all wheel drive cars with good gas mileage 2019

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2020 Lexus NX HybridToyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

Having All-Weather Traction No Longer Means Sacrificing Mileage 

For those living in the mountains or snowbelt, all-wheel drive can be more than just a feature. It’s a necessity – along with a good set of winter tires – when the weather turns frigid and roads become slippery. Having power sent to all four wheels can be the difference between getting stuck and getting to your destination. 

However, four-wheel-drive systems have traditionally meant giving up fuel economy. Their additional weight and the extra friction they create in the vehicle’s driveline can make the engine work harder. Luckily, this trend is changing as automakers prioritize fuel efficiency. Lighter all-wheel-drive components and more sophisticated, computer-controlled systems have improved the fuel efficiency of all-wheel-drive vehicles in the past decade. The newest technological advances, like hybrid-electric all-wheel-drive systems, virtually eliminate any fuel economy penalty.

The following slides show the all-wheel-drive vehicles with the best gas mileage, including gasoline-, diesel-, and gasoline-electric powered models. We’ve ranked these vehicles by their estimated combined fuel economy, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 

Keep in mind that our scores and rankings are updated often as new expert research and data become available. This means that the scores in the following slideshow may not match up with those in each vehicle’s individual review.

2019 Mercedes-Benz A-ClassMercedes-Benz USA

18) 2019 Mercedes-Benz A220 (tie)

28 mpg combined | U.S. News Overall Score: 7.7/10 | Price with AWD: $34,500

The last time we tallied this list, in 2018, the threshold for making the cut was 28 miles per gallon. That number remains consistent, but many of the vehicles have changed.

One such newcomer is the Mercedes-Benz A-Class, the luxury brand’s entry-level small sedan. A 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder making 188 horsepower powers the A220. Mercedes calls its all-wheel-drive system 4Matic, which costs an extra $2,000 over the base, front-wheel-drive models. 

While the littlest Mercedes may be a far cry from the company’s flagship S-Class, it does boast one feature you can’t currently get in any of the big Benzes: MBUX. That’s short for Mercedes-Benz User Experience, the company’s new infotainment system with a voice assistant similar to Amazon Alexa or Apple’s Siri.

2019 Mazda3Mazda North American Operations

18) 2019 Mazda3 (tie)

28 mpg combined | U.S. News Overall Score: 8.4/10 | Price with AWD: $24,000

Mazda introduced all-wheel drive to the Mazda3 when it redesigned the compact model last year. While the Mazda3 is offered in both sedan and five-door hatchback body styles, the all-wheel-drive sedan has a better EPA fuel economy estimate, at 28 mpg combined. Opting for the hatchback with all-wheel drive drops that number to 27 mpg combined. Either version delivers the same gorgeous styling and sporty handling that has long made the Mazda3 a favorite of car enthusiasts. 

One reason for the Mazda3’s superior fuel economy is that Mazda is one of the few automakers using cylinder deactivation technology. This allows its four-cylinder engines to run at half-power during some driving situations. All Mazda3 models are powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder producing 186 horsepower.

2019 Mazda CX-5Mazda North American Operations

18) 2019 Mazda CX-5 (tie)

28 mpg combined | U.S. News Overall Score: 8.6/10 | Price with AWD: $41,000

Mazda’s compact CX-5 SUV is the only diesel vehicle to make our list, after several brands – including Chevrolet, GMC, Jaguar, and Land Rover – discontinued their four-cylinder diesel offerings. 

New for 2019, the 2.2-liter turbo-diesel four-cylinder was a long time coming, as Mazda first announced it years ago. Now that it’s here, fuel economy in the CX-5 is good, but not great. The all-wheel-drive CX-5’s 28 mpg combined with the diesel engine is only two mpg higher than all-wheel-drive CX-5 models with the base engine: A 2.5-liter gasoline four-cylinder that can be had for thousands of dollars less. The diesel engine makes 168 horsepower and 290 pound-feet of torque, compared to 187 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque with the gasoline engine.

Mazda also offers a third engine, a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder, rated at 227 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. A CX-5 equipped with that engine and all-wheel drive only earns a 24 mpg combined estimate from the EPA.

2020 Jaguar XEJaguar Land Rover North America, LLC

18) 2020 Jaguar XE (tie)

28 mpg combined | U.S. News Overall Score: 7.3/10 | Price with AWD: $41,900

Jaguar refreshed its compact sport sedan for 2020 with an updated grille and bumpers, but the biggest change to the XE is its completely redesigned interior. Much nicer materials and new standard leather seats mean the XE is finally a luxury car befitting of its badge.

What hasn’t changed is the XE’s excellent fuel economy. Although Jaguar has discontinued the diesel engine option, the base 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder gas engine still delivers 28 mpg, even when paired with optional all-wheel drive. A body made mostly from aluminum helps to lower the XE’s weight and improve fuel efficiency, while also sharpening this sedan’s reflexes and making the most of the engine’s 247 horsepower.

2020 Hyundai KonaHyundai Motor America

18) 2020 Hyundai Kona (tie)

28 mpg combined | U.S. News Overall Score: 8.3/10 | Price with AWD: $21,500

The all-wheel-drive version of Hyundai’s small SUV just makes the cut by virtue of its base engine: a 2.0-liter four-cylinder rated at 147 horsepower that gets 28 mpg combined with all-wheel drive. Opting for the Kona’s more desirable engine upgrade – a 175-horsepower 1.6-liter turbo four – drops fuel economy by one mpg. Hyundai charges $1,400 for all-wheel drive, which is available on every trim level of the Kona.

The Kona ranks near the top of its class in our subcompact SUV rankings, in large measure because of its outstanding value. Even the base model comes well equipped, with one of the better infotainment systems on the market, as well as standard Apple Carplay and Android Auto.

2020 BMW 3-SeriesBMW of North America, LLC

18) 2020 BMW 330i xDrive (tie)

28 mpg combined | U.S. News Overall Score: 7.9/10 | Price with AWD: $42,750

BMW introduced the seventh generation of its iconic sports sedan last year, with a promise to go back to its roots in prioritizing sportiness and driving dynamics. To most observers, that mission was a success, and the redesign also brought improved fuel efficiency to the 3 Series.

The base engine is still a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, but it now makes 255 horsepower and still manages to return 28 mpg combined – even when equipped with optional all-wheel drive. The 330i xDrive carries a $2,000 premium over the rear-drive 330i. 

BMW has discontinued both the 3 Series Sports Wagon and the 3 Series Gran Turismo, leaving only the sedan in the 3 Series lineup for the time being. A new generation of the mechanically similar 4 Series is due next year.

2020 Acura RLXAmerican Honda Motor Co., Inc.

18) 2020 Acura RLX Sport Hybrid (tie)

28 mpg combined | U.S. News Overall Score: 7.3/10 | Price with AWD: $61,900

Acura’s full-size hybrid luxury sedan is unique in its segment, featuring a 3.5-liter V-6 engine and an electric motor driving its front wheels and two electric motors powering the rears. With 377 horsepower, it is both the most powerful vehicle to make this list, as well as the most expensive. At $61,900, the RLX Sport Hybrid is $7,000 more than the front-drive-only, nonhybrid version of the car.

The equally impressive fuel economy and power of the RLX Sport Hybrid are somewhat betrayed by the car’s drab interior and sub-standard infotainment system. The RLX ranks near the bottom of the luxury large car class, but then again, none of its competitors has all-wheel drive and a 28 mpg combined EPA estimate.

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