This statement remains true today, as FWD models are often the most affordable products in the portfolios of automakers. Priced just above them are all-wheel-drive versions of these cars, which provide more performance without too much hassle.
RWD models have become rare in the offers of some automakers, but some car brands have always had them, and most of them are more expensive than their FWD equivalents.
After making a list of the most affordable V8-engined automobiles, we decided to look at the other side of the tale. It was easy to make a list of the most expensive RWD available on the market. The same would have applied for the most affordable or the most expensive AWD automobiles.
Instead, we decided to see what are the most expensive front-wheel-drive vehicles offered today. The following list is not complete, and we admit that we might have slipped a few pricey cars from the roster, but we found a few interesting vehicles that are rather expensive in their FWD versions.
Some of these cars are available only in a front-wheel-drive configuration, but most are available with AWD for the upper trim levels.
The rule was to have cars that are available at the moment when the article was written, and not to add options and higher trim levels just to bump the price. Time to start the list.2017 Acura MDX 3.5 V6 ($43,950)
Acura, the premium brand owned by Honda, offers a three-row SUV named MDX. The 2017 model year of the model is also available in a front-wheel-drive variant, which led to its presence on our list. The company’s SH-AWD system is optionally available, and some trim levels get it as standard.
As Acura explains, the front-wheel-drive platform is lighter than the all-wheel-drive version, and it is optimized for fuel efficiency. It was designed to offer a lower starting price, and its ideal clients are those that reside in a region where the climate is “generally agreeable.”
Please excuse the “Captain Obvious” description, as it was quite redundant here. The MDX is a big crossover, which can be had at a lower price if you do not need all-wheel-drive. The decision does make sense if you never see snow or ice where you live, and you only drive on paved roads. Sound familiar? 2017 Lincoln Continental 2.7 GTDI V6 ($62,915)
Ford’s premium brand, Lincoln, also offers front-wheel-drive versions of some of its models. Their purpose is the same as other FWD variants of cars that can be had with AWD – a customer can get a lower price for the car that only drives its front wheels.
In the case of the Continental, this is the most expensive FWD Lincoln you can buy. While the 3.7-liter V6 engine might seem like the more pricey option, it is more affordable than the 2.7-liter GTDI V6 power plant, which we selected for our comparison.
If you are feeling eccentric, the Black Label version of the 2017 Lincoln Continental can end up with an MSRP of $62,915 with the 2.7-liter V6, and without any options on top of the distinctive trim.
Without the fancy Black Label, the Lincoln Continental with front-wheel-drive has an MSRP of $49,765 before adding any options on the equipment level that allows the acquisition of the 2.7-liter V6 engine. Again, if you live somewhere where it is warm all the time, all-wheel-drive is not that necessary.2017 Lexus RX350 ($43,020)
The premium brand started by the Toyota Motor Corporation, Lexus, offers a variety of front-wheel-drive models. The most expensive one we could find on the American configurator was the RX 350. It starts at $43,020 in the front-wheel -rive configuration, while the AWD model is just $1,400 more expensive.
The price difference between the two versions makes one ponder if there is a point in saving almost $1,500 on a car that costs over $40,000. We believe there is no benefit in the presumed saving unless you desperately want a FWD crossover with a 3.5-liter V6 engine.
The RX is not the most affordable model in the Lexus lineup, and it is not the cheapest SUV available in the range, so those that get this car are not exactly penny pinchers.
They are not big spenders either, so some people might consider the front-wheel-drive version if they do not feel the need for AWD. At the end of the day, it is your money and your car, so you have to make the final call.
2017 Audi A6 3.0 V6 TDI (Europe) (49,250 euros)
A few years ago, Audi even offered a front-wheel-drive version of its flagship sedan, the A8. At the time, it was the only model in its segment that was available with FWD in one of its versions, but that variant has been discontinued.
The smaller brother of the A8, the A6, can still be ordered in a front-wheel-drive variant if you really want to, and the most expensive example comes with a 3.0-liter V6 TDI engine. Evidently, it is not available in the USA, but you cna buy it in Germany and other European markets.
Multiple power plants are accessible on the A6 with a front-wheel-drive configuration, and a few of them can even be ordered with a manual gearbox.
The most expensive is the 218 HP V6 TDI unit, which only comes with an S-Tronic gearbox. It starts at 49,250 euros in Germany. The price can go up if you choose an Avant model (Audi-speak for wagon), and it is among the few cars in the class that are available today in a FWD configuration.2017 Volvo S90 T5 ($46,950)
Volvo’s all-new S90 is more expensive than its SUV “brother,” the XC90. Therefore, we selected this model to see what version of it can become the most expensive with a front-wheel-drive configuration. Surprisingly enough, we did not have to work hard to find one.
Volvo calls it the S90 T5, and it only comes as a FWD model. It has a 250 HP powerplant that delivers 256 lb-ft at the front wheels. Its MSRP is $46,950 on the American market.
Another engine option available in the USA is the T6, which only comes with all-wheel-drive, and delivers 316 HP and 295 lb-ft, but it also comes at a cost, because it has an MSRP of $52,950.
European customers are more fortunate in the case of the S90, because it can be ordered with a few diesels that bring the entry price in the range to a lower level. The smallest unit you can buy is a 150 HP diesel called D3, which also features a manual transmission and front-wheel-drive.