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

December 7, 2010
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You don't need a high-riding SUV or crossover to get the winter traction benefits of four-wheel drive. There are myriad sedans, wagons, coupes, and even convertibles that offer four-wheel drive (usually called all-wheel drive in passenger cars) either as standard or optional equipment. We've gathered up a complete list of AWD passenger cars; the list is long and the choices are many. Although the advantages of four driven wheels are obvious in slippery road conditions, the technology comes at a cost. There is usually a cost premium associated with all-wheel drive, and sometimes a fuel economy penalty as well. So for each car listed we've indicated the extra cost of the all-wheel-drive option, or the cost differential compared with the equivalent two-wheel-drive model, as well as its EPA gas mileage ratings, and the fuel economy penalty versus the two-wheel-drive version of the same car.
2011 Acura RL Side View
Acura
Acura's flagship RL may be often forgotten about, but it certainly belongs on this list as it comes standard with Acura's superb Super Handling All-Wheel-Drive (SH-AWD). SH-AWD can shuffle power, not only between the front- and rear-wheels, but also between the rear wheels themselves. Acura claims it was the first company to debut such a system in North America on the 2005 RL, but the technology, and variations of it, has proliferated to a number of automakers over the last five years. Unlike a number of other systems that use selective braking to simulate a torque-vectoring rear-diff, Acura uses a real mechanical linkage. The system might have been introduced on the 2005 RL, but trickled down to the TL when it was redesigned in 2009.
RL
Base price: $48,000 (est.)
AWD cost: standard
Cit/Hwy: 17/24
AWD penalty: N/A
TL
Base price: $39,715
AWD cost: $3550
Cit/Hwy: 17/20
AWD penalty: 1 mpg city and hwy
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.
2011 Audi A3 Three Quarters
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
Bentley
Those lucky (wealthy) enough to afford Bentleys will likely have an alternative daily driver for the snowy months, but could tackle the white powder with confidence in any of Bentley's Continental models. Bentley split its new Continental lineup by offering the new coupe alongside the current GTC convertible and Flying Spur sedan. All three however, feature a similar powertrain setup: twin-turbo, 6.0-liter W-12, six-speed auto, and all-wheel-drive -- the perfect combo for controlled slides in winter conditions should you be brave enough to take your $180,000+ luxo-machine out in the slush and salt.
2011 Bentley Continental GT Front View
Continental GT
Base price: $189,900
AWD cost: standard
City/hwy mpg: TBD
AWD penalty: N/A
Continental GTC
Base price: $205,600
AWD cost: standard
City/hwy mpg: 11/18
AWD penalty: N/A
Continental Flying Spur
Base price: $181,200
AWD cost: standard
City/hwy mpg: 11/18
AWD penalty: N/A
Continental Supersports/Supersports Convertible
Base price: $267,000/$280,400
AWD cost: standard
City/hwy mpg: 12/19
AWD penalty: N/A
BMW
The first thing you think of when you hear BMW may well be rear-wheel-drive, drivers' cars. That's true for the most part, but the brand does offer a number of all-wheel-drive cars for those of us in the Snowbelt. BMW used to only offer its xDrive all-wheel-drive system on sedans and wagons, but expanded it to coupes in 2007 when it redesigned the current 3-series. BMW now offers all-wheel-drive as an option throughout its 3-series, 5-series, and 7-series lineups, with the exception of the base 5- and 7-series and the V-12 7-series.
