Best Cars for Driving in Winter


Winter brings unique driving challenges. From plummeting temperatures and brutal precipitation to less sunlit hours and salt-covered roads, winter can test your nerves behind the wheel and tax your car’s systems. If you are looking for a new car to help conquer the season, consider the following models, which offer all-wheel drive and advanced safety features. Their interiors boast ample space and comfort features, too.

Honda CR-V

The 2019 Honda CR-V is a top pick for U.S. News & World Report writer Jaclyn Trop because the SUV has plenty of space to haul winter gear. Under proper conditions, available driver-assist technologies such as automatic emergency braking help you avoid or mitigate a collision while automatic high beams toggle between high and low for better visibility at night. The Honda Sensing® Suite — which helps alert you to dangers, maintains your lane position and automatically adjusts your set speed — comes standard on the 2020 Honda CR-V.

Audi Q5

For 2019, the Audi Q5 excels at keeping the chill out and the cabin cozy with standard heated front seats, says Trop. Thanks to the luxury SUV’s quattro® all-wheel drive system, you’ll be able to maintain control and traction over rain-soaked or snow-covered roads. When properly equipped, the 2020 Audi Q5 can tow a maximum weight of 4,400 pounds.

Ford Expedition

The spacious interior and powerful engine earned the Ford Expedition a spot on Trop’s list. The large SUV has 9.8 inches of ground clearance and three rows to accommodate eight people. Models equipped with 4×4 features a Terrain Management System designed with several drive modes including grass/gravel/snow to help you tackle specific terrains.

Subaru Crosstrek

If your winter typically comes with snowstorms or you will be traveling into a region that boasts substantial inches, you will feel more confident behind the wheel of the Subaru Crosstrek. Digital Trends® writers Stephen Edelstein and Ronan Glon named the well-equipped crossover the best overall car for driving in the snow thanks to its symmetrical all-wheel-drive system and high ground clearance.

“It’s durable, too, so you won’t need to worry about breaking something expensive if you drive over a snowbank,” they add.

Volvo V90 Cross Country

If you prefer to face winter’s wrath in luxury, opt for the Volvo V90 Cross Country, the best luxury car for the snow, according to Edelstein and Glon.

“All-wheel drive turns the V90 Cross Country into a true winter warrior. Digital Trends tested it in the middle of winter in northern Sweden, and it never got stuck. It offered excellent traction even on a frozen lake,” they report.

Since it is a Volvo, you can expect a sophisticated, streamlined design for the interior, complete with high-end materials and an expansive cargo area of 53.9 cubic feet of space.

The design, technologies and features in these models help make winter driving more manageable. No matter what vehicle you are in, though, remember to adjust your driving habits to suit weather conditions. Reduce your speed, keep a greater distance between you and the car in front of you and make sure your car’s tires are properly inflated, the battery has a strong charge and you have an emergency kit in your trunk.

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