For some people, all-wheel drive is a necessity when shopping for a new car.
While a two-wheel drive car with the right tires will usually have acceptable traction, there is really no replacing AWD. It can offer superior grip in slippery conditions and can also give you added confidence when driving in inclement weather.
SEE ALSO: Top 10 Best AWD Coupes
One downside to AWD is the added cost. Not only are AWD cars more expensive to buy, but they can also more expensive to maintain, as they have more moving parts, and they often consume more fuel. Finding a reasonably priced AWD car is important, then, but this isn’t always easy to do.
That’s where we come in. AutoGuide has compiled a list of its Top 10 Cheap AWD Cars and Crossovers for 2019. Our list will give you an idea of what some of the best affordable AWD vehicles on sale today are, leaving you armed with the knowledge to make a more confident buying decision.
Scroll down to see the list of the Top 10 Cheap AWD Cars and Crossovers.
The Best Cheap AWD Cars and Crossovers
The Jeep Compass isn’t the cheapest Jeep product on the market, but it’s only a few thousand dollars more than the comparable Jeep Renegade and is vastly superior than its younger brother, in our opinion. The cheapest Jeep Compass with AWD is the Sport 4×4, which is priced from $23,345 and comes with a 184 hp 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and six-speed manual transmission. A nine-speed automatic can also be tacked onto your order for $1,500.
The Subaru Legacy is an affordable mid-size sedan with standard symmetrical all-wheel drive. Priced from $22,545, it’s quite a lot of car for the money, offering up a good amount of passenger and cargo space and Subaru’s EyeSight suite of driver assist technologies as standard. It’s not a performer by any means, with a forgettable 175 hp 2.5-liter four-cylinder boxer serving as the base engine and a CVT being the only transmission option, but it’s affordable, practical and reliable. Hard to ask for more much than that at this price point.
While it may not be a very high-quality product, the Chevrolet Trax is cheap, and that’s why you came here, right? If your only two metrics are cheap and AWD, this is probably the vehicle for you, with prices starting at $23,445 for the LT AWD model. For that price, you get a 153-hp 1.4-liter turbocharged engine, a six-speed automatic transmission, and part-time AWD. We really do suggest shelling out a couple more grand for a superior product, however, as bumping the price up by just $2,000 to the $25,000 range can net you a vastly superior product such as a Mazda CX-5 or Subaru Forester.
If the Mazda CX-5 is too big or too expensive for you, you could always opt for its younger brother — the Mazda CX-3. The cheapest Mazda CX-3 with all-wheel drive is the Sport AWD, which starts at $21,790 and comes with a 148-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and six-speed automatic transmission. It has a similarly premium look and feel as the CX-5, although the CX-5 is still superior in this regard, in our opinion.
SEE ALSO: Mazda CX-3 Review
The second Subaru on our list is the Crosstrek. It’s hard to ignore the Crosstrek due to its standard symmetrical all-wheel-drive system, low price tag of $21,895, and efficient powertrain, which consists of a 2.0-liter Boxer four-cylinder and CVT transmission. Like the Subaru Legacy, the Crosstrek isn’t a very fast, sporty or exciting vehicle, but it’s very capable compared to other compact crossovers and also very well-priced.
The Honda HR-V is a direct rival to the Mazda CX-3 and offers similar equipment for a similar price. The cheapest HR-V will AWD is the Sport AWD, which starts at $23,620 and comes with a 141-hp 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine and CVT transmission. This is slightly more money than the CX-3, mainly because you cannot get AWD with the entry-level LX model, you instead have to opt for the better-equipped Sport.
ALSO SEE: Top 5 Best AWD Hatchbacks: 2019
The Hyundai Kona is a newer entry into the subcompact crossover segment, but it’s also one of the strongest. The cheapest available model with AWD is the SE with AWD, which starts at $21,390, which comes with a 147 hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and six-speed automatic transmission. AWD is also available to add to any trim level for just $1,400.
Nissan Rogue Sport
The Nissan Rogue Sport, also sold as the Nissan Qashqai in Canada and elsewhere, is one of the cheapest compact AWD SUVs you can buy, with prices starting at $23,690 for the least expensive AWD version — the Rogue Sport S AWD. For that price, you get a 141-hp four-cylinder engine, a CVT automatic transmission, and part-time AWD. It’s not a bad deal at all, especially when you consider that this is essentially the same price as the smaller and older Chevrolet Trax.
VW Golf SportWagen 4Motion
The VW Golf Sportwagen 4Motion is one of our favorite cars on sale today. With a spacious cabin, sporty-feeling chassis, punchy turbocharged 1.8-liter engine, refined ride, mature looks, and all-wheel drive, there’s almost nothing to dislike with this clever package. Prices start at $24,395, which isn’t that cheap for a smaller vehicle, but a wagon will usually prove its worth. You can also opt for the more capable Golf AllTrack, if you want, which starts at $26,895.
Completing our list is the cheapest AWD car on sale in North America – the Subaru Impreza.
A lot like the Golf SportWagen 4Motion, there’s not much to dislike about the Impreza. It offers a 2.0-liter four-cylinder Boxer engine, a CVT transmission, and standard symmetrical AWD for just $18,595, making it the perfect value proposition for anyone who values AWD. It’s also available in sedan and hatchback bodystyles, so whether you prefer having four doors or five, there’s an Impreza out there for you. It’s not very fast, but the chassis is great and the Impreza offers a lot of value.