NWMS Winter Buyer’s Guide: Best Cars to Drive in Snow

buyer's guide, the best cars to drive in snow

Cars, Trucks, and SUVs to Take On the Winter Conditions

It’s December, and winter has almost officially arrived. For a lot of us, it’s already here. The temperature has plummeted, the trees have lost their leaves, and snow is on the ground. That means that the conditions of the roads are about to take a turn for the worse.

But not to worry! If you live in an area that gets hit hard by winter weather, you know to prepare for it! Snowy roads can be perfectly manageable with the right vehicle and a decent set of winter tires. That’s why it’s important to have options for the best cars to drive in snow this winter. Here are some of the best cars, trucks, and SUVs to help you sail through winter conditions in safety and style!

best cars to drive in snow


If you own or have owned a Subaru, you saw this coming. The Japanese auto manufacturer has a hard-won reputation for making vehicles that are perfect for winter driving. Aside from the lone exception of the BRZ sports car, all Subaru models (including all crossovers, hatchbacks, and sedans) are equipped with a smart, symmetrical all-wheel drive (AWD) system. Here are a few of the best options out there. However, just about any Subaru is going to make a quality winter car.

the subaru outback is one of the best cars to drive in snow

Subaru Outback

The Outback is a great option to tackle wintery conditions with confidence. It is regularly awarded excellent safety ratings and has a ground clearance of at least 8.7 inches. It’s as comfortable, affordable, and dependable as they come.

the subary forester ladies and gentlemen!

Subaru Forester

The Forester shares all those qualities listed above but is a bit more compact (though it is slightly taller than the Outback). If you’re more interested in a compact crossover SUV than something closer to a station wagon, the Forester can be an even more affordable way to go.

the subaru WRX is one of the best cars to drive in snow

Subaru WRX

The WRX is another vehicle ready for snowy roads. It’s not as spacious as the Forester or the Outback. This sporty four-door sedan is built for performance. Its 2.0-liter boxer-four engine is ready for anything. It doesn’t have the ground clearance of the crossovers. But it handles exceedingly well, and you can count on it to be extremely responsive when it matters most.

Check out this video from Consumer Reports to get a sense of how the WRX can take on the snow. The driver is definitely having a blast while they’re at it!

NWMS loves the crosstrek for snowy driving

Subaru Crosstrek

The Crosstrek, like the WRX, is based on the design of the Subaru Impreza. It has a higher ground clearance and offers all the great safety features, standard full-time AWD, and maneuvering capability you’ve come to expect from a Subaru crossover.

be careful driving this winter


Here’s another automaker who you can expect to provide a ride that’s capable of withstanding the elements. Let’s take a look at a few examples that stand out as being especially winter-friendly. 

the cherokee is one of the best cars to drive in snow

Jeep Grand Cherokee

Affordable, safe, comfortable, and available with the option of rear-wheel drive (2WD) and four-wheel drive (4WD). Any Jeep Grand Cherokee is a solid contender for one of the best winter vehicles.

the jeep wrangler is one of the best cars to drive in snow

Jeep Renegade, Cherokee Trailhawk, and the Jeep Wrangler

The Jeep Renegade standard model comes with front-wheel drive and 4WD available on the Limited, Latitude, and Sport trims. The Cherokee Trailhawk is 4WD only. Similarly, the Grand Cherokee, the Cherokee, the Renegade, and the Wrangler, include a Selec-Terrain Traction Management System. This system features something called Snow Mode – which goes a long way toward earning all of these Jeeps a spot on this list. Check out this video to explore how the Selec-Terrain system works in the snow.

Likewise, the Jeep Wrangler is another vehicle designed to excel in off-road conditions. It’s powerfully prepared to take on the snow and ice. Consumer Reports named this model among the best wagons and SUVs for snowy weather.

fords are great in the snow


Meanwhile, the list goes on. There are a lot of great options out there! Many of which come from the iconic Ford Motor Company. See below for two of the best examples of what they have to offer for winter driving.

the ford expedition is is one of the best cars to drive in snow

Ford Expedition

The Ford Expedition is definitely one of the best cars to drive in snow this winter. It’s ranked in the top ten best vehicles for winter weather by Consumer Reports.

we love ford cars

Ford Fusion

The Ford Fusion isn’t as massive as the Expedition. But it is one of the best options for an affordable mid-sized sedan that you can count on to handle inclement weather. Take a look at our inventory! Many models include AWD, and some include a heated steering wheel and heated front seats for extra comfort!

we love the sonata

Hyundai Sonata

Speaking of AWD, it should be pointed out that this is not necessarily a requirement for an exceptional winter car. A front-wheel-drive system is more than capable of tackling snowy roads with the right set of tires. The Hyundai Sonata is another one of the best cars to drive in the snow – and also makes a great car for the rest of the year.

honda crv is one of the best cars to drive in snow

Honda CR-V

Here’s a compact SUV with stellar safety ratings. The Honda CR-Vs we have in stock are all equipped with a four-cylinder engine and AWD for that extra measure of safety.

we love the mazda 3

Mazda 3

As we said above, front-wheel-drive can get the job done. So that’s especially true when that wheel drive system resides in a vehicle with a 5-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Check out this 2017 Mazda 3! It’s a classic example of a car you can depend upon to get you through winter without AWD. 

be prepared this winter

Be Prepared: Find the Best Cars to Drive in Snow this Winter

These are only some of the many, many cars, trucks, and SUVs made to dependably withstand the elements. You’ll be fine if you’ve got a reliable set of snow tires and drive carefully. By the way, here’s a handy rundown of winter driving tips if you’re new to these conditions. Skip the stress this year! Above all, get where you need to go while remaining confident that you can do so safely.

Find yourself some of the best cars to drive in snow only at your favorite place… Northwest Motorsport! Stop into any of our 11 locations in Washington. Moreover, any members of our NWMS team will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have. Stay safe this winter, any of the vehicles listed above will make sure of it.