Affordable AWD Sedans: Cheap, Safe Bets

All-wheel drive (AWD) is a sought-after quality in today’s car shopping landscape. Instead of “pulling” the car with front-wheel drive (FWD), AWD vehicles send power to all four corners of the car. Also, it’s much better suited to inclement weather than most rear-wheel drive (RWD) vehicles, which send power to the rear wheels via a driveshaft. Thankfully, folks in the AWD car market have options; check out these affordable AWD sedans, like the Subaru Legacy with its standard AWD.

  • Subaru Impreza
  • Mazda3
  • Subaru Legacy
  • Toyota Corolla

Is the Subaru Impreza an affordable AWD sedan?

The Subaru Impreza is an affordable option for potential owners who want a sensible compact car. Better yet, the Impreza offers standard AWD. That means the Subaru model doesn’t send power to all four wheels as an optional extra but rather a standard feature. Also, the Impreza is available as both a sedan and a practical four-door hatchback for those who want the additional cargo volume. 

The Subaru Impreza and Legacy are a couple of affordable sedans with standard AWD.
Subaru Impreza | Subaru

Also, the hatchback version of the 2022 Subaru Impreza earned a Top Safety Pick award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Better yet, the 2.0i Premium and 2.0i Limited trims are just as fuel efficient as a comparable Mazda3, with 28 mpg city and 36 mpg at highway speeds. 

Is the Mazda3 a good car?

The Mazda3 is an excellent affordable AWD sedan or hatchback option for potential owners who want a sporty alternative to the more sober Subaru Legacy. Furthermore, it offers optional AWD, meaning it will be more sure-footed in inclement weather than its standard FWD format. Better yet, with a starting point of $22,215, the Mazda3 is affordable, if not quite as cheap as an Impreza. 

Also, the Mazda3 offers commendable fuel economy and safety credentials. The entry-level trim, the 2.0, boasts 28 mpg city and 36 mpg highway. While that’s not up to hybrid standards, it’s still more than commute-worthy. Furthermore, the Mazda3 sedan and hatchback earned Top Safety Pick+ ratings from the IIHS.

Is the Subaru Legacy an affordable AWD sedan?

The Legacy is a step up from the more spartan Impreza, but it’s still affordable enough to snag a spot on this list. According to TrueCar, the 2022 Subaru Legacy starts at $24,490. While that makes it the most expensive vehicle on this list, it still offers standard AWD and a comfortable ride for its starting point. Furthermore, the Legacy has a Top Safety Pick+ rating. 

The Subaru Legacy offers standard AWD, a refreshing option for shoppers looking for affordable AWD sedans.
Subaru Legacy | Subaru

Does the 2023 Toyota Corolla offer AWD?

Corolla fans can rejoice: the 2023 Toyota Corolla will offer AWD. Better yet, for eco-enthusiasts, affordable AWD sedan shoppers, and folks who want to spend less at the pump, that AWD system accompanies hybrid models. However, it’s not the AWD you’re used to seeing in sedans and hatchbacks. Instead, the upcoming Corolla uses an electric motor to drive the rear wheels, thereby achieving its AWD status. 

If you’re considering a 2023 Toyota Corolla with AWD, the Hybrid LE starts at around $23,895. That hybrid manages an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimated economy of 53 mpg city and 52 mpg at highway speeds.

Any one of these affordable AWD sedans will theoretically save you money at the dealer and maybe even money at the pump. At the very least, they’ll send power to all four wheels for more peace of mind in the rain and snow. Scroll down to the following article to read more about affordable sedans!


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