You just got that big job you were working hard to get, and you want to buy yourself something nice. Or, you still live in your parents' basement and you don't mind that three-quarters of your paycheck is blown on car payments. Whatever the reason that motivates you to purchase a little sports-luxury sedan, there is a lot a choice on the market.
However, more and more of these little marvels are offered with all-wheel drive hardware. These systems all have different names and promise to be the most capable in the white stuff. And since winter never seems to end here, an all-wheel drive sedan makes perfect sense.
But which one makes the most sense? And more importantly, which one offers the best system? Are you a talented pilot that regularly deactivates traction and stability control aids? Or, are you the kind of person that shuts his eyes and screams for mercy when the car starts to lose control?
In short, five of Auto123.com's testers put four luxury compact sedans through their paces, as we let them loose on the circuits of Mecaglisse to see how these cars and their electronic and mechanical systems respond to snow and ice surfaces. We also whipped them through a slalom course and performed acceleration tests on a partially-iced strip.
Last year, the BMW 335xi got the twin-turbo 3.0-liter engine that is also found in the coupes as well as in the 1- and 5-Series. The Cadillac CTS, totally redesigned this year, now offers all-wheel drive as an option. The Infiniti G35x was redone last year and is the only Japanese entry in this test. Last but not least, the new Mercedes-Benz C350 4MATIC completes the foursome.
Consider yourself warned: after adding up all the numbers, the final ranking is close; so close, in fact, that buying any one of these four machines will be a logical choice. But like in any competition, a winner must be crowned, so here's the result.
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