Which Economy Sedans Can Come with All-Wheel Drive?
Many luxury brands like Porsche and Mercedes-Benz offer all-wheel drive on their sedans and coupes for performance benefits, but the average buyer can’t afford to spend that much if they just want an economic car with AWD. If you want a brand-new vehicle under $30,000 that offers the best traction in slippery road conditions, consider any of these affordable sedans that can come with all-wheel drive instead of front-wheel drive.
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These cheap sedans offer all-wheel drive for under $30,000
The lowest-priced all-wheel drive sedan on the market, the Subaru Impreza is an excellent choice for drivers who want the stability and control of AWD but prefer the size and price of a compact car over a crossover or SUV. It’s a cheap option, but it still possesses the quality that’s characteristic of a Subaru.
A step up in size and price from the Impreza — as well as a bump in finesse — the mid-size Legacy is a deal if you want an AWD sedan with plenty of standard features. Plus, its price with AWD is comparable to many other economy models in its class that only have FWD.
Ford gives Subaru a run for its money with the Fusion, which offers Intelligent AWD on its higher trim levels. The system automatically switches between FWD, RWD, and AWD depending on the slippage and incline grade detected.
Sharing a lot of similarities with the Ford Fusion, the Nissan Altima also offers an available Intelligent All-Wheel Drive system. It’s part of Nissan Intelligent Mobility suite of driving tools and is a major selling point for most Altima buyers.
There’s a lot to love about the Mazda3. One of the elements that makes it an exceptional drive is its available i-ACTIV AWD, an intuitive system that uses the brand’s renowned SKYACTIV Technology to ensure optimal torque distribution in every situation.
If you want a sporty sedan that’s affordably priced and fuel-efficient, the Subaru WRX is the best way to go. The brand’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system is standard on the WRX, plus it’s enhanced with track-tuned suspension and Vehicle Dynamics Control with Active Torque Vectoring to get the best operation out of the drivetrain.
Yes, you can get an eco-friendly hybrid car that has AWD. Toyota currently offers its best-selling Prius compact car in an AWD-e form, which uses Electronic On-Demand Compact All-Wheel Drive. Instead of the engine distributing torque between the axles like a traditional AWD system, this Prius uses an independent electric rear motor tied exclusively to the rear axle.
If you’re willing to buy a pre-owned car instead of a brand-new car, you’ll find a couple retired models with AWD, like the Buick LaCrosse, Ford Taurus, and Chrysler 300. Unfortunately, the majority of larger sedans with AWD are being retired as buyers increasingly prefer AWD crossovers. But if you know where to look, you can still find a sedan with the drivetrain you want.
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Aaron is unashamed to be a native Clevelander and the proud driver of a Hyundai Veloster Turbo (which recently replaced his 1995 Saturn SC-2). He gleefully utilizes his background in theater, literature, and communication to dramatically recite his own articles to nearby youth. Mr. Widmar happily resides in Dayton, Ohio with his magnificent wife, Vicki, but is often on the road with her exploring new destinations. Aaron has high aspirations for his writing career but often gets distracted pondering the profound nature of the human condition and forgets what he was writing… See more articles by Aaron.