10 Best Vehicles to Take to the Slopes

Lamborghini Murcielago

Take a Lambo to the mountain!

The groundhog says we’ll have six more weeks of winter. That might upset some people, but to plenty of others, it means six more weeks to hit the mountains for winter fun.

Skiers, boarders, sledders, and snowshoers may not agree on the best way to get down a mountain, but they all have one thing in common: They need a way to get up it.

So, my snow-loving friends, here are the 10 best vehicles to take to the slopes:

BMW X5

BMW X5

Yeah, it’s expensive, and yeah, it gets dismal fuel economy. But when you go to the premier slopes in America, you need a premier vehicle to get you there and back. If you don’t want to buy new, there are lots of quality used ones out there!

Audi Q7

Audi Q7

A downright swank interior coupled with the ability to haul up to seven people makes the Q7 a sure thing. Plus, it’s almost foolish to head into the mountains equipped with anything other than Audi’s Quattro AWD system.

Land Rover Range Rover

Land Rover Range Rover

By now you’ve noticed that I prefer a luxury ride while driving up the side of a mountain. This SUV combines British luxury with Land Rover’s go-anywhere abilities. I don’t want to hear any snide comments about breaking down on the way to the mountain, though. Leave those to me: If you make it to the ski resort without needing a tow, you’ll be ready for your day sitting in the lodge while sipping Earl Grey tea.

Mercedes-Benz G-Class

Mercedes-Benz G55 AMG

I promise, this is the last ridiculously expensive and overly capable vehicle I’ll mention on this list. The CarGurus review says of this Benz:

Exterior features for the 2009 G550 include an electrically heated windshield, heated power mirrors, bi-xenon headlights with heated washers, and front and rear tow hooks. Inside, the G550 comes equipped with such features as heated front and rear leather seats, 10-way power-adjustable front seats, a heated wood-and-leather steering wheel, dual-zone climate control, Burl Walnut wood trim, and a Harman Kardon audio system with a six-disc CD changer.

Anyone care to argue about my choice to include the G-Class? Yeah, that’s what I thought.

Subaru Forester

Subaru Forester

The Forester may be your absolute best bet for a ski vehicle, considering its price and capabilities. Unless, that is, you live in Colorado. Last time I was at a ski area there, the lot was packed with the Foresters of Denver-area ski nuts and outdoorsy tree huggers. Take any other car skiing in Colorado, and you’ll have an easy time finding your car at the end of the day while everyone else wanders aimlessly in the Sea of Subarus.

Jaguar X-Type

Jaguar X-Type

I know, there is very little else this car is good for, but for shuttling you, some friends, and your ski gear up a mountain, the AWD X-Type works really well. If you can get past how it looks with a ski rack on the roof, that is.

Honda Element

Honda Element

The Element is like a giant duffel bag. It’s ugly, but it’s utilitarian and can carry a ton of stuff when packed right. Plus, this is one duffel bag you can hose out at the end of the day.

Volkswagen Microbus

VW Microbus

Is a ski resort really a ski resort without a vintage VW Microbus in the parking lot? No. No, it isn’t.

Jeep Cherokee

Jeep Cherokee

I’m talkin’ old-school here, as in model year 2001 or earlier. This one is for folks who don’t want any luxury and don’t care about a smooth ride or interior comforts. The Cherokee is for the hardcore folks who want two things: capability and reliability.

Any Lamborghini

Lamborghini Gallardo, with ski rack

Oh, why not – throw some skis into the top hatch and give it a go.

What’s your favorite vehicle to take into the mountains for a ski trip?

-tgriffith

Find Used Cars in Your Area at CarGurus

Used Audi Q7
Used BMW X5
Used Subaru Forester
Used Honda Element
Used Jeep Cherokee

4 Comments

  1. How about the AWD Volvos? I saw more XC70s and XC90s in the mountains than I did any other vehicle. Superb comfort, very reliable and enough room for the whole family (and that’s without the roofbox!). Nevermind the safety capabilities should something terrible happen in such bad conditions.

    Should you fancy a bit of fun driving up the mountain, go old-school RWD; a few sandbags in the back and they are more than capable!

  2. @Colin R
    Hey Colin- great list!
    I used to own an X-type. I agree, one of the least fun cars I’ve ever driven. But in the snow, I remain impressed by it.
    I now own the SX4- cheaper, easier on gas, and just as good in the snow!

  3. Jaguar X-Type? Have you ever sat or driven in one of those? It is one of my least favorite cars on the road.

    I’m gonna go with (in no particular order) –

    1. Toyota Land Cruiser – Comfortable, reliable, can go anywhere…..and will most likely stop when you need it to.

    2. Nissan Xterra – Very similar to the Jeep Cherokee. Rugged, dependable, good in the snow.

    3. Toyota Tacoma – Has to be the 4dr/V6/TRD/6 speed manual though. That 30-pack of PBR sitting in the bed of the truck will be cold when you get to the mountain.

    4. Jeep Wrangler Unlimited – Preferably with the roof and doors on. If only “Jeep Days” still existed.

    5. Subaru Impreza WRX – Fun drive on the way to the mountain & fun drive on the way back.

    6. BMW X5 – Luxury, comfort, style…..and heated seats.

    7. Audi S4 Avant – Going for the fun factor again. Plenty of space, plenty of style, and funky LED lights to lead the way.

    8. Hummer H2 – If you are going to show up in a huge gas-guzzling behemoth of an SUV you might as well show up in the King. Just be prepared to fill up the gas tank 5 times…both ways.

    9. Suzuki SX4 Crossover – B/c lift tickets cost enough. Cheap, good on gas, and surprisingly fun to drive.

    10. Toyota Matrix – When you crash in the snow you can always blame it on the faulty gas pedal (couldn’t resist one more jab).

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