Canadian shoppers are rapidly making the switch to all-wheel-drive (AWD) vehicles, and it seems the crossover SUV, or CUV, is at the centre of the trend.
Of course, this can leave AWD shoppers set on a good old-fashioned family sedan out in the cold, but fear not: you needn’t buy a crossover or a luxury car to enjoy the added confidence of an AWD family hauler.
Below, we’ve compiled a list of mainstream sedan (and wagon) models that offer AWD, as well as some fun facts about their AWD systems. Read on for some worthy AWD options in a traditional family sedan.
Ford’s popular Fusion sedan competes with the likes of the Honda Accord, Chevrolet Malibu, and Toyota Camry – and it’s one of just a few models in its segment to offer AWD on the options list. Look for AWD on higher-end Fusion model variants, including the Sport, Titanium, and Platinum.
Advanced computer control automatically engages four-wheel traction whenever the Fusion comes to a stop – enabling full AWD traction from the very first inch of movement on a slippery surface and all but preventing wheelspin. If wheelspin is detected, the AWD system remains engaged until needed. If traction is plentiful, the AWD system is disengaged to save fuel. Drivers can expect maximum traction at all times, and minimal negative effect on fuel economy.
The Subaru Legacy is the only mainstream family sedan to offer standard all-wheel drive (AWD) across the board. Whether you choose Legacy’s four- or six-cylinder engine, and regardless of price or trim grade, Subaru’s famous Symmetrical AWD system is included as standard.
What’s in a name? Subaru’s Symmetrical AWD system is named for its layout and configuration within the vehicle. Thanks to clever design and the use of a Subaru Boxer engine, Subaru’s AWD system is symmetrical in shape when viewed in cross-section from above the vehicle. The Legacy was never designed as a two-wheel-drive model, which allowed engineers to optimize the driveline packaging, maintaining an even weight balance between both sides of the vehicle.
The new Buick LaCrosse looks great, rides even better, and appeals strongly to shoppers after a taste of the luxury motoring high-life without the excessive price. The latest LaCrosse offers AWD on higher-end models, teamed up with V6 power for confident performance in all situations.
LaCrosse’s new Twin-Clutch AWD system is one of the most advanced on the road today. A next-generation system, advanced components and programming allow it to respond quickly and precisely to changing conditions, and give the system the ability to further trim fuel use when full traction isn’t required. Efficient, smart, and fast-acting, LaCrosse’s AWD system is seamless, invisible, and works with no driver input.
Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen / Alltrack 4Motion
The latest Golf Sportwagen, and it’s back-woodsy Alltrack variant, both offer the latest generation of VW’s acclaimed 4Motion AWD system. These two wagons prove that crossovers aren’t the only way to go when shoppers need traction and space. Further, both can be specified with the ultra-rare combination of AWD and a manual transmission, to the elation of driving enthusiasts.
The latest 4Motion technology makes the AWD system in these two VWs better than ever. Clever packaging allows much of the AWD hardware to fit inside the rear axle, with no negative effect on cargo space. The system responds instantly to demands for traction, by way of a hydraulic pump that controls the internal system clutches. Advanced software and sensors monitor and optimize traction at every turn, and the system can even predict a loss of traction before it happens, taking early mitigating action as needed.
Dodge Charger / Chrysler 300
These corporate twins give shoppers a wide range of selection on a generously sized, handsome, and well-equipped family hauler. Numerous driveline options include FCA’s advanced AWD system, available with either six- or eight-cylinder power, depending on the model selected. Expect plenty of space, plenty of feature content, and plenty of traction too.
The Charger / 300 AWD system puts the emphasis on fuel efficiency. It’s got numerous tricks up its sleeve – and can even monitor wiper speed and external temperature to help make better decisions. The real showstopper is the front-axle disconnect feature, which saves fuel. Where many AWD systems allow the non-driven axles to free-spin in two-wheel-drive mode, this FCA system disengages the axles when they’re not in use – which provides more power to the road and some fuel savings, too. When needed, full traction is re-engaged in milliseconds.