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Top 9 All-Wheel-Drive Sedans

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author photo by Doug DeMuro September 2013

Not everyone who needs all- or 4-wheel-drive traction wants an SUV. SUVs can be large, pricey and bad on gas -- all traits many drivers actively look to avoid. Knowing that, we've made a list of some of the top sedans offered with all-wheel drive. They may not have the ground clearance or visibility of an SUV, but they'll give you all-weather traction when the weather gets tough.

Audi A4

The Audi A4 is a midsize luxury sedan that offers all-wheel-drive security for a surprisingly reasonable price of just over $35,000. That price buys a 220-horsepower 4-cylinder engine, leather seats, automatic climate control and an infotainment system that boasts satellite radio and iPod integration. Drivers also can choose between a standard 6-speed manual and a fuel-saving 8-speed automatic. And while it's true that many well-equipped A4s cost more than $40,000, that's still a good price for a luxury sedan with high-end features and an all-wheel-drive system.

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BMW 3 Series

The BMW 3 Series is a popular sedan that combines "sport" with "luxury." Drivers who pay a little extra can also add "all-weather security" to the 3 Series' list of accolades, since BMW offers the feature for $2,000 on all three 3 Series models -- the 320i, the 328i and the 335i. The least expensive is the 320i, which starts around $35,000 with BMW's xDrive all-wheel-drive system, while a 335i xDrive starts around $46,000. Our suggestion: Try them all and see which one better suits your needs -- and your budget.

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Chrysler 300

The Chrysler 300 is a full-size sedan known for bold styling and a long list of equipment. Among drivers in cold climates, it's also known as one of the few full-size sedans that offer an all-wheel drive system -- something that rivals from Chevrolet and Toyota can't claim. The all-wheel-drive system is optional on all versions except the high-performance SRT8, which uses the 300's standard rear-wheel-drive setup. Opt for the all-wheel-drive version, typically around $2,500 depending on the 300 trim, and you can choose between the highly praised 300-hp Pentastar V6 (starting around $36,000) or the muscular 363-hp HEMI V8 (from $39,500).

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Ford Fusion

The Ford Fusion is among the best midsize sedans on sale today, offering a long list of options and engine choices for a wide variety of buyers. Those choices extend to an all-wheel-drive system; the Fusion is among the few midsize sedans on the market that offer it. The only catch: If you want it, you can't get a 47-mpg Fusion Hybrid. And you have to step up to the Fusion Titanium, which starts around $31,000 -- or $33,000 with the all-wheel-drive option. Still, with few other choices among midsize sedans -- and with the Fusion Titanium's long list of standard features -- the Fusion is a good pick.

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Ford Taurus

Like the Chrysler 300, the Ford Taurus is a rare breed: a full-size sedan with an all-wheel-drive option. While you can't get it on a base-level Taurus SE, Ford has made the system available throughout the Taurus's other trims: It's optional on the SEL ($30,000 with shipping) and upscale Limited ($35,000) models, and it's standard on the high-performance Taurus SHO ($41,000). Unfortunately, you can't get Ford's EcoBoost 4-cylinder with it, but many cold-climate drivers will consider that an easy tradeoff.

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Infiniti Q50

Infiniti's latest sport sedan comes with standard rear-wheel drive. But Infiniti has you covered -- just as the brand did with the G37. The all-wheel-drive feature is offered on all three Q50 trim levels -- the base model, the Premium and the Sport. And it's only $1,800 extra, which makes it cheaper than the all-wheel-drive systems in many rivals. A base-level Q50 with this system starts around $39,000. That's far less than a BMW 335i with xDrive, even though the Q50's horsepower -- and equipment -- roughly matches the 335i's levels.

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Subaru Impreza

With the demise of Suzuki, the Subaru Impreza carries the torch of the few compact cars to offer an all-wheel-drive option. And the Impreza doesn't just offer it: The feature comes standard. Sure, that makes the Impreza pricier than rivals, as its starting figure of around $18,500 is well above the Toyota Corolla's $17,500 MSRP. But for drivers who are on a budget, the Impreza is among the best choices around.

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Subaru Legacy

New or used, the Subaru Legacy is among the only midsize sedans to offer an all-wheel-drive system. And like the smaller Impreza, the Legacy doesn't just offer it: The feature is standard on all versions. That means drivers can get a brand-new midsize sedan with it for about $23,000 --  less than the all-wheel-drive Ford Fusion. The Legacy's standard engine is a 173-hp 2.5-liter 4-cylinder, while a powerful 256-hp 3.6-liter 6-cylinder is optional. Of course the Legacy is significantly updated for the 2015 model year, but the Legacy has long been a great all-wheel drive sedan, the 2013 model has many high points. Check out a used version for a budget friendly way to get through winter comfortably. But don’t expect a huge discount, a good condition Subaru Legacy in a part of the country that sees lots of rain or snow will still be worth a healthy portion of it’s original value.

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Volvo S60

The Volvo S60 is a midsize luxury sedan with an all-wheel-drive system available. While the base-level S60 T5 starts around $33,000 with front-wheel drive, shoppers can add the feature for just $2,000 extra. Those who opt for the muscular S60 T6, which boasts an impressive 300-hp turbocharged 6-cylinder, get the system as standard in the model's $40,000 purchase price. Of course, being a Volvo, the S60 also features a long list of other safety items, such as advanced stability control and Volvo's City Safety automatic braking system.

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What it means to you: Our favorite all-wheel-drive sedans prove there are many all-weather alternatives to SUVs, regardless of your budget.

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Top 9 All-Wheel-Drive Sedans - Autotrader