Small All-Wheel-Drive Cars of 2024

It stands to reason that you pay more or less depending on the size of a vehicle, but that isn’t the only consideration when you’re buying a new car. For those who want a reliable commuter that can deal with inclement weather, small AWD cars are an ideal way to get access to a set of wheels that can handle mud, snow, and sleet without breaking the bank.

This is the list of all-wheel-drive compact cars for sale in the USA for 2024:

BuzzScore
Design
Performance
MPG
Interior
Infotainment
Reliability
Safety
Value
#1
2024 Volvo XC40
9.3
BuzzScore
10
Design
9
Performance
10
MPG
9
Interior
9
Infotainment
8
Reliability
10
Safety
9
Value
#2
2024 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid
9.1
BuzzScore
8
Design
9
Performance
10
MPG
8
Interior
9
Infotainment
10
Reliability
10
Safety
9
Value
#3
2023 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class SUV
9.1
BuzzScore
9
Design
9
Performance
9
MPG
9
Interior
10
Infotainment
8
Reliability
10
Safety
9
Value
#4
2023 Mercedes-AMG CLA 45
9.1
BuzzScore
10
Design
10
Performance
8
MPG
10
Interior
10
Infotainment
7
Reliability
10
Safety
8
Value
#5
2024 Mazda CX-30
9
BuzzScore
9
Design
9
Performance
9
MPG
9
Interior
8
Infotainment
9
Reliability
10
Safety
9
Value
#6
2023 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35
9
BuzzScore
10
Design
9
Performance
8
MPG
10
Interior
10
Infotainment
7
Reliability
10
Safety
8
Value
#6
2023 Mercedes-AMG GLA 35
9
BuzzScore
10
Design
10
Performance
8
MPG
8
Interior
10
Infotainment
8
Reliability
10
Safety
8
Value
#8
2024 Toyota Corolla Cross
8.9
BuzzScore
8
Design
8
Performance
9
MPG
8
Interior
9
Infotainment
10
Reliability
10
Safety
9
Value
#9
2023 Volkswagen ID.4
8.9
BuzzScore
8
Design
8
Performance
10
MPG
9
Interior
9
Infotainment
8
Reliability
9
Safety
10
Value
#10
2023 Mercedes-Benz GLB-Class
8.9
BuzzScore
8
Design
8
Performance
9
MPG
9
Interior
10
Infotainment
8
Reliability
10
Safety
9
Value
#11
2023 Volvo XC40 Recharge
8.9
BuzzScore
8
Design
9
Performance
9
MPG
9
Interior
9
Infotainment
9
Reliability
9
Safety
9
Value
#12
2023 Audi TTS Coupe
8.9
BuzzScore
9
Design
9
Performance
8
MPG
9
Interior
9
Infotainment
9
Reliability
9
Safety
9
Value
#13
2024 Audi RS3
#13
Audi RS3
8.9
BuzzScore
10
Design
7
Performance
7
MPG
10
Interior
10
Infotainment
8
Reliability
10
Safety
9
Value
#14
2023 BMW 2 Series Coupe
8.8
BuzzScore
8
Design
8
Performance
9
MPG
9
Interior
9
Infotainment
9
Reliability
9
Safety
9
Value
#15
2023 Audi TT Coupe
8.8
BuzzScore
9
Design
8
Performance
8
MPG
9
Interior
9
Infotainment
9
Reliability
9
Safety
9
Value
#17
2024 Audi Q3
#17
Audi Q3
8.6
BuzzScore
8
Design
8
Performance
8
MPG
9
Interior
10
Infotainment
9
Reliability
9
Safety
8
Value
#18
2023 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class
8.6
BuzzScore
9
Design
8
Performance
8
MPG
10
Interior
10
Infotainment
7
Reliability
9
Safety
8
Value
#19
2024 BMW X1
#19
BMW X1
8.6
BuzzScore
8
Design
8
Performance
9
MPG
9
Interior
9
Infotainment
8
Reliability
9
Safety
9
Value
#20
2023 Audi S3 Sedan
8.6
BuzzScore
9
Design
10
Performance
7
MPG
9
Interior
9
Infotainment
8
Reliability
9
Safety
8
Value
#21
2023 Volvo C40 Recharge
8.6
BuzzScore
10
Design
8
Performance
8
MPG
9
Interior
9
Infotainment
8
Reliability
10
Safety
7
Value

Characteristics of Small Cars with AWD

Despite their improved versatility, small cars with AWD still have to tick certain boxes:

  • They provide better traction than front or rear-wheel drive cars
  • They come in various configurations and body styles
  • They should achieve good fuel economy figures
  • They generally have a reasonable price tag

What to Consider When Buying AWD Compact Cars

While they do have a lot going for them, the smallest AWD car models are still subject to certain limitations that may make them unfit for certain consumers. Make sure you know what you’re getting before you sign on the dotted line.

Pros

  • Ability to overcome mud and snow
  • Good traction improves maneuverability
  • Several high-performance sports cars are on offer
  • Usually more affordable than larger cars
  • Often cramped, especially in the second row

Cons

  • Small sports cars are still expensive
  • Heavier than 2WD cars, affecting fuel economy
  • Not as accommodating as mid- or full-size vehicles

FAQs

What are the best small AWD cars?

In terms of SUVs, there is the Hyundai Kona and Volvo XC40, while hatchbacks offer the Chevrolet Bolt EV and Volkswagen ID.4 - both electric cars. The Honda Civic and Elantra dominate the budget sedan segment, while the best small sports cars in the US include the Mercedes-AMG CLA and Porsche 718.

How much do compact cars with AWD cost?

The price varies vastly depending on if you’re after a mundane everyday car or a more luxurious or athletic model. In terms of the former, you’ll only have to spend around $20,000 to $25,000, while the premium alternatives cost anywhere from $40k to $100k.

Are there any AWD compact cars that can go off-road?

Small trucks aren’t too bad off the road, and both Jeep and Land Rover have some models that don’t mind getting dirty. For the most part, though, small sedans, SUVs, and crossovers aren’t meant to be driven in the wild.

How reliable are small cars with all-wheel-drive?

There are definitely some smaller cars that should be avoided, like the Jeep Renegade or Ford EcoSport, but offerings from Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, and Volvo can generally be depended upon.
Back
To Top