When snow and ice cover the roads in the winter, driving can be tricky, and both the driver and passengers need to be safe and in control. So, it's important to know the best cars for snow and have a good understanding of how to drive in snow safely. This allows you to prepare your vehicle for winter conditions.
Here, we will talk about the most important habits for safe driving in snow, the best safety features for driving on icy roads, the types of cars that are known for being durable in winter, and the ten best cars for snow. This is also where you will learn about how important performance parts are in the winter. So, all you need to do to get your car ready for a safe winter drive is read till the end!
What are the Important Driving Habits in the Snow?
Driving in the snow requires a certain set of driving habits to ensure safety on the road, regardless of whether you have the best cars for snow or not. So, let’s take a closer look at essential driving habits in the snow below:
- Drive Defensively: Snow-covered roadways require defensive driving, which includes constant awareness of potential hazards like black ice, poor vision, and abrupt road conditions. Since slick terrain extends braking distances, keeping a safe distance from other vehicles is essential.
- Responsible Speed Control: Even though you have one of the best cars for snow, adjusting your speed is a primary safety measure in winter. Slowing down gives you more control over your vehicle and gives you more time to respond to sudden events, slippery spots, or obstacles. So, driving slowly reduces a possible accident’s severity while driving too fast leads to losing control in snow-covered roads.
- Keep Away From Distractions: No matter how good cars for snow you have, you should avoid distractions for your safety on snow-covered roads. We can sort out these distractions, such as talking or texting on your phone, eating and drinking, talking to people in your vehicle, and fiddling with the stereo, entertainment, or navigation system, which can divert your attention from rapidly changing driving conditions in snow.
- Don’t Make Sudden Maneuvers: Driving on snow or ice might be complicated by sudden movements. Even with one of the best snow cars, smooth, soft, and careful maneuvers and braking are essential. Braking slowly, turning gently, and avoiding quick acceleration minimize skidding. These driving habits improve tire contact with the road, reducing slippage.
- Keep Your Vehicle Visible: Visibility is crucial for safe snow driving. Stay on your headlights during the day and switch to low beams in snowy conditions. Clear snow and ice from your car's headlights, taillights, and windshield regularly. You can also wear reflective apparel and stickers to be seen. This makes your car visible in snow and reduces dangers.
- Regular Vehicle Maintenance: Whether you have one of the good cars for snow or not, you should maintain it regularly in order to experience safe driving in the snow. Conducting thorough checks on crucial components such as brakes, tires (specialized winter tires for enhanced grip), lights, and heating systems is essential for reducing the likelihood of breakdowns.
- Performance Enhancement: Snow and ice performance equipment can improve vehicle safety. Winter tires provide a better grip on snowy conditions. Specifically, some performance parts for bad weather can improve stability and maneuverability, making driving safer. So, you may need to transform your car into one of the best cars for snow with performance parts.
What are the Top Safety Car Features for Driving in Snow?
Good cars for snow have some of the top safety features. So, let’s take a closer look at the features of the best cars for snow!
- AWD or 4DW Systems: These drivetrains supply power to all four wheels for better snow traction and control. AWD or 4DW systems improve traction by engaging all wheels, making driving easier in snowy situations. Thus, AWD or 4WD vehicles handle snow better than two-wheel drive vehicles.
- Electronic Stability Control: Electronic stability control detects and reduces traction loss to preserve vehicle stability. Sensors track wheel speed, steering angle, and vehicle direction. The ESC system stops wheels and adjusts engine power to stabilize if it detects skidding or loss of control. So, ESC is especially useful on snowy roads, where skidding and sliding are more likely.
- Anti-Lock Braking System: Anti-lock braking systems prevent wheels from locking up during hard braking, allowing drivers to maintain steering control, especially on snow and ice. ABS systems detect wheel lock-ups and rapidly pulse the brakes to prevent skidding. So this safety feature allows the wheels to continue rotating, improving control and reducing stopping distances on slippery roads.
- Hill Descent Control (HDC): Hill Descent Control assists drivers when descending steep slopes by maintaining a controlled and steady speed without needing constant braking. It uses the vehicle’s anti-lock braking system (ABS) to prevent wheel lock-up and allow the car to descend at a controlled pace. Thus, HDC gives drivers extra control when navigating downhill in snowy or icy conditions.
- Lane Keeping Assist: Lane Keeping Assist detects unintentional lane departures and provides corrective steering input to help keep the vehicle within its lane. So, it gives you additional assistance by guiding your vehicle back into its lane if it starts to drift, which reduces the risk of unintentional lane departures on winter roads.
