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3 Subarus Are Among The 10 Cheapest New AWD Models - Why They Are The Best

With new car prices rising and winter coming, what are the cheapest new all-wheel-drive vehicles you can buy today? Subaru has three of the ten least expensive new models, more than any car brand. See why they are the best choice for new car shoppers this winter.


With new car prices increasing, what are the least expensive SUVs and cars with all-wheel-drive available for new car shoppers? Does Subaru have the best all-wheel-drive models you can buy this winter? How do their prices compare to other new vehicles with all-wheel-drive (AWD)?

U.S. News compiled a list of the ten cheapest new cars and SUVs with AWD you can buy. Subaru has three of the ten least expensive new models, more than any car brand. We will explain why they are the best choice for new car shoppers this winter.

2023 Subaru Crosstrek

Note: U.S. News does not include dealer fees in the prices listed here. All vehicles are 2022 model year.

Subaru Impreza $18,795 | U.S. News Score: 7.8/10
Ford Maverick $19,995 | U.S. News Score: N/A
Chevrolet Trax $22,020 | U.S. News Score: 6.9/10
Mazda CX-30 $22,200 | U.S. News Score: 8.5/10
Kia Seltos $22,590 | U.S. News Score: 8.2/10
Subaru Crosstrek $22,645| U.S. News Score: 7.8/10
Hyundai Kona $22,800 | U.S. News Score: 8.5/10
Subaru Legacy $22,995| U.S. News Score: 8.0/10
Honda HR-V $23,370 | U.S. News Score: 7.6/10
Toyota Corolla Cross $23,495 | U.S. News Score: 7.9/10

The Subaru Crosstrek subcompact SUV, Subaru Impreza compact sedan and hatchback, and Legacy sedan will stand out from the above models this winter when you need all-wheel-drive to get you through the snow.

2023 Subaru Impreza

Every Subaru vehicle except for the rear-wheel-drive Subaru BRZ comes standard with Subaru's Symmetrical all-wheel-drive system.

What sets Subaru's Symmetrical all-wheel-drive apart?

Subaru's all-wheel-drive system provides traction effectively by distributing the engine power to all four wheels in a balanced manner. The transmission sits back from the front axle within the wheelbase. With a Symmetrical all-wheel-drive and Subaru's horizontally-opposed Boxer engine, the entire power train is mounted with side-to-side symmetry.

Subaru doesn't adapt all-wheel-drive components to a front- or rear-wheel-drive vehicle like other car brands; they develop multi-use cars around Symmetrical all-wheel drive. Many automakers adapt their AWD system to fit a front-drive configuration, and thus they function passively, transferring torque away from the main drive wheels only when they slip.

The competition with such systems essentially operates in two-wheel-drive when there is no slippage. They can be better than a front-drive car but don't provide the "full-time" benefits and road handling ability that an actual full-time all-wheel-drive system provides.

The layout optimizes longitudinal-transverse weight balance. Those characteristics bring stable traction on many road surfaces and driving conditions. Excellent stability at high speeds and superb cornering and responsiveness are also realized, making the all-wheel-drive system a core technology that underpins the Crosstrek subcompact SUV, Impreza compact car, and Legacy sedan models listed above.

U.S. New lists the 2022 models, but we'll give you pricing on the 2023 Subaru Crosstrek, Impreza, and Legacy as they are available now.

What is the cheapest and best Crosstrek trim level?

The 2023 Subaru Crosstrek now comes in six trim levels for U.S. customers. The base trim is priced from $24,870, Premium ($26,020), Special Edition ($27,970), Sport ($29,220), Limited ($30,720), and Crosstrek Hybrid ($38.070). Prices include destination and delivery fees ($1,225).

The Crosstrek Premium trim level offers the best value with the most features small SUV shoppers are looking for.

What is the cheapest and best Impreza trim level?

The 2023 Impreza comes in four trim levels and seven models for customers. Impreza comes in base sedan ($20,815), base hatchback ($21,315), Premium sedan ($24,215), Premium hatchback ($24,715), Sport sedan ($25,615), Sport hatchback ($25,015), and Limited hatchback ($28,415). Destination and delivery ($995) are included in the prices above. Models with a CVT automatic transmission add around $1,300, depending on the trim level.

The Impreza Premium hatchback trim level offers the best value with the most features and offers hatch utility compact car shoppers are looking for.

2023 Subaru Legacy

What is the cheapest and best Legacy trim level?

The 2023 Legacy sedan now comes in five trim levels. The 2023 midsize sedan starts at $25,415 for the base trim, Premium ($27,715), Limited ($32,465), Sport with a new 2.4-liter turbo engine ($34,915), and Touring XT ($38,715). Destination and delivery fees are included in the pricing above ($1,020).

The Legacy Premium trim level offers the best value with the most features midsize sedan shoppers are looking for.

Note: In addition to standard Symmetrical all-wheel-drive, the 2023 Subaru Crosstrek Premium, 2023 Impreza Premium, and Legacy Premium trim levels all come standard with an All-Weather Package that includes heated front seats, heated exterior mirrors, and windshield wiper de-icer.

New SUV and car shoppers should put the 2023 Subaru Crosstrek, 2023 Impreza, and 203 Legacy on their winter car shopping list. They are among the least expensive new models with all-wheel-drive and the best vehicles for severe winter weather.

You Might Also Like: Another Subaru Milestone - The Automaker's AWD System Turns 50 And 4 Reasons Why It's Still The Best

Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role working with every major car brand. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press. Check out Subaru Report, where he covers all of the Japanese automaker's models. More stories can be found on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Photo credit: Subaru USA


Mike (not verified)    December 8, 2022 - 6:05AM

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