Best all wheel Drive Cars 2021

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Best All Wheel Drive Electric Cars 2021

PUBLISHED MONDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 2021

Options for every adventure.

If you want to conquer all types of terrain and maintain control when driving in unfavorable weather conditions, you’ll benefit from an all-wheel drive vehicle. From sedans, to even hatchbacks, this list includes a variety of vehicles that can give you the comfort you want and the traction you need on the road without being an SUV—but we included some of those too, just in case. These vehicles will give you the means and the confidence to drive on various surfaces, brave less-than-favorable weather, or maybe even practice your off-roading chops.

To help you on your search, we’ve compiled a list of the 10 best AWD cars for 2021 shoppers, based on CarMax sales data from March 1, 2021, through August 31, 202

10.

Fiat 500X

Starting with a subcompact SUV, the Fiat 500X is distinguished by its stylish exterior design and refined, upscale interior. With seating for five, model years 2017–2020 are equipped with plenty of standard tech features and are extremely convenient for driving on city streets as well, thanks to their compact size. 2017 and 2018 models come standard with front-wheel drive (FWD) with AWD is available, whereas 2019 and 2020 model years come standard with AWD.

The base engine on 2019 and 2020 models is a turbocharged 1.3L four-cylinder paired to a nine-speed automatic transmission, generating 177 horsepower. It’s available in three trim configurations, with the mid-tier Trekking trim specifically designed for off-road driving, and standard features include:

  • Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto integration
  • Uconnect infotainment system with a seven-inch touchscreen
  • Bluetooth® connectivity
  • Cruise control
  • 60/40-split folding rear seat

9.

Volkswagen Golf

The Volkswagen Golf has always been known for its great handling. Now in its eighth generation (2019-present), this compact hatchback is also available with AWD. Base trims on model years 2017–2018 are powered by a 170-hp turbocharged 1.8L four-cylinder engine, whereas the 2019 and 2020 models get a turbocharged 147-hp 1.4L four-cylinder. If you want sports car handling in a hatchback package, this is a great choice.

Standard features and equipment on the 2017–2020 Volkswagen Golf include:

  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Smartphone integration
  • LED running lights and taillights

8.

Dodge Challenger

If you are interested in a sporty AWD car, you should consider the 2017–2020 Dodge Challenger. This popular sports car is offered with a lineup of potent engines, an upscale interior, and lots of technology as part of the standard equipment. Model years 2017–2020 come with a base powertrain consisting of a 305-hp 3.6L V6 engine and a six-speed automatic transmission, with AWD available on all V6 models.

All Dodge Challenger models come in a two-door body, with cushioned front seats and a second row that is roomy enough for kids. It’s a perfect choice if you’re looking for a car that can offer a thrilling ride while being capable of overcoming various weather conditions. Standard features on 2017–2020 Dodge Challengers include:

  • Six-way power-adjustable driver’s seat
  • 18-inch wheels
  • Available smartphone integration
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Seven-inch touchscreen

7.

Lincoln MKZ

A refined, elegant sports sedan, the Lincoln MKZ is another exciting and good-looking AWD car that’s also versatile and functional. This luxury midsize sedan has a roomy and comfortable interior equipped with a lot of convenience features and offers 15.4 cu-ft of cargo space in the trunk (2017–2020 models). Standard on models from 2017–2020 is a turbocharged 2.0L inline-four engine generating 245 horsepower, and all-wheel drive is available on Select, Reserve, and Black Label trims.

This stylish, well-appointed sedan is great if you’re looking for a vehicle offering a smooth and quiet ride, ideal for both city streets and the open road. If you opt for a 2017–2020 model, you can expect the following standard features, among others:

  • 18-inch wheels
  • SYNC® 3 infotainment system with an eight-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Simulated leather upholstery
  • Front collision warning with automatic emergency braking

6.

Dodge Charger

This is another high-performance car that’s also offered with available all-wheel drive. The Dodge Charger has a spacious cabin and handles extremely well. 2017–2020 models are offered with a lineup of powerful engines, too, the standard model featuring a 3.6L V6 generating 292 hp. The top-level Hellcat trim is especially exciting, though, with a supercharged 6.2L Hemi V8 engine delivering a whopping 707 horsepower — it’s also equipped with performance-tuned steering and adaptive suspension.

Standard features on 2017–2020 models include:

  • Seven-inch touchscreen
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Power-adjustable front seats
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel

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5.