2011 BMW 335is Coupe Hp
328i xDrive Coupe
Price: $39,475
AWD cost: $1900 (vs. 328i Coupe)
City/hwy mpg: 17/25, 17/26 (manual, auto)
AWD penalty: 1 mpg city/3 mpg hwy, 1 mpg city/2 mpg hwy (manual, auto)
328i xDrive Sedan
Price: $36,525
AWD cost: $2000 (vs. 328i Sedan)
City/hwy mpg: 17/25, 17/26 (manual, auto)
AWD penalty: 1 mpg city/3 mpg hwy, 1 mpg city/ 2 mpg hwy (manual, auto)
328i xDrive Wagon
Price: $39,075
AWD cost: $2000 (vs. 328i Wagon)
City/hwy mpg: 17/25, 17/26 (manual, auto)
AWD penalty: 1 mpg hwy, 1 mpg city and hwy (manual, auto)
335i xDrive Coupe
Base price: $45,925
AWD cost: $1900 (vs. 335i Coupe)
City/hwy mpg: 19/26, 18/27 (manual, auto)
AWD penalty: 2 mpg hwy, 1 mpg city and hwy (manual, auto)
335i xDrive Sedan
Base Price: $43,975
AWD cost: $2000 (vs. 335i Sedan)
City/hwy mpg: 19/26, 18/27 (manual, auto)
AWD penalty: 2 mpg hwy, 1 mpg city and hwy (manual, auto)
535i xDrive
Base price: $52,775
AWD cost: $2000 (vs. 535i)
City/hwy mpg: 19/29 (auto only)
AWD penalty: 1 mpg city and hwy (auto)
550i xDrive
Base price: $62,875
AWD cost: $2300 (vs. 550i)
City/hwy mpg: 16/24 (auto only)
AWD penalty: 1 mpg city and hwy (auto)
535i xDrive Gran Turismo
Base price: $59,175
AWD cost: $2300 (vs. 535i Gran Turismo)
City/hwy mpg: 19/27
AWD penalty: 1 mpg city/3 mpg hwy
550i xDrive Gran Turismo
Base price: $67,075
AWD cost: $2300 (vs. 550i Gran Turismo)
City/hwy mpg: 15/22
AWD penalty: None
750i/750Li xDrive
Base price: $87,675/$91,575
AWD cost: $3000 (vs. 750i/750Li)
City/hwy mpg: 14/20
AWD penalty: 1 mpg city/2 mpg hwy (750i, 750Li)
Buick
It looked likely that Buick was going to add a second all-wheel-drive car to its lineup later this year with the announcement that the Regal GS is going into production. However, the production car loses its all-wheel-drive setup in favor of General Motors' High-Performance struts, thus Buick carries on with one all-wheel-drive car in its lineup, the LaCrosse. Interestingly, the all-wheel-drive model isn't the top-of-the-line LaCrosse, but rather the mid-model as the highest trim level, CXS, is front-wheel-drive only.
2011 Buick LaCrosse Front Three Quarter View
LaCrosse CXL AWD
Base Price: $33,820
AWD cost: $2005 (vs. CXL 3.6 FWD)
City/hwy mpg: 16/26
AWD penalty: 1 mpg city and hwy
Cadillac
GM has truly been trying to transform Cadillac into the "Standard of the World" again as of late by introducing a number of CTS variants along with other planned models. One way in which Cadillac needed to expand in order to better compete with the likes of BMW was by adding all-wheel-drive options to some of its cars. Cadillac nearly emulated BMW in its AWD execution, adding the system to every available CTS model (a là BMW's 3-series) and the majority of its STS lineup (BMW 5-series).
2011 Cadillac CTS V Coupe Side
CTS Coupe
Base price: $40,890
AWD cost: $1900
City/hwy mpg: 17/26
AWD penalty: None
CTS Sedan (3.0/3.6)
Base price: $39,190/$44,290
AWD cost: $3200/$1900
City/hwy mpg: 18/26, 18/27 (3.0, 3.6)
AWD penalty: None
CTS Sport Wagon (3.0/3.6)
Base price: $40,990/$46,090
AWD cost: $1900 (both)
City/hwy mpg: 18/26 (both)
AWD penalty: 1 mpg hwy, None (3.0, 3.6)
STS
Base price: $50,400
AWD cost: $2295
City/hwy mpg: 18/27
AWD penalty: None
Chrysler
Chrysler is about to update the rear-wheel-drive 300 and the awd options will likely mirror those of the 2011 Dodge Charger. Until Chrysler drops the official info on the 2011 (or 2012) 300, we're giving you the specs for the 2010 cars you might still find on dealer lots.
