NEWS: The Top 10 Cheapest AWD Cars

By Donny Nordlicht - December 20, 2012
Top 10 CheapAWD 1500x938
There are more than 50 different cars (not trucks or SUVs) you can purchase with all-wheel drive. However, many of those all-weather non-SUVs come from high-priced luxury brands or use all-wheel drive to help supercars put power down. What about the common man? We've rounded up the 10 cheapest cars – not SUVs or crossovers – equipped with all-wheel drive.
1. 2013 Subaru Impreza, $18, 665 (including destination)
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AWD cost: n/a
Subaru's calling card has long been all-wheel drive on the cheap. The Impreza is the only compact sedan to offer all-wheel drive, and does so as standard. With a starting price under $19,000, the Impreza is also the cheapest all-wheel-drive car you can buy today.
2. 2013 Subaru Legacy, $21,065
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AWD cost: n/a
The Legacy is not the only midsize sedan with all-wheel drive – all-wheel drive is optional on the top-spec Ford Fusion Titanium – but it is the least-expensive one. Unlike the Ford which puts a premium on the extra all-weather traction, Subaru equips all-wheel drive as standard on the Legacy.
3. 2013 Mitsubishi Lancer SE, $21,090
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AWD cost: n/a
The Mitsubishi Lancer may not be the most compelling car unless you spring for the bonkers Evolution model, but buyers who want a little taste of rally-bred engineering can do so without breaking the bank. The Lancer's mid-level SE trim comes with the same dual-clutch transmission and a simpler version of the All-Wheel Control four-wheel drive system as the Evo.
4. 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek, $22,765
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AWD cost: n/a
Vehicles like the XV Crosstrek straddle the line between crossover and car, but thanks to its clear Impreza roots, we'll call it a car. However, in Subaru's quest to convince buyers that the XV is more than a jacked-up Impreza hatchback, it has equipped the XV with rugged tires and aggressive body cladding.
5. 2013 Toyota Matrix S AWD, $23,210
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AWD cost: $960
The Matrix offers all-wheel drive in top-level S trim only, and exclusively with a four-speed automatic. Since all-wheel drive also requires the larger, 2.4-liter I-4 engine – which is not available in the Matrix's Corolla sedan counterpart – the optional drivetrain is for hatchback buyers only.
6. 2013 Subaru Outback, $24,265
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AWD cost: n/a
The Outback may be the most-utilitarian car on this list, thanks to its standard roof rails and cavernous cargo hold. It is also one of the best cars that can double as an SUV – as we found in our Four Seasons 2010 Outback, the Subie is quite composed both on and off road, and its all-wheel drive system is unflappable.
7. 2013 Subaru WRX, $26,565
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AWD cost: n/a
The extra power and sportiness of the WRX over the regular Impreza comes at a price: it is the most-expensive Impreza derivative in the Subaru lineup. Thankfully, however, its $26,565 base price (with destination) is pretty accessible for most new-car buyers, and the WRX has a better power-to-weight ratio while greatly undercutting the near-$40,000 price of the WRX STI.
8. 2013 Ford Taurus SEL AWD, $31,445
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AWD cost: $1850
Ford offers all-wheel drive on both the Fusion and the Taurus sedans, but it is actually cheaper to buy a Taurus than Fusion if you require awd. The added traction option is available for Taurus SEL and Limited models equipped with the 3.5-liter V-6 engine and standard on the Taurus SHO with its twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6.
9. 2013 Audi A3 2.0T Quattro, $31,745
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AWD cost: $2100
The current Audi A3 hatchback is not long for this world – an all-new A3 sedan is expected for the 2014 model year. However, that doesn't prevent the A3 from being the cheapest premium all-wheel-drive car on sale in the U.S. Opting for the Quattro drivetrain nets the 200-hp gas 2.0-liter turbo four and a six-speed dual-clutch automatic. (A3 TDI pictured.)
10. 2013 Dodge Charger SXT AWD, $32,290
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AWD cost: $7500
To help maintain market share for its large sedan in snowbelt markets, Dodge offers the option of all-wheel drive for the Charger sedan. (Chrysler does the same for the Charger's 300 cousin, too.) All-wheel drive is available with both the 3.6-liter V-6 and the 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 engines.
 
2012 Mitsubishi Lancer Front Three Quarter

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