The wheels exert a backwards force on the ground, so the ground exerts a forward force on the wheels. That's what actio = reactio tells us.
Since the center of the wheel is (largely) stationary relative to the car, the impulse (force times time) delivered from the ground must be forwarded at the axis of the wheel. Here we have again the axis of the wheel pushing on the car, and the car pushing back on the axis.
Since the two forces that ground and car exert on the wheel are not applied at the same place, they result in a torque that tries to stop the wheels from rotating. Again, this torque is the reaction to the torque provided by the engine (via the gearbox, obviously).
So, we have torque from the engine that causes the wheel to push on the ground and the axle on the car. Each force is countered by an equal reaction force/torque.
Now, lets look at the energies. Energy is force times distance.
The engine/gears/axle/wheels rotate while transfering torque, so we have work delivered through the drive train (work = torque times angle of rotation).
The car moves in the ground's frame of reference, so the force that the axle exerts on the car does work on the car.
The ground does not move, so there's no work done on it within its frame of reference.
You see, while the wheel pushes on both the ground and the car, it only does work on the car, simply because the car can move while the ground is stationary.
If you would put the car on a trailer (one of the trailers which are used to transport cars) and forgot to secure the trailers brake, trying to drive the car off the trailer would instead shoot out the trailer from under the car. In this case, the "ground" would not be stationary, but rather moveable and lighter than the car. So the force the wheels apply on the trailer would make the trailer accelerate faster than the heavier car, which experiences the opposite force. As such, the wheels will do work on the trailer, much more work than on the car. It'll be the trailer that takes away the majority of the energy delivered by the car's engine. Oh, and don't try this at home!