- Traction Control System: Traction control systems prevent wheel spin by selectively regulating engine power or applying brakes to individual wheels. This safety feature maintains traction on slippery surfaces. So, TCS allows the vehicle to gain an improved grip and control, especially when accelerating on low-traction roads.
- Collision Avoidance Systems: Collision Avoidance systems detect potential collisions with vehicles or pedestrians by using various sensors, cameras, and radar. When a potential collision is detected, these collision avoidance systems alert drivers and sometimes autonomously apply brakes to mitigate or prevent an impact.
- Windshield Wipers with Heaters: Heated windshield wipers with heaters are equipped with heating elements that melt ice and snow buildup, ensuring a clear view of the road. These wipers prevent the blades from freezing, sticking, or becoming ineffective by maintaining consistent visibility.
- Adaptive Headlights: Adaptive headlights dynamically adjust their direction based on the vehicle’s speed, steering input, and elevation changes. They provide better visibility around curves and turn in snowy conditions. So, adaptive headlights improve visibility, reduce blind spots, and help drivers better navigate snowy roads.
Which Type of Cars Are Resistant to Snow?
Different types of vehicles serve different needs and preferences. In general, SUVs, crossovers, trucks, some sedans, and wagons equipped with AWD or 4WD have better traction and stability in winter conditions. Moreover, these types of vehicles provide higher ground clearance, perfect weight distribution, comfortable interior design, and durable exterior design. So, these contribute to better driving on snow-covered roads.
What are the Best Cars for Snow?
The best cars for snow are completely capable of handling winter challenges through their reliable all-wheel-drive systems and advanced safety features.
If you know the best cars in the snow, you can deal with icy roads or deep snow. Now, let’s talk about the best cars for snow below:
Subaru Outback,a versatile crossover equipped with an all-wheel drive system, is one of the best cars for snow. It provides perfect traction control, high ground clearance of 8.7 inches, and a range of engine options that provide around 182 to 260 horsepower. Moreover, the Subaru Outback has advanced safety features like EyeSight Driver Assist, which improves stability and safety on snow-laden roads.
Another good car in the snow is the Volvo XC90, a luxury SUV equipped with an all-wheel drive system. It offers dynamic and responsive driving in the snow thanks to a range of power options, from approximately 250 to 400 horsepower. Also, it provides a high ground clearance of 8.5 inches and essential safety features like collision avoidance and automatic emergency braking, which contribute to accident prevention.
The Jeep Wrangler, an off-road icon, is effectively capable of navigating through snow-covered terrains thanks to its 4x4 capability, durable build, and a high-ground clearance of 9.7 inches and 270 to 470 horsepower, depending on the engine choice. Also, the Wrangler has many safety features like lane-keeping assist, electronic stability control, forward collision avoidance, blind-spot warning, and hill descent control, which lets you tackle icy paths and snowdrifts easily.
Land Rover Defender
The Land Rover Defender is one of the best cars for snow because of its all-wheel drive and advanced off-road technology. It has a high ground clearance of 8.6 inches, traction control, electronic stability control, and 296-395 horsepower. In addition, the Defender's strong chassis, electronic air suspension, and hill slope control make it even better at getting through snowy areas.
With its Quattro all-wheel drive system, the Audi A4 is another best car for snow. Depending on the trim level, it comes with a variety of engines that produce 260 to 320 horsepower. Moreover, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, antilock brakes, and electronic stability control are just a few of the safety features that come standard on the Audi A4.
One of the best cars for snow is the Hyundai Tucson. It has a high ground clearance of 7 inches, HTRAC all-wheel drive, and advanced safety features such as lane-keeping assist, forward collision avoidance, blind-spot warning, and hill slope control. Inside, it has an easy-to-use navigation system and heated seats that make driving in the snow more comfortable. Also, the Tucson has heated side mirrors, LED headlights, and well-designed wheel arches on the outside.
The Toyota Camry with All-Wheel Drive (AWD) is one of the best cars for snow. Depending on the trim level, the Camry comes with a range of engines that produce between 202 and 301 horsepower. There are also high-tech safety features on it, such as electronic brake force distribution, lane departure warning, adaptive speed control, and more. The Camry has 5.7 inches of ground clearance, which isn't very high but can handle a reasonable amount of snow.
