Looking for the best AWD cars? All-wheel drive is an important feature to have if you want a vehicle that can handle a variety of road conditions. In this guide, we explore the best AWD vehicles to buy now.
All-wheel drive vehicles are designed to help you gain traction on the road when driving in icy, rainy or snowy conditions—something that’s a given for Canadian winters. Cars, SUVs and crossovers can all come with all-wheel drive while you’re more likely to find four-wheel drive on trucks. The key difference between all-wheel drive and four-wheel drive comes down to how energy is transferred from the driveshaft to the vehicle’s wheels. To save you some time, we’ve done the research to find the best all-wheel drive cars, based on their features, price and safety ratings. Read on to see which vehicles made the list.
- Subaru Crosstrek
- Kia Sorento
- Nissan Rogue Hybrid
- Subaru Impreza
- Nissan Altima
- Ford Fusion
- Dodge Charger
- Honda HR-V
- Hyundai Kona
- Ford Escape
- Jeep Compass
1. Subaru Crosstrek
Starting at around $22,000, the Subaru Crosstrek is one of the best AWD cars you can buy for the money. The exterior is both sporty and rugged, while the interior gives you the feel of being in a much larger vehicle. Though its engine isn’t as powerful as some of the other all-wheel drive or best 4 wheel drive cars in a similar class, it does offer a smooth ride. It’s also got enough punch to go from driving in the city or the highway to heading off-road for a little weekend adventure.
2. Kia Sorento
The Kia Sorento is a midsize SUV and it’s one of the best AWD vehicles if you want to combine style and safety. The MSRP for 2019 models equipped with all-wheel drive is around $29,000 so it’s fairly budget-friendly, though you can always look into used models if you’d rather pay a little less. The Sorento features a 185 horsepower engine standard and it’s a fuel-efficient choice if you’re trying to get the best gas mileage possible. Third-row seating leaves room for up to seven people and you also get plenty of storage space for cargo. User-friendly features like driver assist technology and Apple CarPlay compatibility round out the list of reasons to like the Sorento as one of the best all-wheel drive cars on the market.
3. Nissan Rogue Hybrid
If you’re looking for the best all wheel drive cars in the hybrid category, the Nissan Rogue delivers. The Rogue is built more for fuel economy than power, though it does have a 176 horsepower engine. 2019 models start at around $27,700, so it won’t necessarily break the bank, though you could save by choosing a 2017 or 2018 model instead. As all-wheel drive cars go, the Rogue is a standout for safety and it also features a comfortable interior. One potential sticking point to keep in mind is the infotainment system, which has a reputation for being a little challenging to navigate.
4. Subaru Impreza
The Subaru Impreza is hands-down at the top of the list of best AWD cars if you’re looking for a bargain. You can find 2019 models starting at around $18,000, which might be ideal if you’re focused on buying the best vehicle for under $20,000. The Impreza comes with standard symmetrical all wheel drive and you can purchase it in one of two versions: a four-door sedan or a five-door compact hatchback. In addition to being highly affordable, this all-wheel drive vehicle comes with all the standard safety features you expect in a Subaru for even more peace of mind on the road.
The Mazda3 is an all-wheel drive hatchback that combines the look of a sports car with the handling of a larger sedan. This compact vehicle features an all-wheel drive system that’s unique from the one Mazda uses in its SUVs and it’s designed to offer a completely innovative driving experience. Starting at around $30,000, the Mazda3 seats up to five and it could be a great choice for teens, college students or first-time drivers who want something sporty yet fuel efficient. Between the Mazda3’s features and overall vibe, it’s easy to feel like you’re driving a much more expensive AWD vehicle.
6. Nissan Altima
The Nissan Altima is a best-in-class vehicle among all-wheel drive midsize sedans. The 2020 model features the most tech-advanced engine among its competitors and with an MSRP of $28,098 it’s not a budget-buster. The Altima is Nissan’s first sedan to include an Intelligent All-Wheel Drive System and the Nissan Intelligent Mobility package is designed to give you confidence on the road, rain or shine. In terms of safety, it doesn’t get much better than the Altima. It received a Top Safety Pick rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in 2019.
7. Ford Fusion
The Ford Fusion comes in both hybrid and non-hybrid models, making it one of the best AWD vehicles for variety. This car features a stylish exterior that’s built on an exceptionally safe framework and starting at $27,985, the 2020 models are also highly affordable. Standard Ford Co-Pilot360TM driving technology makes managing different road surfaces and driving conditions easier in almost any type of weather. The Fusion seats up to five so it could be a choice for families and it also comes with a sizable amount of trunk space for stowing groceries or luggage.
8. Dodge Charger
The Dodge Charger is easily one of the best all-wheel drive cars if you’re looking for power. The 2019 Charger features a 707 horsepower engine with an 8-speed transmission and while it has plenty of getup-and-go, it’s still surprisingly fuel efficient. The Charger’s AWD system is touted as being the most technologically advanced in its vehicle class, offering a seamless transition between rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive as road conditions change. Forward-collision warning, adaptive cruise control and rear assist parking are just some of the safety features included with the 2019 Charger, which starts at $32,965.
9. Honda HR-V
The Honda HR-V is a subcompact crossover vehicle that could be perfect for commuters who are looking for the best AWD cars. With a starting price of $25,600, it’s a good fit if you have a smaller car-buying budget and you need all-wheel drive for getting around. The HR-V isn’t as powerful as some of the other all-wheel drive options included here but it compensates with features like heated seats, Honda Sensing Technologies and an intelligent driver control system. Though it’s a smaller subcompact, it’s still big enough for families with plenty of storage room in the rear.
10. Hyundai Kona
The Hyundai Kona is a newcomer in the world of AWD vehicles and it’s a sporty, compact SUV option. It’s one of the best four-wheel drive cars if you’re interested in finding a bargain, with an MSRP of around $21,000. If you’d prefer to lease instead, low APR leasing options are available for up to 60 months. The Kona also comes in an electric version for eco-conscious drivers, with a starting MSRP of $44,999. Whether you choose standard or electric, the Kona is sporty enough for driving in the city while being sturdy enough for rougher terrain.
11. Ford Escape
In the category of SUV crossovers, the Ford Escape gets high marks for driveability and maneuvering. The Escape starts at $26,399 and it’s a merger of comfort and convenience i with front-wheel drive standard and all-wheel drive optional. The engine in the Escape isn’t as powerful as some of the other all-wheel drive cars in its same class but that may not matter as much if you don’t need to haul or tow regularly. A suite of safety features and an optional sport package add to the list of reasons to check out the Escape.
12. Jeep Compass
The Jeep Compass is another crossover SUV and it’s billed as the most capable compact SUV ever. Starting at $26,400, the Compass features best-n-class 4X4 capability and the interior is both functional and comfortable while being roomy enough to accommodate the family. You get the handling of a larger Jeep with the fuel efficiency of a smaller SUV. When it comes to customization, you can choose from a slew of safety, tech and interior features while the Trailhawk Compass model offers even more durability for driving off-road.
At Birchwood Credit Solutions, we offer a variety of all-wheel drive cars and four-wheel drive vehicles. You can browse our extensive inventory of vehicle options online today, or start your loan application in minutes. We work with buyers from all credit backgrounds to provide financing, including those who are rebuilding credit after bankruptcy or are new to Canada and are still establishing credit.