Small cars with AWD are special. They follow the trend Fiat Panda set in the 80s and ever since, they offer a combination of practicality, fun drive, and decent off-road capabilities. Cheap AWD cars are not rare! In a matter of fact, we have plenty of them. Because all of them offer precisely what we have just mentioned, generating a list of best 8 models is difficult, but we will manage.
1. 2017 Nissan Juke ($20,200)
The car in question is like no other, visually and mechanically. Obviously, at the first sight, most people will understand why we said it is different. But, at the moment we are interested into secret differences of the car. The power starts at 188HP which will reach 28/32mpg. This the entry-level model. There are Nismo and Nismo RS versions, which are under $30,000. All-wheel drive is clever and sophisticated due to the systems which were reserved for more expensive models.
One of the interesting system is Integrated Control (I-CON), known as a sports mode system. It is reserved when a driver needs all the power and complete capabilities of Juke. Driving experience is then improved by the torque vectoring mechanism. In essence, the computer determines which wheel needs the most power while cornering. The result is faster cornering at all conditions. Addition: Nismo RS comes with 215HP, sports exhaust, and brakes.
2. 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport ($20,600)
Yes, famous Mitsubishi Outlander is one of cheapes cars with all-wheel drive. Interestingly, it is one of the cheapest cars here, but the new, Sport version doesn’t seem cheap. A 2.0L engine will deliver 148HP, while 2.4L engine delivers 168HP. Both can be obtained with front or all-wheel drive and with the CVT transmission. Even the basic model achieves 130mph, 0-60mph time in 8.3 seconds and will do 24/31mpg.
The standard Outlander will be available on the market in the fall of the year, but the Sport version will hit the market in 2018. It brings general improvements regarding the mentioned engines, interior upgrades and support for Android and Apple audio. For those who never liked the central console, Sport unit comes with a fully redesigned dashboard and gear knob. According to first tests, the 2018 car provides significant improvements of the chassis and suspension.
3. 2017 Nissan Rogue Sport ($22,400)
Nissan Rogue proved that SUVs can be affordable. However, the Sport version launched the claim on a completely new level. Thanks to it, we have one of cheap AWD cars which is just right. Keep in mind that Sport version is one foot shorter than its cousin, Rogue model! The engine is 141HP, 2.0L and it uses CVT transmission. Isn’t something we prefer when it comes to AWD cars, but surprisingly the transmission is above the average.
Satellite radio, navigation, rear-view camera and Bluetooth are standard features. But, for the 7-inch infotainment system, you will have to prepare extra cash. The main advantages of the car are practicality, interesting design, and comfortable ride. Drawbacks are artificial steering and obsolete infotainment system. Even the most expensive version (SL) is $27,500. More than just a cheap car!
4. 2017 Suzuki SX4 S-Cross ($23,000)
How many of you have heard or even own a Suzuki SX4? It has been one of the small cars with passion, thrilling drive, and even amazing off-road capabilities. The 2017 year model is even better. You get all-new engines, 1.4 or 1.0L Boosterjet engines. Both are economical, both can be paired with 6-gears manual transmission or with CVT and both use peril. Additionally, the 1.6L diesel engine is available. The new suspension is actually far better than the previous version, making the entire car more comfortable, offering better handling and it even has an effect on off-roading. Of course, All-Grip system which transfers power to all 4 wheels is the best option.
When it comes to safety features, SX4 is sophisticated and advanced. With more expensive trims, owners will get adaptive cruise control, emergency braking, airbags and etc. Overall, this is a good-looking small SUV which can be used as a city car.
5. 2017 Subaru Forester ($23,500)
Subaru Forester is one of the best-known family cars ever. It is reliable, practical and with AWD it is more than just capable of defeating even the toughest hills. The powertrain is more focused on fuel efficiency than on power. We have a 2.5L engine with 170HP, or a more powerful 2.0L, turbo unit with 250HP. The engines are flat 4 with 6-gear manual transmission or CVT. The thing is, if you are looking for a car to drive off road, a manual transmission is a much better choice!
Inside, owners and passengers will enjoy 7-inch touchscreen, plenty of space and comfort. EyeSight system, which provides automatic braking in a case of emergencies, line departure, and adaptive cruise control is available as well. The most economical engine will achieve 23/28 mpg, even when paired with AWD. Addition: Front-wheel drive version is available as well.
6. 2017 Mitsubishi Lancer ($23,600)
Lancer has been among us for a few decades and each new model brought us plenty of improvements. The latest model doesn’t share the same passion, but it is still one of the best, cheapest cars with all-wheel drive. 148HP is standard, but 168HP engine is optional. All versions come with a rear-view camera as standard, but the SEL trim comes with leather and windscreen wipers sensitive to train.
This car has a huge potential for tuning and it was born in the world of rallying, so we simply like it. Chances are high all of you are going to like and appreciate this car as well.
7. 2017 Jeep Compass Trailhawk ($30,000)
Compass is one of cheap AWD cars but it is far from the cheapest. There is a perfectly good explanation for that. The 2017 version offers better off-road capabilities than almost all competitor models. It also looks better than most of them. The engine is 180HP, 2.4L unit which can send power to the front or all wheels. Transmissions are rather appealing. Buyers can choose between 6-speed manual or automatic, but the 9-speed automatic is available as well.
Inside, car is surprisingly comfortable and spacious. It has a decent booth and the features are slightly better than you can get with other cars from the list. Overall, this model is more suitable for off-roading than for sporty or fun drive.
8. 2017 Kia Sportage ($34,800)
Maybe it sounds strange to see Kia as the most expensive car on the list, but actually, Sportage is a high-quality vehicle with attention to details. The interior and exterior are advanced, well-made and loaded with clever features. All-wheel drive is decent, while the comfort is above average.
Engines include 180HP unit, which is sufficient, but SX Turbo model is just right. It is more powerful than rival models and it offers plenty of torque. It is an all-new 2.0L, 240HP unit. Android Auto, Apple Car Play, emergency braking and infotainment systems are available. The premium version will cost you $35,000.
Cheap AWD cars can be practical, fun to drive and loaded with clever features, all of which we proved with the best 8 models available today. Regardless of which you choose, expect to enjoy driving it for a long time.