Winter Car Buyer’s Guide: AWD Without an SUV or Truck

Audi
All-wheel-drive is a big deal at Audi. In fact it's such a big deal that the company rolled out a modern day Quattro concept to celebrate the 30th anniversary of its Quattro all-wheel-drive system. As such, almost every car in the premium German brand's lineup is available with the system if it isn't standard. The only models that don't feature Quattro as standard equipment are the base A3, A4, and A6 models. Audi also offers several versions of Quattro, with various front/rear torque splits depending on the vehicle and, in some cases, a torque-vectoring rear-differential.

Audi's basic A3 hatchback comes standard with front-wheel-drive in both the 2.0T and TDI models. Buyers can opt for Quattro on the gasoline 2.0T model, but the TDI is front-wheel-drive only. Only A4s equipped with CVTs come with front-wheel-drive as opting for either the six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic includes Quattro automatically. The same is true of the A6, where only the base 3.2-liter engine with CVT comes with front-wheel-drive. The other available engines -- supercharged, 3.0-liter V-6, 4.2-liter V-8, and 5.2-liter V-10 -- come with Quattro standard.

The newest members of Audi's lineup -- A7 Sportback, redesigned A8, and R8 Spyder -- all come standard with all-wheel-drive as well.

A3 2.0T
Base price: $31,725
AWD cost: $2630 (vs. 2.0T FWD)
City/hwy mpg: 21/28
AWD penalty: 2 mpg hwy

A4 Sedan
Base price: $33,825
AWD cost: $1000 (vs. 2.0T Premium CVT)
City/hwy mpg: 21/29 (auto)
AWD penalty: 1 mpg city and hwy

A4 Avant
Base price: $36,815
AWD cost: standard
City/hwy mpg: 21/29
AWD penalty: N/A

S4
Base price: $47,475
AWD cost: standard
City/hwy mpg: 18/27, 18/28 (manual, auto)
AWD penalty: N/A

A5
Base price: $37,375
AWD cost: standard
City/hwy mpg: 21/31, 21/29 (manual, auto)
AWD penalty: N/A

S5 Coupe
Base price: $53,975
AWD cost: standard
City/hwy mpg: 14/22, 16/24 (manual, auto)
AWD penalty: N/A

S5 Cabriolet
Base price: $59,325
AWD cost: standard
City/hwy mpg: 17/26
AWD penalty: N/A

A6 Sedan
Base price: $51,075
AWD cost: $5000 (vs. 3.2 Premium FWD CVT)
City/hwy mpg: 18/26
AWD penalty: 3 mpg city/4 mpg hwy

A6 Avant
Base price: $54,185
AWD cost: standard
City/hwy mpg: 18/26
AWD penalty: N/A

S6
Base price: $76,975
AWD cost: standard
City/hwy mpg: 14/21
AWD penalty: N/A

A7 Sportback
Base price: $61,000 (est.)
AWD cost: standard
City/hwy mpg: 18/27 (est.)
AWD penalty: N/A

A8
Base price: $78,925
AWD cost: standard
City/hwy mpg: 17/27
AWD penalty: N/A

R8 Coupe
Base price: $115,450
AWD cost: standard
City/hwy mpg: 11/20, 13/21 (manual, auto)
AWD penalty: N/A

R8 Spyder (V-10)
Base price: $162,250
AWD cost: standard
City/hwy mpg: 12/19, 13/19 (manual, auto)
AWD penalty: N/A

TT Coupe
Base price: $39,175
AWD cost: standard
City/hwy mpg: 21/29
AWD penalty: N/A

TT Roadster
Base price: $41,175
AWD cost: standard
City/hwy mpg: 22/31
AWD penalty: N/A

TTS Coupe
Base price: $47,875
AWD cost: standard
City/hwy mpg: 21/29
AWD penalty: N/A

TTS Roadster
Base price: $50,875
AWD cost: standard
City/hwy mpg: 21/29
AWD penalty: N/A

gdoug
And, what about the Nissan Juke? I drove the AWD version. Neat little car, albeit a little quirky looking.
Phil Floraday moderator
Suzuki specifically calls the SX4 a crossover when it has awd. But we think it's a cool little vehicle.
robbase29a
What about the suzuki sx4?

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