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Winter Is Coming: 7 Great Cars for Snow Driving

202212-seven-best-cars-in-snow Best cars for winter | Cars.com illustration by Paul Dolan

If you live in the northern half of the U.S., where significant snowfall is a regular winter occurrence, how a car or truck handles the white stuff can take on added significance when shopping for a new car — and it might push one model of a given type ahead of another.

Related: Winter Driving Tips

Not all shoppers want a rugged SUV to take on winter, so our list of models below for winter driving features a mix of vehicle types and highlights cars with features and technologies to keep you comfortable and underway when weather conditions sour.

While the right car is important, the tires on it play a critical role in successfully navigating winter weather. Having the right tires can mean the difference between making it safely to your destination or getting stuck in the driveway, and in areas of the country with significant snowfall or poor snow removal, the right tires for the season might be a set of winter tires. The difference versus all-season tires — both when accelerating and braking — is night and day.

On to the list. Bear in mind all prices listed below include the destination fee.

Cars for Snow Driving

  • 2022 Chrysler Pacifica (AWD)
  • 2023 Dodge Challenger (AWD)
  • 2023 Honda Ridgeline
  • 2023 Kia EV6 (AWD)
  • 2023 Kia Seltos (AWD)
  • 2023 Subaru Outback
  • 2023 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro

If You Want a People Hauler: 2022 Chrysler Pacifica (AWD)

  • Base price: $45,193
  • Combined fuel economy: 20 mpg
2021 Chrysler Pacifica driving in snow 2021 Chrysler Pacifica | Manufacturer image

Minivans are a great choice to move people and cargo, and the Chrysler Pacifica — which earned our Best of 2017 award in the current generation’s debut year — is comfortable, quiet and offers innovative technology like an available Uconnect Theater rear-seat entertainment system with built-in games. The Pacifica saw freshened styling and new multimedia technology when it was updated for 2021, and it offers AWD for most trims. The van’s standard remote start, heated front seats and heated steering wheel can help take some of the edge off bitterly cold days when parked outside.

Shop the 2022 Chrysler Pacifica near you

New
2022 Chrysler Pacifica Limited
$45,999 MSRP $50,272

$523 price drop

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New
2022 Chrysler Pacifica Limited
$46,494 MSRP $50,767

$523 price drop

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If You Want a Muscle Car: 2023 Dodge Challenger (AWD)

  • Base price: $35,140
  • Combined fuel economy: 21 mpg (2022; 2023 figures not yet confirmed)
dodge-challenger-2023-04-exterior-oem 2023 Dodge Challenger | Manufacturer image

Some muscle cars only come out of the garage when it’s sunny and warm, but if yours has to serve as a daily driver year round, the Dodge Challenger may fit the bill. Shoppers who want a traditional muscle car for winter driving should note Dodge is planning to discontinue the coupe after 2023, replacing it with an electrified Charger muscle car. The gas-powered 2023 Challenger is sticking around for now, with its SXT and GT trim levels offering available AWD with a standard 303-hp, 3.6-liter V-6 engine and eight-speed automatic transmission. The AWD system has a front-axle disconnect feature to save fuel, and it automatically varies torque between the front and rear wheels. And despite the Challenger’s throwback styling, the car offers modern comfort and convenience features to help you through the winter months, such as available remote start, heated front seats and a heated steering wheel.

Shop the 2023 Dodge Challenger near you

New
2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat
$152,896 MSRP $102,896
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New
2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat
$151,482 MSRP $101,482
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If You Want a Pickup Truck: 2023 Honda Ridgeline

  • Base price: $40,095
  • Combined fuel economy: 21 mpg
honda-ridgeline-2023-exterior-oem-02 2023 Honda Ridgeline | Manufacturer image

With its unibody platform based on front-wheel drive, the mid-size Ridgeline isn’t like other pickup trucks, but Honda’s unique approach provides certain benefits in winter driving. Whereas a typical rear-drive truck may not have much weight over its driven wheels, limiting traction in slick conditions, the Ridgeline has the weight of its V-6 engine over its wheels and standard AWD across all trims for winter-weather capability. Other mid-size trucks offer higher towing and hauling numbers, but we learned in a mid-size truck comparison test that the Ridgeline is a practical, comfortable and innovative pickup.