Subaru XV Crosstrek

This five-seat subcompact SUV comes standard with all-wheel drive, offering ample cargo space and a lot of room for passengers. The 2017 Subaru XV Crosstrek is a capable off-roader, but its compact size means it fits quite well in urban settings as well. It has 8.7 inches of ground clearance, making it pretty easy to overcome most obstacles you might run into on off-road trips.

With 20.8 cu-ft of space behind the rear seats and a maximum cargo volume of 55.3 cu-ft with the rear seats folded, the 2017 Subaru XV Crosstrek is great for hauling lots of large and bulky items, such as several suitcases for your family vacations, sporting equipment or tons of groceries. They are powered standard by a 2.0L four-cylinder with 154 horsepower. Other standard features and equipment on the 2017 Subaru XV Crosstrek include:

  • Starlink infotainment system with a 6.5-inch touchscreen and smartphone integration
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • USB port
  • Air conditioning

4.

Ford Fusion

Another sedan with a quiet and spacious interior, and lots of room for cargo, the 2017–2020 Ford Fusion is also available with AWD. Across these years, the Fusion is offered in four trim levels: S, SE, SEL, and Titanium, with the base trim powered by a standard 2.5L four-cylinder engine producing 173 horsepower. All-wheel drive is available on models powered by the optional 2.0L engine, and standard on the Sport trim that also comes with adaptive suspension. It can seat five people comfortably and has 16.0 cu-ft of cargo space.

Standard features on 2017–2020 Ford Fusions include:

  • Infotainment system with a 4.2-inch touchscreen
  • 16-inch alloy wheels
  • Two USB ports
  • Bluetooth connectivity

3.

Subaru Legacy

With standard AWD on top of active driver-assistance features, the 2017–2020 Subaru Legacy is a midsize sedan that is perfectly capable of maintaining control and stability on slippery roads. It emulates some of the capabilities usually associated with large SUVs while being more compact and convenient for crowded traffic and narrow spaces. The Subaru Legacy can seat five and model years 2017–2020 come standard with a 175-hp 2.5L four-cylinder engine.

The 2.5i Premium trim on model years 2017–2020 might be especially interesting if you need to drive under adverse weather conditions often, as it comes with an All-Weather package that includes heated front seats, heated mirrors, and a windshield wiper de-icer.

Standard features on the 2017–2020 Subaru Legacy include:

  • Infotainment system with a 6.5-inch touchscreen and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration
  • 17-inch steel wheels
  • Lane departure warning and lane-keeping assist
  • Forward collision mitigation
  • Adaptive cruise control

2.

Subaru Impreza

The 2017–2020 Subaru Impreza comes standard with all-wheel drive and an abundance of cargo room on the hatchback variant that’s comparable to that of most midsize SUVs. The Impreza hatchback comes with 20.8 cu-ft of space behind the rear seats and a maximum cargo volume of 55.3 with the rear seats folded. That’s what makes it fit for families with children that travel often or need to haul a lot of stuff around town or on long-distance trips.

It’s now in its sixth generation that started in 2016, the base trims of 2017–2020 models are powered by a 2.0L four-cylinder engine that generates 152 horsepower and is paired to a five-speed manual transmission. Some of the standard features include:

  • Height-adjustable driver seat
  • 16-inch steel wheels
  • 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system
  • Smartphone integration

1.

Subaru Outback

For those looking for something even more spacious and utilitarian, the 2017–2020 Subaru Outback might be the perfect choice. Maximum interior cargo volume measures 73.3 cu-ft, and it comes with 60/40-split fold-down rear seats and roof rails as part of the standard equipment.

This station wagon that’s actually a cross between a hatchback and a crossover SUV comes standard with all-wheel drive and is capable off-road or when the weather turns. The 2017–2020 Outback has an 8.7-inch ground clearance and is equipped with hill descent control, which together with the AWD system helps overcome various obstacles and rough terrains with ease. 2017–2020 models are also powered by a standard 2.5L flat-four engine that’s paired to a continuously variable automatic transmission and delivers 175 horsepower, and some of the most notable standard features include:

  • Hill holding assist
  • 17-inch alloy wheels
  • Subaru’s Starlink 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system
  • Bluetooth connectivity

Wet and slippery roads are easier to handle in an AWD-equipped vehicle. Luckily, there are plenty of different options that can fit your preferences, including hatchbacks, sedans, station wagons, and SUVs. These are a good place to start for your daily commute to work, as well as the occasional off-road adventures.

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Unless otherwise noted, information related to these featured vehicles comes from third-party sources, including manufacturer information. Product and company names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of third-party entities. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by these entities.


