|Audi A3||25MPG||From $27,270||77/100|
|Audi A4||26MPG||From $32,500||76/100|
|BMW X3||22MPG||From $36,750||79/100|
|BMW X5||19MPG||From $42,500||80/100|
|Acura MDX||18MPG||From $39,994||81/100|
|Cadillac CTS Wagon||16MPG||From $59,106||85/100|
|Chevrolet Avalanche||18MPG||From $32,460||73/100|
|Chevrolet Equinox||27MPG||From $22,615||77/100|
|Chevrolet Silverado 1500||16MPG||From $17,860||76/100|
|Cadillac SRX||21MPG||From $33,830||79/100|
|Chevrolet Suburban||18MPG||From $37,000||78/100|
|Chevrolet Tahoe||18MPG||From $33,980||78/100|
|Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid||21MPG||From $49,590||80/100|
|Dodge Avenger||25MPG||From $19,640||62/100|
|Subaru Forester||24MPG||From $24,000||70/100|
|Hyundai Santa Fe||24MPG||From $23,225||70/100|
|Dodge Durango||19MPG||From $21,915||72/100|
|Honda CR-V||27MPG||From $22,495||70/100|
|Ford Escape Hybrid||33MPG||From $29,645||77/100|
|Dodge Grand Caravan||21MPG||From $21,880||75/100|
|Subaru Impreza||30MPG||From $17,500||74/100|
|Jeep Compass||26MPG||From $19,295||61/100|
|Ford Expedition||17MPG||From $31,345||76/100|
|Ford Explorer||21MPG||From $28,360||72/100|
|Jeep Grand Cherokee||20MPG||From $27,195||76/100|
|Toyota 4Runner||20MPG||From $31,090||73/100|
|Jeep Liberty||19MPG||From $23,395||62/100|
|Jeep Patriot||26MPG||From $15,995||65/100|
|Ford F - 150||16MPG||From $21,565||76/100|
|Jeep Wrangler||19MPG||From $22,045||67/100|
|Toyota Camry Hybrid||41MPG||From $25,990||81/100|
|Subaru Outback||23MPG||From $38,000||77/100|
|Volkswagen Tiguan||22MPG||From $22,840||76/100|
|Toyota Highlander||22MPG||From $28,240||77/100|
|Subaru Tribeca||18MPG||From $30,600||74/100|
|Toyota Land Cruiser||15MPG||From $77,955||73/100|
|Kia Sorento||25MPG||From $23,150||71/100|
|Land Rover Range Rover||15MPG||From $71,200||84/100|
|Kia Sportage||25MPG||From $18,500||73/100|
|Toyota RAV4||25MPG||From $22,650||75/100|
|Toyota Sequoia||17MPG||From $40,930||74/100|
|Ford Fusion Hybrid||39MPG||From $27,950||85/100|
|Toyota Sienna||21MPG||From $25,060||77/100|
|Lincoln MKX||22MPG||From $39,545||73/100|
|Toyota Tundra||18MPG||From $25,155||78/100|
|Lincoln Navigator||17MPG||From $57,775||74/100|
|GMC Terrain||27MPG||From $25,560||74/100|
|Toyota Tacoma||23MPG||From $17,125||75/100|
|Nissan Frontier||21MPG||From $19,010||75/100|
|Land Rover LR4 (Discovery 4)||14MPG||From $47,250||81/100|
|Nissan Juke||29MPG||From $19,990||72/100|
|Infiniti G||23MPG||From $32,600||75/100|
|Infiniti QX56||17MPG||From $59,200||75/100|
|Mercedes-Benz GL-Class||15MPG||From $61,570||75/100|
|Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class||18MPG||From $35,880||79/100|
|Nissan Pathfinder||18MPG||From $29,290||64/100|
|Mercedes-Benz M-Class||19MPG||From $48,990||79/100|
|MINI Cooper Countryman||31MPG||From $21,750||69/100|
|Mercedes-Benz R-Class||18MPG||From $52,690||75/100|
|Mitsubishi Outlander||25MPG||From $22,345||74/100|
|Mitsubishi Outlander Sport||27MPG||From $18,795||66/100|
|Porsche Cayenne||18MPG||From $48,850||81/100|
|Scion xB||25MPG||From $16,300||72/100|
|Nissan Xterra||19MPG||From $25,210||73/100|
|Scion xD||30MPG||From $15,345||65/100|
|Ram 1500||17MPG||From $22,420||81/100|
|Ram 3500 (Heavy Duty )||0MPG||From $38,000||77/100|
In a list of 67 vehicles, reviewers prize one four-wheel drive above all others — the Cadillac CTS Wagon, at a score of just over 85 percent. It’s stunning, sensible and sassy in equal measure, with a modern exterior and muscular engine. For around $61,000 on average you’ll be driving this out of the lot and off to your twin daughters’ ballet recital before sundown.
What’s fun about it is partly the juxtaposition in the brain between “Cadillac” the brand and “wagon” the family-friendly noun. It’s almost like imagining Tony Soprano heading off to the soccer game or that guy from Goodfellas lugging around a posse of wee ones in tutus. It happens. Frequently.
Another fun-to-drive car, ranked just under the Caddy, is the highly fuel-efficient Ford Fusion Hybrid, which performs beautifully while also offering eco-friendly perks such as saving at the fuel pump. You won’t go wrong driving this number one-ranked Affordable Midsize Car, based on 36 reviews and test drives from U.S. News Rankings and Reviews. Another benefit, the voice-activated SYNC system will delight the techies, music and entertainment lovers out there. Automobile even said it’s the best mid-sized hybrid on the market.
