Best Cars for Snow: Top Picks for Winter Driving 2024 (And 4 Points to keep an eye on)

Driving in winter conditions presents unique challenges that demand the right kind of vehicle. When we think about the best cars for snow, we’re considering a mix of stability, handling, and safety features that can make all the difference when the roads are covered in ice and powder.
It’s not just about being able to start on a snowy hill but also about maintaining control and ensuring safety when visibility is low and the pavement is slippery.

We know that choosing a vehicle that can handle tough winter weather is crucial for those living in climates where snow and ice are regular parts of the winter months. Features like all-wheel drive, traction control, and anti-lock brakes are almost standard for snow-capable cars. Ground clearance also plays a significant role, as it dictates how much snow a vehicle can handle before it becomes a snow plow itself.

Let’s explore what makes a car great for navigating those conditions and highlight some of the top performers who have earned their reputation as the best companions for snowy drives.

Boat Interior Design A snowy Ford Bronco standing in the snow with a Husky in front of it
by Pinterest

Essential Features for Snowy Conditions

When we look for the best cars for snow, certain features stand out as crucial for navigating snowy roads safely and comfortably.

Ground Clearance and Drivetrain

Ground Clearance: A car with high ground clearance offers an advantage on snowy roads, reducing the risk of getting stuck in deep snow. 
Drivetrain: All-wheel drive (AWD) systems and Four-Wheel Drive (4WD) deliver power to all tires, improving traction and stability in adverse conditions. Front-wheel drive (FWD) can be adequate for light snowfall, whereas Rear-Wheel Drive (RWD) is generally less favorable for snow.

Effective Snow Traction Control

Winter Tires are essential as they provide the necessary grip on ice and snow.
A car’s Traction Control system prevents wheel spin by reducing power or applying brakes to individual wheels, while Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS) help maintain control during an emergency stop.
More advanced systems, like Torque Vectoring, help maintain stability when taking corners on slippery roads.

Boat Interior Design Best Cars for Snow
by Pinterest

Cold Weather Comfort Features

Ensuring comfort during cold months, Heated Front Seats and Heated Steering Wheel keep us warm. A Climate Control system maintains a consistent temperature, and Heated Mirrors prevent ice buildup, maintaining visibility.

Safety and Driver Assistance Technologies

Safety features such as Automatic Emergency Braking, Lane-Keeping Assist, and Adaptive LED Headlights can be life-saving on snowy roads. 
Collision Warning with Automatic Braking and Pedestrian Detection provides additional layers of protection. For advanced assistance, opt for vehicles with features like Blind-Spot Monitoring, Lane-Departure Warning, and cars recognized as a Top Safety Pick+.

Best Best Cars for Snow Driving

When the snow starts to fall, we all want a vehicle that can handle the Icy challenge with ease. We’ve gathered a selection of the best cars for snow, so whether you’re looking for a rugged SUV or a reliable sedan, we’re here to get you in the right direction.

SUVs and Crossovers

  • Subaru Outback: Known for its symmetrical all-wheel drive and proven in snowy conditions, the Subaru Outback is a favorite for winter driving.
  • Volvo XC40: With its impressive powertrains and roomy interior, this luxury subcompact SUV scores high for its winter capabilities.
  • Toyota RAV4 and RAV4 Hybrid: Offering both traditional and hybrid options, the RAV4 stands out for its reliability in wintry weather.
  • Subaru Ascent: This family-friendly SUV is equipped with features that make winter driving safer.

Sedans for Snowy Commutes

  • Subaru WRX: This fun-to-drive sedan offers notable handling on snowy roads with the bonus of a sporty feel.
  • Volvo V90 Cross Country: With increased ground clearance and AWD, this sedan is built for tougher conditions.
  • Nissan Altima: Provides an all-wheel-drive option, offering extra grip for those snowy days.

