Best AWD Cars for 2022

The 10 best AWD cars on the market that should be on your shopping list for 2022

LISTEN 09:18

When the going gets tough, all-wheel-drive traction is what gets people going. It’s not all big and bulky SUVs and pickup trucks that can get you out of slippery situations, many automakers are equipping their everyday hatchbacks and station wagons with sophisticated AWD systems as well which make these family haulers truly all-weather machines. So, here’s a list of the 10 best AWD cars, across all segments and price bands, that are available in 2022 to keep you going in all four seasons.

2022 Subaru Impreza

2017 Subaru Impreza High Resolution Exterior
- image 670269

It should come as no surprise that our first entry for the 10 best AWD cars comes from Subaru, a brand that’s well-established for its utilitarian cars that usually come with the quirky combination of boxer engine and AWD. The Impreza is one of the oldest and best-selling Subarus of all time that’s been in business since 1992 and is currently in its fifth generation. It has been available in all shapes and sizes in the past; from a two-door coupe all the way up to a five-door station wagon. Currently in its fifth-generation, it is available as a four-door sedan and five-door hatchback. The Impreza is surprisingly practical and well-appointed on the inside with the latest 8.0-inch infotainment and ample seating for four adults, but most importantly, AWD is standard across the range.

Under the hood, the 2022 Impreza packs a 2.0-liter Flat-four engine making 152 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque, which connects to either a five-speed manual transmission or a Lineartronic CVT. Even with the AWD setup, it manages to deliver 30 to 32 mpg (combined EPA). Pricing starts at $19,715 for the base 2022 Subaru Impreza 2.0i, while the range-topping 2022 Impreza 2.0i Limited costs $24,915.

Engine Naturally aspirated 2.0-liter four-cylinder
Horsepower 152 horsepower
Torque 145 pound-feet
Drive AWD
0-60 mph 8.5 seconds
Top Speed 120 mph

2023 Mazda CX-50

Best AWD Cars for 2022 Exterior
- image 1032663

The all-new Mazda CX-50 is Mazda’s latest creation and the sequel to Mazda’s best-selling Mazda CX-5 but is being sold alongside the 2022 CX-5 for the time being. This new SUV is a more ruggedized design that’s a fitting evolution to the CX-5’s clean design with soft lines. Facing competition from rivals like the Hyundai Tucson and Toyota RAV4, the CX-50 sits in a highly competitive segment.

The 2022 Mazda CX-50 comes with AWD as standard across the range and is available with two engine options that come mated to a six-speed automatic.

The base 2.5-liter Inline-four engine makes 187 horsepower or you can opt for the turbocharged version of the same motor that bumps the power output up to 256 horsepower. The CX-50 offers one of the best-finished interiors that feel a tier above the rest. The combination of a capable AWD system great interiors and a starting price of just $28,025 make the 2023 Mazda CX-50 a truly capable and desirable family crossover.

Engine Naturally aspirated/ Turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder
Horsepower up to 256 horsepower
Torque up to 320 pound-feet
Drive AWD
0-60 mph 6.6 seconds (est.)
Top Speed 142 mph

2023 Audi A4

2016 - 2018 Audi A4 High Resolution Exterior
- image 635413

Most of you will agree that Audi practically birthed the idea of fitting an all-wheel-drive system to regular cars, thus giving rise to the Quattro revolution that has completely transformed the Rally stages and everyday sedans into all-conquering machines. The latest chapter in this lineage is the all-new 2023 Audi A4, an executive sedan that is the biggest threat to other established crops of German sedans like the Mercedes C-Class and the BMW 3-series. Unlike that sedan, however, the Audi is based on an FWD architecture but comes fitted with Quattro AWD that can send up to 50-percent of the engine’s torque to the rear wheels.

The 2023 Audi A4 carries a starting price of $40,995 while the range-topping Prestige 45 trim is priced at $51,995. The entire range is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four along with a 12-volt hybrid system that delivers a total output of 201 horsepower in the 40 trim and 261 horsepower in the 45 models. The only transmission available across the lineup is a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.

Engine Turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 12V Hybrid system
Horsepower up to 261 horsepower
Torque 273 pound-feet
Drive AWD
0-60 mph 4.8 seconds
Top Speed 126 mph

2023 Subaru Legacy

2018 Subaru Legacy
- image 820879

If you like the Subaru Impreza, but need something a bit bigger and more upscale, the Legacy is the one for you. The 2023 Subaru Legacy brings a few updates to the outgoing seventh-generation model with updated exterior styling and improved tech and safety systems like Subaru’s EyeSight system. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is standard across the board and an optional 11.6-inch touchscreen is also available.

The 2023 Legacy is offered with two engine options, first is a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter flat-four which is the standard option that makes 182 horsepower, while upper trims are available with a 2.4-liter turbocharged flat-four that makes 260 horsepower and all versions come with Subaru’s brilliant AWD system and a CVT transmission. The 2023 Subaru Legacy range is expected to be priced between $25,000 and $38,000, it offers a great alternative to mainstream competitors like the Honda Accord and Hyundai Sonata, cars that lack the utility of an AWD drivetrain.

