Best Vehicles for Winter Driving
Choosing the best vehicle for your winter adventures can feel daunting.
Bryant Motors can help you conquer the ice and snow!
Selecting a vehicle based on its winter driving capability is an important consideration for much of the country. While our Southern neighbors don’t necessarily think much about traction-control, four-wheel-drive and other features, here in Missouri we find that many locals like to know how a vehicle will perform when the roads get icy and snowy come winter.
While Missouri winters are milder than some, it’s no walk in the park. Midwest winters can be long and cold, with temps and wind chill dipping down to teeth-chattering levels. The coldest temperature ever recorded in Missouri was -40 °F, set in February 1905 in the town of Warsaw. Brrr!
Whether you’re a lifelong Missouri local or you moved here from somewhere else, take comfort knowing that Bryant Motors always has vehicles in stock that you can depend on when the ice and snow come rolling in. There’s nothing like having to tackle a drive in terrible weather with a vehicle that isn’t winter-capable or well-equipped.
Modern all-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive options
Despite the common belief that SUVs are best for winter driving, vehicles that perform well in the ice and snow actually come in all shapes and sizes. It’s up to you to decide how much vehicle you need. For example, some people are more comfortable driving the small Subaru Impreza AWD, while others prefer the safety and size of a full-size pickup truck with four-wheel-drive.
Many auto manufacturers, from Subaru to Jeep, now utilize part-time AWD (all-wheel-drive) systems, where the front tires propel the vehicle until they slip, at which time power is transferred to the rear wheels. Each option has its pros and cons, so deciding very much comes down to brand preference over specific vehicle capabilities.
For example, Jeep has a full-line of highly capable off-road vehicles that can excel in winter weather as well as they do on a dirt road. Beloved by many, Jeep SUVs and trucks have a simple-yet-effective 4-wheel-drive system that’s capable of plowing through some deep snowdrifts.
Winter driving safety tips
One important aspect of winter driving to remember is that no matter how stellar your AWD/4WD system is, coming to a stop on icy or snowy roads may still be a challenge. No amount of AWD/4WD will help slow your vehicle down if you’re moving too fast for the conditions.
Four-wheel-drive systems often make drivers overconfident and allow them to gain more speed than is safe for the road conditions, which can make it difficult to come to a halt. Don’t make the mistake in thinking that your AWD or 4WD will save your bacon when it comes to stopping on ice.
Lastly, don’t discount the important role tires play in your vehicle’s ability to get through deep snow and slick, icy roads. Winter-specific tires are worth their weight in gold. Don’t trust your 5-year-old summer performance tire with your life!
Okay, now that we’ve got that out of the way, check out our top recommendations for winter-ready vehicles based on reviews and data we sourced from various publications and industry experts.
Best Compact Cars for Winter Driving
- Subaru Impreza
- Audi A3
- Mini Clubman AWD
- Mazda 3 AWD
- Nissan Altima AWD
Best Sedans for Winter Driving
- Subaru Legacy
- Audi A4, A6, A8
- Dodge Charger AWD
- BMW 3-series xDrive
- Cadillac CT6 w/ AWD
Best Wagons/Hatchbacks for Winter Driving
- Subaru Impreza Hatch (2008-2016)
- Subaru Outback/Crosstrek
- Audi A3 wagon
- Buick Regal TourX
- Volvo V60/V90
Best Compact SUVs for Winter Driving
- Honda CR-V
- Audi Q3, Q5
- Subaru Forester
- Toyota RAV4
- Jeep Wrangler
Best Minivans for Winter Driving
- Toyota Sienna AWD
- Chrysler Pacifica (FWD only)
- Honda Odyssey (FWD only)
Looking for the best new or used vehicle for winter driving?
If you’re searching for a new or used vehicle that will keep you and your family cozy and safe on those icy and snowy days, look no further than Bryant Motors. We’ll be happy to help you find the right car, truck or SUV. Browse our vehicle inventory now!
If we don’t have exactly what you want in stock, we’ll help you find the perfect car, truck or SUV for your needs — at the price point you’re looking for! Learn more about our one-of-a-kind concierge service.