As we enter the cold weather season, many aspects of your everyday life start to change. You may swap out your iced coffee for hot, and pull that box of sweaters out from the back of your closet. Depending on where you live, you might be gearing up for a big change: snow. While many people love white winters, there’s more to snow storms than sledding, snowmen, and cozy days inside with a cup of hot chocolate. There’s also shovelling, snow blowing, and, once you’ve dug your poor car out of the drifts, driving in it. Whether your old all-wheel-drive vehicle is in need of replacement or you’ve been slipping and sliding in a 2WD for years and want to make the switch, it might be time for you to consider purchasing a winter-friendly vehicle.
If you’re looking for a vehicle that can get you through long, potentially harsh winters, there are a lot of things to look for. Capable all-wheel-drive, engine power, and ground clearance all make driving in the snow easier, and our friends at City Buick GMC remind us that features like heated seats and steering wheel, remote start, and heated mirrors will be a major plus in cold weather. Ultimately, the choice depends on your own personal preference and the other things you need from your vehicle, but you can feel free to start your search by checking out our list of some of the best cars for winter driving.
Subaru Outback: Almost every Subaru model comes equipped with standard symmetrical all-wheel-drive, which makes even sportier sedans like the WRX and the Impreza viable options for a winter vehicle. Our favorite of the Subaru lineup, though, is the Outback. Higher ground clearance than the sedans in its Outback also offers plenty of space for passengers and cargo, and many models feature a split-folding rear seat, so you can feel free to pack it up with skis and snowboards for a day of winter adventure. Subarus are also often celebrated for their reliability even with high miles, so look for used options if you’re shopping on a budget.
Buick Regal: If you’re a fan of luxury mid-size sedans but still want some added confidence driving in winter weather, check out the Buick Regal. Sporty handling and an available all-wheel-drive system make the Regal an appealing pick for the cold months. In addition to proficient handling in the snow, the Regal comes standard with heated leather seats, heated exterior mirrors, and automatic headlights, all of which you’ll be thankful for on chilly mornings or driving home during a nighttime flurry. If you can get by with your current vehicle for a few more months, hold out for the release of the 2018 model, which will feature a complete redesign with a fresh exterior look.
Acura MDX: Striking a perfect balance between utility and refinement, the MDX brings luxury feel to the three-row SUV segment. Riding in the comfort of the MDX’s plush interior, you’ll hardly notice that a powerful V6 engine and high-performance AWD system are tackling tough conditions on the road. One of our favorite things about the MDX? An available sport-hybrid powertrain, with standard all-wheel-drive.
Suzuki SX4 Hatchback: Although Suzuki hasn’t sold new vehicles in the U.S. since 2013, the SX4 hatchback is a perfect pick if you’re shopping the used market. Models between 2006 and 2013 aren’t difficult to find with fairly low miles and at a reasonable price, and the sporty little hatchback boasts an impressive AWD system as well as an available 6-speed manual for those who like the added control of a manual transmission in slippery conditions.
Toyota Tundra: Anyone who’s shovelled a driveway knows how long and tiring it can be, especially when you really just want to be curled up by the fire with a good book or hitting the sledding hill. If shovelling isn’t your thing, how about a capable pickup you can outfit with a plow? Not only is the Tundra a great plow truck with powerful engine options, even the base trim level comes equipped with heated exterior mirrors and a windshield wiper de-icer, which makes it an incredibly winter-friendly truck.
This winter, don’t spend your days slipping and sliding down the roads or skipping opportunities because of snow. Consider one of these winter-ready vehicles to get you where you need to go no matter how much snow is falling, or find your own favourite capable AWD.