Top 5 All Wheel Drive Cars of 2024: Ultimate AWD Performance Picks

Curious about which AWD cars lead the pack? In this journey, we will reveal the top 5 all wheel drive cars, delve into the advantages of all-wheel drive technology, and provide insights to help you make an informed decision when choosing your next AWD vehicle.

Key Takeaways

  • Discover the top 5 AWD cars of 2024, combining performance and practicality.
  • Learn about advantages, factors to consider when choosing an AWD car, and differences between AWD vs 4WD technology.
  • Explore recent innovations in all wheel drive technology with honorable mentions of other notable vehicles on the market.

Performance and Practicality: Top 5 AWD Cars

These top 5 all-wheel drive cars for 2024 perfectly blend performance and practicality. From sporty sedans to luxury cruisers, this list is based on each model’s overall score, with ties broken by lower price points:

  1. Subaru WRX
  2. Audi A4
  3. BMW 3 Series
  4. Mercedes-Benz E-Class
  5. Tesla Model 3

Presenting the top contenders in the AWD car category: the Subaru WRX, Audi Quattro, BMW 3 Series xDrive, Mercedes-Benz E-Class 4MATIC, and Tesla Model 3 Performance.

Subaru WRX

The Subaru WRX is a force to be reckoned with, boasting a rally racing pedigree, powerful performance, and sporty handling. This all-wheel-drive car provides great value for money, appealing to drivers who want an exciting driving experience without an exorbitant cost. The Premium Manual is the most popular style of the Subaru WRX, and it competes with rivals such as the Honda Civic Type R, Toyota GR Corolla, Volkswagen Golf R, and Hyundai Elantra N.

Under the hood, the Subaru WRX packs 271 horsepower, making it a formidable presence on the road. The 2024 Impreza, the base model for the WRX, has been updated with a new grille, head- and taillight style, and upgraded infotainment systems. Subaru has upgraded its EyeSight driver safety system, with a wider-view camera and a new feature. This feature can automatically keep the car away from colliding under speeds of 50 mph..

When compared to its competitor, the 2024 Toyota GR Corolla Premium, the Subaru WRX is approximately $6,000 less expensive. However, the WRX does not disappoint in terms of features, offering:

  • Android Auto
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Lane Keep Assist
  • Front Heated Seats
  • Moonroof
  • Blind Spot System
  • and more

In short, the Subaru WRX is a prime pick for those in search of a powerful, thrilling, and affordable all-wheel-drive car. Its rally racing heritage, combined with its impressive performance and handling, make it an attractive option for driving enthusiasts.

Audi A4

The Audi Quattro is equated with luxury and performance. Known for its innovative all-wheel-drive system, the Quattro has a rich history of dominating the rally racing world. The Quattro name is applied to models with the four-wheel-drive system.

The 2024 Audi A4 offers:

  • Powertrains ranging from 201 to 349 horsepower
  • Leather upholstery
  • Heated front seats
  • Android Auto
  • Wireless Apple CarPlay
  • And more

The Audi A4 also exemplifies the Quattro system’s capabilities, offering high quality, unmatched comfort, and speedy performance.

The Audi R8 features:

  • All-wheel-drive
  • 420 horsepower
  • Top speed of 187 MPH
  • Mid-engine configuration
  • Torque output of 317 lb-ft

These standard features are a testament to the Audi Quattro’s performance capabilities.

In conclusion, the Audi Quattro is an ideal option for drivers seeking a luxurious all-wheel-drive car with a renowned performance track record. Its innovative AWD system and range of high-performance models make it a standout choice in the luxury car market.

BMW 3 Series xDrive

The BMW 3 Series xDrive is a sophisticated blend of performance, fuel efficiency, and advanced features. This all-wheel-drive model provides a controlled and comfortable driving experience, hence its popularity among luxury car enthusiasts.

Key features of the BMW 3 Series xDrive include:

  • All-wheel drive for enhanced traction and stability
  • Powerful engine options for exhilarating performance
  • Advanced safety features for added peace of mind
  • Luxurious interior with high-quality materials and cutting-edge technology

With an estimated fuel economy of 25 MPG in the city and 33 MPG on the highway, the 3 Series xDrive is both powerful and efficient.

The BMW i4 is another example of the brand’s commitment to AWD technology. This electric vehicle is equipped with:

  • A 14.9-inch touch screen
  • Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Navigation
  • Satellite radio
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control

In terms of performance, the BMW 3 Series xDrive is impressive. Its 0-60 mph acceleration time of 4.2 seconds and powerful engine options make it a force to be reckoned with on the road. With its impressive feature list and strong performance, the 3 Series xDrive is an excellent option for those seeking an all-wheel-drive luxury car.

