What are the Best 4 wheel Drive Vehicles

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Four wheel Drive Vehicles are the most versatile, rugged automobile. While many think of them as purely off-road vehicles, they can also be used in dangerous weather conditions and for urban driving. See below for the top 5 Best 4 wheel Drive Vehicles, including a SUV.

Are you a true car enthusiast or just want a good looking vehicle? Do you want something that is safe to drive and will comfortably take you where you want to go? If so, we can help you find the perfect 4 wheel drive vehicle.

10 Best AWD and 4WD SUVs for 2021: Reviews, Photos, and More


Four-wheel grip for more traction.

Whether you are driving on slippery roads to get to work or are tracking through muddy riverbeds in your off-hours, an SUV with AWD or 4WD has the advanced traction you require. These systems provide robust capability on changing surfaces, including snow- and rain-covered roads, dirt and gravel paths, and mud or sand. Many used SUVs also provide automatic AWD or 4WD capabilities, which not only enhances your behind-the-wheel confidence, but it takes away the guesswork of choosing the right amount of traction to match the conditions.

To help you on your search, we’ve compiled a list of the best used AWD and 4WD SUVs for 2021 shoppers, based on CarMax vehicle and sales data from March 1, 2021, through August 31, 2021.


Ford Explorer

The seven-passenger Ford Explorer is an SUV with confident capability, whether driving through snow, rain, sand, or mud. 2017–2019 models feature an Intelligent 4WD with Terrain Management System (standard on Sport and higher trims; optional on base, XLT, and Limited), which optimizes the powertrain and braking systems to provide traction in adverse conditions. Equipped with the base 3.5L V6, the 2017–2019 Explorer can tow an estimated 5,000 lbs., when properly equipped, allowing you to bring your snowmobiles to the trails.1 There is also a maximum of 81.7 cu-ft of cargo volume with the second and third rows folded to carry equipment and luggage (2017–2019 models). Standard features in the 2017–2019 Explorer base include:

  • 18-inch painted aluminum wheels
  • Cloth upholstery
  • Eight-way power driver seat with manual lumbar support
  • Rearview monitor
  • 4.2-inch display and SYNC® infotainment system


Toyota RAV4

If you’re looking for a compact SUV that delivers traction when the pavement ends, the Toyota RAV4 deserves a spot on your list. 2017–2018 models feature optional Dynamic Torque-Control AWD, which distributes engine power from the front to the back and manages the SUV’s braking system from side to side for better handling. In 2019, the RAV4 was redesigned to include Multi-terrain Select on all AWD models. With this system, four drive modes automatically adjust the engine throttle, brakes, and drive-force distribution for more traction on varying surfaces. Base level 2017–2019 RAV4 models also come well-equipped with these standard features:

  • 17-inch steel wheels
  • Cloth upholstery
  • Six-way adjustable driver seat
  • Rearview monitor with projected path
  • Lane departure warning with steering assist


Toyota Highlander

With seating for eight passengers, the Toyota Highlander is a capable three-row SUV that you can take to the mountains or the slopes. 2017–2019 models start with a 185-hp 2.7L four-cylinder engine, while LE Plus and higher trims include a 295-hp 3.5L V6 that can tow an estimated 5,000 lbs. when properly equipped.1 Front-wheel drive comes standard on all 2017–2019 Highlanders and Dynamic Torque-Control AWD is optional on all trims. This system redirects torque to the rear axle in low-traction conditions to improve the SUV’s stability. Standard features on the 2017–2019 Highlander LE include:

  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • LED taillights and stop lights
  • Color-keyed heated power outside mirrors
  • Second- and third-row 60/40 split, sliding, and reclining fold-flat seating
  • Integrated backup camera with projected path


Subaru Forester

The 2017–2019 Forester is a five-passenger crossover SUV that comes standard with Subaru Symmetrical AWD. This full-time system sends power to all four wheels to ensure better grip, handling, and agility in all types of conditions. The 2017–2019 Forester also features standard Vehicle Dynamics Control with traction control to detect and correct slippage as it happens. With 8.7 inches of ground clearance in 2017–2019 models, you can drive this SUV over rough terrain with confidence. Base 2017–2019 Forester models include these standard features:

  • 17-inch steel wheels
  • Cloth upholstery
  • Six-way manually adjustable driver seat
  • Four-way manually adjustable passenger seat
  • Rearview monitor


Honda CR-V

All trims of the 2017–2019 Honda CR-V offer an available Real Time AWD with Intelligent Control System to provide the capability you need to handle difficult driving conditions. The CR-V’s AWD works in unison with the 2017–2019 model’s standard Vehicle Stability Assist with Traction Control, which uses sensors to monitor conditions and maintain stability by reducing the throttle or activating braking when slippage occurs. With seating for five passengers and 75.8 cu-ft of maximum cargo volume (2017–2019 models), this AWD SUV is ideal for bad weather commuting and road trips. Power flows from a base 2.4L four-cylinder, and EX and higher trims use a 1.5L turbocharged four-cylinder (2017–2019 models). Other standard features in the 2017–2019 CR-V LX include:

  • 17-inch alloy
  • Automatic climate control system
  • Power windows with auto-up/down driver window
  • Driver seat with six-way manual adjustments
  • Easy fold-down 60/40 split rear seat