Top AWD Cars for 2021

By Zac Estrada | March 7, 2021

All-wheel-drive (AWD) has been increasingly common on vehicles in the 21st century. Originally expected from a pickup truck, SUV, or even a minivan, an increasing number of passenger cars offer it as standard equipment, or even make it standard. All-wheel-drive vehicles offer some additional traction in harsh road conditions, or help put down the power from high-performance engines in a more predictable way to improve handling over a two-wheel-drive vehicle.

None of these vehicles will go far on an off-road course in this form as they might with a more advanced four-wheel-drive, but all-wheel-drive security is now available on numerous vehicles that include sports cars, compact hatchbacks, and even gas-electric hybrids. Here are a few new cars available with AWD systems.


Audi TT

In a sea of SUVs, the sports car has become lost in the shuffle among desirable automotive toys. No more so than the Audi TT, which 20 years ago was a style icon designers were constantly trying to emulate. Now towards the end of its third-generation run, the TT is still a stylish coupe or convertible that marries good looks and an amusing driving experience, along with daily ease of use.

That’s in part to its standard Quattro all-wheel-drive system that keeps it from being a handful on slippery surfaces as many sports cars can be. And the interior is still a work of art. Get it while you can.

Browse Audi TT listings here.


BMW 4-Series

The BMW 4-Series is largely a coupe and convertible derivative of the long-standing 3-Series line, albeit with some changes. For 2021, the 4-Series adopts the changes made to the 3-Series in 2019, although it also boasts an extremely controversial grille design that won’t be to everyone’s tastes. But it carries over much of the 3-Series livability along with being available as a coupe or convertible with optional xDrive all-wheel-drive.

Convertibles are rare enough these days, and making one all-wheel-drive only adds to the appeal of the lineup that includes powerful turbocharged four and six-cylinder engines, as well as the high-performance M4 model.

Browse BMW 4-Series listings here.


Dodge Challenger

Mostly associated with V8 rumbling and burning rubber from a stop, the Dodge Challenger boasts an option that the Chevrolet Camaro and Ford Mustang don’t offer. The Dodge Challenger GT AWD adds four-wheel grip to the normally rear-wheel-drive coupe, keeping it in line on snowy or icy roads and making it more of a four-season vehicle. While the all-wheel-drive system is only available with the 305-horsepower, 3.6-liter V6 engine and eight-speed automatic transmission, the Challenger GT isn’t exactly slow.

And various option packages make it at least look like the performance car that the V8 variants are. Although now it’s more livable on a year-round basis, and like the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger on which it’s based, the Challenger GT AWD makes for a comfortable highway cruiser.

Browse Dodge Challenger listings here


Jaguar F-Type

All but the base version of the Jaguar F-Type coupe and convertible now come standard with all-wheel-drive. The F-Type has been around in essentially the same form since 2013 and it’s easy to overlook it when parked against other sports cars. With a fresh face for 2021 and upgraded infotainment technology, Jaguar is trying to give its sports car a fighting chance against newer rivals like the Porsche 911.

But with up to 575 horsepower and offering V6 or V8 engines with all-wheel-drive, the F-Type hardly looks out of date when it comes to performance. A manual transmission is no longer available, but a smooth eight-speed automatic and opulent interior materials make this car more civilized than its performance figures would suggest.

Browse Jaguar F-Type listings here.


Kia K5

Kia ditched its Optima midsize sedan for the far more striking 2021 K5, and it shouldn’t look back. Midsize sedans aren’t typically striking to look at, but the new K5 bucks that trend with adventurous exterior styling and a high level of detailing given its $24,585 starting price. For just under $27,000, however, the Kia K5 replaces standard front-wheel-drive with an all-wheel-drive system, a relatively rare feature in this class that popular models like the Honda Accord or even the related Hyundai Sonata lack.

Unfortunately, all-wheel-drive is only available on LXS and GT-Line trim levels of the K5, which come only with a relatively tame 180-horsepower, turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine. But as a stylish, well-mannered midsize sedan for less than $30,000, the K5 should be near the top of the shopping list, especially with its all-wheel-drive option.

Browse Kia K5 listings here.


Mazda3

The Mazda3 sedan and hatchback is one of the most well-rounded compact cars on sale today. Distinctive styling and a high-quality interior isn’t a given for a mainstream compact car, nor is a refined driving experience that’s also engaging through the corners. And an unusual option for a compact car at less than $25,000 is all-wheel-drive.