In this long list, it’s hard to pick the very best but don’t forget to consider the affordable and luxurious Acura MDX, which ranks 81.2 here on Motorscore. Reasons to buy include sporty handling that doesn’t compromise your ride coupled with attractive styling inside and out. Some of the models include a voice-activated navigation system with real-time traffic and weather information as well as a multi-camera rear camera that displays 180-degree views, and Song By Voice, a voice-activated music-playback function.
Land Rover’s cool and luxurious LR4 (Discovery 4) is another pick of the litter, with a cavernous cabin, powerful engine and toughness off-road. It’s the beautiful solution to anyone looking to head to those desolate place—from the Australian Outback to a U.S. mall parking lot—without the exorbitant prices of some of its competitors. Reviewers also remark on its well-appointed and plus interior as well as its 375-horsepower/375 pound-feet torque under the hood.
(This content has been updated. The older content is below).
It is only human to feel a rush of excitement when a Hummer H2 or a Land Rover Super Sports passes you by. To be completely honest, this isn’t an attribute shared by all human beings. Not everyone is a petrol head; there are many who hardly care which car they drive as long as it takes them from point A to point B. So, if you’re one of the people who can’t control their facial muscles when they see a modified Mitsubishi Shogun, you’re probably a 4WD enthusiast (To be exact)! So what exactly is a 4×4 or a 4WD or a four wheel drive? How does it exactly work? What are the advantages of owning one and how is the market for the different types available nowadays? For the answers to these questions, read on!
The rocket science of four wheel drive
A four wheel drive is distinguished from a two wheel drive in terms of torque reception. In a 4×4, all wheels receive simultaneous torque from the engine. This is the very fundamental difference between a 4-wheel and a 2-wheel drive. How this function is utilized in a 4×4 depends on the complexity of the transmission of each vehicle. Some vehicles switch to 4WD automatically depending on road conditions, required torque and road grip. Other cars allow manual switching between the two. For accurate switching to a four wheel drive (whether manual or automatic), three terms are the deciding factor – Wheel slip, Torque and Traction. Depending on these three factors, a switch is made between four wheel drive and two wheel drive functionality of the car. But things aren’t as simple as they seem. There is a lot of advanced electronics involved that keeps the electro-mechanical components of shafts, gears, transmission, differential and transfer case etc in proper check. For example, the new 4×4 cars have ABS functionality incorporated into their brake traction control. This enables the car to transfer torque between the wheels depending on a given situation. This is just one of the advancements made to the four wheel drive system. Other notable improvements include the introduction of limited slip rear differential system which ensures that the rear wheels (both of them) get some amount of torque, no matter what. Then there’s the locking differential that comes handy when one of the wheel isn’t in contact with the ground. This system guarantees that each rear wheel has access to all the torque as they are locked together. Such options come in handy while off road driving when the conditions are wet, muddy or rocky. It is no surprise that a Toyota Prius while fail you terribly (While giving you an exceptional mileage) if you take it into the woods, or perhaps up a hill and into some mud! It is for this fact that 4×4 cars are built for heavy duty work. The variations can be many. This ‘heavy’ work can be anything like carrying many people in one vehicle or towing a caravan or driving through a shallow river stream. So to keep it short, a four wheel drive enables you more control and command of the road. Whether you are travelling at an incline, on a gravel path or you’re driving through snow, a four wheel drive will give you more control and it will diversify the terrain options you have for driving your car.
4X4 vehicles have a clear advantage on their 2 wheel counterparts in a number of situations. 4 wheel drive cars have higher ground clearance meaning that they are born in the wild. Rugged terrain, water, gravel, ponds and vegetation isn’t a problem for such cars owing to their higher ground clearance. Then there’s the movement flexibility and a greater control which means you are in greater control of your vehicle. Not only for off road driving purpose, even in the case of mini vans and people carriers. All these 4X4 are safer. As a matter of fact the safety ratings of Range Rover are in the top 3 for any road legal car.
Everything related to four wheel drive cars isn’t rainbows and butterflies. There are some downsides as well. Firstly, they aren’t ‘green’ so it is quite possible that you find a nature lover trying to torch your car (No offence)! The co2 emissions associated with these cars are high. You can’t expect a 4X4 to be working on an electric motor while delivering the same amount of torque hence the slight trade off. Another problem is with their insurance. The insurance company will most definitely ask you for a fortune if you want to get your Jeep Cherokee insured. Had you bought a Ford Focus, things would have been less interesting but different in the case of insurance. Another problem comes with manoeuvrability especially for really big 4X4 like the Hummer H1. If you live in a busy town with limited parking spaces, a grand 4X4 off roader might not be the smartest option for you. You should either move to the suburbs or buy a Fiat Panda!
What to buy?
There are many hot models to choose from these days. Listing all of them wouldn’t be quite possible so here’s a few that are under the spotlight these days. These cars include the Ford Expedition 2011, the not to be forgotten Jeep Grand Cherokee 2011 model, 2012 Wrangler, the2 011 Toyota Land cruiser and the more classy Mercedes Benz G class. Another name that can not be forgotten here is the Rang Rover Sport model. All of these cars are rated as the top cars considering their performance, safety, reliability, exterior and interior. For the category of 4X4 MPVs, we have many options as well. First of all is the Land Rover Discovery TDV6 with its majestic 2.7 litre engine. For people with limited budget there’s Skoda Octavia, a 5-seater with a 1.9L engine. Another car that takes the lead in looks is the Citroen C8 with its 7-seat design, affordable price and impressive boot space. For the category of minivans, options like Honda Odyssey, Totyota Sienna, Dodge Grand caravan (unexpected) and Nissan Quest; all have something to offer to their customers making them a good buy.
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