Subaru introduced their first 4X4 wagon back in 1974 and created a niche market that they are dominating 40 years later. This was the first mass-produced 4X4 Japanese car and it was a big success. In 1976 it became the car of choice for the US Ski team and their all-wheel-drive vehicles became well-known in the mountain states. Subaru created a niche market for their recreation-purposed vehicles and they have kept AWD as one of their core values as an automaker with the 2015 Impreza, XV Crosstrek, Legacy sedan and Forester SUV.
Subaru is the smallest of the Japanese automakers, but they are still building multi-purpose recreational vehicles that are selling well here in the U.S. The U.S. is Subaru’s largest global market and they have 4 vehicles in the top 10 most-affordable AWD vehicles in America. Every one of Subaru’s vehicles come standard with all-wheel-drive except for the rear-drive BRZ sports coupe.
2015 Impreza sedan and hatchback
Their AWD lineup starts with the new 2015 Impreza compact sedan and five door hatchback models. The Impreza 2.0i manual sedan starts at $18,990 (including destination) and $19,990 with the continuously variable automatic (CVT). Impreza hatchback starts at $19,490 with a manual transmission and $20,490 with the CVT, and it offers improved cargo room.
2015 Subaru XV Crosstrek crossover
Next on the Subaru AWD list is the 2015 Subaru XV Crosstrek crossover. The vehicle uses a similar Impreza platform, but has 8.7 inches of ground clearance for more extreme all-terrain adventure. The XV 2.0i manual starts at $22,445 including destination. XV Crosstrek 2.0i Premium with the CVT starts at $23,445. A 2015 XV Crosstrek hybrid which is rated at 30/34 mpg is available but it comes with a $4,400 premium over the base model.
2015 Subaru Legacy sedan
The all-new 2015 Subaru Legacy sedan is one of the few all-wheel-drive midsize sedans still available in the U.S., and it's by far the most affordable. The 2015 Subaru Legacy 2.5i starts at $22,490 including destination and features a standard Lineartronic CVT automatic. For 2015, Legacy brings a fresh exterior and interior design, more technology, and improved fuel economy to the all-wheel-drive sedan.
2015 Subaru Forester SUV
The 2015 Subaru Forester SUV was completely redesigned in 2014 and the 2.5i 6-speed manual, starts at $23,045 and with the Lineartronic CVT automatic transmission ($24,045). For those looking for a performance SUV, Forester is available in the XT model ($29,345) that comes with the turbocharged 2.0-liter engine that develops 250 hp which is a significant bump over the standard 2.5-liter’s 170 hp.
The top ten most affordable AWD cars in the U.S.
1. 2015 Subaru Impreza 2.0i manual sedan, $18,990
2. 2015 Jeep Patriot Sport 4x4 manual, $19,890
3. 2015 Mitsubishi Lancer SE AWC sedan, $21,805
4. 2015 Jeep Compass Sport 4x4 manual, $21,990
5. 2015 Subaru XV Crosstrek crossover 2.0i manual, $22,445
6. 2015 Subaru Legacy sedan 2.5i, $22,490
7. 2015 Chevrolet Trax LS AWD, $22,495
8. 2015 Nissan Juke S AWD, $22,925
9. 2015 Subaru Forester SUV 2.5i manual, $23,045
10. 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport ES AWC, $23,045
2015 Subaru Outback wagon
The 2015 Subaru Outback wagon misses the top 10 most-affordable vehicles and starts at $25,745 including destination. The 2015 Outback 2.5i comes with the Lineartronic CVT automatic and is completely redesigned for the 2015 model year. Outback also comes with 8.7 inches of ground clearance like the XV and now comes standard with X-MODE traction assist system for more extreme off-road adventures.
Subaru has the 2015 Impreza, XV Crosstrek, Legacy and Forester in the top 10 most-affordable AWD vehicles, Jeep who is synonymous with all-wheel-drive has two vehicles, Mitsubishi has two vehicles, Chevrolet and Nissan each have one. Subaru created this niche market 40 years ago and continues to dominate the most-affordable all-wheel-drive segment today.