Finding an absolute winner when it comes to all-wheel drive systems can be extremely difficult, as various other factors such as engines, tires, weight and even the driver can prove just as important as the actual tech sending power to both axles.
However, the guys over at the SUV Battle YouTube channel did a good job getting all these direct rivals together and having them compete over a steep dirt incline.
The following SUVs were called upon to showcase what their all-wheel drive systems are capable of: the 2020 Audi Q8, 2019 Mercedes GLE, 2019 BMW X5, 2019 BMW X6, 2019 Volvo XC90, 2019 Lexus RX 350, 2019 Range Rover Sport and 2018 Audi Q7, plus a 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee.
Multiple runs were carried with most of these SUVs – except for the Grand Cherokee, but that’s alright seen as how it’s not quite a direct rival for all of the other models here.
In the end, they realized that having just one driver perform all the runs was a better way to benchmark the AWD systems, and the results were reasonably conclusive. It’s too bad they couldn’t get similarly-powered engines for all the vehicles. The Range Rover Sport had the most powerful engine, so there’s no surprise that it performed really well.
What was a bit surprising was seeing the BMW X5 struggling to climb up the hill, while the X6 performed much better, although different drivers were involved, so we’ve got to factor that in.
Other models that stood out, although not necessarily in a good way, were the Volvo XC90 and Lexus RX, both of which underperformed, especially the Lexus. Meanwhile, the Audi Q8 climbed the hill as if it was in the middle of filming a commercial for Audi’s quattro AWD system.