All-wheel-drive is an option on Mazda3s with the 184-horsepower, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with a six-speed automatic transmission. For 2021, a new 250-horsepower, turbo four comes standard with all-wheel-drive, offering smooth power for about $30,000 to start. While the Mazda doesn’t have quite the classy feel of an Audi, it comes relatively close and for far less money.

Browse Mazda3 listings here.


Mercedes-Benz A-Class

Luxury sedans are not only getting larger, but more expensive. At Mercedes-Benz, that’s created a space at the bottom of the lineup for the A-Class. For $35,650 MSRP to start, a A 220 4Matic sedan offers not only all-wheel-drive, but much of the Mercedes-Benz cachet of the larger vehicles. Tech fans may also find a lot to like about the MBUX infotainment system, which comes standard on all A-Class models, that uses its own voice assistant to perform vehicle functions such as, “Hey Mercedes, make it warmer.”

Other available features include the ability to gesture at certain functions instead of pressing a button, or a built-in navigation system with augmented reality to clearly see where the turn is. For thousands less than the larger C-Class sedan, the A-Class might offer all of the features a luxury buyer could want.

Browse Mercedes-Benz A-Class listings here.


Polestar 2

Polestar is a performance brand derived from Volvo’s lineup, and the Polestar 2 is the brand’s second car and first fully electric car. Unlike the similarly sized and priced Tesla Model 3, every Polestar 2 comes with all-wheel-drive and a dual-motor electric powertrain. Electric motors at the front and rear combine with a 78 kWh battery for the equivalent of 408 horsepower going to all four wheels, with an estimated range of 233 miles on a full charge.

The hatchback body style adds some versatility, while the infotainment system is derived from Google’s Android software, and advanced driver assistance technology derived from Volvo’s cars is also included. From about $60,000 to start before tax incentives, the Polestar 2 could be the answer for buyers who want to go electric, but have the backing of an established automaker.


Subaru Impreza

The 2021 Subaru Impreza is the least expensive way to get all-wheel-drive on a new car. At $19,720 MSRP, it’s also one of the least expensive compact cars for sale today. That’s part of what has made the Impreza popular among buyers shopping for an inexpensive new car that can be relatively frugal with fuel, but also stand a chance in snowy conditions.

Available as a four-door sedan or five-door hatchback, the Impreza has a lot to offer when it comes to space inside to seat four adults comfortably, a respectable amount of cargo space, and a number of driver assistance technology features that include automatic emergency braking, lane keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control. It’s also less expensive than the Subaru Crosstrek compact crossover on which shares many parts.

Browse Subaru Impreza listings here.


Subaru Legacy

Like the Impreza, the Subaru Legacy is the rare sedan that comes standard with all-wheel-drive. It’s also the only midsize sedan of similar price to include the feature on every model. While it lacks the added ground clearance of the similar Outback crossover wagon, Subaru’s decades of experience with all-wheel-drive has allowed it to establish a strong following with cars like the Legacy.

With either a 175-horsepower, 2.5-liter four-cylinder or 260-horsepower turbo four, the Legacy competes well with other sedans, like the Kia K5 also mentioned here. What it lacks in exciting design the Subaru makes up for space inside, easy-to-use controls, and relatively good fuel efficiency for a vehicle of its type. A long roster of driver assistance features and stellar safety ratings also builds its case.

Browse Subaru Legacy listings here.


Toyota Prius

The Toyota Prius has been associated with gas-electric hybrid technology for more than 20 years now, prioritizing fuel efficiency over performance (and sometimes style). But to appeal to buyers looking for all-weather traction and better fuel efficiency, Toyota now offers the Prius hatchback with all-wheel-drive.

While it loses some ground in the EPA fuel economy estimates to the standard Prius models, 49 MPG combined city/highway is far from gas-guzzler territory. The Prius AWD-e models also keep much of the practicality of the Prius, meaning reasonable space for four adults and their luggage. And starting from $28,130 MSRP, it’s also a reasonably inexpensive way to get a new all-wheel-drive car.

Browse Toyota Prius listings here


Volkswagen Arteon

The Volkswagen Arteon is an overlooked car that could offer the discerning shopper a lot of features for less than an equivalent premium sedan would cost. VW’s 4Motion all-wheel-drive system is available on all but the base model, but all cars get a 268-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, a high-quality interior, and a distinctive fastback shape that incorporates a large hatch for greater cargo flexibility than a conventional sedan.

At $44,590 MSRP with all-wheel-drive, the Arteon isn’t exactly inexpensive. But its striking looks, plush interior, and strong on-road performance make it worth considering against far more common luxury sedans.

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