There’s no debate that vehicles with all-wheel drive have great traction. But too often, small all-wheel drive vehicles don’t get enough credit for how cool they are.
The truth is some of the coolest small vehicles on the road are ones with all-wheel drive, and some are more affordable than you might think. Also, with torque-vectoring systems becoming more common, these cars perform better than ever.
At NESN Fuel we love small all-wheel-drive sedans hatchbacks, and we came up with a list of some of our favorites.
Ford Focus RS
Although the interior feels a bit cramped and you have to stay actively engaged while driving, as it’s only offered with a manual, the 2017 Focus RS might be the ultimate hatch. Its turbocharged four-cylinder engine produces a whopping 350 horsepower, and its rear-biased torque-vectoring system allows it to perform well in all conditions. It might not have the most-comfortable ride, but if performance and excitement are your priority, this is the hot hatch to own.
Subaru WRX STI
Although it’s more expensive than the base WRX, the 2017 STI justifies its $35,195 MSRP with a 305-horsepower 2.5-liter boxer engine and its beautiful interior and exterior. The Limited Trim level now offers a low-profile rear spoiler, and the standard safety and multimedia features are excellent. Differences aside, both models are as cool as any vehicles you’ll find in any category.
Volkswagen Golf R
With 292 horsepower, the 2017 Golf R might be less powerful than the Focus RS, but it’s still damn good in its own right. It has excellent standard safety and technology features, and its interior styling makes the Golf a great daily driver. Starting at $35,655, the R also is slightly more affordable than the RS.
BMW M240i xDrive
Formerly the M235i, this all-wheel-drive coupe has 335 horsepower, compared to the 320 horsepower put out by its predecessor. But this is a BMW, which means there’s more to love here than just power. The M240i gets surprisingly good fuel economy, and comes with top-of-the-line safety features and technology on the base model.
This is a car that’s definitely grown on us recently. The TTS much edgier and sportier than previous iterations, and it produces 292 horsepower, making it one of the most powerful cars in its class. We know it’s small, but Audi makes some of the most-reliable all-wheel-drive vehicles around, and the safety and technology features available in this luxury coupe make it really stand out.
Thumbnail photo via Audi