Pickups and Off-Road Capable Cars

  • Ram 1500: The Ram 1500 brings both off-road prowess and a plush interior, making it a desirable choice for cold-weather conditions.
  • Honda Ridgeline: A pickup with unibody construction, it handles winter roads with agility.
  • Ford Bronco: Designed for off-road adventures, it also stands out as a strong performer in the snow.

Each of these cars and SUVs has been chosen for their exceptional performance in winter conditions, ensuring you stay confident behind the wheel, even when the roads are less than forgiving.

Boat Interior Design Grey Toyota RAV4 standing in the snow
by Pinterest

Economic Considerations

When we’re seeking the Best Cars for Snow, it’s important to think about not just how well they’ll navigate wintry roads, but also their economic impact on our wallets.
Let’s zoom in on fuel efficiency and the long-term costs associated with insuring and owning a snow-friendly vehicle.

Fuel Efficiency

In snowy conditions, fuel economy can take a hit, especially for all-wheel and four-wheel drive vehicles that provide that extra traction we need.
For instance, the Subaru Outback, a top pick for snow driving, balances all-terrain capability with respectable fuel efficiency, a combo that helps us save on gas without sacrificing performance.
Look for cars that have a good balance between their snow-handling capabilities and their mileage to ensure we’re getting a vehicle that won’t burn through fuel too fast.

Insurance and Ownership Costs

The costs of insurance and maintenance can make a significant difference in our choice of vehicle.
Cars that are rated highly by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) often have lower insurance premiums.
Additionally, vehicles that hold their value well and have reputable reliability, can also be more affordable in the long run. We recommend looking for cars with a solid track record for durability and safety, which usually translates into savings on insurance and less frequent, costly repairs.

Accessorizing for Winter

When we’re talking about the best cars for snow, it’s not just about the vehicle but how you equip it.
Proper accessories can be game changers in winter conditions, enhancing both safety and performance.

Upgrading Tires for Snow and Ice

Tires are paramount for winter driving.
We recommend swapping out regular tires for a quality set designed for snow and ice. Brands like Michelin and Bridgestone offer winter performance tires that provide better traction and control.
It’s worth checking out a reliable tire rack for options that fit new cars and older models. A good winter tire will have deep treads and a rubber compound that stays flexible in cold temperatures.

Boat Interior Design Volvo XC40 standing in the snow
by Pinterest

Optional Packages for Winter

Many new cars come with optional packages to improve winter driving experiences, like heated seats, rain-sensing wipers, and enhanced defrost systems.
Look for a package that includes blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert; these features add an extra layer of safety when visibility is reduced during snowfall.

Driver Visibility and Road Safety

Visibility is vital.
Maintain it by ensuring your vehicle is equipped with rain-sensing wipers that automatically adjust to precipitation levels and defoggers that clear your windshield quickly. Adding exterior features like fog lights can help us see and be seen on those gloomy, overcast days. It’s also wise to pack an emergency kit complete with flares, a flashlight, and a sturdy ice scraper.

My opinion is – with all these features and Extras, please note that a more fortunated drivers experience is needed as well as the capability to take the foot from the Gas when it´s needed – Have a safe trip Mate!

FAQ

Which drive is best for snow?

AWD is potentially the best option for snowy driving conditions. Because AWD systems can both “push” and “pull” your vehicle, cornering abilities, traction, and general handling normally increase.

Why are Subarus so good in snow?

Improved Traction: Subaru’s AWD system is always engaged, ensuring power is sent to the wheels with the most grip. This results in improved traction on icy and snowy roads, reducing the likelihood of slipping or getting stuck.

Are RAV4s good in snow?

The Toyota RAV4 is a great option for winter driving. It has a sophisticated all-wheel-drive system that provides excellent traction and control on snowy and icy roads. The RAV4 also has a ground clearance of 8.4 inches, which is higher than most other vehicles, giving it an advantage on rough terrain.


What about you? Do you often drive in snowy areas?
What do you think is the best car for snow?
We would like to hear your point on that, let us know in the comments or write us an Mail, till then see you next time when it says again…
Let´s Ride!

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Carsten Theermann
Articles: 519

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