Top 5 best AWD cars for the money in the Philippines

Updated Sep 20, 2021

AWD equipped cars offer the best traction, second only to SUVs.

Go to the next level and get an AWD car that will surpass other options, in the city or the boondocks.

I. Why AWD cars?

When shopping for a new car, why not get an All-wheel-drive (AWD) for a very good option? Before anything else; a vehicle equipped with AWD can handle any traction loss better than other drive trains except for 4WD which is better in some respects.

AWD drivetrains are found in premium cars like sports cars, sports sedans, cross-overs, and SUVs that benefit from this excellent drivetrain. Anyone will benefit from the best AWD equipped cars for the money because it surpasses other drive trains in overall performance.

awd system

AWD drivetrains are found in premium cars like sports cars, sports sedans, cross-overs, and SUVs

One substantial complaint about this drivetrain is the expense it incurs, but it comes handy when traction issues can lead to death or injury. Case in point; take the cheapest option and put it in a situation of huge traction loss that is not very safe. But, put in an AWD equipped car which has a slim chance to right the slippage happening. It can’t be stressful enough, but AWD is another major consideration for getting a 5-star rating.

Okay, an AWD equipped car does not come cheap, but it does come with an army of safety features too. It can be expensive then expect a fully appointed cabin that is luxurious and very comfortable. So, it does come with perks despite the cost not just getting the AWD option! Another thing is that AWD cars have the best specs on the market. Just sit and conveniently enjoy the efficient AWD drivetrain that comes with more modes, than an average car.

For starters, this is what the most basic AWD car will offer any motorist. Heavy rains and showers can affect traction on asphalt and cement roads, but AWD cars can manage it better.

II. Is AWD a good fit for city driving?

The answer is yes, because of improved traction and safety over simpler drive trains equipping other cars. In city streets, all sorts of substances coat the road surface and cause variances in road grip and traction.

One result of not having AWD to keep traction at an optimum is skidding or sliding stops that means a loss of control. This is a deathly situation on any street busy street; an example is pile-ups when one car losses control and creates a domino effect that follows. It could have been averted, if the lead vehicle was AWD equipped and the best AWD cars for the money will keep such events from happening.

In the Philippines; wet roads during the rainy season can cause cars to lose traction by aqua-planning on puddles of water on the freeway and city streets. So, keep these 9 tips to take care of your car before the upcoming wet season in mind.

By sending power to the tires that need it most will keep the car stable, and if it has Electronic Stability Control or Traction control much better! Regaining control of the vehicle is possible, but is hard when the safety threshold is breached. Put cheaper sub-compacts then it is a just a breath away from a serious accident!

car driving in rain

Is AWD a good fit for city driving?

Keeping the vehicle in a straight line is while getting back control from a spin-out is possible because computer and sensor control adapts in milliseconds. Balancing engine power and brake forces applied with ABS, EBD, and BA works with the AWD to keep gravity stable to keep within the safety threshold.

Most AWD car has the advantage in most worst-case scenarios and can handle any city road condition easily. Cost may be more, but AWD will give a peace of mind, than lesser options.

III. Kinds of “All-wheel-drive” drive trains

Before going out and choosing the the best AWD cars, get to know what kinds can be chosen from. There are two types of AWD that can be opted for. These options are full-time and part time AWD that are equipped in most premium cars and SUV models.
An AWD differs from a 4WD because it only sends varying amounts power to where it’s needed. Unlike 4WD that send the same force to all tires, not selectively to each individual tire.

1. Full-time AWD

Power is distributed to all tires and it does continuously, sending power to make up for lost traction. Almost the same a 4WD which is more suited to milder terrain, but 4WD can handle almost every terrain.

2. Part-time AWD

This works different from full-time, because it is in two-wheel-drive-mode but can go full AWD under certain conditions. It only kicks in when slipping or traction loss is sensed by the sensor, unlike full-time which works all the time.