2011 Chrysler 300 Passenger Three Quarters
300
Price: $34,700/$38,980/$40,800 (Touring/Limited/300C)
AWD cost: $6690/$2305/$2040 (vs. RWD Touring/Limited/300C)
City/Hwy MPG: 17/23, 16/23 (V-6, V-8)
AWD penalty: 2 mpg hwy (all)
Dodge
Dodge is in the midst of Chrysler Group and Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne's product march, having just unveiled the new-for-2011 Charger. It sports new sheetmetal, an upgraded interior, and, what we care most about here, revised powertrains. Dodge ditched both V-6s previously offered in favor of the new 3.6-liter, Pentastar V-6. However, along with the old V-6s went the all-wheel-drive option on the V-6. Dodge now only offers AWD on the Hemi-powered R/T model.
2011 Dodge Charger Front Three Quarters
Charger R/T
Base price: $30,995
AWD cost: $2150
City/hwy mpg: N/A
AWD penalty: N/
Ford
It's somewhat of a mystery why we don't hear more about Ford's all-wheel-drive sedan offerings, given that the Fusion, with the option to drive all four wheels, is rather unique in the mid-size sedan segment. AWD is offered on the Fusion, along with the Taurus full-size sedan, starting on the SEL trim level. Ford's 365-horsepower Taurus SHO, however, comes standard with AWD.
2011 Ford Fusion Front Three Quarter In Motion
Fusion
Base price: $28,990
AWD cost: $1850
City/hwy mpg: 18/26
AWD penalty: 2 mpg city and hwy
Taurus
Base price: $30,045
AWD cost: $1850
City/hwy mpg: 17/25
AWD penalty: 1 mpg city/3 mpg hwy
Honda
Honda offers a plethora of all-wheel-drive vehicles, but most of them are crossovers. Last year, the Japanese company introduced its sole AWD car offering in the form of the Accord Crosstour. The same is true this year with AWD an option on the uplevel EX-L Crosstour trims.
2011 Honda Accord Crosstour Front View
Accord Crosstour
Base price: $34,800
AWD cost: $1550
City/hwy mpg: 18/26
AWD penalty: 1 mpg hwy
Infiniti
Like Cadillac, Infiniti is working to expand its lineup to truly go toe-to-toe with the Germans -- specifically BMW. It introduced a number of new models, including the M37, M56, and G25, all of which are available with all-wheel-drive. Infinti's G37 coupe and sedan are still offered with all-wheel-drive as well, although with all G models, buyers have to spring for the uplevel Journey trim to get AWD. This adds dual-zone climate control, heated sideview mirrors, heated front seats, an eight-way power passenger seat, Bluetooth, and a rearview camera. It's also of note that the only transmission available with AWD G models is Infiniti's seven-speed automatic.
2011 Infiniti G25 Front Three Quarters In Motion
G25x Sedan
Base price: $34,825
AWD cost: $1600 (vs. G25 Journey)
City/hwy mpg: 19/27
AWD penalty: 1 mpg city/2 mpg hwy
G37x Sedan
Base price: $37,525
AWD cost: $1600 (vs. G37 Journey)
City/hwy mpg: 18/25
AWD penalty: 1 mpg city/2 mpg hwy
G37x Coupe
Base price: $40,025
AWD cost: $1650 (vs. G37 Journey Coupe)
City/hwy mpg: 18/25
AWD penalty: 1 mpg city/2 mpg hwy
M37x
Base price: $49,525
AWD cost: $2150
City/hwy mpg: 17/24
AWD penalty: 1 mpg city/2 mpg hwy
M56x
Base price: $61,275
AWD cost: $2500
City/hwy mpg: 16/23
AWD penalty: 2 mpg hwy
Lamborghini
Lamborghini introduced all-wheel-drive in 1993 with its Diablo VT and it's at least been an option ever since. In recent years however, it's become a Lamborghini staple as it's standard on every Lambo with the exception of the Gallardo LP 550-2 Valentino Balboni edition. Although Lamborghini owners have the assurance of all-wheel-drive, insurance companies might frown upon the use of a $200,000+ supercar in the slippery white stuff. Lamborghini's Murcièlago is dead for the 2011 model year, set to be replaced sometime next year.
