BMW X5 M xDrive driving on snow with AWD

The 6 Best All-Wheel-Drive BMW Models of 2024

Ever heard of all-wheel-drive, or AWD for short?

It’s a system that ensures you have as much traction as possible when accelerating, especially when the roads are slippery.

BMW’s own version of AWD is called xDrive, and it’s really clever.

Here are the six best all-wheel-drive BMW models:

  1. BMW X5 xDrive40i
  2. BMW 340i xDrive
  3. BMW M5
  4. BMW X3 M
  5. BMW X7 xDrive40i
  6. BMW M140i xDrive

Let’s take a closer look at them!

6 Best all-wheel-drive (AWD) BMW Models

Let’s check out some of the top AWD models that BMW offers!

1. BMW X5 xDrive40i

AWD BMW X5 40i dark blue

One of the best AWD BMW models is the BMW X5!

Remember the xDrive we talked about earlier? This is where it shines. The X5 uses xDrive to make sure power is balanced between the front and rear wheels.

And the X5 isn’t just any SUV; it’s branded as an SAV – Sports Activity Vehicle.


Because BMW wanted to emphasize that this beauty can do more than your average SUV; it’s like an athlete who’s also great at academics!

For example, it can be almost a second faster from 0 to 62 mph compared to a Porsche Cayenne!

2. BMW 340i xDrive

AWD BMW 3 Series G20

The BMW 3 Series is like the Swiss Army Knife of the automotive world – it’s got something for everyone.

Engines in the 3 Series range from four to six cylinders, and they’re all about that perfect balance between oomph and efficiency. But if you’re into tinkering with your car for even more power, the 340i xDrive model is a gem for tuning.

The 3 Series is packed with tech that makes driving a joy. Fancy a big screen with navigation, Apple CarPlay, ambient lighting, and even gesture control? It’s got it. (But before you get one, make sure to learn about all its pros and cons.)

Before we wrap up the 3 Series, did you know it has some secret features up its sleeve? For example, did you know you can roll down the windows with your key? You can find more hidden features here!

3. BMW M5

AWD BMW M5 F90 Competition red

The BMW M5 was one of the first cars to prove that a sedan could be as fast as a sports car, and its all-wheel-drive system was a significant part of that achievement!

It is equipped with M xDrive, the M5’s special AWD system.

This AWD system is designed to handle the M5’s insane power and ensures your car sticks to the road like it’s on a mission.

To illustrate, the M5 can go from 0 to 60 mph in just over three seconds. That’s quicker than it took you to read this fun fact!

M xDrive also has a trick up its sleeve – you can switch it to 2WD mode for some rear-wheel-drive fun! It’s like having two cars in one.

The M5 is basically a rocket with comfy seats.

Under the hood, you’ll find a twin-turbo V8 engine that’s as fierce as a lion. The M5 F90, in particular, is a monster with over 600 horsepower.

Don’t believe us? It’s in our list of the 12 best turbocharged BMWs ever made!

And for those who like to tinker, the M5 is also super mod-friendly. There are tons of performance upgrades and accessories you can add to make your M5 even more unique.

4. BMW X3 M

AWD BMW X3 M Competition blue

The BMW X3 M is one of the few performance SUVs that can genuinely hold its own on a race track.

Like the M5, it’s got the M xDrive, which makes sure that no matter how much power you’re putting down, the X3 M stays glued to the road.

Plus, it smartly distributes the power between the wheels, so whether you’re weaving through twisty roads or tackling rough terrains, the X3 M makes it seem effortless.

Under the hood, there’s a turbocharged six-cylinder engine that means serious business. It’s quick, it’s powerful, and it sounds amazing.

There’s also plenty of tech, with a large infotainment screen, head-up display, and all kinds of driver assistance systems.

And let’s not forget – this is an SUV. That means lots of space for your friends, family, and everything you need for an adventure!

5. BMW X7 xDrive40i

BMW X7 xDrive G07

The BMW X7 is the king of BMW’s SUV lineup, and its AWD system is fit for royalty.

Equipped with xDrive, the X7’s AWD is all about giving you a ride as smooth as silk and as stable as a rock. The xDrive system continuously adjusts power distribution between the front and rear wheels, ensuring optimal traction and control.

Whether you’re cruising down the highway, venturing off-road, or navigating through rain, the X7 makes you feel like you’re riding on a cloud.

The X7 isn’t just big; it’s grand. Inside, it’s like a five-star hotel on wheels.

With three rows of seats, there’s room for the whole entourage. The seats? Oh, they’re heated, ventilated, and massage you. Yes, they massage you.

It even features a Sky Lounge Panoramic glass roof. At night, it has over 15,000 illuminated graphic patterns!

It’s not just a luxury SUV; it’s also one of the most expensive BMW models. Curious to see where it ranks? Check out our list of the 18 most expensive BMW models to find out!

6. BMW M140i xDrive

BMW 1 Series xDrive driving through snow and ice

Next up is the BMW 1 Series, and especially the model illustrated below, the M140i xDrive.

This thing can turn into a rocket ship with the right tuning and the AWD system!

BMW M140i xDrive 1 Series

The M140i xDrive is a hot hatch with a hint of a supercar in its DNA.

It’s got a straight-six engine that’s turbocharged for maximum fun. Stock, it’ll go from 0 to 60 mph in around 4.5 seconds, which is pretty impressive.

