Winter travel is much more comfortable and less risky than it used to be. Modern cars, trucks, and SUVs are safer and deliver a better driving experience than ever, but not every car or truck is right for winter driving. So, what are the best cars for winter? Before we reveal our top choices, check out our list of winter driving must-haves and good to-haves that fueled our picks.
The Winter Warrior’s Checklist
Every driver deserves the peace of mind from having confidence in their vehicle’s reliability and performance. No one wants to end up stranded in horrible weather, so maintenance should be at the top of the safe winter driving checklist. We’ll fill you in on tips for keeping your car winter-ready and reliable later, but here are some features to look for in the best cars for winter commuting.
- ADAS (Advanced driver assist system)
- High ground clearance
- Stability control
- Traction control
- Anti-lock brakes
- Fog lights
- Remote start
- Engine block warmer
- Winter tires
We’ll assume most well-maintained vehicles have heat and air, but you can never have too much heat when temperatures plummet! While they aren’t as critical as some other features, heated seats, mirrors, door locks, and windshield wipers make cold-weather driving safer and warmer.
5 Top Picks for Winter Commuters
While many cars are capable for your average winter driving, it should be no surprise that the most capable vehicles tend to be SUVs and trucks. The typical high clearance of trucks is an obvious advantage, but the latest technology and safety features in most modern used cars can be just as critical. Here are our top five winter commuters for family travel and daily driving.
The Chevy Equinox has many driver assistance features that make it one of the best SUVs for snow. You’ll find all the creature comforts and the latest infotainment features to keep everyone happy on family trips and the handling you need to stay safe. From Part-Time All-Wheel-Drive (AWD) for traction to stability control technology, the Equinox checks all the boxes for a safe winter driver.
The Dodge Journey offers front-wheel drive and an engine that sits above the front wheels for solid, dependable traction. Add traction and stability control features and anti-lock brakes, and it’s easy to see why the Journey is one of the best cars for winter driving. There is plenty of room for the whole family and desirable features like heated mirrors, dual-zone climate control, and more.
The Jeep Cherokee offers some of the best-in-class all-weather capable vehicles around, making this all-terrain choice a no-brainer. The high ground clearance, traction control, and other handling features help drivers stick to the road with confidence. While not as large as our SUV picks, the Jeep still seats four to five comfortably and has plenty of safety features. For extreme winter conditions, consider opting for a 4×4 to make driving in snow and ice a breeze.
- Chevy Colorado
The Chevrolet Colorado offers high ground clearance and four-wheel drive, making it ideal for off-roading and winter driving. Features like an anti-braking system, traction control, and stability assistance help drivers keep all that power and torque in check on slippery roads. The latest infotainment and ADAS complete the package for a tough and durable winter driver the whole family will enjoy.
- Ford Truck
The weight and the long wheelbase of the Ford F-150 make it ideal for traveling in winter weather. It’s hard to find a more reliable and affordable driver than an F-150, much less one that can tow and haul and still cut through the snow. You’ll find the essential safety features and enhancements that make driving easier, along with a proven engine and transmission. Like our Jeep pick, a 4WD setup will make the truck one of the best snow vehicles you can drive.
Winter drivers need solid traction, precise handling, and the power and torque to plow through wintery roads. They also need the safety and convenience features that make driving easier and more manageable. And they need to keep their vehicle well-maintained and in top condition.
Winter Maintenance Tips
Whether you drive the best SUV for snow or an all-terrain truck, safe winter driving requires maintenance and preparation. The safest cars in snow are the ones that are equipped to handle winter driving demands and the unexpected. Before winter weather rolls in, take time to get ready with these maintenance tips.
- Test the battery
- Check the heating system
- Check wiper and antifreeze levels
- Change the oil
- Check the front and rear window defrosters
- Inspect all hoses and belts
- Check tire pressure
- Check all exterior lights
- Ensure you have a spare tire, jack, and an ice scraper
Because winter weather can include rain, snow, sleet, and freezing temperatures, nothing is more comforting than a dependable vehicle. Stay on top of maintenance and consider installing tires designed for winter driving for the safest and most comfortable driving experience.
Partner with Car Time Supercenter for Your Winter Driver
Not all our picks will have all the features we’ve discussed, but you can count on each to be a safe and capable winter driver. When it’s time to buy your next car or truck, partner with Car Time Supercenter to find the best cars for winter. You can take your pick from our extensive inventory, stop by for a test drive, and find the perfect fit.
There are good reasons people will buy their next used car in Tucson from Car Time Supercenter. But I think we are one of the most trusted used car dealerships mainly because we treat everyone like family. My family has provided quality, dependable local used cars to Tucson customers since 1984, and I’m proud to be a part of our continued success.
Like many family-owned businesses, I grew up going to work with my dad. Falling in love with cars was natural because of my father’s passion, and eventually, I came to love the car business just like him. I officially joined the Car Time Supercenter team in 2012, starting in the finance department. Over the past decade, I’ve learned the used car business and how to treat customers from my family and industry resources.
Today, I oversee marketing, social media, inventory, and reconditioning, so I play an essential role in delivering local Tucson used car buyers the best experience possible. I also help our family business keep up with the times while providing old-fashioned customer service. From attending NADA classes to becoming Allstate certified for back-end products, I continue to learn and add skills to serve our customers better.