1003 Z 10+2011 Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera Lp570 4+front Three Quarter View
Gallardo
Base price: $201,000
AWD cost: standard (except LP 550-2, which starts at $219,800)
City/hwy mpg: 12/20, 13/20 (manual, auto)
AWD penalty: N/A
Lexus
Lexus sells five sedans, and three of them are available with AWD, the ES and HS being the only models unable to be paired with the feature. Unlike last year, Lexus now offers its IS350 sedan with AWD, along with its IS250 sedan. As expected its IS convertibles aren't available with AWD, and, sadly, the high-power IS F remains RWD only. The midsize GS sedan come with the choice between three powertrain options, hybrid, V-8 and V-6, the latter being the only available with AWD. Lexus' full-size LS model is available with AWD on both its standard and long wheel base models powered by a standard gasoline engine, but AWD is standard on the Hybrid LS600h L.
1001 10 Z+2010 Lexus GS350+front Three Quarter View
IS250/IS350 AWD
Price: $36,650/$41,905
AWD cost: $2460 both
City/Hwy mpg: 20/27, 18/25 (IS250/IS350)
AWD penalty: 1 mpg city/3 mpg hwy, 2 mpg city and hwy (IS250, IS350)
GS350 AWD
Price: $48,825
AWD cost: $1950
City/Hwy MPG: 18/25 mpg
AWD penalty: 1 mpg city and hwy
LS460/LS460L AWD
Price: $68,560/$74,105
AWD cost: $2305 both
City/Hwy MPG: 16/23 both
AWD penalty: 1 mpg hwy both
LS600hL
Price: $109,675
AWD cost: standard
City/Hwy MPG: 19/23
AWD penalty: N/A
Lincoln
Lincoln currently sells three sedans, two of which are available with AWD, the other being the soon-to-disappear Town Car. As for the MKS, AWD is an $1890 option, but comes standard on the EcoBoost-equipped model. MKZ customers can also expect to pay an extra $1890 when checking the box for AWD.
2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid Front Three Quarter
MKS AWD
Price: $43,985
AWD cost: $1890 (vs. base MKS)
City/Hwy MPG: 16/23
AWD penalty: 1 mpg city and hwy
MKS EcoBoost
Price: $48,985
AWD cost: standard
City/Hwy MPG: 17/25
AWD penalty: N/A
MKZ
Price: $37,070
AWD cost: $1890
City/Hwy MPG: 17/24
AWD penalty: 1 mpg city/3 mpg hwy
Mercedes-Benz
The 2011 model year marks 25 years of Mercedes-Benz offering its AWD system on its vehicles. Appropriately dubbed 4Matic, all the automaker's vehicles available with AWD are also paired with an automatic transmission. Mercedes offers AWD as an option on most of its passenger cars, but customers considering the German automaker's only wagon are forced into the driveline. We're not complaining one bit.
2011 Mercedes Benz CL550 4matic Driver Front Three Quarters
C300 4Matic
Price: $38,365/$38,775 (C300 Sport/Lux)
AWD cost: $3500/$2000 (vs. base C300 Sport/Lux)
City/Hwy MPG: 18/25 (C300 Sport and Lux)
AWD penalty: 1 mpg hwy
CL550
Price: $112,575
AWD cost: standard
City/Hwy MPG: 14/21
AWD penalty: N/A
E350/E550 4Matic sedan
Price: $52,775/$60,475 (E350/E550)
AWD cost: $2500 both (vs. E350/E550)
City/Hwy MPG: 17/24 (E350), 15/23 (E550)
AWD penalty: None (E350/E550)
E350 4Matic Wagon
Price: $57,075
AWD cost: standard
City/Hwy MPG: 16/23
AWD penalty: N/A
S550 4Matic
Price: $97,875
AWD cost: $3000 (vs. S550)
City/Hwy MPG: 14/21
AWD penalty: no penalty
Mitsubishi
In their first and second generation, Mitsubishi Eclipses were available with AWD, but only when the top-end GSX trim was chosen. Although AWD is no longer an option for the Eclipse, it is standard equipment on the sporty Lancer Ralliart and Evolution sedans. With settings for tarmac, gravel, and snow, the AWD system offered on these sedans is ready for nearly any road surface you'll encounter.
