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