To sum it up, the BMW 3 Series xDrive is an excellent choice for drivers seeking a luxury all-wheel-drive car that excels in performance and fuel efficiency. Its key features include:

  • Advanced technology and safety features
  • Smooth driving experience
  • Fuel efficiency
  • Luxury design and comfort

These qualities, including its ample cargo space, make it stand out in the crowded luxury car market.

Mercedes-Benz E-Class 4MATIC

Synonymous with luxury and sophistication, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class 4MATIC is a top pick for those seeking an all-wheel-drive car with premium features and performance. The E-Class 4MATIC offers a smooth and powerful driving experience with a turbocharged 429-horsepower inline-six as its base engine, and optional V8 and V12 engines.

The Mercedes-Benz EQS Sedan 450 4Matic Premium trim is another example of the brand’s commitment to AWD technology. It boasts a suite of luxurious features, including:

  • 12.8-inch touch screen
  • Augmented reality navigation
  • Wireless device charging
  • 15-speaker Burmester audio system

With 355 horsepower, the EQS 580 4MATIC offers impressive performance and an estimated city MPGe of 91 and highway MPGe of 92.

As an all-wheel-drive luxury car, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class 4MATIC offers an unparalleled driving experience with a focus on comfort and performance. Its features include:

  • Powerful engine options
  • All-wheel-drive capabilities
  • Luxury interior
  • Advanced safety features

These qualities make it an attractive option for drivers seeking the perfect blend of luxury, rear seats, and all-wheel-drive capabilities.

To conclude, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class 4MATIC is an excellent option for those seeking a luxurious all-wheel-drive car. With its powerful performance, advanced features, and refined driving experience, the E-Class 4MATIC is a strong contender in the luxury AWD car market.

Tesla Model 3 Performance

Combining the power of electric motors with the advantages of all-wheel drive, the Tesla Model 3 Performance offers an unparalleled driving experience. Its AWD technology employs dual motors to distribute power to all four wheels, providing enhanced traction, stability, and performance.

The Tesla Model 3 Performance boasts impressive specifications, including:

  • 0-60 mph time of 2.1 seconds
  • Top speed of 200 mph
  • 1,006 horsepower
  • 1,047 lb-ft of torque

In addition to its performance capabilities, the Tesla Model 3 Performance offers the benefits of electric power, with the Long Range all-wheel-drive version boasting a driving range of up to 333 miles on a full charge. This impressive range, combined with the instant torque provided by its electric powertrain, makes the Model 3 Performance an attractive option for those seeking an environmentally friendly AWD car.

In conclusion, the Tesla Model 3 Performance offers:

  • Revolutionary all-wheel-drive technology
  • Impressive performance
  • Eco-friendly powertrain
  • Advanced features

These qualities make it a top choice for those seeking an all-wheel-drive car that pushes the boundaries of innovation.

All-Wheel Drive Advantages

All-wheel-drive vehicles offer a host of benefits over their front- or rear-wheel-drive counterparts. One of the most significant advantages is increased traction, especially in areas that experience inclement weather conditions such as rain, snow, or ice. By distributing power to all four wheels, AWD cars can maintain a better grip on the road, providing a safer and more controlled driving experience.

In addition to traction, all-wheel-drive systems are typically easier to use than four-wheel-drive systems and generally provide better fuel economy than a four-wheel-drive vehicle. The fuel efficiency differences between AWD and 4WD vehicles are not substantial, but 4WD systems usually consume more fuel due to the extra weight and complexity of the system.

The benefits of all-wheel-drive technology extend to electric cars as well. Electric AWD vehicles, such as the Tesla Model 3 Performance, offer rapid acceleration due to the instant torque they produce. This acceleration capability, combined with the environmental benefits of electric power, makes all-wheel-drive electric cars an attractive option for eco-conscious drivers.

In conclusion, all-wheel-drive cars provide several benefits over two-wheel-drive counterparts. Increased traction, ease of use, and improved fuel economy make AWD vehicles a popular choice for drivers seeking enhanced performance and safety in various driving conditions.

Factors to Consider When Choosing an AWD Car

When selecting an all-wheel-drive car, it’s important to evaluate various factors to choose a vehicle that best aligns with your needs. One primary consideration is your driving environment and the typical conditions you may encounter. Drivers who frequently travel in areas with inclement weather or challenging terrain may benefit from the increased traction and stability offered by an AWD car.

Fuel efficiency is another important factor to consider when selecting an AWD vehicle. While all-wheel-drive cars generally provide better fuel economy than four-wheel-drive vehicles, it’s essential to compare the fuel efficiency of specific models to ensure you select a vehicle that meets your fuel economy expectations.

Maintenance expenses should also be taken into account when selecting an AWD car. Generally, AWD vehicles are more costly to maintain than RWD or FWD cars due to the increased number of components. Be sure to factor in these maintenance costs when weighing the pros and cons of an all-wheel-drive vehicle.