Engine Naturally aspirated 2.5-liter four-cylinder/ turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder
Horsepower 182 hp at 5,800 rpm, 260 hp at 5,600 rpm
Torque 176 pound-feet at 4,400 rpm, 277 pound-feet at 2,000 rpm
Drive AWD
0-60 mph 8.4 seconds, 6.1 seconds
Top Speed 130 mph

2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5

Best AWD Cars for 2022 Exterior
- image 972817

Mainstream EVs offer a lot of practicality, but if you seek a practical family EV with AWD capabilities and an affordable price tag then look no further than the 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5. It is based on Hyundai’s latest E-GMP platform that also underpins other EVs like the 2022 Kia EV6 and 2022 Genesis GV60. Not only is the Ioniq 5 the cheapest car based on this new platform, but its Neo-retro styling and massive interiors also make it a very practical and well-thought-out daily driver. It draws power from a single-motor RWD setup or a dual-motor AWD setup. The base variant with a 58 kWh battery produces 168 horsepower. The RWD version with a bigger battery pack receives an EPA range of 303 miles, 0-60 in under 7 seconds, 225 horses, and 258 pound-feet of torque.

However, the version that we are interested in is the AWD dual-motor, 320 horsepower and 446 pound-feet of torque which lends it an impressive 0-60 mph time of just 5.1 sec and a 256-mile range. Hyundai has given the Ioniq 5 an 800-Volt architecture which allows for some of the best charging times in the industry according to Hyundai can charge this EV from 10- to 80-percent in 18 mins with a 235 KW fast charger while using a 150W DC fast charging take 25 mins for the same 10- to 80%-percent charge time. The 2022 Ioniq 5 range is priced between $41,245 and $55,745 which makes it an exceptional value.

Motor single/ dual permanent-magnet synchronous AC
Horsepower up to 320 horsepower
Torque 446 pound-feet
Drive RWD/ AWD
0-60 mph 4.5 seconds
Top Speed 117 mph

2023 Volvo S60

2019 Volvo S60 Exterior
- image 784208

Volvo has had a bit of a renaissance in the last few years, injecting its lineup with a hearty dose of Scandinavian flair and performance.

The 2023 Volvo S60 sedan is a clever bit of kit that offers a cutting-edge powertrain and the safety net of all-wheel-drive in an elegant and understated package.

The S60 is the often overlooked option in the compact luxury sedan segment which is dominated by Germans like the BMW 3-series, Mercedes C-Class, and the Audi A4 which is a shame because the S60 gets a lot of things right.

For 2023, the Volvo S60 comes powered by a 2.0-Liter Inline-four with 247 horsepower and Volvo sells a hybrid version of the same engine in its Polestar performance trim that makes up to 455 horsepower. Inside, you are greeted to a minimalist interior featuring a 9.0-inch tablet-style touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, a 12.3-inch digital information screen, and ample seating for four, but if you need more practicality, then there’s the estate version of this car, the Volvo V60 wagon. With prices starting at $41,000 for the entry-level Momentum trim and going as high as $66,000 for the range-topping Recharge Polestar Engineered trim, the S60 is a worthy contender in the entry-level luxury sedan segment.

Engine Twin-charged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, hybrid twin-charged 2.0-liter four-cylinder
Horsepower Upto 455 horsepower
Torque Upto 523 pound-feet
Drive FWD/ AWD
0-60 mph 4.7 seconds (est.)
Top Speed 155 mph

2022 Volkswagen Golf R Wagon

Best AWD Cars for 2022 High Resolution Exterior
- image 578096

The 2022 Volkswagen Golf R Wagon is a 315-horsepower wagon with an All-Wheel-Drive system and a whole lot of character. Everybody loves a hot hatch, and throw in AWD to the mix and you have a winner. This is a tried and tested recipe mastered by cars like the Lancia Delta Integrale, the Golf R, and most recently the GR Corolla. But Wagons are cooler and more practical for families. This is where the 2022 Golf R Wagon comes into the picture as a cut-rate Audi RS4 with the practicality of a wagon body and safety of AWD like the Golf All road but with the oomph and playfulness of the brilliant 2021 Golf R.

Powering this wagon is a familiar 2.0-liter turbo Inline-four making 315 horsepower and 310 pounds-feet of torque and comes mated to either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed DSG gearbox. As a result, this practical estate can do 0-60 mph in 4.7-seconds and with the performance pack, it can achieve a top speed of 168 mph, making it the perfect family car for petrol heads across the globe.

