With fall already here, Halloween decorations are rapidly coming into view on front porches; the leaves are turning amber, slowly dropping, and will soon be covering lawns, sidewalks, and streets.
The cooler days and grayer weather have us thinking about large cities around the U.S. that will be confronting heavy rainfall, sleet, ice, or snow this winter. Cities like Denver, Cleveland, Seattle, Detroit, and Pittsburgh. Inclement weather is where an all-wheel-drive vehicle is at its greatest advantage over front- or rear-drive alternatives.
If you’re in need of an affordable new all-wheel-drive vehicle, you’re in luck: we have compiled this list of the 10 cheapest AWD cars, all priced under $25,000, and all on sale today.
2021 Subaru Impreza Sedan (Manual): $19,720
Kicking off the list of cheap AWD is the Subaru Impreza sedan, that when equipped with a five-speed manual transmission, saves $1,300 for an optional CVT. All-wheel drive and a 2.0-liter boxer four-cylinder engine come standard on this five-passenger sedan, and the EPA-estimated fuel economy checks out at 23/31 mpg (city/highway).
2020 Ford EcoSport S: $22,835
The next defender of frugality is the geeky looking, seldom seen, and oddball Ford EcoSport S. Its optional four-wheel drive system costs $1,595 over the FWD version, which also upgrades the EcoSport to a more powerful 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder engine rated at 166 horsepower and 149 pound-feet of torque. Offering an estimated fuel economy of 23/29 mpg (city/highway), the Ford EcoBoost would be ideal in congested cities with wet weather.
2021 Hyundai Kona SE: $22,975
Somewhat of a cutie, the Hyundai Kona SE crossover in all-wheel drive form costs $1,400 more than its front-drive counterpart and sends power to all four wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission. Powered by an inline-four producing 147 hp and 132 pound-feet of torque, the entry-level Kona SE featuring an AWD system has an estimated fuel economy of 26/30 mpg (city/highway).
2021 Chevrolet Trax AWD LS: $23,015
Another vehicle not often seen on the road is the Chevrolet Trax, and this subcompact crossover offers a respectable estimated fuel economy of 24/29 mpg (city/highway). In the cheapest trim level, the Chevrolet Trax LS features a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine mated to a six-speed auto gearbox. For an attractive $620, the Chevy Trax can get an all-wheel drive system.
2021 Kia Seltos LX: $23,110
Very likely the most handsome vehicle in this affordable AWD roundup, the 2021 Kia Seltos LX comes standard with all-wheel drive. An Intelligent Variable Transmission paired to an inline four-cylinder engine distributes power to all four wheels; estimated gas mileage is 27/31 mpg (city/highway).
2021 Subaru Crosstrek (Manual): $23,295
If a manual transmission is not quite your thing, but saving money is, you may learn to embrace the six-speed manual gearbox in the Subaru Crosstrek, because it will help you save $1,350. Fuel economy figures are an estimated 22/29 mpg (city/highway). A member of Subaru’s extensive all-wheel-drive family, the manual Crosstrek, also employing the 2.0-liter boxer-four, is probably a lot more enjoyable in less traffic-heavy regions.
2020 Honda HR-V AWD LX: $23,540
Powered by a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine making 141 hp and 127 pound-feet of torque together with a CVT, all-wheel drive is optional on the Honda HR-V AWD LX for $1,500. EPA-estimated gas mileage for this subcompact crossover stands at 27/31 mpg (city/highway).
2020 Subaru Legacy: $23,645
Bringing us near the end of our list of the 10 cheapest AWD cars is the base model Subaru Legacy. It comes equipped with a CVT transmission and a 2.5-liter boxer-four engine generating 182 horsepower and 176 pound-feet of torque. With its EPA-estimated gas mileage of 27/35 mpg (city/highway), the Legacy is the most fuel-efficient vehicle on this list.
2020 Mazda CX-3 Sport AWD: $23,735
Opting for an all-wheel drive Mazda CX-3 requires a $1,400 premium over the FWD model, and in a rainy northwestern city like Portland, Oregon, we’re sure an AWD system is beneficial year-round. The CX-3’s 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine produces 148 hp, and paired to a six-speed automatic transmission, scores EPA-estimated fuel economy of 27/32 mpg (city/highway).
2021 Mazda CX-30 AWD: $24,400
Topping off our list of 10 AWD cars under $25,000, we have the 2021 Mazda CX-30. As with the CX-3, a Mazda CX-30 equipped with an AWD drivetrain raises the price by $1,400 over the front-drive version. The CX-30 is powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine generating 186 hp and 186 pound-feet of torque. Its EPA-estimated fuel economy is 24/31 mpg (city/highway).
The 10 Cheapest AWD Cars Under $25,000
- 2021 Subaru Impreza Sedan (Manual): $19,720
- 2020 Ford EcoSport S: $22,835
- 2021 Hyundai Kona SE: $22,975
- 2021 Chevrolet Trax AWD LS: $23,015
- 2021 Kia Seltos LX: $23,110
- 2021 Subaru Crosstrek (Manual): $23,295
- 2020 Honda HR-V AWD LX: $23,540
- 2020 Subaru Legacy: $23,645
- 2020 Mazda CX-3 Sport AWD: $23,735
- 2021 Mazda CX-30 AWD: $24,400