Best Cars for Snow
I grew up on a farm in North Dakota. Snow can be lethal. It can also be embarrassing. So what are the best cars for snow?
One of the favorite past-times in North Dakota is “Seeing If You Can Get Through”. You’ve just sat on your farm for two days through a blizzard and the roads look passable . . . enough. So you jump in your car and take off for town. The downside of getting stuck would be a walk through deep snow to a neighbor’s farm to get him to come with his tractor to pull you out.
His help usually came at a price of him telling you how stupid you were to try to get through when anyone can plainly see you should have waited for the snowplow to clear the road.
Some cars are better at snow than others. This list is just one person’s opinion.
I’ve left off any front wheel drive cars and listed only four-wheel drive cars and SUVs.
13 AWD cars to consider
2015 Audi Allroad
Take an Audi A4 Avant station wagon, give it a taller 7.1-inch ground clearance and you’ll have the Allroad. Along with the godfather of all AWD systems, Audi’s Quattro, the Allroad delivers 220 horsepower via its 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine.
2015 Dodge Charger
Not to be confused with either a family sedan or an SUV, this sporty muscle car can be ordered with AWD in either the base 3.6 liter V-6 or the 5.7 liter Hemi V-8.
2015 Chrysler 300
Built on the same platform as the Dodge Charger, the 300 offers a more conservative exterior and elegant interior.
2015 Ford Fusion
All-wheel drive is part of the optional Titanium package, which comes with a 2.0-liter, turbocharged EcoBoost four-cylinder engine.
2015 Ford Taurus
The full-size sedan offers AWD with either its base 3.5-liter engine or its twin-turbo.
2015 MINI Countryman ALL4S
The ALL4S version of the Countryman subcompact four-door wagon provides 5.9 inches of ground clearance and a four-cylinder engine that produces 181 horsepower.
2015 Mitsubishi Lancer
This four-door compact offers AWD in its Ralliart package.
2015 Volkswagen CC
The VR6 4Motion Executive package adds a European flair, AWD and a 280 horsepower, 3.6-liter six-cylinder engine.
2015 Subaru Impreza
A compact sedan and hatchback that offer standard AWD and a 148 horsepower, 2.0 liter four-cylinder engine that delivers fuel mileage of 28-mpg city and 37-mpg highway.
2015 Subaru Legacy
A larger, more elegant sedan than the Impreza, The basic four-cylinder, 2.5 liter engine provides 175 horsepower, while the optional 3.6-liter, six-cylinder puts out 256 horsepower. The four-cylinder can provide fuel mileage of 26-mpg city and 36-mpg highway.
2015 Volvo XC70 T6 AWD
Similar to the Subarus in our list, the XC70 is a station wagon that looks like an SUV, but also has a high 8.3-inch ground clearance. A 3.2 liter six-cylinder engine provides 240 horsepower, while an available six-cylinder engine cranks out 300 horsepower.
2015 BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo xDrive
While sporting a tall 6.5 inch ground clearance, the Gran Turismo is nearly eight inches longer and about three inches taller than the standard 3 series sedan. Power is provided by either a 240- and 300-horsepower turbocharged six-cylinder engine.
2015 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Sedan/Wagon 4Matic
The wagon provides a third row, rear facing jump seat for the kids, while one of the choices of power plants is a fuel-efficient, four-cylinder turbo diesel.
Ten all-wheel-drive (AWD) sport utility vehicles (SUV)
Of course, the real winter champions on snow and ice are are the SUVs with all-wheel drive. Consider these ten vehicles:
2015 Chevrolet Tahoe
No mini-SUV, the Tahoe can haul nine people while towing over 8,000 pounds.
2015 GMC Yukon
The GMC Yukon is built on GM’s full-size pickup truck platform and also seats up to 9 passengers.
2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee
The Jeep Grand Cherokee comes with a choice of three different four-wheel drive systems, either a V-6 or V-8 engine, and a six-speed automatic transmission.
2015 Kia Sportage
The Kia Sportage is a compact sport-utility vehicle that can be equipped with either a 2.4 liter, four-cylinder engine that delivers 176 horsepower, or a 2.0 liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that puts out 260 horsepower.
2015 Land Rover LR4
The luxurious Land Rover LR4 offers a full-time four-wheel drive system. Its Terrain Response system allows the driver to tailor the vehicle performance to match road conditions (which includes a snow setting). The LR4’s standard 5.0-liter V-8 provides 375 horsepower.
2015 Lexus GX 460
The 2013 Lexus GX is a luxurious four-wheel drive SUV that offers seating for up to seven passengers, and a 4.6 liter V-8 engine produces 301 horsepower.
2015 Mazda CX-5
The sporty, fun-to-drive Mazda CX-5 offers excellent fuel economy of 26 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway. Its 2.0 liter, four cylinder SkyActiv engine puts out 155 horsepower, while the 2.5 liter, four cylinder SkyActiv engine tops out at 184 horsepower.
2015 Mitsubishi Outlander
The affordable Mitsubishi Outlander seats up to seven passengers, and offers either a 2.4 liter four-cylinder engine that will supply 166 horsepower, or a 3.0 liter V-6 that will crank out 224 horsepower.
2015 Nissan Pathfinder
The 7-passenger Pathfinder has a lockable four-wheel-drive mode and an available heated steering wheel.
2015 Toyota Highlander Hybrid
The Toyota Highlander Hybrid features seven passenger seating, and two electric motors that power its rear wheels. The 3.5 liter six-cylinder engine accompanied by a third electric motor is rated at 280 horsepower and 28 mpg in either the city or on the highway.
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