Do you know what Boston-area people are really sick of right now? Snow. There has been lots and lots of snow the past month. Too much snow—and this isn’t your everyday winter fatigue talking. We have a very good reason to be done with snow here in Boston. New England suburbs and cities are cramped enough without 7+ feet of snow. Snow currently occupies every parking space in city, traffic couldn’t be worse, and the MBTA (public transportation for the Greater Boston area) will not be able to operate at full capacity for close to a month. Bostonians are taking it on the chin, and there’s only so much more this we can take.
Day after day it snows. There are many Bostonians who believe we’re now in the midst of Fimbulwinter (the long winter before Ragnarok in Norse mythology). So maybe it’s time to start making plans to leave this never-ending winterscape. Let’s just hop in a car and drive south. That car would have to be able to handle the hazardous ice and snow of the Northeast, but also be able to enjoy the warmth when we arrive someplace with above-freezing temperatures. (Yes, 33 degrees would be warm enough for a convertible right now.) So in case you, too, feel like fleeing the snow, here’s our list of cars that could help you escape the snow and enjoy the warmth.
10. Is there any car more satisfying to make a getaway in than the Porsche 911? Think about it—the snow is coming down hard, so your neighbor’s too afraid to take his Viper out of the garage, but you want to make a break for it. You pack your suitcase, stick it in the 911’s spacious 9.9 cubic feet of cargo space, and mash the pedal to the floor. The 6-cylinder then sends power to all four wheels, defeating Old Man Winter, and you’re on your way to Florida. Once you get there, wash the salt off, drop the top, and you’ll forget all about whatever horrible things New England put you through this winter.
9. The Jeep Renegade is proof that good things come in small packages. New for the 2015 model year, the Renegade enters the world as the first European Jeep. Hailing from Melfi, Italy, the Renegade offers European style and Jeep capability (especially in the Trailhawk trim) with an affordable price tag. Like any Jeep, the Renegade will get you through the snow and away from the frozen tundra that is the Northeast. Where it sets itself apart as a Jeep we’d like to take south, however, is in its removable roof panels. Once the temperature gets above freezing, simply pop out the removable panels, and you’ll be treated to an open-air ride. Thanks to the Renegade’s small wheelbase, you’ll be able to put this winter behind you and enjoy that convertible-ish feeling in any of our nation’s crowded tropical metropolises—like Miami, San Diego, or Denver.
8. The Subaru Forester built its reputation on tackling winter, but it can handle summer just fine. Actually, it can do more than that—the Forester is great at summer. Thanks to its panoramic moonroof, though, all you need to do is press a button, and the Forester instantly becomes a beach cruiser, letting all that sun right in after the roof panel slides back. Add Subaru’s excellent Symmetrical all-wheel-drive system (and the car’s 8.7 inches of ground clearance), and the Forester can tackle some of the nastiest conditions around, whether they be in the streets of Boston or the deserts of Arizona.
7. If you want to make a graceful escape, the Audi TT is your ride. Redesigned for 2015, the TT boasts standard quattro all-wheel drive, meaning even Bode Miller couldn’t get it out of control in the worst of conditions. All you need to do is load up the 8.8-cubic-foot trunk and the TT’s 2.0-liter 4-cylinder will do the rest, delivering 211 ponies to all four wheels and sending you on your way to paradise. And if you ever decide to return north, rest assured that the TT is quite well-equipped to tackle winter (although we can’t understand why you’d come back).
6. Looking for a big, German luxury convertible to take you south? Look no further than the BMW 6 Series. Thanks to its stunning good looks and available xDrive all-wheel-drive system, the 6 Series looks right at home underneath the sunny skies of Texas or Florida, but also feels right at home on the snowy streets of New England. With a pair of available engines (a 3.0-liter 6-cylinder or a 4.4-liter 8-cylinder), the 6 Series plays the dual role of a fun-to-drive German sports car and a wild Bavarian racer. If you’re looking to escape the snow and want to have fun doing it, but also need the practicality of four comfortable seats, the 6 Series is your car.
5. As one of the few non-convertibles on this list, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class must have a good reason to be here. As Mercedes’ flagship model, the S-Class brings everything you can expect from the German automaker and puts it in a luxurious package brimming with power, comfort, and capability. The S63 AMG offers the incredible rear-biased 4Matic AWD drivetrain that produces 577 hp. Very few other AWD systems can match that, but the S-Class can quickly and easily get you far away from all this snow and slush and into warmer weather.
4. If you are looking for a spyder with AWD, the Audi R8 is for you. Based on the Lamborghini Gallardo platform, the R8 starts with a 4.2-liter V8 that pushes out an impressive 420 hp (the V10 ups that to 525 hp). That’s pretty good for a sports car and exceptionally solid for an AWD drop-top. The R8 will leave an impression wherever you go, but this roadster will definitely feel more at home driving through warmer climates. Not to say it can’t handle the icy roads of New England—we just wouldn’t want to get too much salt on the paint.
3. If you’re in the nosebleed seats, tax-bracket-wise, you may want to consider the Bentley Continental GTC. Super-luxurious in every sense of the word, the Continental GTC brings a sporty feel to the traditional class and power of the Continental GT. According to Bentley, the cloth convertible roof will be as sound- and weatherproof as the hardtop, so you won’t have to worry about the pile of melting snow on your roof as you drive south. The Continental GTC’s price tag is massive, but Bentley ensures that you get something for your money; its W12 6-liter twin-turbo engine puts out an insane 626 hp. This coupled with an all-wheel-drive system (with 60% of torque coming from the rear wheels and 40% from the front) allows the Continental GTC to have one of the smoothest and most comfortable rides as you conquer the winter roads and head to warmer weather.
2. Is anyone surprised we would put another BMW on this list? The BMW 2 Series is in a lot of ways the quintessential BMW. It brings BMW’s reputation for luxury and power down to a relatively affordable price tag. It matches the tremendous quality of the 3 Series, without the mass-market popularity. BMW’s 50/50 weight distribution makes for great handling throughout BMW’s lineup. This plus BMW’s previously mentioned xDrive AWD system allows the 2 Series to handle the most hazardous of roads. And the 228i Convertible with xDrive may just be the perfect car to battle through the winter roads to warmer climes.
1. Is there really any other choice? We can’t think of a vehicle more capable of handling snow and the beach than the Jeep Wrangler. The Wrangler can handle it all: ice, snow, rocks, sand, even pavement. Competitors cannot match the compact boxy ruggedness of this trailblazing (literally) SUV. The Jeep Wrangler is one of the few vehicles that can take Snowmageddon head-on with very little difficulty. We can say with certainty that the Wrangler should be number 1 on your list of things needed to survive the harsh winter, because it can get you just about anywhere else.
What car would you choose to escape Snowmageddon?
-jharrington and zwaller
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