5. Subaru Leone Sedan 4WD
Today, Subaru is famous for two things: flat-four engines and intelligent all-wheel drivetrains. But in the early ‘70s, the company was unknown in the U.S. but gained recognition with the Leone Sedan 4WD. The Leone was a compact economy car available in several body styles.
But for the 1975 model year, Subaru offered the four-wheel drive system as an option on the sedan. And that transformed this little four-door into an extremely capable machine. The power from the 1.6-liter engine wasn’t great, but the car was light and compact. So, the all-wheel-drive system helped with traction and road holding. It was an unusual feature, but it paved the way for future Subaru models and AWD systems.