Ever since all-wheel drive systems were introduced on passenger cars, they became known as ultimate driving dynamics aid. Even in modern vehicles, filled with all kinds of electronic stability systems, four-wheel traction is still reigning when it comes to road holding. Simply, you can’t beat modern AWD systems and in almost every car, this is the preferred option. However, most potential buyers don’t know the difference between different all-wheel drive systems and there are a couple which can be found in passenger cars. To be clear, not all AWD systems are equally good or offer the same level of traction.

The best all-wheel drive systems are mechanical ones or ones that feature Torsen type of differentials. Those AWD systems are capable of transferring all torque to only two or even one wheel in order to keep the car going forward. The amount of power sent to the wheels is limited only by the road surface and those AWD systems in combination with modern electronic sensors and aids are really capable of tackling even the most demanding conditions. On the other hand, we have Haldex type AWD systems which are far less capable but still safer than just front or rear wheel drive layout. Those systems are cheaper to produce and easier to design so they are much more common. The Haldex type all-wheel drive is mounted on existing front wheel drive layout and sends up to 50% power to the rear wheels in case the front wheels needs help. This system is somewhat limited since it cannot send all power to just one wheel and in extreme conditions it can disappoint you with lack of traction. However, in most cases and normal conditions, Haldex AWD systems can be equally usable as more expensive and complicated mechanical or Torsen all-wheel drivetrains.

So, before we present you 15 best currently available AWD sedans for under 35K, we feel you should know the basics of all-wheel drive construction and the difference between the systems. By reading this you will be able to differentiate cars not only by looks or price, but by technology and components underneath the bodywork. So let’s get straight to it.

Subaru WRX

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As you might know, there are two distinctive Subaru features. One is the boxer engine and other is all-wheel drive. Fortunately, Subaru is always using the more advanced mechanical systems which mean that the WRX is a really capable car ready for any weather conditions there is. The WRX comes in few different flavors and models with AWD system as standard through the range. With the base price of $26,595 MSRP, WRX is a really capable and affordable compact sedan. If you are looking for more power and performance, you can always opt for WRX STi version which costs just a little north of $35,000 and comes with numerous performance upgrades, AWD system, and a 306 hp turbocharged engine.