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Known for suburb handling in adverse conditions, all-wheel drive (AWD) cars are a great asset for careful drivers. Because the central differential allows each wheel to rotate independently, AWD eliminates issues that 4WD has on dry pavement like wheel hop and driveline binding. Additionally, they are fun as all get out when combined with a turbo! Here is a short list of the best AWD cars priced under $20,000. All prices listed are average retail as listed by Kelley Blue Book then double checked using nadaguides.com.

Subarus under $20K

Subarus under $20KAll Subaru vehicles sold in the United States have featured standard AWD since 1996. The automaker offers two very reliable cars that meet our price point. First is the Legacy, which offers the best fuel economy in the AWD group. You can buy a 2013 Subaru Legacy 2.5i with the Premium trim level for $19,000. The second Subaru offering is the Impreza. The Impreza is the model that offers the highly desirable WRX trim level, but we are pricing out the more affordable 2.0i Premium trim level. Additionally, we priced it with a 5-speed manual transmission just because a manual seemed to make sense with the car that produces the WRX. You can find a 2013 Subaru Impreza 2.0i Premium for $18,000.

AWD Ford Fusion SEL

AWD Ford Fusion for SaleMany people are surprised when they discover that the Ford Fusion can be bought with optional AWD. If you do some careful shopping, you can find the 3.0L V6 SEL trim level paired with a great handling AWD system. When you do, you can expect a 2012 Ford Fusion SEL to cost $19,000.

AWD Cadillac CTS

AWD Cadillac CTS for saleCadillac defines American luxury. The CTS is a great mid-size, sport luxury vehicle. As with the Fusion, AWD is offered as an option, so you will need to shop carefully to find one so equipped. When you do, you should expect a 2008 Cadillac CTS to cost $17,700. Expect to pay slightly more for an AWD-equipped version. Cadillac/GM, along with the other domestic automakers, has really improved their quality in the last decade, so you don’t to worry about buying a used version of the CTS from a maintenance standpoint.

AWD Acura RL

AWD Acura RL for SaleThe Acura RL, another luxury entry, has received top safety ratings from the NHTSA and the IIHS year after year. While fuel economy is quite a bit lower than the Subaru Legacy, it is comparable to that offered by the Cadillac CTS. The RL also features a responsive 3.5L V6 that offers all of the power you could ever need. You should be able to find a 2008 Acura RL 3.5 for $17,000.

AWD Audi A8 (Quattro)

AWD Audi A8 for saleOften overshadowed by the A4 Quattro TTS, the A8 is a solid sport car that offers more room and comfort. The powerful 4.2L V8 doesn’t hurt, either. It is, unfortunately, a fairly expensive car to buy and holds its value quite well. That means that you will need to fall back to a 2007 model in order to meet our price point. You should be able to find a 2007 Audi A8 Quattro with the mid-level L trim for $18,500. Just for fun, we priced the 2007 L W12 Audi A8 Quattro with the awesome 6.0L engine. That model will set you back $39,000.

If your pockets are a little deeper, check out our piece on the best AWD cars under $25K. Quite a few more options there, including offerings from BMW.

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