Mercedes Benz GLE
The Mercedes Benz GLE is another great car for snow. It's a luxury SUV with 4MATIC all-wheel drive. It comes with a range of engines that produce between 255 and 603 horsepower. In addition, the GLE has an electronic stability program, adaptive braking technology, lane-keeping assist, collision prevention systems, heated seats, and mirrors. The GLE also has a high ground clearance of 7.9 inches.
The AWD Ford Ranger is one of the best trucks for snow. It comes with a range of engines that produce between 270 and 310 horsepower and many important safety features like electronic stability control, electronic brake-force distribution, forward collision warning, and automatic emergency stopping. The Ranger also has a high ground clearance of 8.9 inches. You can also get Ford's Terrain Management System, which has a Snow mode if you choose the Ranger's extra FX4 off-road package.
GMC Sierra 1500
The GMC Sierra 1500, equipped with AWD and a rugged exterior design, is another good truck in snow. It typically offers a range of engine options, delivering around 285 to 420 horsepower, a high ground clearance of 8.6 inches, antilock brakes, electronic stability control, forward collision alert, lane departure warning, and automatic emergency braking. Also, you can look at the GMC Sierra 1500’s winter-specific packages, including heated seats, upgraded winter tires, and all-weather floor mats.
Why are Aftermarket Parts Significant in Winter Conditions?
There are numerous aftermarket parts on the market. Some of them are important in winter conditions because they can handle and reduce winter difficulties. These winter-specific aftermarket parts can be classified as those that improve visibility, safety, traction, and performance in snowy and icy situations. You may improve your winter driving experience by upgrading your vehicle with certain winter-specific aftermarket accessories.
Which Aftermarket Parts Make Your Vehicle Better for Driving in Snow?
According to their principal functions, aftermarket parts improve your vehicle’s performance, acceleration, durability, safety, and visibility. With the right aftermarket parts, even the best snow cars can be improved. Let's discuss which aftermarket parts improve your car in snow driving:
- All-Weather Floor Mats: These mats are typically made from rubber or thermoplastic providing superior resistance to water, snow, mud, and other debris. So, all-weather floor mats are resistant to cracking, tearing, and fading even after prolonged exposure to snow, ice, and salt.
- Winter Wiper Blades: Designed to enhance visibility and safety during challenging winter conditions, winter wiper blades are constructed with durable rubber compounds flexible in extremely low temperatures. This flexibility prevents the blades from becoming stiff or brittle, ensuring they maintain efficient contact with the windshield even in winter conditions.
- Winter Car Cover: Winter car covers shield the car’s body from the adverse effects of freezing temperatures by preventing the formation of snow and ice on the windshield, windows, mirrors, and other surfaces. So, it is a strong barrier against snow, making it easier to clear the vehicle when parked.
- Winter Tires: Winter tires are designed to remain flexible in cold temperatures and maintain good contact with the road, even in freezing conditions, providing better traction on snowy and icy roads. Also, winter tires provide shorter stopping distances and contribute to better braking performance in winter driving scenarios.
- Engine Block Heater: In extremely cold conditions, engine fluids, especially oil, thicken, making engine turning difficult. The engine block heater warms internal components to maintain fluid viscosity. This simplifies starting and saves battery and starter motor stress. Also, the engine block heater reduces startup battery demand, preserving it.
- High-Performance Brake Pads and Rotors: In slippery winter conditions, high-performance brake pads and rotors improve stopping force. Safe driving requires quick, effective braking. High-performance brake rotors also have increased ventilation and heat dissipation materials.
- Throttle Response Controller: Throttle response controllers are designed to eliminate throttle lag from your accelerator pedal, so they contribute to a smoother and more controlled driving experience in snowy conditions. If you want to learn the best throttle response controller, just keep reading!
Explore How Pedal Commander Prepares Your Car for the Best Driving in Snow
Pedal Commander is the most versatile and practical throttle response controller on the market. It effectively minimizes wheel spin and optimizes traction by providing an instantaneous and precise response to accelerator inputs. Pedal Commander's customizable settings enable drivers to tailor throttle sensitivity, striking an ideal equilibrium between responsiveness and stability. This fine-tuning proves essential in achieving control in the often unpredictable and slippery snow conditions.
Moreover, Pedal Commander has four distinctive driving modes – ECO, City, Sport, and Sport+ – significantly contributing to its versatility in adapting to different snowy scenarios. Eco mode allows you to achieve fuel savings of up to 20%, while City mode provides smooth ride quality, even in urban winter driving. Sport mode gradually increases acceleration, while Sport+ mode offers a mind-blowing performance with its aggressive response. If you want to learn more about it, just watch our YouTube video below: