10 Best All-Wheel Drive Vehicles Under $25,000 (2016)

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Overview

10 Best All-Wheel Drive Vehicles Under $25,000 (2016)

Whether you're a weekend warrior in search of the dirt road less traveled or an annual snow specialist based up north or at altitude, you've never enjoyed a better selection of affordable, comfortable and capable all-wheel drive vehicles with which to go about your business or pleasure. For serious off-roading you'll likely want to employ the truck-based construction and dual-range 4-wheel drive found in vehicles like the Jeep Wrangler or Toyota Tacoma, but for the majority of us in search of extra traction, these are the best bets available for less than $25,000.

The subcompact SUV segment is growing by leaps and bounds, and the all-new Honda HR-V is the early leader of the pack. Mixing the roomiest, most flexible cabin in the group with all the goodness that accompanies the Honda badge, the HR-V is arguably the smartest choice in this increasingly popular segment.

Larger and more refined than its predecessor, the totally redesigned 2016 Hyundai Tucson is now a truer alternative to established competitors like the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4. The industry-leading warranty remains, and when equipped with all-wheel drive the Tucson provides peace of mind on several levels.

Most small SUVs are neither overly stylish nor particularly fun to drive, but most of them aren't Mazdas. Optional all-wheel drive simply adds to the CX-5's appeal, as does one of our favorite infotainment systems.

The Honda CR-V is the best-selling SUV in the country, our Small SUV Best Buy for 2016, and one of our Best Family Cars. The simple fact that it also offers all-wheel drive makes it an easy pick for this list.

Demonstrating the same expert touch as a master mixologist, the Subaru Crosstrek blends the size and efficiency of a 5-door hatchback with the added ground clearance and seating height of a small SUV. Like the four other Subarus ranked even higher on this list, the Crosstrek's all-wheel drive system isn't just superior, it's standard.

If you like the Jeep Wrangler but would gladly trade some of its world-famous off-road capability for more real-world civility, increased efficiency and greater affordability, the newest Jeep was built for you.

With a starting sticker price of $19,090 including destination, the Subaru Impreza is the least expensive all-wheel drive vehicle in the country. Competing with small-car stalwarts like Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla is no easy task, but for many buyers the Impreza's added traction is its trump card.

In our Subaru Legacy Buyer's Guide we introduce it as "the intrepid adventurer of midsize sedans." One of just three entries in that segment to even offer all-wheel drive, on the Subaru it's available for about $8,000 less.

The compact SUV segment is one of the most popular, fastest-growing car categories in the country, and the Subaru Forester is among its most capable entries. It's an efficient, convenient utility vehicle around town, but transforms into an unrelenting brute when the going gets tough.

Mixing the sensibility of a midsize sedan, the ride height and cargo capacity of an SUV, and the go-anywhere confidence of Subaru's symmetrical all-wheel drive system, the Outback is arguably the most well-rounded vehicle on the road. It's also more fuel-efficient and tech-savvier than ever, making it a compelling alternative for even more buyers.

 

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