Shop the 2023 Honda Ridgeline near you

New
2023 Honda Ridgeline Black Edition
$47,920
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New
2023 Honda Ridgeline RTL-E
$46,420 MSRP $46,420
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More From Cars.com:

If You Want an EV: 2023 Kia EV6 e-AWD

  • Base price: $53,695
  • Combined efficiency: 109 mpg-equivalent
kia-ev6-2022-01-dynamic-exterior-profile-red-suv 2022 Kia EV6 | Cars.com photo by Christian Lantry

Shoppers considering buying an electric vehicle may be hesitant about the vehicle’s performance in winter conditions. However, most EVs offer dual-motor AWD, and the added weight and position of the battery (which lowers the vehicle’s center of gravity) can offer superior handling in slick conditions. On the other hand, cold weather can take a toll on an EV’s range — up to 40%, according to one study. The Kia EV6 is prepared to take on the demands of winter with available AWD and a range of up to 282 miles for the dual-motor models. The EV6 also features a heat pump climate-control system and winter mode designed to maintain its range, charging and driving performance in cold temperatures. Additionally, heated front seats come standard across all trims, while second-row heated seats and a heated steering wheel are optional.

Shop the 2022 Kia EV6 near you

New
2022 Kia EV6 Wind
$53,214 MSRP $54,860
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Used
2022 Kia EV6 Wind
12,274 mi.
$45,877 $5,159 price drop

If You Want a Small SUV: 2023 Kia Seltos (AWD)

  • Base price: $24,135
  • Combined fuel economy: 29 mpg
2022 Kia Seltos 2022 Kia Seltos | Manufacturer image

While larger, heavier vehicles offer some advantages when it comes to winter driving, a subcompact SUV like the 2023 Kia Seltos can be a better fit for maneuvering around tight city streets and parking spots in snowy conditions. Claiming the top spot in a recent Cars.com affordable SUV comparison, the Seltos offers standard AWD across most trims, including the base LX. The SUV’s base trim also gained important standard safety tech for the 2022 model year, including automatic forward emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, lane departure steering assist, lane-centering steering and automatic high beams. Plus, available winter-friendly features like heated side mirrors, remote start, automatic climate control and heated front seats can make the coldest months of the year seem more bearable.

Shop the 2023 Kia Seltos near you

New
2023 Kia Seltos S
$26,620 MSRP $26,620

$1,000 price drop

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New
2023 Kia Seltos LX
$24,865 MSRP $24,865

$1,000 price drop

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If You Want a Wagon: 2023 Subaru Outback

  • Base price: $29,620
  • Combined fuel economy: 28 mpg
subaru-outback-2023-005-dynamic-exterior-front-angle-green-suv 2023 Subaru Outback | Manufacturer photo

Although the number of available wagons has dwindled in the U.S., the Subaru Outback remains popular amid increasing competition from traditional SUVs, and it’s a good choice for shoppers looking for a capable winter vehicle. Its 8.7 inches of ground clearance rivals that of many taller SUVs, and it comes standard with AWD. Among the updates for 2023 is an enhanced EyeSight driver-assist suite, and available winter-friendly convenience features include heated front and rear seats, a heated steering wheel and heated windshield wiper resting points to help keep the rubber blades from freezing to the windshield.

Shop the 2023 Subaru Outback near you

New
2023 Subaru Outback Limited
$39,201
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New
2023 Subaru Outback Touring XT
$43,073 MSRP $44,573
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If You Want Ultimate Winter Capability: 2023 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro

  • Base price: $54,605
  • Combined fuel economy: 17 mpg
toyota-4runner-trd-pro-2023-exterior-oem-01 2023 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro | Manufacturer image

The Toyota 4Runner’s range-topping TRD Pro trim is built to tackle tough off-road terrain, but the attributes that benefit the SUV off-road are also useful for tackling challenging snow-covered roads. The 4Runner’s 9.6 inches of ground clearance lessens its susceptibility to getting stuck or high-centered in deep snow, and the TRD Pro’s standard four-wheel-drive system includes low-range gearing and a locking rear differential to help escape really tricky spots — or for just powering out of a plowed-in street parking spot.

Shop the 2023 Toyota 4Runner near you

New
2023 Toyota 4Runner TRD Off Road
$46,082 MSRP $46,182

$100 price drop

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New
2023 Toyota 4Runner SR5 Premium
$41,118 MSRP $43,618
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