First and foremost, it is important to realize the importance of 4-wheel drive or all-wheel drive when picking a snow-bound vehicle. There are a number of small, compact SUVs that come with front wheel drive. While it makes gas mileage more efficient, and works fine in most weather, front-wheel drive SUVs will do nothing to help you push through snow. All-wheel drive options, including the Acura MDX and the BMW X5, are leaders in their class. The luxury SUV’s offered by both companies offer top-of-the-line trim, while maintaining a rugged all-wheel drive transmission that is constantly engaged. That means, that you can drive from the perfectly dry roads, to snow-lined mountainsides without ever having to alter anything in the car. It’s a great option for those looking for minimal effort.
4-wheel drive options are particularly popular among people who looking for a mix between good gas mileage and the power to push through heavy snow and inclement weather. The Chevy Tahoe is the top choice in this class. The Tahoe offers 4-wheel drive, which allows the driver to control when all four wheels are engaged during driving. This means, on a normal sunny day the car can drive happily in front wheel drive, but when inclement weather strikes it can easily be manipulated to utilize all four wheels. This is especially useful for people looking to use their SUV on a daily basis, while saving some gas mileage along the way.
The next obvious consideration should be safety features. Most vehicles, thankfully, now come standard with all the safety you’ll ever need, even when driving through snow banks. The Volvo CX60 and the Subaru Outback, are two small, crossover SUVs that are loaded with great safety features, including anti-lock disc brakes, side-curtain airbags and standard drivers and passenger airbags. Roadside assistance packages are available from both manufacturers as well. The added bonus of both the Volvo and Subaru options are that they are smaller SUV-like vehicles. They also sit lower to the ground and their weight is evenly distributed. While they might not truck through three feet of snow, the lower center of gravity creates a safer ride overall, lowering the risk of rollovers substantially.
At the end of the day, picking the right SUV will come down to exactly what you need it for. For the purpose of driving through the snow, there are plenty of options, thus your personal needs and opinions will also come into play. For those looking for effortless, luxury driving, the Acura or BMW cannot be beat. For those who are looking for a slightly more rugged ride, with greater driver interaction Chevy’s Tahoe remains a favorite. Finally, for those who aren’t yet ready to commit to the lifestyle of an SUV-driver the Volvo and Subaru options certainly fit the bill.