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Jeep Cherokee

Looking for a 4WD SUV with confident off-road prowess? The 2017–2019 Cherokee offers Jeep Active Drive I on 2018–2019 Latitude, Latitude Plus, Limited, and Overland trims for enhanced traction in all conditions. This fully automatic system transitions in and out of 4WD at any speed, and it features brake-traction control to ensure balanced torque distribution. Jeep Active Drive II (optional on 2018–2019 Latitude Plus, Limited, and Overland trims) is another AWD system offered on the Cherokee that provides stability by locking the front and rear driveshafts to deliver additional power at low speeds. Standard features on the 2017–2019 Cherokee Latitude include:

  • 17-inch steel wheels
  • Power body-color mirrors with manual foldaway functionality
  • Manual six-way driver and front-passenger seats
  • Second-row 60/40 folding seats
  • Rearview monitor


Jeep Compass

If you’re searching for a small AWD SUV with a city-friendly footprint, the Jeep Compass delivers carlike handling that’s ideal for urban environments. All 2017–2019 Compass Sport, Latitude, and Limited trims offer an optional Jeep Active Drive 4×4 System with a rear axle disconnect, which switches between two- and four-wheel drive when 4×4 capability isn’t required. 2017–2019 models also include a Selec-Terrain® Traction Management System that provides all-weather capability with four modes: Auto, Snow, Sport, and Sand/Mud. The 2017–2019 Compass also includes Hill Start Assist to provide extra control when accelerating from a stop on an incline. Standard features in the 2017–2019 Compass Sport include:

  • 16-inch black steel wheels
  • Quad halogen headlamps
  • Height adjustable load floor
  • Bluetooth® connectivity
  • Six-speaker sound system


Jeep Wrangler

The Jeep Wrangler has a go-anywhere and do-anything attitude that is supported by standard 4WD. All 2017–2019 trims, except the Rubicon, feature a Command-Trac® 4×4 system that lets you tackle challenging terrain with confidence. 2017–2019 Wrangler Rubicon models also come standard with a Rock-Trac® 4×4 system that provides more control and torque at lower speeds for superior off-road performance. Available in two- and four-door body styles with soft- and hard-top roof options, the Wrangler delivers exceptional traction and an open-air experience (2017–2019 models). Other standard features on the 2017–2019 Jeep Wrangler Sport include:

  • Skid plates and tow hooks
  • Fog lamps
  • Cloth upholstery
  • Fold-and-Tumble removable rear bench seat
  • Wash-out interior with removable carpet and drain plugs


Jeep Grand Cherokee

The 2017–2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee delivers the power of choice with four 4×4 systems that provide all-weather performance to suit a range of lifestyles. Base Laredo trims come equipped with a Quadra-Trac I® System that provides automatic traction in changing conditions, while Limited and higher trims (excluding SRT) feature Quadra-Trac II® for low-range capability (2017–2019 models). 2017–2019 Grand Cherokee Trailhawk models also include a Quadra-Drive II 4WD system, but with an electronic limited-slip differential for the rear axle for improved off-road performance on demanding terrain. Finally, the 2017–2019 SRT trim comes standard with a Quadra-Trac® SRT® 4×4 system for extra grip on the road or track. Base 2017–2019 Grand Cherokee models include these standard features:

  • 17-inch aluminum wheels
  • Foglamps
  • Dual-zone automatic climate controls
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Six-speaker audio system


Nissan Rogue

The 2017–2019 Nissan Rogue is a comfortable SUV with available Intelligent All-Wheel Drive (AWD) on all trims, making it ideal for commuting and road trips. This system constantly monitors surface conditions and distributes torque between the front and rear axles to ensure appropriate traction and all-weather adaptability. 2017–2019 Rogue SUVs also come standard with a 170-hp 2.5L four-cylinder engine that delivers fuel-sipping performance with an EPA-estimated 27 mpg combined with AWD.2 Whether heading downtown or out-of-town, you’ll appreciate the 2017–2019 Rogue’s 39.3 cu-ft of cargo space behind the second row for your belongings. Standard features on the 2017–2019 Rogue S include:

  • 17-inch steel wheels with wheel covers
  • Power outside mirrors
  • Cloth upholstery
  • Six-way manually adjustable driver seat
  • Rearview monitor

If you’re looking for a practical and rugged vehicle with grippy traction in slick conditions, you’re sure to find a capable model on this list of the best AWD and 4WD SUVs.

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1Various factors may impact towing capacity, including weight of passengers, cargo, and options/accessories.
2Fuel economy figures are based on EPA estimates for when vehicle sold as new. Fuel economy may vary for reasons like driving conditions and vehicle history. Unless specified, figures are for vehicles equipped with an automatic transmission. See fueleconomy.gov.
Unless otherwise noted, information related to these featured vehicles comes from third-party sources, including manufacturer information. Product and company names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of third-party entities. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by these entities.
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What Are The Best 4 wheel Drive Vehicles

10 Best 4×4 SUVs You Can Buy Now

By Joel Patel|Oct. 29, 20201 of 14Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

These Are the SUVs to Buy to Go Off-Roading

While the majority of SUVs and even some cars are offered with all-wheel drive, if you’re the kind of driver that enjoys going off-roading regularly, you need an SUV with four-wheel drive. Unlike all-wheel drive, four-wheel-drive systems have high and low ranges for maximum traction to tackle rugged terrain. When it comes to power delivery, a four-wheel-drive system sends an equal amount of torque to both axles when engaged. This is different from an all-wheel-drive system, which sends power to all four wheels all the time based on sensors that track wheel speed, traction loss, and other various data points. When it comes to off-roading, four-wheel drive is more capable. 

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