As we saw this past week, snow and ice can be quite a drag when you need to get somewhere—especially when half the country does at the same time. With Winter Storm Boreas hitting just in time for the Thanksgiving travel rush, we got to thinking about just which cars we’d prefer to take out in extreme winter conditions. Some of them are practical, some are sensible, and others are downright nuts—but they’re all cars we’d love to be in when the white stuff starts falling.
I’ve driven a lot of cars in the snow and am surprised at how much difference I’ve seen even in vehicles that otherwise are comparable to each other.
As winter begins to set in across the country, we figure it’s a good time to create a list of the best cars, trucks and SUVs for plowing through deep snow and easing over slippery ice. Here are my top ten, but feel free to drop a comment and let us know what you drive in the snow and how it does.
Throw any weather situation at either of these Toyotas and you’ll make it through just fine.
Audi A6 Quattro
I had a boss once who loved his A6 so much he’d take me out on snowy mornings and speed through the twisties, trying to make his car come unstuck. He succeeded only once, and broke an axle for the effort.
I chose this over the Pilot because it’s lighter. The Pilot gets a little top-heavy, which makes going down icy hills a heart-racing experience, while the smaller CR-V crawls easily to the bottom.
A low center of gravity and all-wheel drive combine to make the Forester a winner in the snow and cold.
If you’ve got a hard top and doors on your Wrangler, nothing should stop you from reaching the top of the mountain.
Lots of ground clearance, lots of weight, but a low center of gravity make the AWD version of the XC90 a great winter car.
Being a 2,500-pound small car, this thing stays planted. And with the ability to choose AWD or lock it into 4WD, the SX4 is a great commuter car for snowy highways. Just don’t take it on the trails.
As long as you’re not running low-profile 18-inch summer tires, this little Lexus will serve you well through any winter storm.
This is for those who want a little extra flashiness in the their snowy commutes, plus the added benefit of the residual heating function, which will keep the Cayenne heated for up to 20 minutes after shutting the engine off.
BMW 328i xDrive
With dynamic stability control and intelligent all-wheel drive, what else do you need in a winter car? Oh… headlamp washers? Okay, you get those, too.
What do you drive in the snow?
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