If you haven’t been driving for that many years it’s easy to forgot the advances in automotive technology we’ve enjoyed over the past few decades. There are some things to love about classic or vintage cars to be sure however there are also things about the cars of yesteryear that no one really misses. In the past there really wasn’t much in the way of choices in the all wheel drive car market and if you wanted a vehicle that put out power to all four wheels you had to go with a hefty 4WD truck. That has changed in the modern automotive market of course and you actually have to decide between the benefits of 4WD vs AWD when shopping for a new vehicle with traction systems in mind.
A couple of the pioneers in bringing all wheel drive technology to the car driving masses were Audi and Subaru. Today you can choose any number of cars and even minivans that features sophisticated AWD systems that will help keep you on the road in slick winter conditions and help get you out of trouble if you happen to wander into it. They aren’t off road vehicles by any means but in terms of on road traction some of them can rival the traction you’ll be able to achieve with a four wheel drive truck.
Trucks are typically seen as the ultimate traction machines and this may be true in off road and muddy conditions. Ground clearance helps in deep snow as well however in normal winter road conditions the all wheel drive systems you will find in many modern cars are tuned to adjust to the specific traction needs of the situation and can outperform an old fashioned “dumb” four wheel drive system.
If you are in the market for an AWD car one of the top traction systems out there today is Acura’s SH-AWD system which can apportion power on the fly to any wheel or set of wheels that need it. It can even send power from one side of the vehicle to the other in contrast to more traditional AWD systems which distribute torque from front to back but not side to side.
If you are on a budget but still feel you need the advantages of all wheel drive this coming winter then a good place to start might be the used Subaru market. Virtual every Subaru on the road is an all wheel drive model and they’ve been popular in the United States for some time so finding a used model in good condition shouldn’t be that hard of a task. The Legacy and Outback models have been quite popular and if you want more of an economy car the Impreza is a good choice as well.