As someone who was born and raised in Florida — you know, where it never snows or gets cold in general — I never realized that all-wheel-drive cars and vehicles were for anything other than off-roading. My first all-wheel-drive vehicle was an Audi A7, and it was one of my favorite daily drivers of all time, and I soon realized that I could get the all-wheel-drive experience I had fallen in love with for a great price, some even under $10k.
You’ll be surprised to know that not only can you get an all-wheel-drive vehicle for less than $10k you can also get some that offer luxury. Older generations of Audi A4 offer the practicality of having a four-door sedan, along with the iconic Quattro all-wheel-drive system that’s become prominent in Audi cars. You can buy a used A4 for less than $10k in good, running condition — which really just goes to show how severely Audi cars depreciate. Not all of the A4s on the market have all-wheel drive, so it’s important to look for that ‘Quattro’ badging.
We couldn’t include an Audi on this list without including its top competitor — BMW. The 2006 – 2013 BMW 328i xDrive is one of my favorite cars even if it was a total maintenance nightmare. The all-wheel-drive system made this sporty sedan or coupe grip the road for an even more enjoyable driving experience. Like the A4 not all of the 328i cars in this generation came with all-wheel drive, so you’ll have to look for that ‘xDrive’ badge, but they are still under $10,000.
More awesome all-wheel-drive options
The Mini Cooper S is an underrated hot hatch that offers a surprising amount of performance and agility, with the bonus of being a hatchback. The extra space behind the rear seats gives this small sedan an extra dose of practicality, and that’s only improved upon with an all-wheel-drive option. Could you imagine off-roading an all-wheel-drive Mini Cooper? It might not be as uncommon as you think in off-road rally racing. Regardless, you can buy a used Mini Cooper S Countryman for less than $10,000 and enjoy the added space, unique appearance, and, of course, all-wheel drive.
Then, of course, there is a car designed specifically to go off-roading and to expertly navigate wet, ice-covered roadways, and that’s the Subaru WRX. While I’ve never been a big enough fan of the WRX to purchase one, I can personally attest to their surprising off-road capabilities. The WRX is a fun car to buy used because they can truly take a beating off-road — as long as you don’t overheat it and blow a head gasket.
While all of the cars on this list are older and used it just means that you won’t feel bad taking your small sedan off-roading. All-wheel drive can improve a car’s performance, help you handle road conditions that are less than ideal, and are sometimes just more fun to drive. Whatever your reason for wanting them, you can spend less than $10,000 on these all-wheel-drive vehicles.