Snow and ice can be annoying and dangerous, but these cars can help make life a whole lot easier.
Winter driving is full of potential hazards, and finding the right car to get you through the nasty weather is key. Thing is, you love driving and yet you live in a part of the world that gets its fair share of snow and ice. You also don’t want to drive around in some crappy-looking rust bucket that, despite its appearance, is good at tackling the bad weather. Fortunately we’ve drawn up a list of just a few cars that provide the essential all-wheel drive as well as a fun factor that will keep their drivers smiling no matter what time of year it is.
With the exception of the BRZ, all Subarus come standard with all-wheel drive. And there’s one particular standout that’s both affordable and a blast to drive. The WRX has been a long time favorite for many rally fans, and it’ll also get drivers through plenty of snow drifts with relative ease. Sure, it may not be the prettiest car out there, but considering the latest gen’s 268-hp 2.0-liter turbo four and a base price that’ll likely be less than $30k, the WRX is a hell of a winter bargain.
Sadly, the Toyota FJ Cruiser will be dropped after next year. Until then, this four-wheel-drive off-road wonder is still on sale and carries a base price of just $27k. Its retro-styled exterior isn’t for everyone, but the SUV itself will operate without breaking a sweat in any harsh weather and road condition. Our advice: opt for the manual gearbox option. That combination of all four wheels, a non-turbocharged gasoline engine and a manual isn’t going to be around for much longer from any automaker.
Porsche has always billed its 911 as the ideal everyday sports car. And when it comes to the 911 Turbo, Porsche has engineered it to be the best daily supercar possible. What’s more, it’s got all-wheel drive. Does that mean it can dance in the heavy snow without issues? Not quite, but the 911 Turbo, when equipped with proper tires, can deal with the winter weather. It’s got up to 560 hp (Turbo S) and it looks awesome. Only downside? It starts off at $148,300.
A few years ago, Toyota took four Hilux pickup trucks on a trip to the North Pole. These weren’t any ordinary pickups, however. Toyota may have actually been inspired by a certain northern adventure-themed episode of Top Gear, and the final results were spectacular. These Hilux trucks were further equipped with new tires and heating systems in order to handle the excursion, but their engines were left untouched. That’s how good the Hilux is to begin with. Too bad it’s not on sale in the US.
Need a big sedan that can be equipped with all-wheel drive for a reasonable price? The Dodge Charger checks all of those boxes. It also looks pretty bad ass. Of course there are more refined and luxurious options out there, but considering the Charger AWD starts out at just over $30k, it’s hard to find a better deal elsewhere. And if you’re willing/able to spend a bit more, there’s always the 5.7-liter V8 Hemi option.