Winter is coming. Heck, winter is here! Is your car ready to brave the elements? While snow tires and tire chains can make your vehicle handle better in inclement weather, some cars are simply born and bred to plow through ice, sleet, and snow. Read on to discover Vroom’s picks for the 10 best cars for winter weather.
It should come as no surprise that the Subaru Outback, a popular car among outdoor enthusiasts, handles snowy conditions like a champ. Maybe that’s why it’s one of the most popular cars in ski hubs like Colorado and Massachusetts. Standard all-wheel drive and a whopping 9 inches of ground clearance make the Outback a formidable opponent for snow drifts.
An iconic SUV, the Jeep Cherokee is a solid choice for snowy climes. Its impressive ground clearance of 8.8 inches and standard all-wheel drive should help give drivers peace of mind when the forecast calls for snow.
The Chevy Tahoe is a behemoth SUV that tackles mountain passes like they’re anthills. With room for up to nine people and a workhorse V8 engine, it’s an ideal vehicle for family trips to the nearest ski resort.
The Land Rover Range Rover Sport can handle just about anything you throw at it. That’s mostly thanks to proprietary technology known as Terrain Response system, which includes five preset driving modes. You can mitigate slick conditions by selecting the grass/gravel/snow mode; it’ll adjust suspension, steering, engine, and transmission accordingly. The Terrain Response system can also increase the Range Rover Sport’s standard ground clearance of 8.4 inches up to 10.9 inches, making it all the easier to traverse unplowed roads. Invest in the optional heated windshield to keep your vision free of frost.
The Audi Q5 is a luxury compact SUV that performs like a sports car, but it also handles itself surprisingly well in harsh weather conditions. All-wheel drive comes standard, and you can opt to add on the Audi Drive Select system — a network of adjustable settings that allow you to tinker with the transmission, suspension, steering, and throttle response. A roomy and tasteful cabin interior makes the Audi Q5 an excellent choice for long winter drives.
With its full-surround glass windows, you won’t miss a single snowflake from inside the Nissan Quest. Plus, the minivan makes ski trips a breeze: a floating roof coupled with flat-folding second and third rows ensure you’ll have ample room for sleds, skis, and snowboards — with plenty of room to spare for a whole crew of kids.
The SUV alternative to the Outback, the Subaru Forester offers 8.7 inches of ground clearance for cruising over accumulating snow in style. The small SUV is noted for its five-star safety ratings and its plethora of safety features, including four-wheel anti-lock brakes, lane departure warnings, and traction control.
The GMC Yukon has a lot going for it when the weather turns nasty: a powerful engine, smooth ride, strong brakes, and four-wheel drive available whenever you need it. It also boasts a fifth place ranking in J.D. Power’s most recent dependability study of 32 car brands, meaning it’s a car you can count on to weather many winters.
The Acura TLX is uniquely suited to snowy conditions thanks to an optional all-wheel drive system known as Super Handling All-Wheel Drive. Torque-vectoring control gives the driver the ability to make precise turns, which comes in handy if you have to slide into an icy parking spot.
With powerful engines and more agility than the average truck, this classic all-American vehicle is a sturdy workhorse you can rely on come winter. It touts a five-star overall safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. You’ll want to opt for four-wheel drive, as rear-wheel drive is what comes standard. You could also invest in the F-150 Raptor trim, which is designed to tackle treacherous terrain with features like beadlock wheels.