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Best AWD Cars | CarMax

Stay confident and in control when the rain or snow hits in an all-wheel drive (AWD) car. AWD systems are designed to send power to every wheel, providing grip in less-than-ideal situations. AWD cars come in a variety of types to fit your lifestyle, from comfortable family sedans to adventure-ready wagons. There are even sporty two-door coupes that give extra grip, thanks to the AWD. Whether it’s time to upgrade your daily commuter or take your road-trip ride to the next level, there’s never a wrong time to check out an AWD car.

To help you on your search, we’ve compiled a list of the 10 best AWD cars for 2021 shoppers, based on CarMax sales data from October 1, 2020 through March 31, 2021.

10. Dodge Challenger

Best AWD Cars: Dodge Challenger | CarMax

Take a trip down memory lane in a Dodge Challenger. While there are many ways to configure the 2017-2019 Dodge Challenger, the AWD version is equipped only with a 3.6L V6 engine and eight-speed automatic transmission, generating an impressive 303 hp.

The two-door GT trim of the 2017-2019 Dodge Challenger takes inspiration from the Challengers of the past, with styling that features a classic fastback design, aggressive hood scoops, and front bumper skirting. Traction-boosting AWD is standard on the GT trim.

Other standard equipment on the 2017-2019 Dodge Challenger GT includes:

  • Power front seats
  • Six-speaker audio system with Bluetooth® streaming
  • Android Auto and Apple CarPlay® connectivity
  • Steering-wheel mounted audio and cruise controls
  • Paddle shifters

09. Ford Taurus

Best AWD Cars: Ford Taurus | CarMax

With smooth sedan curves and 20.1 cu ft of cargo space, the 2017-2019 Ford Taurus is an ideal family hauler, with AWD available across most trims. AWD is standard on the performance-inspired SHO trim, including a heart-thumping 365 hp, twin-turbocharged V6 engine and sport-tuned suspension. You can also shop for the AWD versions of the 2017-2019 Ford Taurus SEL and Limited trims.

Adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, and advanced parking assist are part of an option package on 2017-2019 Ford Taurus Limited models, while automatic high beams, heated front seats, a Sony® sound system, and blind-spot monitoring are standard.

Standard features on the 2017-2019 Ford Taurus SEL include:

  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Heated side mirrors
  • 4.2-inch touchscreen with Bluetooth® streaming
  • Reverse sensing system
  • Capless fuel filter

08. Fiat 500X

Best AWD Cars: Fiat 500x | CarMax

Inject some personality into your drive with the entertaining and capable Fiat 500X. The 2017-2018 Fiat 500X is available in three trims: Pop, Trekking, and Lounge. 2019 Fiat 500X trims include Pop, Trekking, and Trekking Plus. The 2017-2018 Fiat 500X with a 160 hp, 1.4L four-cylinder engine and six-speed manual transmission gets an EPA-estimated 28 mpg combined.1 The 2019 Fiat 500X gets an upgraded base engine: a 177 hp, turbocharged 1.3L four-cylinder.

AWD is standard on all 2019 Fiat 500X models, along with a seven-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, LED taillights, and an updated vehicle information center.

Standard equipment on the 2017-2018 Fiat 500X includes:

  • Power heated side mirrors
  • Capless fuel filler
  • 60/40 split-folding rear seats
  • Four-speaker sound system
  • Manual air conditioning

07. Dodge Charger

Best AWD Cars: Dodge Charger | CarMax

Four doors and muscle-car heritage set the 2017-2019 Dodge Charger apart from the crowd. If you’re looking for a spacious ride, you can stretch out in the 105.7 cu ft of interior volume. And with 16.5 cu ft of trunk space, there should be plenty of room for your belongings. Want to pump up the volume? The Alpine® Audio Group package upgrades the standard sound system to nine speakers with a subwoofer, immersing you in a 506W surround-sound experience.

AWD is only available on the SXT trim. Featuring a 305 hp, 3.6L V6 engine and snappy eight-speed automatic transmission, the 2017-2019 Dodge Charger SXT is as fun to drive as it is spacious.

Standard features and equipment on the 2017-2019 Dodge Charger SXT include:

  • Driver’s seat memory positions
  • Six-speaker Alpine audio system
  • Eight-inch touchscreen
  • Available 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot2
  • Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity


Subaru XV Crosstrek

Best AWD Cars: Subaru Crosstrek | CarMax

Built on Subaru’s symmetrical AWD system, the 2017-2019 XV Crosstrek can take you where life leads. Thanks to its wagon styling, the XV Crosstrek can be filled with 20.8 cu ft of cargo behind the second row. Stay in control with a six-speed manual gearbox, standard on the 2017-2019 XV Crosstrek and Crosstrek Premium. The available X-Mode® system takes AWD to the next level, which can give you the confidence to take the path less traveled.

You may also take advantage of advanced driver aids, including adaptive cruise control and lane-centering assist, with the 2017-2019 Subaru XV Crosstrek EyeSight® package. The package is optional on XV Crosstrek and Crosstrek Premium trims or standard on the Limited trim.

The 2017-2019 Subaru XV Crosstrek includes these standard features:

  • 6.5-inch touchscreen high-resolution display
  • Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity
  • Manual air conditioning
  • Multifunction steering wheel with audio and cruise controls
  • 60/40 split-folding rear seats

Shop for Used AWD Cars Near You

2019 Dodge Charger R/T Scat Pack
2019 Dodge Challenger SXT
2021 Subaru Crosstrek

05. Lincoln MKZ

Best AWD Cars: Lincoln MKZ | CarMax

Surround yourself with luxurious features and materials with the AWD 2017-2019 Lincoln MKZ. Power comes from a capable 245 hp, turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder engine. A second engine option can inject performance fun into any commute—when combined with AWD, the twin-turbocharged 3.0L V6 engine generates an impressive 400 hp and 400 lb-ft torque.