Either of the two all-wheel-drive systems work well compared to other drive-trains but both have the same advantages in city driving too.

III. Top 5 best AWD cars to consider

Here is a list of several of the best AWD equipped cars for the money to get. But before anything else some cons and pros to consider before committing to a possible buy.


  • Fuel efficiency is not the best, compared to other cheaper options.
  • Maintenance is expensive compared to lesser options and getting a full 4x4 may be better.
  • It costs a bit more when other options are cheaper.


  • An AWD is a safer option for city driving because it maximizes traction on most running surfaces.
  • It employs better safety features and is more survivable because losing control of the car is less likely to happen.
  • An AWD can handle mild rough terrain compared to other drivetrains.
  • Good specs cost money and cheaping out is a recipe for trouble.

Now, here are some AWD options collected by to pick from.

1. SsangYong Korando 2018

Price: P1,390,000

A 5-seater cross-over made in Koreas with a diesel engine, and equipped with AWD. One of the cheaper AWD equipped cars but still hitting over 1 million.

ssangyong korando 2018 exterior

This is one of the cheaper AWD equipped cars but still hitting over 1 million

2. Subaru XV 2018

Price: P1,348,000 - P1,538,000

A top of the line SUV cross-over that is equipped with “Symmetrical ADW system”, that is a match for true 4x4 drivetrains. Comes with Vehicle Dynamics Control System (aka ESC) with Active Torque Vectoring (ATV) which works with the AWD to keep the car stable, in most conditions.

subaru xv 2018 on exterior

A top of the line SUV cross-over is equipped with “Symmetrical ADW system”

More options for cheaper Subaru XV can also be found on our site.

3. Mazda CX3 2018

Price: P1,600,000

One of the safest cars which were rated at 5-stars in 2017, also with several of its Mazda brethren. Comes with full-time AWD and a fuel-efficient SKYACTIV engine with G-VECTORING that is the best combo of features. Get this cross-over that comes with touchscreen, Mazda’s excellent comfort features and many outstanding features.

mazda cx3 2018 angular front

The CX3 comes with full-time AWD and a fuel-efficient SKYACTIV engine with G-VECTORING

4. Volvo V40 Cross Country

Price: P2,795,000

Volvo has the rep of making the safest cars on the planet, and this continues with this offering. Not content with safety it's enhanced with a full-time all-wheel-drive for better traction handling most road conditions. The turbocharged T5 engine has 245 Ps and 350 Nm, with an 8-spd AT transmission that gives it an edge, performance-wise. One of the most expensive cross-overs but worth every cent spent!

volvo v40 cross country on the road

This is one of the most expensive cross-overs but worth every cent spent

5. Subaru Legacy 2018

Price: P1,898,000 - P2,208,000

A mid-sized sports sedan that offers a “Symmetrical AWD system” native to Subaru only. Get the top of the line, 3.6 R-S with a six-cylinder engine that pumps out 260 (Ps) and 350 (Nm) of torque. With one the best luxury and safety options that befit it humongous ticket price. Of course, should you wanna save more pesos, refer to our list of lower-price Subaru Legacy for sale on Philkotse.

subaru legacy 2018 on the road

A mid-sized sports sedan that offers a “Symmetrical AWD system” native to Subaru only

Good things don’t come cheap but AWD will be one feature that should matter. If you can't tell which type of car you are using, take a look at our guide on how to tell if a car is front wheel drive or rear-wheel drive.

IV. Best AWD cars in the Philippines: Conclusion

Getting the best AWD cars for the money is a smart move and will assure a safe and reliable vehicle. Be it an SUV, mid-sized sedan, or cross-over that offers the best safety features too. AWD is the best option because it comes with all the features that matter and keeps the occupants safer than most cars.

Norjan Ismail Abbas

Norjan Ismail Abbas


Norjan enjoys writing about various topics, and car is among them. Don't ever ask him which his most favorite car is since he has none. He believes each car is beautiful in its own way.

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