Last Updated on August 6, 2023 by Victor A
If you’re going to drive in the snow you need to make sure that you have the right vehicle and that you can prepare it for the conditions, this is no easy task, but don’t worry we have curated a list of the best SUVs in the snow.
But before all, let us tell you what you need to look for when searching for the best SUVs for driving in the snow.
What to look for when buying the Best SUVs for the snow
Driving in the harshest conditions like in the snow or ice, not only requires some skills, but it also requires that your vehicle has the right features to make sure that you reach your destination.
Either get four-wheel drive (4WD) or all-wheel drive (AWD)
You are going to need an SUV with either four-wheel drive (4×4) or all-wheel drive, this systems will make a huge difference when you drive in the snow.
Note that many people believe that they are the same since both systems are quite similar, however, some differences make 4×4 a superior system when driving in the snow.
Like the fact that four-wheel drive vehicles have a center differential which divides the torque and power between the front and the rear axle, which makes it superior in off-roading conditions.
Nevertheless, there aren’t many four-wheel drive SUVs, and all-wheel drive does very well in snowy conditions as it sends power to all four wheels of the vehicle helping it maintain traction and move forward, even if one or two wheels are slipping.
Safety features are important
An important safety feature is the anti-lock braking system which prevents the wheels from locking up when you brake, this is crucial for situations when you need to avoid skidding on the snow or ice.
Another safety feature that you have to consider is the stability control system, which keeps the vehicle stable and prevents it from rolling over.
Size, ground clearance, and weight matters
Size and weight are also very important factors since they can affect the amount of traction that the SUV has.
Normally the heavier the better since the weight will increase the traction, however, this can also be a handicap as it will be harder to stop and regain control in emergencies.
But you also don’t want a light SUV since you need the traction. So that leaves us with the option of mid-size SUVs, but remember that they need to have good ground clearance.
High ground clearance means that the SUV will have an easier time handling snow and ice, as it will go over, and plow through the snow without much difficulty.
Tires are the most critical factor when driving in the snow
In addition to everything else, you should pay close attention to the tires. This is because winter tires are specifically designed to grip the snow and ice better than regular tires.
They have a special tread pattern and they are made from a different type of rubber compound which greatly helps them grip snow and ice.
Heated mirrors and remote start are nice things to have
And lastly, you may want to look for a car with heated mirrors and remote start for comfort reasons, it will make your life better when you need to deal with cold climates.
Now that we know what to look for, let’s go for the list of the TOP 5 SUVs for the snow.
1-) The 2022-2023 Jeep Wrangler is the best SUV in the snow
In terms of off-roading, the Wrangler is known as being an unstoppable force when it comes to taking on any situation that may arise.
With its 4×4 (four-wheel drive) system and all the off-roading features, like a locking rear differential, skid plates, Hill Start Assist, and Tire Pressure Monitoring Display it’s no wonder why this SUV is on top of the list.
If you are going to tackle harsh snowy conditions you may want to consider a 2022-2023 Jeep Wrangler with its wide array of color options.
2-) The 2022-2023 Toyota 4Runner is capable of tackling snow while being comfortable
The Toyota 4Runner has been a favorite among off-roading enthusiasts for a long time, as it’s powered by a 4.0-liter V6 engine that’s well-known for its reliability.
This mid-size SUV also comes standard with a 4×4 (four-wheel drive) system and traction control, and it features systems like Hill Start assist and crawl control.
The 2022-2023 Toyota 4Runner is a great choice for those who want three-row seating and a more comfortable SUV that can do well in harsh conditions.
3-) The 2022-2023 Subaru Outback is among the best SUVs in the snow
The Outback is one of the best SUVs for driving in the snow as it comes standard with Subaru’s Symmetrical all-wheel drive and a variety of features that make it easy to drive in the snow, including a hill descent control system and a traction control system.
It also comes with a very interesting feature called X-mode, which adjusts the engine throttle and the transmission shift points so it can smoothly send power and torque to each wheel.
X-mode also raises the front and rear coupling force to maximize traction, which becomes a great help when snow driving.
If you don’t want to spend a lot on an SUV the 2022-2023 Subaru Outback is a great option, as it’s less pricey than the others on the list.
4-) The 2022-2023 Ford Explorer the comfortable off-roader
If you’re looking for a vehicle to take on snowy roads, the Ford Explorer is a great choice. You can choose from different powerful turbocharged engines, and it’s a comfortable SUV.
It has lots of cargo space, three-row seating, and a long list of standard features like forward collision warning, forward automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, and rear cross-traffic alert.
The Explorer is also available with a remote starter and heated seats in all but the base trim.
Only the two highest trims come standard with four-wheel drive however, for $2,000 you can add it to all the other trims.
The 2022-2023 Ford Explorer features some interesting systems like Snow Mode, which limits the torque sent to the wheels to avoid sliding.
It also comes with a Terrain Management System, which has different powertrain calibration and traction controls that switch within milliseconds when the road conditions change.
5-) The 2022-2023 Lexus GX460, is one of the best SUVs in the snow
The last vehicle on the list is the Lexus GX460, an SUV that’s a bit different than the others on this list, and that’s because it costs more than the others.
However, paying more may be worth it if you want to get the GX’s naturally aspirated 4.6-liter V8 with 301 hp, body-on-frame construction, and standard four-wheel drive (4×4) with traction control.
The GX460 also comes standard with lots of features like Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, 10-way power-adjustable front seats, and a Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS).
For driving in the snow you can add Multi-Terrain select, which lets you choose settings that are ideal for different surfaces, and Crawl Control, which helps the car maintain the most optimal steady pace to go through any terrain.
The 2022-2023 Lexus GX460 is the best option for those who want a luxury SUV with three-rows of seats that can tackle the snow without problems.
The Bottom Line – The best SUVs in the snow are the ones with the right features
In spite of the harshest conditions, all of the SUVs listed above are capable of performing well, especially during the snow season.
However, you don’t need to limit yourself to those SUVs, as many other capable SUVs can do the job, such as the Land Rover Defender, the Kia Telluride, and many others.
Just make sure you understand how important all-wheel drive or four-wheel drive, using the right tires, and having the right systems is for choosing the best SUV in the snow.
Also, you should know that when leaving your car in the cold there are many actions you can do to make sure it lasts for many years.