When the winter months are upon us, driving safety becomes a concern. Slick roads, poor road conditions, and rough terrain are all something to think about when you travel for the holidays or winter getaways.
Some of that concern can be alleviated by having an all-wheel drive (AWD) vehicle, especially a SUV. Heavier vehicles operate better and are more reliable on poor road conditions because of their weight, which helps with traction support.
If you are in the market for an AWD SUV, here are some of the top ranking vehicles in 2018.
Best AWD SUVs in 2018
1. Nissan Rogue
The Nissan Rogue offers value and comfort but doesn’t skimp on safety and all-terrain capabilities. Because each trim level offers an AWD option, you don’t have to sacrifice safety for price. Each option also comes equipped with a rearview camera and split-folding rear seats for convenience when you need additional cargo space. The Rogue provides surprisingly ample leg and head space for taller passengers in its luxurious interior.
2. Jeep Wrangler
No surprise here, but the Jeep Wrangler is in this lineup since it’s frequently referred to by its loyal owners as a 4×4. But the new Jeep Wrangler offers more than just AWD off-roading abilities. Full customization between 2- or 4-doors and 4- and 5-passenger models offer a wide range of compatibility for everyone. If you prefer the more rugged style without all the bells and whistles, the Sport trim is for you – removable doors and roof, crank windows, and off-road tires. If a more luxurious ride is your preference, there are optional upgrade packages that offer amenities like heated seats, remote start, and power features.
3. Jeep Grand Cherokee
Essentially (and originally) built for off-roading, the Jeep Grand Cherokee offers optional AWD on all trim packages. But regardless of the trim you select, you’ll find features like rearview camera, parking sensors, an infotainment system, and keyless entry/start. Drivers even have their choice between a V6 or V8 engine. The cabin is spacious to fit 5 adults comfortably.
4. Ford Explorer
Consistently topping most lists, the Ford Explorer is one of the most practical AWD vehicles on the market, year after year. Thanks to its V6 engine and large tires, it performs excellently in both dry and wet road conditions, and handles well on all terrains. The customizable Explorer has 3 different engines and 5 trim options to choose between, that can seat 5 to 7 passengers, so you are sure to find a model that suits you and your family’s needs.
5. Honda CR-V
If an AWD vehicle with lots of options is what you are looking for, you’ll find it with the Honda CR-V. Honda offers 4 different trim options, all with optional front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. Standard equipment and amenities include a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, Bluetooth connectivity, and 17-inch wheels. Upgrades like a leather interior and power liftgate are available to those who select a Touring trim.
AWD is becoming more standard as the auto industry is shifting toward a SUV-heavy consumer base. Automakers are opting to make new and improved versions of already high-performing SUVs to create a loyal customer base and win over those drivers who have yet to convert to an SUV lifestyle.