The trim-topping 2017-2019 Lincoln MKZ Reserve II takes the driver experience to the next level with a front seat massage function and perforated inserts. Add the MKZ Luxury Package to get a full panoramic sunroof and a Revel® 20-speaker surround sound system. AWD is optional on the MKZ, Reserve, and Reserve II trims.

The well-equipped base model of the 2017-2019 Lincoln MKZ includes:

  • Lincoln Co-Pilot 360, which consists of a suite of driver aids
  • Eight-inch touchscreen system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity
  • 11-speaker premium sound system
  • 10.1-inch configurable LCD instrument cluster
  • 10-way power-adjustable and heated front seats

04. Subaru Legacy

Best AWD Cars: Subaru Legacy | CarMax

If you’re looking for a no-nonsense sedan with AWD to tackle whatever the road sends your way, take a closer look at the 2017-2019 Subaru Legacy. The standard 2.4L four-cylinder engine and CVT are ideal for around-town driving or commuting on the highway. The 2017-2019 Subaru Legacy can take you farther on a tank of gas, too, with the 2.4L and CVT getting an EPA-estimated 34 mpg highway and 25 mpg city.1 There’s also an impressive 15 cu ft of cargo space, which you can expand with standard 60/40 split-folding rear seats.

All 2017-2019 Subaru Legacy models are equipped with Subaru’s symmetrical AWD system as well as EyeSight driver-assistance technology, which includes adaptive cruise control, forward pre-collision braking, lane-keep assist, and pre-collision throttle management.

Standard features on the 2017-2019 Subaru Legacy include:

  • 6.5-inch high-resolution touchscreen and rearview camera
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity
  • Manual air conditioning with air filter
  • Four-speaker sound system with AM/FM and CD player
  • 60/40 split-folding rear seats

03. Ford Fusion

Best AWD Cars: Ford Fusion | CarMax

Smooth lines and traditional sedan styling make the 2017-2019 Ford Fusion stand out as more than a typical commuter car. AWD is available on the 2017-2019 Ford Fusion SE and on Titanium trims equipped with the 245 hp, turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder engine. AWD is standard on the twin-turbocharged 2.7L V6 Sport trim, allowing you to experience the thrill of 325 hp, active suspension dampening, and a six-speed automatic transmission.

More than just a sporty sedan, the 2017-2019 Ford Fusion V6 Sport also has smart tech. Ford Co-Pilot360 Assist and enhanced park-assist technologies come standard, giving the V6 Sport both brains and brawn. Whether you want to inject some fun into a long drive or you’re looking to tackle country roads, the Ford Fusion is a great choice.

Standard features on the 2017-2019 Ford Fusion SE AWD include:

  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Six-speaker audio system
  • Available 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot2
  • Heated front seats and mirrors
  • Dual 4.2-inch LCD instrument cluster screens

02. Subaru Impreza

Best AWD Cars: Subaru Impreza | CarMax

Whether you’re on the hunt for a compact AWD sedan or hatchback, the 2017-2019 Subaru Impreza is sure to impress. Are you looking for a stick shift? The 2017-2019 Subaru Impreza is one of the few cars with a five-speed manual transmission (base and Sport trims). Take advantage of the capable symmetrical AWD system on every Impreza trim, designed to provide confident traction in various road conditions.

The 2017-2019 Subaru Impreza sedan boasts an impressive 12.3 cu ft of cargo volume, and the hatchback opens up for a sizable 20.8 cu ft. If driver aids like adaptive cruise control and lane-keep assist are important to you, look for a 2017-2019 Subaru Impreza equipped with the EyeSight driver-assistance technology package. This package is standard on the Impreza Limited trim and optional on all other trims.

Standard features on 2017-2019 base model Subaru Impreza sedans and hatchbacks include:

  • 152 hp, 2.0L BOXER® four-cylinder engine
  • 6.5-inch infotainment screen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity
  • Rearview camera
  • Cruise control
  • Four-speaker sound system with Bluetooth audio streaming

01. Subaru Outback

Best AWD Cars: Subaru Outback | CarMax

Are you looking for a wagon that’s designed to tackle everything from the urban jungle to an off-road adventure? Find out what the fun-loving 2017-2019 Subaru Outback has to offer. An impressive 8.7 inches of ground clearance (at base curb weight) can give you a height advantage on rough roads. And the Outback’s spacious interior and 60/40 split-folding rear seats can help you find a suitable configuration for your needs.

The 2017-2019 Outback’s peppy 175 hp, 2.5L four-cylinder engine can go the extra mile, with an EPA-estimated 32 mpg highway and 25 mpg city.1 A 256 hp, 3.6L V6 engine is standard on 2017-2019 Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited and Touring 3.6R trims; these cars can tow an estimated 2,700 lbs when properly equipped.3

Standard features on the base-level 2017-2019 Subaru Outback 2.5i include:

  • EyeSight driver-assistance technology, which includes adaptive cruise control and lane-keep assist
  • X-Mode all-terrain mode selection with hill-descent control
  • 6.5-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity
  • Symmetrical AWD with active torque vectoring
  • Manual air conditioning

If maintaining confidence in challenging road conditions is a priority for you, look for a car with AWD. Whether you’re searching for a daily driver or a vehicle for your favorite outdoor adventures, there’s an AWD car out there for you

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