AWD cars are versatile cars. All the grip in the world makes them arguably the best option for nearly every scenario and environment. They handle well on tarmac and can dispatch traction losses in the snow and gravel. While AWD cars aren’t the lightest on the planet, some of their AWD systems are sophisticated enough to utilize power extraordinarily efficiently. That said, more power is rarely a bad thing. Here are five of the best AWD cars for 2022, according to MotorTrend.
Subaru Legacy: setting the standard
Subaru is a staple of AWD. When you consider its reputation for rally racing, along with its ability to traverse all kinds of terrain with a reliable drivetrain, it’s no wonder why people love their Subarus. Engine reliability aside, Subaru makes some of the most capable AWD cars ever known, and the Legacy is no exception. With a turbocharged 2.4-liter inline-four, the Legacy sends 260 horsepower across its drivetrain, managing a steady 31 mpg and agile handling. It’s also packed with features such as driver-assist technology, driver focus distraction mitigation, and a CVT.
Kia K5: the underdog sports sedan
The Kia K5 is somewhat of an underdog in the world of sports sedans, despite having all the ingredients to outperform the BMW 330i. The GT is the trim to buy, as it has a 2.5-liter turbocharged inline-four delivering 290 horsepower to all four wheels, 19-inch aluminum wheels, a dual-clutch transmission, upgraded suspension, as well as several convenience and state-of-the-art safety features. All of that for just $31,090 makes the K5 a formidable opponent for the seasoned sports-sedan market.
Audi A4: pure mechanical excellence
Subarus might have a reputation for affordable AWD cars, but Audi’s technology is unmatched. The A4 uses Audi’s patented Quattro purely mechanical AWD system, a thoroughly robust piece of equipment. Base models come with a 200-hp turbocharged inline-four, and for about $10,000 more, you can get the 260-hp engine. Audis are manic under full throttle and quick to respond. However, the 2022 model apparently lacks standard Audi intensity and standard driver-assist technology, according to MotorTrend.
Lucid Air: overpriced with plentiful range
Watching a Lucid Air on the freeway is almost breathtaking. Almost. The exterior styling is unique and purely elegant. While the K5 and Audi might seem a little rough around the edges and angular, the Lucid Air sports smooth, lustrous contours and makes its presence known. Lucid Airs are expensive, starting at $140,500, and with that only comes 480 horsepower. However, the range is unmatched at 520 miles on a single charge. Even more powerful trim levels don’t drop off their range very far. That said, the interior is a bit clumsy and noisy. Nevertheless, it’s a valiant effort and a great platform to start on.
Toyota Prius: not as impressive
The Toyota Prius makes this list as one of the lightest and cheapest AWD cars on the market. It uses a 1.8-liter inline-four delivering 120 horsepower to all four wheels, which move a 3,210-pound car. Horrendously underpowered, the Prius comes with tiny tires and manages 51 city mpg. The Toyota Prius LE AWD Hatchback starts at $27,135 and comes standard with various driver-assistance technology, including automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, and adaptive cruise control.
Almost all of these cars have something to offer for just about everyone. The Kia K5 and Subaru Legacy provide sporty experiences, while the Lucid Air and Audi A4 offer a more relaxed and luxurious experience. Almost all fit within a single price range but vary wildly in features and performance. You (almost) can’t go wrong.