All-wheel drive (AWD) cars provide great security and confidence – and a bit of off-road capability. But AWD cars can also be pricey compared to front-wheel drive (FWD) or rear-wheel drive (RWD) models. Buying used can solve this problem.

Which used AWD cars are the best? This list of the Top 3 Best Used AWD cars includes models receiving a “Top Safety Pick” from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), and positive reviews from Edmunds, Consumer Reports and other sources.

  • Audi A6 (2005-2009) – Redesigned in 2005, the midsize Audi A6 features “solid performance, an excellent Audi_A6_front_20071011cabin, and reasonable pricing,” says Edmunds, which also hails its all-wheel drive offered on all trim levels. With 3.1-liter V-6 and 4.2-liter V-8 power, the A6 “Quattro all-wheel drive system affords it prodigious grip around turns that makes spirited driving that much more fun.” A6 received Edmunds 2008 Consumers Top Rated pick in sedans from $25,000-35,000.
  • BMW 3-Series (2007-2009) – Another midsize, the BMW 3-Series, redesigned in 2007 has “near perfect vehicle dynamics, potent and refined engines… our favorite entry-level luxury car,” says Edmunds, but it’s also “pricey” and there’s “not much interior space.” Edmunds’ editors highlight the 3-Series on numerous lists, including the 2007 Editors Most Wanted, 2009 Consumers Top Rated and Lowest True Cost to Own under $45,000. Car and Driver again lauds the BMW 3-Series on its 2009 10 Best Cars, an accolade (10 Best) the car has achieved for 18 consecutive years. The 3-Series also makes the magazine’s 2009 Editor’s Choice in Entry Luxury.

Also worth a look: Acura RL, Audi A3 and A5, Ford Fusion, Infiniti G35x, Lexus GS 350 and IS 250, Lincoln MKZ, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Saab 9-3 Sport Combi xWD, Subaru Legacy, Impreza, and Outback, and Volvo S60 and S80 T6 AWD.

By Suzanne Kane

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