The best all-wheel drive sedans combine the best of both worlds: the comfort and nimble handling of a four-door automobile with the sure-footed four-wheel grip of an SUV. For anyone who doesn't need the mammoth cargo space offered by a sport-utility vehicle but who lives in an area where snowy, slippery roads are a yearly menace, an AWD sedan is often an appealing prospect.
We've put together this list of the best AWD sedans to help guide you towards some of the most intriguing models out there featuring four-wheel motivation. Let's take a quick look at each of these all-wheel drive sedans and see what they have to offer.
Best AWD Sedans 2014 - 01 - 2014 Subaru Impreza
The 2014 Subaru Impreza is notable for being the only compact sedan on the market that features standard all-wheel drive. Not only that, but the Subaru Impreza also delivers class-competitive fuel economy when ordered with its optional continuously-variable automatic transmission. So configured, the 2.0-liter, 148 horsepower mill under the hood of the AWD sedan returns 27-mpg in city driving and 36-mpg on the highway. It's also possible to get a five-speed manual transmission with the affordable Subaru, but you'll pay a slight fuel mileage penalty for the pleasure of shifting the car yourself.
Best AWD Sedans 2014 - 02 - 2014 Audi A4
The 2014 Audi A4 is an entry-level luxury AWD sedan that has long traded on the equity embodied by its quattro all-wheel drive system. The Audi A4 has seen its drivetrain mix pared to a single contender: a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder the produces 220 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, and one has to check the right box on the options sheet to get all-wheel drive installed. Doing so introduces the choice between either a six-speed manual transmission (our pick), or a very smooth eight-speed automatic. Fuel mileage for the Audi A4 with quattro is listed at 22-mpg around town and 32-mpg on the highway.
Best AWD Sedans 2014 - 03 - 2014 BMW 335i xDrive
The 2014 BMW 335i xDrive is an interesting entry on our list of the best AWD sedans because the all-wheel drive system installed underneath its chassis has been designed to preserve the rear-wheel drive character that makes the standard version of the four-door such a pleasure to drive. Although more power is nominally directed to the back wheels during normal driving, the BMW 335i xDrive can very quickly shift engine torque where it can do the most good should any of its wheels start to spin. And there's a lot of torque to move around, too - BMW conservatively rates the 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder engine that comes with the car at 300 horses and 300 lb-ft of twist. A six-speed manual and an eight-speed automatic gearbox are offered with the AWD sedan, and fuel mileage shows as 20-mpg city and 30-mpg highway.
Best AWD Sedans 2014 - 04 - 2014 Lexus IS 350 AWD
The 2014 Lexus IS 350 AWD can be thought of as the Japanese luxury brand's answer to its compact German sedan rivals. The Lexus IS 350 AWD might not be as dynamically interesting from the behind the wheel, but it offers competent handling, a comfortable ride, and superior reliability over the long term. The IS 350 AWD is also quite aggressive on the styling front after a recent redesign significantly sharpened its harder edges. Motivation for the Lexus comes from a 3.5-liter V-6 engine that has been tuned to provide 306 horsepower and 277 lb-ft of torque, managed by a six-speed automatic transmission. Fuel mileage for the all-wheel sedan is listed at 19-mpg in stop and go driving and 26-mpg on the highway.
Best AWD Sedans 2014 - 05 - 2014 Infiniti Q50 3.7 AWD
The 2014 Infiniti Q50 3.7 AWD stands out as the most direct competitor to the BMW 3 Series to hail from Japan. With a chassis that has been honed to a sharper point than that found with its Lexus country-mate, the Infiniti Q50 3.7 AWD makes a solid effort to capture the attentions of sports sedan buyers, even going to far as to implement a complete steer-by-wire system for the current model year. A 3.7-liter, 328 horsepower V-6 is included free of charge with the sedan, and this unit can also generate a respectable 269 lb-ft of torque. As with all versions of the Q50, a seven-speed automatic is the only available transmission option, and fuel economy shows as 19-mpg around town and 27-mpg during highway cruising.
Best AWD Sedans 2014 - 06 - 2014 Chrysler 300
The 2014 Chrysler 300 adds all-wheel drive grip to the full-size domestic sedan mix, and it can be ordered with either its base 3.6-liter V-6 (up to 300 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque) or its available 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 (363 horsepower and 394 lb-ft of torque). All-wheel drive can of course be had with either model, but while the six-cylinder Chrysler 300 comes with an advanced eight-speed automatic transmission, the Hemi version requires the use of an older five-speed autobox. Fuel economy for the 300 V-6 is the most impressive of the two models, showing as 18-mpg in stop and go driving and 27-mpg on the highway.
Best AWD Sedans 2014 - 07 - 2014 Acura TL SH-AWD
The 2014 Acura TL SH-AWD is a premium sedan that often flies under the radar when compared to luminaries from BMW and Lexus. The Acura TL SH-AWD incorporates the brand's impressive torque-vectoring all-wheel drive system, which can direct torque from side-to-side at the rear wheels as well as from front to back in order to improve handling in the dry and grip in the wet. A 3.7-liter V-6 engine is the only engine available with the SH-AWD version of the TL, and it offers 305 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque. Fans of spirited driving will be happy to know that the Acura can be had with a six-speed manual transmission as an alternative to its six-speed automatic, and fuel economy for the TL SH-AWD checks in at 18-mpg in city driving and 26-mpg on the highway.
Best AWD Sedans 2014 - 08 - 2014 Volvo S60 T6 AWD R-Design
The 2014 Volvo S60 T6 AWD R-Design might be a mouthful to say, but this all-wheel drive sedan is unquestionably the hottest car on offer from the Swedish automaker. The Volvo S60 T6 AWD R-Design lives up to the promise of all the letters appending to its name in the form of a 325 horsepower, 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine that also churns out 354 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission feeds all of that fury to each of the car's four wheels, and a stiff suspension system and bigger brakes help to further control the Volvo's aggressive character. Fuel efficiency figures for the sedan are advertised as 18-mpg city and 25-mpg highway.
Best AWD Sedans 2014 - 09 - 2014 Cadillac CTS Vsport
The 2014 Cadillac CTS Vsport adds a new layer of high performance for what was already the automaker's most appealing sedan. All Cadillac CTS Vsport sedans come with standard all-wheel drive, which makes it that much easier to put the 420 horsepower and 430 lb-ft of torque produced by its twin-turbocharged 3.6-liter V-6 to the ground with a minimum of drama. Like the S60, the Vsport features an upgraded chassis, and it also comes with special driving modes for its electronic stability control system in order to take full advantage of its potential out on the track. The VST Vsport, which comes with an eight-speed automatic transmission, posts fuel economy figures of 19-mpg city and 28-mpg highway.
Best AWD Sedans 2014 - 10 - 2014 Ford Taurus SHO
The 2014 Ford Taurus SHO illustrates what can be achieved when applying a sports sedan philosophy to a full-size family car. The 2014 Ford Taurus SHO comes standard with all-wheel drive, which is key to harnessing the 365 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque that come screaming out of its twin-turbo 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine. A six-speed automatic transmission is the only gearbox available with the Taurus SHO, but it does feature the availability of the SHO Performance package, which allows drivers to turn off stability control as well as test the limits of track-ready brake pads (all on top of its already superior-to-stock suspension tuning). Fuel economy for the Ford sedan is measured as 17-mpg city and 25-mpg highway.