AWD systems were introduced in the 1980s, and ever since then, more and more cars are being offered with AWD either as standard or as an option. This includes compact cars, medium-sized cars, large cars, supercars, SUVs of all shapes and sizes, and even minivans.
As such, many compact cars offer state-of-the-art AWD systems at almost every price category. If you are interested in buying a hatchback, be sure to check out the Mazda 3, however, if you want something more special, be sure to check out the Audi A3 Quattro.
Compact sedans such as the Subaru Impreza come as standard with AWD which makes them a great deal. Nonetheless, the best AWD hatchbacks currently are the Audi A4 Quattro, the brand-new Mercedes C-Class 4Matic, and the BMW 3-series xDrive.
The best affordable compact SUV/Crossover with AWD is the Hyundai Tucson but if you want a more luxurious-feeling compact SUV with AWD, be sure to check out the Porsche Macan.
The Mazda 3 is one of the most reliable hatchbacks on the market right now, and if you pair that with a lovely-looking exterior and interior design, it seems like the Mazda 3 is a very tempting offer. It’s worth mentioning that the Mazda 3 does not come with AWD as standard, and if you want it, you will have to pay $1400 extra.
From the factory, the Mazda 3 gets many useful technology and safety features, but if you want a more tech-savvy experience, you will have to opt for a higher trim model. Nevertheless, it’s hard to fault the new Mazda 3 as it is one the best hatchbacks out there right now.
Audi A3 Quattro
The new Audi A3 Quattro is the biggest step up from the previous model when it comes to design and technology, but many people believe that the new A3 is not nearly as well-built as the old one. If you are one of those, the last-gen A3 is still a lovely premium hatchback.
However, if you want the newest and the most advanced, the new A3 leaves little to be desired. The A3 also does not come as standard with AWD, and you will have to pay as much as $3000 if you want an AWD system, but you should as the Audi Quattro system is one of the very best AWD systems on the market.
When it comes to value for money, the Subaru Impreza is arguably the best deal on the market right now. Reliability-wise, it’s one of the most reliable economy cars to ever grace the face of the earth, if you add a starting price of under $20k, and an AWD as standard, the Impreza is a true no brainer.
Especially so when you consider that Subaru’s Symmetrical AWD system is one of the very best ones out there when it comes to slippery conditions. It may not be the most exciting sedan on the market, but it does punch way above its weight.
Mercedes C-Class 4Matic
The new 2021 Mercedes C-Class is yet to reach the US market, but it won’t be long until it does. Many people believe that the new S-Class is slowly becoming a bit too unnecessary as other Mercedes sedans such as the C-Class and eventually the new E-Class will offer the very same design and tech for a lot less money.
This is apparent the moment you take a lot inside the new C-Class as it truly does look like the new S-Class was readjusted to fit onto a smaller platform. This means that the new C-Class is the most technologically advanced compact sedan on the market right now.
The Hyundai Tucson follows a similar trajectory to the Mazda 3 as it is one of the most reliable cars from its segment, it looks nice, and it offers a new take on a somewhat boring brand. The newer Japanese cars are becoming more and more reliable while still offering a lot for the money.
AWD does not come as standard, and it costs around $2k, but these prices tend to change depending on where and when you buy it. Nevertheless, the new Tucson is a lovely SUV.
The Porsche Macan is a compact SUV with a dual personality. On one hand, it is an extremely posh and well-built SUV capable of mild to medium off-roading. On the other hand, it is also an extremely athletic and comfortable SUV that is fun to drive on curvy roads and a highway.
Even though the Macan costs quite a lot of money, you need to understand that it is a Porsche after all, and it’s also nice to hear that all Macan models come equipped with AWD. There are many trim levels to chose from, depending on if you want to maximize the Macan’s athleticism or comfort.
How necessary is AWD?
No matter what you think about AWD, you can’t deny its usefulness, but at the same time, it’s difficult to call it a necessity. All of this depends on what you want from a car, where do you live, and what the car is.
If you want a hatchback, there is no need to opt for an AWD from a value retention perspective, however, if it’s a large SUV, it’s better to opt for AWD. Furthermore, if you live in an area that regularly experiences adverse weather conditions, be sure to opt for AWD.
Why don’t all cars come standard with AWD?
Because not all people want AWD. It may seem pointless that a large SUV such as the Volvo XC90 for example is available as a front-wheel-drive car. However, there are people out there who don’t want to spend a few thousand dollars on AWD because they think that they don’t need it.
Be that as it may, a front-wheel-drive XC90 is a difficult thing to sell, so it’s better to opt for AWD if you are interested in the XC90.
Are AWD cars safer?
If equipped with proper tires, AWD cars are considerably safer than their FWD/RWD counterparts. However, don’t expect any AWD system to be adequately safe if not equipped with proper rubber.
AWD cars offer better traction which is especially necessary during the winter. They accelerate faster and are more confidence-inducing in the corners, all of which contribute to an overall safer experience.