The right car for winter is, literally, where the rubber meets the road. Low temperatures, snow, ice –
all of it makes for trouble on the pavement. But if you're in the market for a new car, you have an opportunity to make the season a little easier. We did some research on choosing a car for winter driving and would like to share our favorite findings.
First, you might be wondering the difference between four-wheel drive (4WD) and all-wheel drive (AWD). Digital Trends covers the distinction expertly
in a new article. Here's how author Peter Braun summarized the pros and cons per each type of car:
- Best traction in off-road conditions
- Can be turned off to improve fuel economy
- Proven, rugged technology
- Adds weight and complexity to cars
- Can’t be used in all conditions
- More expensive than two wheel drive models
- Provides increased grip and control under all road conditions
- Gives sportier handling and traction to a broader range of cars.
- Works all the time
- Reduces Fuel Economy
- Increases the weight and complexity of vehicles
- Not as good in extreme off-road conditions
On the Forbes list of best cars for the winter
, we loved seeing the Toyota Sienna AWD
, which is "the only minivan sold in the U.S. to offer optional AWD for added foul-weather prowess." This model has 6.6" ground clearance and –
heated front seats. Speaking of heated interior features, we also noted the Volvo XC70 T6 AWD
on the same Forbes list. What made it stand out? A host of heated components including the front and rear seats, steering wheel, windshield, windshield washer nozzles and headlamp washers. Sounds like a car that we could get cozy in. Browse the other 12 cars on this list of 14
We also found a great list of 10 Best SUVs in Snow by autobytel
. Our favorite was the 2014 GMC Yukon
, as it can seat up to nine passengers while giving you traction on your winter drive. We also noted the 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander
, "one of the more affordable mid-size snow-ready SUVs on the market."
This post is part of our #SafetyForTheSeason initiative sponsored by O'Reilly Auto Parts
. Follow us on social media to get more tips on winter car safety!
What cars do you recommend for winter driving?