All-Wheel-Drive SUVs for Under $15,000

While some might argue that a good set of snow tires is all you need, all-wheel drive is a nice feature. Power to all four wheels can help give an SUV a more handy driving experience. Some buyers prioritize AWD in their vehicle purchase––and understandably so. But this type of SUV gets pricey. You’re typically looking at tacking an extra $1,500 or so to add AWD to any given vehicle. But if you go the used route, here are all-wheel-drive SUVs for under $15,000.

2020 Subaru Outback AWD SUV parked in a green field
2020 Subaru Outback | Subaru

Especially if you live in the mountains or somewhere that usually gets a lot of snow, all-wheel drive makes driving feel more secure. If you traverse the beach or cruise dirt roads regularly, then AWD is on your radar when you purchase a new vehicle. But not everyone wants to pay over 25 grand for an equipped SUV. Of the options on this list posted by Autotrader, here are three all-wheel-drive SUVs for buyers on a budget.

The Subaru Outback

Although the 2020 Subaru Outback starts over $26,000, you can get a used one for a way better deal. And the Outback comes standard with AWD––so you don’t even have to check to make sure the used listing you’re looking at is equipped with the drivetrain you want. If you look between the years of 2009-2014 you can find a good Outback in the sub $15,000 price range.

The Subaru Outback at the Moscow International Motor Show
An older Subaru Outback model | Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

There are several trim options to choose from, so if you like luxurious leather or sunroofs they are definitely out there. Also, it is a popular car so it’s fairly easy to find a clean and un-wrecked used Subaru Outback. Plus, who doesn’t love a good modern station wagon?

The Honda CR-V

These will be a little more difficult to find equipped with all-wheel drive. It’s not a standard feature and must be added as an option to the Honda CR-V. But this modest mid-sizer is a great buy. It already starts out with appealing absolute value. So even though you have to search to find one equipped with AWD, once you find one it is likely to be a fantastic deal.

A 2015 Honda CR-V parked on the street
A 2015 Honda CR-V | Jonathan Wong/South China Morning Post via Getty Images

The Honda CR-V has won countless awards and retains value. Honda reliability isn’t flawless but it is respected. Look for an AWD CR-V between 2012 and 2016 and it’ll be a simple task to find a great deal with low mileage for less than $15,000.

Ford Explorer

The Ford Explorer doesn’t come standard with all-wheel drive, either. But it is an option and there are loads of Explorers out there. Finding the used AWD-equipped Ford Explorer you want should be pretty easy.

Because they are produced in such vast numbers, Ford parts are abundant should you need any for maintenance and repairs. If you don’t mind a few more miles on the odometer, the AWD Ford Explorer boasts the budget sub $15,000 price point all the up to the model year 2019.

This white AWD Ford Explorer SUV makes it easier in six inches of snow in Hope Valley, California
The Ford Explorer | George Rose/Getty Images

Counterpoint: Why Four-Wheel Drive is Necessary for Some

AWD SUVs for buyers on a budget

All-wheel-drive SUVs are a very popular vehicle choice. There are actually quite a few out there that can be bought used for under $15,000. If you know where to look, the search is much simpler. These three might be a great place to begin your AWD SUV hunting.