Crossover cars combine the best of nearly every line of vehicle made. Why shouldn’t they also come with the added choice of All-Wheel Drive (AWD)? Most crossovers, especially the larger models, are becoming known for their impeccable handling in any environment and the ability to take a beating better than any sedan or compact available. At the same time, they maintain a competitive fuel efficiency and luxurious interior. It only make sense to include an available option for AWD. Even though it could eventually add some more money in repair costs and a few extra cents at the gas pump, AWD does up the resale value of the vehicle and provide a much tighter feel when driving. The best AWD crossover cars, according to the industry experts, are listed below.

1. 2010-2011 BMW X5 M          MSRP: $85,500

“The BMW X5 M is a highly impressive vehicle, offering performance and practicality on par with the Porsche Cayenne Turbo S for tens of thousands less.” The 4.4L V8 engine seems to draw power from every inch of the vehicle, pushing out 555 horsepower and 501 lb-ft. of torque. Thanks to the AWD and high-tech mechanical pieces, it handles better than any crossover in any class. Cargo space is slightly less than competitors but the list of options more than makes up for it. (www.edmunds.com, www.kbb.com, www.consumerreports.org)

2. 2010-2011 Acura ZDX          MSRP: $45,495

The ZDX is a trailblazer in styling, but the tapered rear end makes for a disappointing limit on cargo space, almost eliminating the crossover branding. However, it is the SH-AWD system that puts it back on the map. The 3.7L V6 will push out 300 hp but seems to drag upon acceleration. All in all, it is the interior and overall reliability that makes the ZDX worthy of its price tag. The 4-year/50,000 mile warranty may never be necessary thanks to a line of quality materials used in construction. The list of options are a tech-lover’s dream. (www.edmunds.com, www.consumerreports.org)

3. 2010-2011 Audi Q5          MSRP: $37,350

The Audi Drive Select system handles the AWD option better than most in its class, powered by a quick and responsive 3.2L V6 engine. “Most shoppers should find the Q5’s standard suspension, steering and transmission calibrations perfectly adequate. Compared to fellow compact luxury crossovers, the Q5’s handling is at the top of the heap, yet its ride will never beat you up.” The cargo space is only average, yet still better than others ranked higher in this class. Rear seat room is very adequate for all types of passengers. (www.edmunds.com, www.kbb.com)

4. 2010-2011 Ford Flex          MSRP: $33,600

As for cargo space, this is the top of the line. In all other areas, the Flex is a vehicle with very few faults. The 3.5L V6 engine is not as powerful as others in this class but its AWD is one of the most reliable around. Ford has worked hard to make sure that the Flex is one of the most technologically advanced vehicles on the road and they make it available for half the cost of some others with less technology. “The Ford Flex is rather unremarkable to drive, but it’s not offensive either. The ride is always comfortable – even with the bigger wheels.” (www.edmunds.com, www.kbb.com)

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