1001 02 Z+2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart+front Three Quarter View
Lancer Ralliart
Price: $28,255
AWD cost: standard
City/Hwy MPG: 17/25
AWD penalty: N/A
Lancer Evolution
Price: $34,755/$37,995 (GSR/MR)
AWD cost: standard
City/Hwy MPG: 17/23 (GSR); 17/22 (MR)
AWD penalty: N/A
Nissan
Nissan's sole AWD passenger car driveline is attached to its 485 horsepower GT-R. The advanced AWD system allows even 50/50 torque splits, 100 percent rear bias and everything in between. At no additional cost, a cold-weather package can be added, consisting of all-weather tires, darker wheels, and a coolant mix optimized for colder climates. The quick flip of a toggle switch will put the transmission into snow mode, offering smoother shifts and gentle starts.
1007 19+2011 Nissan GT R+front Three Quarter View
GT-R
Price: $85,060
AWD cost: N/A
City/Hwy MPG: 15/21
AWD Penalty: N/A
Porsche
Porsche offers four passenger cars, but only two of which are available with AWD, its 911 and Panamera. In its final year of production, the 997 series 911 is available in 20 different sub-models, with over half built with standard AWD. Porsche's first sedan on the other hand is available with AWD on the base and S trims, while the Turbo model comes only with AWD.
1007 15+2009 Porsche 911 Carrera S+front Three Quarter View
911 Carrera 4
Price: $85,050/$96,050 (coupe/Cabriolet)
AWD cost: $6300 (vs. Carrera)
City/Hwy MPG: 18/26, 18/24 (auto, manual)
AWD penalty: 1 mpg city, 1 mpg hwy (auto)
911 Carrera 4S
Price: $97,750/$108,750 (coupe/Cabriolet)
AWD cost: $6300 (vs. Carrera S)
City/Hwy MPG: 18/26, 18/25 (coupe - auto, manual); 18/27, 18/25 (Cabriolet - auto, manual)
AWD penalty: 1 mpg city (coupe, auto); 1 mpg city, 1 mpg better on hwy (Cabriolet, auto)
911 Targa
Price: $93,050/$105,750 (Targa 4/Targa 4S)
AWD cost: standard
City/Hwy MPG: 18/26, 18/25 (Targa 4- auto, manual); 18/27, 18/25 (Targa 4S - auto, manual)
AWD penalty: N/A
911 Turbo
Price: $136,450/$147,750 (coupe/Cabriolet)
AWD cost: standard
City/Hwy MPG: 16/24, 17/25 (coupe - manual, auto); 16/24, 16/24 (Cabriolet - manual, auto)
AWD penalty: N/A
911 Turbo S
Price: $161,650/$173,050 (coupe/Cabriolet)
AWD cost: standard
City/Hwy MPG: 17/25 (coupe - auto); 16/24 (Cabriolet - auto)
AWD penalty: N/A
Panamera 4
Price: $79,850
AWD cost: $4500 (vs. Panamera)
City/Hwy MPG: 18/26
AWD Penalty: 1 MPG Hwy
Panamera 4S
Price: $95,650
AWD cost: $4900 (vs. Panamera S)
City/Hwy MPG: 16/24
AWD penalty: None
Panamera Turbo
Price: $136,250
AWD cost: N/A
City/Hwy MPG: 15/23
AWD penalty: N/A
Saab
Last year, Saab's only passenger equipped with AWD was its 9-3 sedan and wagon, but with the addition of its all-new 2011 9-5 the list expands. All 9-3 variants are equipped with the same I-4 engine, and while the larger 9-5 is available with either an I-4 or V-6, only the larger powerplant can be paired with AWD. A six-speed automatic transmission comes standard and is the only option for both sedans when equipped with AWD.