Finally, consider the traction control and tire size/type for your AWD car. Depending on your driving environment and requirements, you may need specialized tires or additional traction control features to maximize the benefits of your all-wheel-drive system. By carefully weighing these factors, you can make an informed decision and select the ideal AWD car for your needs.

AWD vs. 4WD: Understanding the Differences

All-wheel drive and four-wheel drive are often used interchangeably, but there are key differences between these two systems. All-wheel-drive systems are typically automatically activated when the vehicle senses a need for additional traction, while true four-wheel-drive systems require the driver to engage or disengage the mode manually and may include differential locks and low gearing for off-road use.

In terms of technical distinctions, AWD systems generally utilize a center differential to distribute torque between the front and rear axles, allowing power to be transmitted to all four wheels at all times. In contrast, 4WD systems feature a transfer case that enables the driver to manually engage or disengage four-wheel drive mode and may also include differential locks and low gearing for off-road use.

Regarding fuel efficiency, 4WD systems generally use more fuel than AWD systems because of their additional weight and complexity. However, the variance in fuel efficiency may depend on the specific vehicle and driving conditions.

In conclusion, while AWD and 4WD systems both provide better traction and performance than two-wheel-drive vehicles, they differ in their operation, technical components, and fuel efficiency. Understanding these differences can help you make an informed decision when choosing between an all-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive vehicle.

AWD Technology Innovations

As technology progresses, all-wheel-drive systems are also advancing. Recent innovations in AWD technology include electrified AWD systems, which combine the benefits of electric powertrains with the advantages of all-wheel drive. These systems offer rapid acceleration due to the instant torque produced by electric motors, as seen in the Tesla Model 3 Performance.

Another development in AWD technology is the creation of lightweight and compact AWD systems. These systems aim to minimize the weight and complexity of traditional AWD systems, resulting in improved fuel efficiency and reduced maintenance costs. Innovations in the Automotive Multi Wheel Drive (AWD) Systems Market have also led to the development of intelligent all-wheel-drive systems, which can adapt to changing driving conditions and optimize traction and performance.

These advancements in AWD technology show the continuous dedication to innovation in the automotive industry. As technology continues to progress, drivers can expect even more advanced all-wheel-drive systems that offer improved performance, fuel efficiency, and adaptability on the road.

Honorable Mentions: Other Notable AWD Cars

Though the top 5 AWD cars highlighted in this blog post are certainly impressive, there are other all-wheel-drive vehicles that also deserve mention. The 2024 Genesis G90, for example, offers a premier all-wheel-drive luxury experience, while the 2024 Audi R8 provides a powerful and exhilarating driving experience with its 420-horsepower engine and all-wheel-drive system.

The 2024 Audi A7 and 2024 BMW i7 both showcase advancements in electric AWD technology, combining eco-friendly powertrains with the benefits of all-wheel drive. Additionally, the 2024 Mercedes-Benz S-Class and 2024 Porsche 911 are two notable AWD cars that offer a blend of luxury, performance, and advanced features.

These notable mentions display the range of all-wheel-drive cars available in the market, catering to a wide variety of drivers and preferences. Whether you’re seeking a luxury cruiser, a sporty sedan, or an eco-friendly electric vehicle, there’s an all-wheel-drive car out there to suit your needs, including various all wheel drive models.


In conclusion, all-wheel-drive cars offer an appealing combination of performance, practicality, and advanced technology. From the sporty Subaru WRX to the electric Tesla Model 3 Performance, the top 5 AWD cars of 2024 showcase a diverse range of vehicles designed to cater to various driving preferences and requirements.

As you consider your next all-wheel-drive vehicle, take into account the advantages of AWD technology, the factors to consider when choosing an AWD car, and the differences between AWD and 4WD systems. Armed with this knowledge, you’re well-equipped to make an informed decision and select the perfect all-wheel-drive car for your needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is AWD the same as 4WD?

AWD and 4WD both power all four wheels of a vehicle at the same time, however AWD is continuously active while 4WD needs to be manually activated. AWD also lacks the “4-low” setting available on 4WD vehicles.

What are the key differences between all-wheel drive and four-wheel drive?

All-wheel drive is automatically activated when needed, whereas four-wheel drive requires manual activation and includes additional features such as transfer cases and differential locks for off-road use.

Are all-wheel-drive cars generally more expensive to maintain than rear-wheel-drive or front-wheel-drive cars?

Yes, all-wheel-drive cars are generally more expensive to maintain than rear- or front-wheel-drive cars due to the additional components in the AWD system.

What are the primary considerations when choosing an all-wheel-drive car?

When selecting an all-wheel-drive car, it is important to consider the environment and conditions you will typically drive in, fuel efficiency, maintenance expenses, traction control, and tire size/type.

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