Love it or hate it, all-wheel-drive is becoming more and more common in everything from hatchbacks to supercars. Some purists bemoan the loss of handling finesse that such a layout usually entails, but unless you spend your days at a racetrack this is unlikely to make much of an impact on your driving experience.

Most motorists will be more interested in the fact that a 4WD layout provides additional grip and therefore enhanced safety in inclement weather conditions. Combined with a heightened ground clearance you can also take that family vacation without fear of getting stranded. The fuel consumption penalty for going 4WD has also been reduced drastically over the years thanks to more efficient designs.

Performance levels also tended to suffer from the additional drag of this setup, but many powerful modern cars actually benefit from the additional grip and post much faster acceleration times as a result. We have selected some of the best new saloons, estates and SUVs on the market that make the most of their 4WD systems and offer both practicality and performance for the modern family.

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