Saab 9 5 Front Three Quarters
9-3 2.0T XWD
Price: $33,220/$37,800 (sedan/SportCombi)
AWD cost: $3495/$6645 (vs 2.0T Comfort sedan/SportCombi)
City/Hwy MPG: 20/29, 17/27 (manual, auto)
AWD penalty: 1 mpg city, 2 mpg hwy (manual); 2 mpg city, 1 mpg hwy (auto)
9-5 TurboX XWD
Price: $48,855
Premium over base model: $9505
City/Hwy MPG: 17/27
AWD penalty: not available
Subaru
Subaru's been perfecting its symmetrical AWD system since 1972, and has offered its entire lineup with the setup exclusively since 1997. Subaru's lineup is small, but with passenger car options ranging from mild to wild, there's a vehicle for nearly everyone.
2011 Subaru Impreza WRX Limited Front Three Quarters
Impreza
Price: $18,220-$21,720
AWD cost: standard
City/Hwy MPG: 20/27 (manual), 20/26 (auto)
AWD penalty: N/A
Impreza WRX
Price: $26,220-$37,345
AWD cost: standard
City/Hwy MPG: 19/25 (WRX), 17/23 (WRX STI)
AWD penalty: N/A
Legacy
Price: $20,720-$29,020
AWD cost: standard
City/Hwy MPG: 32/31, 19/27 (4-cyl. CVT, 6-spd manual), 18/25 (6-cyl.)
AWD penalty: N/A
Outback
Price: $23,920-$32,220
AWD cost: standard
City/Hwy MPG: 22/29, 19/27 (4-cyl. CVT, 6-spd manual), 18/25 (6-cyl.)
AWD penalty: N/A
Suzuki
The Kizashi sedan is Suzuki's sole AWD passenger car offering. All trims receive the same I-4 engine, but while front wheel models have the option between a six-speed manual and CVT, AWD variants are forced to use the continuously variable transmission.
2010 Suzuki Kizashi Front Three Quarters Passenger
Kizashi
Price: $22,744/$23,994/$26,094/$27,894 (S, SE, GTS, SLS)
AWD cost: $3000/$1330/$2430/$1350
City/Hwy MPG: 23/30 (S); 22/29 (SE, GTS, SLS)
AWD penalty: 1 mpg hwy (S), 1 mpg city/1 mpg hwy (SE, GTS, SLS)
Toyota
Although Toyota offers six passenger cars, its Matrix hatchback is the model an AWD drivetrain can be placed into. Moving to the AWD option results in a slight bump in engine displacement, power, and road-gripping ability, but its mandatory four-speed automatic transmission doesn't help its drastically reduced fuel economy.
1001 18 Z+2010 Toyota Matrix S+front Three Quarter View
Matrix S AWD
Price: $22,080
Premium over base model: $4620
City/Hwy MPG: 20/26
AWD penalty: 1 mpg city/3 mpg hwy (vs. base Matrix)
Volkswagen
In the United States, Volkswagen offers six passenger vehicles, but only its top of the line CC is available with AWD. The CC is available in three trims, but only the AWD 4Motion model is paired with the powerful V-6 engine and six-speed automatic transmission. Within the last ten years VW has offered its Passat, Jetta, and even Golf (R32) with AWD, but unfortunately those days are long gone.
2010 Volkswagen CC VR6 Front Three Quarters
CC VR6 Executive
Price: $40,810
Premium over base model: $11,790
City/Hwy MPG: 17/25
AWD penalty: 4 mpg city/6 mpg hwy
Volvo
Volvo currently sells six passenger cars in sedan, wagon, and coupe formats, but only its top two sedans are offered with an AWD option. If you're in the market for an AWD Volvo that's not an SUV or crossover, choices are limited to the all-new S60 or S80 sedans. For the 2011 model year, Volvo dropped AWD options for its S40 sedan and V50 wagon, customers also no longer have the option of a V-8 engine in the S80.
1002 06 Z+2011 Volvo S60+side View
S60
Price: $32,300 (T6 AWD)
AWD cost: Standard, FWD model arriving in 2011
City/Hwy MPG: 18/26
AWD penalty: N/A
S80
Price: $41,550
Premium over base model: $3750
City/Hwy MPG: 18/28
AWD fuel economy difference: decrease 1mpg city/increase 1 mpg highway

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2010 Acura RL

Base AWD 4-Dr Sedan V6
starting at (MSRP)
$46,830
Engine
3.7L V6
Fuel Economy
16 City 22 Hwy
2010 Acura RL