend with. Most accounts agree GMC got it right. (The GMC Envoy, though similar in overall size, is based on a full frame chassis.)
The Acadia SLE with the optional AWD system start at $33,890
Standard Features:
  • 3.6L V6 with Variable Valve Timing and 275 hp and 251 lb.-ft. of torque
  • 6 speed automatic transmission , electronically controlled with overdrive
  • Intelligent all-wheel drive
  • 6-speaker Audio system
  • 4 wheel antilock disc brakes
  • Single-zone, manual climate (temperature) control
  • Halogen foglamps
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring System ( does not apply to spare tire)
  • Seat controls: driver, four-way manual-adjustable with manual lumbar support
  • Seat controls: front passenger, two-way manual
  • Seating: seven-passenger; includes second-row flat-folding captain's chairs with SmartSlide and third-row 60/40 split-folding bench
  • StabiliTrak Electronic Stability Control System
  • Wheels: 18- x 7.5-inch, painted aluminum
  • Fuel Usage: 87 Octane, yielding 16 mpg city/24 mpg highway
2009 Acura RDXThe 5 passenger Acura RDX is more along the lines of a mini SUV, and it seems a bit conventional. Until you get to the turbocharged and intercooled 2.3 liter 4 banger! Having lived with a similar motor in an SVO Mustang back in the 80's for more than 230,000 miles, I can assure you THIS engine will be a BLAST. Pumping 240HP through the SH-AWD system on a short 104.3" wheelbase will make the P235/55R18 99V high performance all-season tires think they're on an NSX! Of course, the RDX's 3,933 lbs will be a bit sluggish from a standing start, but you will love the turbo boost once you're in motion. And the premium fuel goes pretty far; expect 17 - 22 mpg with the turbo 4. Prices for the AWD RDX start at $33,895
Standard Features:
  • Turbocharged/ intercooled 2.3-liter, 240 hp, 16-valve, DOHC i-VTEC(R), 4-cylinder engine
  • 5-speed automatic with F1(R)-style SportShift Paddle Shifters and Grade Logic Control
  • Super Handling All-Wheel Drive(TM) (SH-AWD(TM))
  • Drive-by-Wire Throttle System(TM)
  • Torque-sensing, variable power-assist rack-and-pinion steering
  • 4-wheel Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) w/Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) & Brake Assist
  • 18x7.5-inch cast aluminum-alloy with P235/55VR18 all-season high-performance tires
  • Power moonroof with tilt, auto-open/close, auto-reverse and key-off operation
  • Heated side mirrors w/ passenger reverse gear tilt-down and integrated directional signals
  • 8-way power driver's seat w/ power lumbar support
  • Heated front seats
  • Tilt and telescoping steering column
  • 60/40 split folding rear seat
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control with micron air filtration
  • Cruise control
  • 360-watt Sound System with AM/FM tuner, 6-disc in-dash CD, MP3, WMA, and 7 speakers
  • XM(R) Satellite radio, MP3/auxiliary input jack
  • Bluetooth ® HandsFreeLink ® wireless telephone interface
  • Fog Lights w/ HID headlights
  • Fuel Usage: 91 Octane, yielding 17 mpg city/22 mpg highway
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