But you can tune this pocket rocket to shave off even more time. With some upgrades to the engine, turbo, and exhaust, it’s possible to bring that 0 to 60 time down to under four seconds!

And despite its compactness and sporty nature, the M140i xDrive is pretty practical. It’s got a spacious boot and enough room in the back for your friends or family.

How do you find the best BMW AWD model for you?

Alright, so we’ve been through some amazing AWD BMWs, and we bet you’re itching to get behind the wheel of one.

But which one is the perfect match for you? Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered!

First things first, ask yourself what you need the car for. Are you looking for something sporty like the M140i xDrive to zip through city streets? Or do you need a family-friendly option with room for everyone and their stuff, like the X7?

Maybe you want a blend of performance and practicality, so the X3 M might be your choice.

Keep in mind that your dream BMW should also be friendly to your wallet. Set a budget and stick to it. If you’re on a tighter budget, the 1 Series might be more your speed, while if you’re looking to splash out, the X7 or M5 could catch your eye.

BMW M5 competition red rear

Here comes the fun part!

Head to a BMW dealership and take your shortlisted models for a test drive. There’s nothing like actually driving the car to see if it’s the right fit. Notice how it feels, how it drives, and if it puts a smile on your face.

Lastly, trust your instincts. Sometimes, the best choice is the one that just feels right. If a certain BMW calls out to you, it might just be the one.

How does BMW’s AWD and xDrive system work?

If you’re considering getting a BMW with AWD, you might wonder how the system works.

Let’s start simple.

xDrive is BMW’s version of an all-wheel-drive system.

In the most straightforward terms, it ensures that all four wheels of your car can receive power from the engine. This differs from the traditional rear-wheel-drive setup in which only the rear wheels are powered.

Now, what makes xDrive really cool is that it doesn’t just distribute power evenly to all wheels.

If it senses that you need more grip in the front, it will send more power there. If the rear wheels need more, it sends it back. It happens in milliseconds, so you probably won’t notice anything except how awesome your car handles.

When venturing onto rougher terrain, xDrive adjusts to ensure that power is sent to the wheels with the most grip.

BMW X3 xDrive driving off road with all-wheel-drive

BMW xDrive isn’t just about offroad safety and stability; it’s also about performance.

When you’re driving enthusiastically (you know you will), xDrive ensures that the car’s handling is sharp and responsive. It can even allow a bit of rear-wheel bias for that sporty feel, especially in the M models!

All-wheel-drive vs. rear-wheel-drive

Okay, let’s discuss a classic car debate: All-Wheel-Drive (AWD) vs. Rear-Wheel-Drive (RWD).

It’s like choosing between chocolate and vanilla ice cream – both are amazing, but they offer different flavors of driving.

Traction and control

  • AWD: Imagine AWD as a friendly octopus holding onto the road with all its tentacles. It sends power to all four wheels, which can be especially helpful in slippery conditions like rain, snow, or gravel. More wheels getting power equals more grip.
  • RWD: RWD, on the other hand, is like a pair of strong arms pushing the car forward. It only sends power to the rear wheels. This means in slippery conditions, you might not have as much grip as AWD.

Handling and feel

  • AWD: AWD systems, especially sophisticated ones like BMW’s xDrive, can offer a very balanced and secure feel. The car feels planted, and you can usually take corners more confidently.
  • RWD: RWD is loved by driving purists for a reason. It offers a very connected and engaging driving experience. The car can feel more agile, and there’s something thrilling about the rear wheels pushing you through corners.


  • AWD: AWD can help with accelerating off the line quickly. Because power is going to all the wheels, it translates to faster 0 to 60 times. It’s like having four friends helping you push a heavy box instead of two.
  • RWD: While RWD might not offer the same launch control, enthusiasts often consider it more fun. Plus, in high-performance cars, it allows for some tail-happy antics like drifting.

Weight and fuel efficiency

  • AWD: The AWD system adds some extra pounds to the car because of the additional components. This can sometimes mean it’s not as fuel-efficient.
  • RWD: RWD systems are typically lighter, sometimes meaning better fuel efficiency and a more nimble feel.


  • AWD: More components in the AWD system can mean slightly higher maintenance costs.
  • RWD: RWD systems are generally simpler and cheaper to maintain in the long run.

FAQs about AWD BMWs

Do you have any more questions about all-wheel-drive BMWs? If so, take a look at these FAQs:

Does BMW have a good AWD system?

BMW’s AWD system, known as xDrive, is one of the best AWD systems. It’s intelligent, adaptable, and really knows how to handle itself on the road. xDrive constantly adjusts power between the front and rear wheels, making sure you have the best traction and control in all kinds of conditions.

What is the best BMW xDrive?

The best BMW xDrive is the version that’s equipped on some M cars, like the BMW M5. The BMW M xDrive is the most technologically advanced and can even turn fully rear-wheel-drive if you want it to!

Is xDrive or quattro better?

The main difference between xDrive and quattro is that xDrive is known for its dynamic and adaptable nature, while quattro is renowned for its stability and constant power distribution to all four wheels.

Is xDrive better than AWD?

xDrive is an AWD system, but it’s BMW’s special version.


And just like that, we’ve reached the finish line!

From the versatile X5 to the agile 1 Series M140i xDrive, there’s a BMW with AWD for every taste.

Now it’s your turn to grab the keys, hit the open road, and write your own BMW adventure. Safe travels, and may every journey be as exciting as the destination!

More BMW model lists

Interested in other interesting lists about BMW models? Find them here!

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