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The Top 6 All-Wheel Luxury Sedans for Winter Roads

Luxury Sedans

Heading out on the road? Consider this year’s best all-wheel drive luxury sedans

Like it or not, winter is upon us and it’s not going to be a pretty one. Ice and snow abound, but as all Canadians know, we still need to get around safely. While many have been quick to buy into the logic that an SUV or crossover are the be-all and end-all of winter vehicles, that’s simply not the case. Automakers in the luxury space got wise to the Canadian demand for traction, and all of the major players now have full-sized luxury sedans with all-wheel drive, capable of tackling our rough winters. Going this route will not only trim down your fuel bill, but even save you money on tires in the process. With that in mind, here is a look at our favorite all-wheel-drive luxury sedans in the category right now.

Genesis G90 AWD

Genesis G90 AWD

Genesis may not be the first brand to come to mind when thinking of luxury sedans, but it packs a mighty punch and has quietly been making an impact since it landed in North America a few years ago. The brand has been a standalone marque since 2015 as a spin off of Hyundai’s top-tier model. Now a full-fledged brand with four models under its banner, the G90 stands as its halo and is built to compete with other more recognizable brands on the road. Thanks to its hiring of ex-designers and engineers with a big history in the European luxury segment, the G90 entirely plays the part of a significantly lower price margin—especially since its 2020 redesign. The starting price of the AWD G90 5-litre V8 is a comparatively modest $89,750.

BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe

BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe

Seeking something a little more sporting in flavour? Look no further. The BMW M850 Gran Coupe AWD is about as close to a GT coupe in the category, though built with ample room for rear seat passengers. Shod in sticky performance tires for the summer, the M850 takes full advantage of its 523-horsepower twin-turbo engine. However like much of BMW’s Canadian lineup, it is offered with the brand’s slick all-wheel drive system. The real saving grace of BMW’s X-Drive is its ability to move power around when things get slippery. Only have one wheel with any kind of grip? That’s where the power will go, which is quite contrary to older, more conventional all-wheel-drive setups. The price of entry is steep at $122,100 before adding any options, but it’s one of the most entertaining drives here.

Porsche Taycan 4S

Porsche Taycan 4S

Touted as Porsche’s combatant to go to war against the ever-popular Tesla Model S, the Taycan takes on the general shooting brake styling of the Panamera and adds some slightly more futuristic curves. Using front and rear motors to deliver 522-horsepower, there’s little surprise this electrified highway rocket comes in all-wheel drive configuration. At least for now, Canadian variants can only be had with the Performance Battery Plus option, which raises the price of entry from $119,400 to $131,360, but in trade you get the aforementioned higher horsepower output, and a 0-100km/h time of only 4 seconds (0.3 seconds slower than the BMW, without consuming a drop of barrel-aged dino juice.) If range anxiety is on your mind, not to worry. The Taycan 4S can muster 463 kilometers on a single charge (407 if we ever get the smaller battery in the North.) Using the Volkswagen Group’s local charging network, equipped with 350kW chargers, the Taycan can pick up about 75-80 percent of its charge in as little as 22 and a half minutes.

Volvo S90

Volvo S90

As we approach the most modest price of entry thus far, there’s still so much to love about the Volvo S90, and really just about every Volvo in the brand’s current catalog. After a few iffy years back when the brand was acquired by Geely about a decade ago, significant investment and production refinement has led to a fantastic comeback for the Swedish luxury brand. The S90 is top of the crop in the Volvo lineup, starting off at $67,000 for the 316-horsepower T6 all-wheel drive variant. Competent handling, exceptional design from stem to stern, and one of the best infotainment systems on the market have helped the new Volvo carve out the same sort of cultish following as it had back in the 80s and 90s.

Mercedes-Benz 2021 S-Class

Mercedes-Benz 2021 S-Class

Revamped for 2021 and due on showroom floors sometime in Q1, the new S-Class sedan is larger, more luxurious, and more high tech than ever before. Its interior moves from its panorama-style instrument cluster and display to the large tablet format made popular by Tesla and refined by Volvo. To be offered in S500 and S580 guise, both will use a 48-volt mild hybrid drive system to improve on both performance and fuel economy. Many of the engine’s auxiliary systems (including its air conditioning compressor and turbocharger) will be driven electrically, stripping away a fair bit of drag from the engine and boosting that efficiency. As a final perk—a good one considering the volume of tech in the car—the new S-Class will be able to tackle any and all system software updates remotely over data, rather than forcing you to detour by the dealer. Its entry price is yet to be announced, but expect it to start a hair north of the outgoing 2020 model’s $109,000 sticker.

Lexus LS500

Lexus LS500

For the longest time, Lexus has held its place as the ‘in-between’ of luxury sedans. In the broad market, brands like BMW and Porsche would focus most on driving dynamics and fun from behind the wheel, and then roll in the luxury to suit the sticker price. Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar, and others (depending on the trim and spec of the car) would step forth luxury-first, and then dial in the chassis as to not be a rolling sofa. Lexus on the other hand always seems to play the Goldilocks role, in that it doesn’t necessarily ever win the category on either end of the spectrum, but instead comes out as a fantastic all-around luxury sedan with competent handling that can still make you smile. Add its bold and brash exterior design language and you’ve got a luxury sedan proposition with gobs of character. In the case of the $104,750 LS500h, you’re looking at a hybrid twin-turbo V6 with 416-horsepower, miles of legroom, and a beautifully styled interior. Word to the wise, if you’re not particularly tech-savvy, you will not be able to learn to love the Lexus infotainment system.

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