AWD Vehicle on a Snowy Road

Buying a new family vehicle is no joke. There are so many different brands and models. Plus, you need to determine what features matter most to you, whether it’s safety systems, performance, or infotainment features. 

One feature that matters in a family vehicle is All-Wheel Drive (AWD), especially if you want to drive safer in wet or snowy/icy road conditions.

What is All-Wheel drive and which are the best AWD vehicles? We give you a rundown on 10 of the top vehicles in this category so you can decide which is right for your family.

Best AWD Vehicles and SUVs in 2020

Let’s jump into our list of the best 2020 SUVs and AWD vehicles that make great family vehicles.

1. Ford Explorer SUV

The Ford Explorer has been a top-selling SUV for many years. It comes with an available third-row for up to seven passengers and up to 87.8 cubic feet of cargo space.

Most trims are available with either RWD (2×2) or 4WD (4×4). It comes with a standard 2.3-liter I-4 engine (300-hp) or an available 3.0-liter V6 engine (400-hp).

Other features:

  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Forward Collision Warning, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, Blind Spot Warning (BLIS®)
  • AppleLink smart device integration
  • SYNC® 3 infotainment system
  • Advanced Navigation/w SiriusXM Traffic

The Ford Explorer MPG is impressive, getting a combined 24 MPG with the 4×2 model, so if fuel efficiency matters the Explorer is a good choice. 

2. Ford Escape Compact Crossover

The Ford Escape is a little more compact, though it still offers ample room for your kids and their gear. It has two rows for up to five passengers and up to 65.4 cubic feet of cargo space.

It comes in either FWD or 4WD. There are engine options, too, including a standard 2.5-liter 4-cylinder (168-hp), 1.5-liter 3-cylinder EcoBoost® (181-hp), or a 2.0-liter twin-scroll EcoBoost® (250-hp).

Other features:

  • Power liftgate
  • Adaptive Cruise Control, reverse sensing system
  • SYNC® 3 infotainment system
  • AppleLink smart device integration

The fuel efficiency of the Ford Escape will be very favorable for your wallet, ranging from 26 to 41 MPG 

3. Audi Q5

Refreshed in 2018, the Audi Q5 is a true luxury SUV. It offers 2-rows of seating and up to 53.1 cubic feet of cargo space for your gear.

Both trims are equipped with AWD. Both also come with a standard 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 engine (248-hp). 

Other features:

  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • Hill-control decent
  • Panoramic roof

Fuel efficiency is good at a combined 24 MPG on both trims.

4. Jeep Compass

The Jeep Compass offers amazing capability on any terrain, with a standard 2.4-liter engine (180-hp) and a towing capacity of up to 2,000 lbs. It’s also been awarded the Trail Rated® badge, so you know it’s designed to tackle all weather and road conditions. It’s offered in either 2WD, FWD, AWD, or Jeep 4×4 (4WD). 

Other features:

  • Forward collision warning
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ integration
  • Rearview camera, rear park assist
  • Uconnect® infotainment system

The fuel efficiency on the Jeep Compass ranges from a combined 25-26 MPG.

5. Toyota Highlander

This larger SUV offers an available third-row to seat up to eight and up to 84.3 cubic feet of cargo space. It comes in either FWD or AWD versions.

The Highlander comes with a standard 3.5-liter V6 engine on all trims. This powerful engine offers an impressive 295-hp, with a towing capacity of up to 5,000 lbs.

Other features:

  • Rearview camera
  • Toyota Safety Sense™ driver assist system
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration
  • Advanced Navigation

The Toyota Highlander fuel efficiency ranges from a 23-24 combined MPG.

6. Toyota RAV4

The easy handling and compact design of the Toyota Highlander make it a great choice for urban living. It comes with 2 rows for five and up to 69.8 cubic feet of cargo space.

All trims come with a standard 2.5-liter I-4 engine (203-hp). It’s also offered in either FWD or AWD on most trims.

Other features:

  • Toyota Safety Sense
  • Parking assist
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Bluetooth® hands-free calling
  • Amazon Alexa integration

Fuel efficiency on the Toyota RAV4 ranges from 28-30 combined MPG.

7. Honda CR-V

This smaller SUV drives more like a sedan so it is ideal for urban areas and navigating crowded city streets. It’s available in either FWD or AWD. All trims are equipped with a standard 1.5-liter turbocharged I-4 engine that provides 190-hp. 

Other features:

  • Backup camera
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Power moonroof

You will enjoy good fuel efficiency with either 29 or 30 combined MPG.

8. Jeep Wrangler

If your adventures include going off-road, climbing rocks, or crossing streams, the Jeep Wrangler is built for you. You can choose from 2-door or 4-door models. All models come with Jeep 4×4 and a 3.6-liter V6 engine that provides 285-hp.

You can also bring extra toys, with a towing capacity of up to 3,500 lbs. depending on the model and trim.

9. Jeep Grand Cherokee

The Jeep Grand Cherokee is a larger SUV, with seating for five and 68 cubic feet of cargo space. You have several engine options, including the standard 3.6-liter V6 (293-hp), 6.4-liter V8 (474-hp), or supercharged 6.2-liter V8 (707-hp), which has a towing capacity of up to 7,200 lbs.

Other features:

  • Forward collision warning system, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-path detection
  • Rearview camera
  • Uconnect 4 infotainment system
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

Fuel efficiency is a little less than other models, ranging from 15 to 21 MPG depending on the trim.

10. Nissan Rogue

If you’re looking for a smaller SUV, the Nissan Rogue might fit the bill. It provides up to 70 cubic feet of cargo space and lots of innovative tech features. You can find it in either AWD or FWD.

The power is thanks to a standard 2.5-liter I-4 engine that provides 170-hp.

Other features:

  • Motion-activated liftgate
  • Configurable Divide-N-Hide cargo system
  • ProPILOT Assist and Safety Shield 360®
  • NissanConnect® infotainment system
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Integration with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant

The fuel efficiency will make you happy with a combined 27-29 MPG.

Find the Right Family Vehicle

Car shopping is a major endeavor and you need the proper tools in order to find the right one for you. Use this guide to help narrow down your search of the best AWD vehicles on the market. 

Be sure to explore our site for all the latest news about cars.