Only 1 New Car Under $20,000 Has All-Wheel Drive — Traction on Slippery Roads

An all-wheel drive (AWD) is a great feature to have for a car. It provides extra traction on slippery surfaces, such as snowy and icy roads. This makes AWD a good option for those that live in a location with harsh winters. All-wheel drive also enables a vehicle to head off-road and drive over challenging terrain. However, AWD can be expensive. There’s only one new car with a price under $20,000 that offers an all-wheel drive system: the Subaru Impreza compact car

Subaru Impreza is the only new car with AWD that costs less than $20,000

Red 2023 Subaru Impreza, the only new car with all-wheel drive costing under $20,000, driving in snow
2023 Subaru Impreza Hatchback | Subaru

If you want a new car that costs less than $20,000 and has all-wheel drive, then your only option is the Subaru Impreza. It’s the cheapest AWD vehicle available. The new 2023 Impreza has a starting price of $19,745 MSRP, while the 2022 Impreza has a starting cost of $19,295. Also, the Impreza offers sedan and hatchback versions.

The new Impreza comes standard with the Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system for every trim. Except for the BRZ sports car, all new Subaru models sold in North America have standard AWD.

How does the Subaru Impreza Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system work?

Blue 2023 Subaru Impreza, the only new car with AWD that costs under $20,000, driving in rain
2023 Subaru Impreza Sedan | Subaru

The Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system in the new 2023 and 2022 Subaru Impreza provides enhanced traction for greater confidence when behind the wheel. Whether in snowy, icy, or wet conditions — or driving off-road, the Symmetrical AWD gets the job done. Also, unlike some other all-wheel drive systems, the Symmetrical AWD system continuously shifts power to the wheels with the most traction.

Also, the all-wheel drive system for the Impreza is beneficial for normal road conditions. With the consistent application of power to the four wheels, the AWD system helps avoid oversteer and understeer, provides more responsive handling, and creates a more balanced ride. 

What are the cheapest new cars with all-wheel drive?

Rear angle view of new red 2023 Subaru Impreza
2023 Subaru Impreza Hatchback | Subaru

The Subaru Impreza is the only new car priced under $20,000 that offers an all-wheel drive system. However, there are a handful of new AWD cars that cost less than $25,000, as detailed by CARFAX. Most of these models are subcompact crossover SUVs. Following the Impreza, the next cheapest AWD cars are the 2022 Ford EcoSport ($22,040 MSRP) and the 2022 Chevy Trax ($22,320 MSRP).

Here are the 10 cheapest new cars that offer an all-wheel system, with the starting prices with AWD:

1. 2023 Subaru Impreza ($19,745 MSRP)
2. 2022 Ford EcoSport ($22,040 MSRP)
3. 2022 Chevy Trax ($22,320 MSRP)
4. 2022 Mazda CX-30 ($22,500 MSRP)
5. 2023 Hyundai Kona ($23,490 MSRP)
6. 2023 Subaru Crosstrek ($23,645 MSRP)
7. 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross ($23,745 MSRP)
8. 2023 Chevy Trailblazer ($24,100 MSRP)
9. 2023 Subaru Legacy ($24,395 MSRP)
10. 2023 Honda HR-V ($25,150 MSRP)

As you can see, Subaru dominates this list of affordable AWD cars. Along with the Impreza, the Crosstrek and Legacy have an all-wheel drive system. Also, the Legacy joins the Impreza as the only non-crossover SUV model that has an all-wheel drive system — but costs less than $25,000. However, if you don’t want to pay more than $20,000, then your only choice is a new 2023 or 2022 Impreza. The Impreza is the most affordable car with AWD.

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