All-wheel drive is gaining traction among car buyers looking for safer handling, and as well for those shopping for crossovers and luxury vehicles.

Almost a third of all new vehicles sold through September of this year in the US had four-wheel drive. That’s up 5 percentage points for the same period just five years ago, according to Southfield-based Polk, an automotive market research firm.

The growth in all-wheel-drive sales is due in part to the increasing popularity of crossovers, said Tom Libby, lead analyst for North American forecasting with Polk.

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FACTOID: Almost One Third Of All Cars Sold This Year Had 4WD Or AWD

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