7 Models That’ll Conquer Winter
With so many SUVs on the market, it’s hard to pin down the best SUV for snowbut we’ve managed to narrow the list down to a few affordable and top-notch tips to keep in mind for tackling tough winter roads.
First, top features that the best SUVs for snow should have
SUVs designed for snow typically have a combination of features that improve traction, stability and visibility on slippery roads. Here are some of the key features to look for when choosing an SUV for snow:
all wheel drive
All Wheel Drive (AWD) distributes power to all four wheels, improving traction and stability on slippery roads. AWD is particularly useful in snow and ice, where it can help prevent wheel slip and maintain traction.
Traction control helps prevent wheel slip by reducing engine power or braking the spinning wheels. This feature can be especially useful in snowy or icy conditions where maintaining traction is crucial.
Stability control helps keep the SUV stable and prevents skidding or skidding by selectively applying brakes to individual wheels or adjusting engine power. This feature can be particularly useful in slippery conditions where sudden movements can cause loss of control.
SUVs with higher ground clearance are better able to navigate snowy roads and rough terrain. Higher ground clearance also allows the SUV to traverse deeper snow without getting stuck.
Winter tires are specifically designed to improve traction on snow and ice, with a tread pattern that improves traction and a rubber compound that stays supple in cold temperatures. Switching to winter tires can make a significant difference in the SUV’s ability to navigate snowy roads.
Heated seats and steering wheel
Heated seats and a heated steering wheel can make driving in the snow more comfortable, especially on long journeys. These features can help keep the rider warm and reduce the need for bulky winter clothing.
Windscreen wiper deicer
A wiper deicer prevents ice from building up on the wipers and improves visibility in snowy or icy conditions.
Overall, the best SUVs designed for snow have a combination of features that improve traction, stability and comfort in difficult winter conditions. Now let’s get to the list.
7 top SUV models for snow and harsh winters
Snow/Dirt mode with Subaru X-Mode
Renowned and proven Subaru all-wheel drive
Outback Wilderness Trim offers more robust properties
The Subaru Outback has been a favorite among drivers in snowy regions for many years thanks to its symmetrical all-wheel drive system that offers excellent traction and stability on slippery roads. The Outback also has great ground clearance and comes equipped with features like heated front seats and mirrors, making it a comfortable and practical choice for winter driving.
Now, with the Outback Wilderness, there’s an even tougher version that can take on snow and ice. Along with the equivalent fairing, this new fairing gets larger, Wilderness-designed wheel arches, perfect for traversing the white stuff. Also, Subaru’s X-Mode is very responsive in snow/dirt to put power and traction where it’s needed, and the Wilderness’ suspension offers 241mm or 9.5 inches of ground clearance over rough terrain and if that wasn’t enough is, the 4 metal skid plates provided a little extra insurance.
Here are our top picks for the best winter tires for the Outback SUV.
Built on Volvo’s SPA platform for strength and safety
Standard Recharge tires
Heated seats, a heated steering wheel and a wiper deicer
The Volvo XC90 is a luxury SUV with advanced safety features, including all-wheel drive and stability control, making it a strong performer in snowy conditions. The XC90 also comes equipped with heated seats, a heated steering wheel and a wiper defroster, making it a comfortable and convenient choice for winter driving.
This is the Swedes’ largest SUV and comes with standard Recharge all-season tires to ensure the winter months are covered. And for added safety when driving on snow, the latest XC90 is based on the company’s SPA platform (for Volvo’s most powerful vehicles to date) thanks to extensive use of boron steel coupled with numerous safety systems designed to protect people inside and outside the Premium -class were developed cross-country vehicles.
Jeep Grand Cherokee
Selec-Terrain 5 driving mode system with snow mode
all wheel drive
Jeep’s reputation for handling difficult terrain and road conditions
The Jeep Grand Cherokee is a sturdy SUV that works well even in snow thanks to its all-wheel drive and good ground clearance. The Grand Cherokee also offers features like heated front and rear seats, a heated steering wheel and a remote start system, making it a comfortable and convenient choice for winter driving.
The latest Grand Cherokee features the Selec Terrain system with five available terrain modes – including a snow mode that offers optimized calibrations for different snow road scenarios (other modes include Auto, Sport, Rock and Mud/Sand). Also, the standard 3.6-liter, all-aluminum V6 engine delivers 293 hp and 260 lb.-ft. Torque is enough to conquer most snow conditions.
More security standard features for 2022
New LED high beams in addition to LED low beams and fog lights
All-wheel drive and good ground clearance
The Toyota 4Runner is a reliable and capable SUV that performs well even in snow thanks to its four-wheel drive and good ground clearance. The 4Runner is also equipped with features like heated front seats and mirrors, making it a comfortable and practical choice for winter driving.
The latest 4Runner adds a new TRD Sport to the lineup – a road-focused model that joins the trail-oriented TRD Off-Road and TRD Pro models. Plus more safety features than standard to make winter driving a little less stressful. These include LED high beams in addition to LED low beams and fog lights to intervene in white-out and blizzard conditions on the road. If you like the 4Runner in the photo above, take a closer look at this retro-inspired Toyota 4Runner 40th Anniversary Edition 2023.
Audi Quattro all-wheel drive system
Blend of performance, handling and refinement
Heated front seats and a heated steering wheel
The Audi Q5 is a luxury four-wheel drive SUV with advanced safety features like traction control and stability control that make it a top performer in snowy conditions. The Q5 also comes with features like heated front seats and a heated steering wheel, making it a comfortable and convenient choice for winter driving.
In terms of performance, the latest Q5 gets a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 261 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque; sprints from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.9 seconds and is powered by Audi’s Quattro all-wheel drive system. Overall, the Audi Q5 offers a blend of performance, handling and refinement that makes it a top performer in its class.
Available intelligent 4WD system
Seven driving modes, including snow mode
Heated front seats and a heated steering wheel
The Ford Explorer is a popular four-wheel drive SUV with a terrain management system that adapts to changing road conditions, making it a good choice for snowy weather. The Explorer also comes with features like heated front seats and a heated steering wheel, making it a comfortable and practical choice for winter driving.
Like the other SUVs on this list, the mid-size Explorer has a Terrain Management System that offers up to seven driving modes, including Snow mode. The engine includes a 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder, a 3.0-liter EcoBoost V6 engine and a hybrid powertrain. The Explorer ST we tested makes 400 hp and 415 lb-ft of torque. For winter driving there is an intelligent all-wheel drive system that automatically adjusts the torque between the front and rear wheels to improve handling and traction.
Range Rover Sport
Sophisticated all-wheel drive system and advanced traction control
Heated front and rear seats, heated steering wheel and wiper deicer
Terrain Response 2 system for snow conditions
The Range Rover Sport is a luxury SUV that offers a sophisticated all-wheel drive system and advanced traction control, making it a top performer in snow and other challenging conditions. The Range Rover Sport is also fitted with features such as heated front and rear seats, a heated steering wheel and windscreen wiper defroster, making it a comfortable and convenient choice for winter driving.
This Range Rover’s most powerful engine option produces up to 575 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque, and sprints from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.3 seconds. The Range Rover Sport features an air suspension system that ensures a smooth and comfortable ride, and its Terrain Response 2 system improves traction and handling on different terrains.