I need all-wheel drive but won't drive an SUV or a hatchback. I like small cars, and if I didn't live where I do, I'd like a Mini. What should I be looking for? Oh, yeah, I'm kind of cheap.
Subaru does all-wheel drive on the cheap better than most automakers. The 2011 Impreza 2.5 i sedan is currently the least expensive all-wheel-drive sedan out there, starting at $17,495 with a manual transmission. If you want an automatic, be prepared to tack on an extra $1,000. An all-new Impreza is set to debut soon; keep tabs on Impreza news here.
Otherwise, your next options include performance models like the 2011 Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart at $27,695, and the higher-performance Impreza model, WRX, at $25,495. Take note: These come with standard summer tires from the factory that aren’t suited for winter driving.
There are more choices if you’re willing to step up in size. Subaru’s midsize Legacy is worth a look, as it starts just a hair less than $20,000 at $19,995 with a manual transmission. Like the Impreza, the Legacy’s automatic transmission costs $1,000. The 2011 Suzuki Kizashi S is a midsize sedan that starts at $22,099 with an automatic transmission; no manual is offered with all-wheel drive. The Kizashi has more of an all-around sporty approach than the base 2.5 i Impreza, though the all-wheel drive and automatic suck some of the fun factor from the Kizashi.
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