Engine Turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder
Horsepower 315 horsepower
Torque 310 pound-feet
Drive AWD
0-60 mph 4.7 seconds
Top Speed 168 mph

2022 Subaru Outback

Best AWD Cars for 2022 Exterior
- image 1072093

Wagons offer a practical middle ground between the sportier and more aesthetically pleasing sedans and are butch and utilitarian, but for all those looking for a sweet spot that blends all these qualities together then look no further than the 2022 Subaru Outback. Simply put, the Outback is a large, lifted wagon with crossover levels of ground clearance and enough interior space to rival most mid-size SUVs and most importantly, real off-road capabilities thanks to Subaru’s rally-derived AWD system. With 8.7 inches of ground clearance and up to 73.3 cubic feet of storage, the Subaru Outback was designed to tackle just about anything you could throw at it.

The 2022 Subaru Outback is available with two engine options, first is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder making 182 horsepower or a 2.4-liter turbocharged Inline-four with 260 horsepower, both of which are paired to a CVT transmission. This utilitarian Subaru also gets top scores in safety ratings and with prices starting at $29,000, the 2022 Outback is a seriously capable proposition.

Engine Naturally aspirated 2.5-liter/ Turbo 2.4-Liter four-cylinder
Horsepower up to 260 horsepower
Torque up to 277 pound-feet
Drive AWD
0-60 mph 5.8 seconds
Top Speed 117 mph

2022 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 4Matic Coupe

2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA Exterior
- image 813019

Mercedes describes the CLA range as a four-door coupe that bring elegance and usability in one stunning package. The 2022 Mercedes CLA 250 4Matic can fit just about four and offers hatchback levels of space and practicality with ample performance and the added benefits of AWD. Speaking of performance, power for the CLA250 4Matic comes from a 2.0-Liter turbocharged Inline-four engine that makes 221 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque which give it a 0-60 time of just 5.6 seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 130 mph.

The CLA is based on a front-wheel-drive architecture, which means CLA’s AWD system acts like a regular FWD in most situations but it can send power to the rear wheels when they lose traction. The 2022 CLA 250 4Matic is a stylish Merc that blends best-in-class looks with seating for four. With prices starting at $41,250, it is also one of the cheapest ways to get yourself a three-pointed star.

Engine Turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder
Horsepower 221 horsepower
Torque 258 pound-feet
Drive AWD
0-60 mph 5.6 seconds
Top Speed 130 mph

2022 BMW m340i xDrive Sedan

2023 BMW 3 Series Facelift Arrives With More Aggressive Styling and New Technology
- image 1080427

The 3 Series is the benchmark in its segment and BMW is taking things up a notch with the M340i xDrive, the sportiest "regular" BMW 3-series ever! The 2022 BMW M340i xDrive, is a mouthful, but it’s also full of potential, thanks to its spacious and luxurious cabin that can seat up to five occupants and chassis tuning that defies physics and makes the G20 BMW 3 Series the most balanced sedan in its class.

Powering this range-topping guise of the 3 Series is a 3.0-Liter turbocharged Inline-six that is accompanied by a 48-Volt mild-hybrid system, and in combination, this setup makes 382 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque which give this practical family sedan a blistering 0-60 mph time of just 4.1 seconds thanks to the AWD system that makes the best of all that power, even in low traction conditions. With this much power, the M340i competes head-on with the Audi S4 and the Mercedes C43 AMG, and its also priced similarly with a tag of $54,000.

Engine Turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six
Horsepower 382 horsepower
Torque 369 pound-feet
Drive AWD
0-60 mph 4.1 seconds
Top Speed 155 mph

FAQs

What Cars are AWD?

To date, most manufacturers make AWD-equipped models with includes hatchbacks, crossovers, sedans, and SUVs. Some of the most popular AWD vehicles include the Subaru Outback and the Toyota RAV4 AWD.

What is AWD in Cars?

AWD stands for All Wheel Drive. A typical AWD sends power to either its front or rear wheels most of the time but in low traction situations, it can channel the engine’s power to all four wheels for maximum traction.

Which car has the best AWD system?

Supercars like the hybrid Ferrari SF90 Stradale and the gasoline-powered Nissan GT-R represent the pinnacle of AWD technology where they can not only send power to the wheel that needs it most, these cars have advanced torque vectoring that lets these cars negotiate corners at ballistic speeds.

What is the most powerful AWD car?

The Rimac Nevera is an electric hypercar that is the most powerful AWD production car, with its electric motors sending 1,914 horsepower and 1,740 pound-feet of torque to all four wheels.

What is the fastest AWD car?

The Bugatti Chiron Super sport 300+ has to be the fastest AWD car with its officially recorded top speed of 300 mph.

Bhavik Sreenath
Bhavik Sreenath
A keen automotive enthusiast with a love for anything with engines. He loves discovering the world of cars and technology to explore new boundaries in the field of modern-day journalism.  Read full bio
About the author

Related Articles

All the AWD Manual Cars You Can Buy in 2022

The Amazing Wagons That You Can’t Get in the United States

What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: