Winter Is Coming: 7 Great Cars for Snow Driving

202212 seven best cars in snow scaled jpg Best cars for winter | 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
chrysler pacifica 2021 exterior dynamic oem jpg 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

2022 Chrysler Pacifica Limited
71,147 mi.
$27,750 $250 price drop
2022 Chrysler Pacifica Touring-L
64,501 mi.
$23,500 $1,000 price drop

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 scaled jpg 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

2023 Dodge Challenger R/T
$36,341 $6,750 price drop
2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat
$88,995 MSRP $78,209

$3,000 price drop

If You Want a Pickup Truck: 2023 Honda Ridgeline

  • Base price: $40,095
  • Combined fuel economy: 21 mpg
honda ridgeline 2023 exterior oem 02 jpg 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

2023 Honda Ridgeline RTL
$41,780 MSRP $41,780
Honda Certified
2023 Honda Ridgeline RTL
4,977 mi.
$37,950 $3,442 price drop

More From

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 scaled jpg 2022 Kia EV6 | 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

2022 Kia EV6 Wind
19,992 mi.
$29,900 $2,000 price drop
2022 Kia EV6 Wind
22,015 mi.

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

  • Base price: $24,135
  • Combined fuel economy: 29 mpg
kia seltos 2022 exterior front three quarter oem jpg 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 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

2023 Kia Seltos SX
1,672 mi.
2023 Kia Seltos SX Turbo
12,414 mi.

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 jpg 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

2023 Subaru Outback Limited
3,085 mi.
$31,596 $656 price drop
2023 Subaru Outback Limited
8,885 mi.

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 jpg 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

2023 Toyota 4Runner Limited
$49,649 MSRP $53,091
2023 Toyota 4Runner SR5 Premium
$43,087 MSRP $46,051’s Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with’s long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don’t accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of’s advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.

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