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Best AWD and 4×4 SUVs for 2022

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When you need extra traction, all-wheel drive (AWD) or four-wheel drive (4WD or 4×4) can be a good option. Both drivetrains supply power to the front and rear tires, which gives you better control. A 4×4 SUV is largely intended for off-road situations, but the best AWD SUVs can be especially useful for people who regularly drive through snow or rain. These drivetrains are also helpful if you live in a place where the roads are uneven or unpaved.

Best AWD SUVs for 2022
Model Score out of 5 Starting MSRP with AWD capability
2022 Hyundai Palisade 4.5 $34,850
2022 Kia Sorento 4.47 $34,390
2022 Honda CR-V 4.44 $27,900
Best 4×4 SUVs for 2022
Model Score out of 5 Starting MSRP with 4×4 capability
2022 Ford Bronco 4.27 $27,415
2022 Jeep Wrangler 4.05 $29,725
2022 Toyota 4Runner 4.05 $39,180

How we chose the best AWD and 4×4 SUVs

From a pool of the best SUVs, we took a closer look at models that offered AWD and 4×4 and ranked them based on expert and consumer reviews from Edmunds and Kelley Blue Book (KBB). We narrowed the list to the four best AWD SUVs and four best 4×4 SUVs. 

The best AWD SUVs

2022 Hyundai Palisade

$34,850 starting MSRP with AWD

The Hyundai Palisade offers AWD even on the base trim, so you don’t have to pay for an upgraded trim in order to get better traction. It can seat up to eight passengers, plus some cargo, and notably allows easy third-row access with one-touch sliding second-row seats. The standard V-6 engine is paired with the HTRAC All-Wheel Drive system that has off-road talents and grips on the road in slippery conditions. All models come with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, an 8-inch touch screen and five USB ports. The Palisade is equipped with standard active safety features, including automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, Safe Exit assist, smart cruise control and parking sensors.

2022 Kia Sorento

$34,390 starting MSRP with AWD

The midsize Kia Sorento offers all-wheel drive as an option on the even base trims of its gas-powered and hybrid models. Its standard engine is a four-cylinder that produces 191 horsepower, which is more than fine for daily driving. But buyers can upgrade to a turbocharged version that generates 281 horsepower or a turbocharged hybrid that gives 227 horsepower. All gas-powered trims come standard with seven-passenger seating, smartphone integration, an 8-inch touch screen and safety features like lane keep assist and driver attention warning.  Hybrid models only add to that, with upgrades like a standard 10.25-inch touch screen.

2022 Honda CR-V

$27,900 starting MSRP with AWD

The Honda CR-V is a solidly good SUV with a long reputation behind it. Its turbocharged four-cylinder engine produces a respectable 190 horsepower and achieves an AWD fuel efficiency of 27/32 city/highway MPG, but that can be bumped up with the available AWD hybrid powertrain. Standard features are sparse, but include active safety tech, Bluetooth connectivity and alloy wheels. 

Best 4×4 SUVs

2022 Ford Bronco

$27,415 starting MSRP with 4×4

Highly anticipated and well lauded, the Ford Bronco returned in 2021. It’s available in two or four-door configurations and here we focus on the smaller Bronco Sport, which is meant for off-roading. It comes standard with a 4×4 drivetrain; this combined with the 8.3 inches of ground clearance and the Goes Over Any Terrain system can help the Bronco represent its namesake, handling muddy, rocky, snowy and sandy terrain. The SUV is available in four trims. The base trim comes standard with smartphone integration, an 8-inch touch screen and active safety tech, including automatic emergency braking and a lane-keeping system.

2022 Jeep Wrangler

$29,725 starting MSRP with 4×4

From the tires up, the Jeep Wrangler is designed for driving off-road — 4×4 capability is not only standard but also comes in three flavors for you to choose: Command-Trac provides torque to all wheels — perfect for rock crawling and towing; Selec-Trac shifts power based on efficiency amidst weather conditions — perfect for driving in wet, icy and muddy conditions; and Rock-Trac adds locking differentials and a lower gear ratio. Inside, the cabin features are water-resistant and easy to clean. Out of 11 available trims, the base model is pretty spartan, including manual windows and locks, and cloth upholstery.  Upper trims add features.

2022 Toyota 4Runner

$39,180 starting MSRP with 4×4

This full-size SUV delivers off-road performance with a V-6 engine and part-time, 4WD system that’s available even on its base SR5 model. This lets you turn on the 4WD capacity when it’s needed. The top-of-the-line TRD Pro comes with multi-terrain select, which allows you to control wheel spin based on the driving condition and crawl control, automatically adjusting the speed and braking when navigating a difficult path. All models come with smartphone integration, an 8-inch touch screen, LED headlights, fog lights and the Toyota Safety Sense P suite, which equips the 4Runner with driver assistance technologies, including pre-collision warning with pedestrian detection and automatic high-beam headlights.

AWD vs. 4WD: What’s the difference?

An all-wheel drive (AWD) drivetrain sends power to the front and rear tires. This is different from a front-wheel drive vehicle, which supplies the power to just the tires in the front. Supplying power to all four tires improves traction and helps the driver stay in control — which is especially helpful if the weather is bad or the quality of the road has deteriorated.

Similarly, a four-wheel drive (4WD) sends power to both the front and rear tires. However, 4WD drivetrains are typically more robust than AWD systems — in other words, it may offer more power than you need. While 4WD is helpful when the roads are slick, it’s typically intended for more rigorous situations, such as off-roading. Vehicles with trail talents often offer locking rear differentials or even come with a solid rear axle to better distribute torque where there’s traction.

Ways to finance the best AWD SUVs

Before you buy a new AWD or 4×4 SUV, it’s a good idea to shop around for an auto loan. Having your financing in place before you buy a car can save money. Start with your bank, credit union or online lender, or fill out a single form at LendingTree: There, you can get up to five auto loan offers from lenders in just a few minutes, depending on your creditworthiness.


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