1. 2015 SUBARU IMPREZA
The 2015 Subaru Impreza is one in a long line of compact sedan and hatchback efforts from the Subaru company that have won over the consumers living in the northern United States. The Subaru Impreza hatchback adds in a very usable amount of cargo space, and both cars come with the standard all-wheel drive that has become a Subaru trademark.
The Impreza comes equipped with a 148 horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder, and has an optional continuously-variable automatic transmission. A five-speed automatic is also available with the Impreza. The all-wheel drive is the key selling point when choosing the Subaru Impreza as a winter vehicle. It’s low center of gravity coupled with the all-wheel drive allows it to power through even the harshest of conditions.
2. 2014 JAGUAR XF
The 2014 Jaguar XF offers something unique to the luxury performance sedan market. It’s an all-wheel drive system that is available in the larger, full-size Jaguar XJ. Powered by a supercharged V-6 engine, which displaces 3.0-liters and provides 340 horsepower, the Jaguar XF is a force to be reckoned with. Its performance is incredible on dry roads and a beast on winter roads.
The all-wheel drive system provided with the XF (which is shifted via an eight-speed automatic transmission) comes with a Winter Mode that automatically pre-loads the front axles. This feature offers much better stability than your average car. When winter mode isn’t activated, 100 percent of engine torque is shuttled to the rear wheels in order to retain the automobile’s impressive handling dynamics during the summer months.
3. 2015 SUBARU LEGACY
The second time a Subaru has graced this list. The 2015 Subaru Legacy is a larger sedan than the Impreza and has a more traditional Subaru look, a spacious interior, and a smooth, comfortable ride. The Subaru Legacy features all-wheel drive as standard, regardless of whether it is found in four or six-cylinder form. The 4 cylinder engine has around 175 horsepower from 2.5-liters, while the larger 3.6-liter six-cylinder outputs 256 horsepower and 247 lb-ft of torque.
Two transmissions types are available with the car: a six-speed manual (four-cylinder) and a continuously-variable automatic (either motor). The CVT helps the four-cylinder provide fuel mileage of 26-mpg in stop and go driving, and 36-mpg on the highway. Once again the primary draw for the Legacy is the all-wheel drive system that makes winter weather a breeze.
4. 2008 BMW 535XI SPORTS WAGON
BMW’s 535xi Sports Wagon is the luxury SUV that is perfect for winter. Ample room, great traction and an engaging drive, the 535xi Sports Wagon should not be overlooked. For an SUV the 535xi has surprisingly decent responsiveness. It also has the sure-footedness of the X models without the shortcomings.
Equipped with the needed all-wheel drive for when the snow falls, the BMW 535xi Sports Wagon can handle anything nature can throw at it. The vehicle comes equipped with a 6-cylinder 255hp engine, producing 220 lb-ft of torque, and a 6-speed automatic transmission that can be shifted like a manual with manumatic shifting. For the driver who needs a winter car that’ll placate his enthusiastic tendencies until spring, this is BMW’s ultimate winter-driving machine.
5. 2015 VOLVO XC70 AWD
The Volvo XC70 AWD is the Volvo Corporations all weather SUV. The XC70 is equipped with a 240 horsepower, 3.2 liter six-cylinder engine and a six-speed automatic transmission. For a large SUV, the XC70 has impressive acceleration on dry roads and is faster than some sports cars. The traction control system, coupled with the all-wheel drive allows the XC70 to power through some of the toughest conditions.
Some additional features of the Volvo XC70 include a rearview camera, forward collision with full braking and pedestrian and cyclist detection. Additionally, for those late nights, driver alertness monitoring can detect if you are falling asleep at the wheel or not paying attention by monitoring lane drift. As it it didn’t offer enough in safety, there is also blind spot monitoring and Volvo’s road sign information system, which scans road signs and can alert you when you are speeding.
6. 2015 TOYOTA VENZA
Toyota’s SUV hatchback crossover, the Venza shares some DNA with the Toyota Highlander, and is a formidable all-wheel drive vehicle that easily handles winter weather. While it is a bit smaller than most vehicles in its class, the Toyota Venza has a large interior with ample leg space. The reclining second row offers plenty of cargo space as well; should you need it.
The Toyota Venza comes equipped with a 268 horsepower, 3.5 liter V-6 engine under the hood and a 6 speed driver shiftable transmission. The base level model comes with many standard amenities. The keyless entry, dual zone climate control and heated outside mirrors with puddle lights are certainly sufficient The Venza improves upon those with power eight way driver’s seat, Bluetooth connectivity, and a six speaker audio system with touch screen interface.
7. 2013 AUDI A4 PREMIUM QUATTRO
The 2015 Audi A4 Premium Quattro brings something unique to the list of winter vehicles: a turbo-charged 4-cylinder motor. Pumping out 211 horsepower from a 2-liter 4-cylinder engine, with a driver shiftable 8-speed automatic, the Audi A4 Premium Quattro can tear up the dry roads and easily maneuver the winter. The all-wheel drive allows the vehicle to easily handle turns at high speeds or climb snow covered hills as though they were dry.
The interior is spacious, with the comfortable leather seats one has come to expect from Audi’s luxury vehicles. Standard with all A4 Premium Quattros is a multimedia interface that controls the automatic climate control and whopping 10 speaker audio system. For an additional charge the audio system can be upgraded to allow for Bluetooth and Ipod integration.
8. 2015 SUBARU WRX STI
The Subaru WRX STi does exceptionally well in any weather. Most would assume the WRX STi is a sporty race car due to its reputation, but the WRX STi was built for rally car racing; so it handles like a dream in everything.
The WRX STi comes standard with a symmetrical all-wheel drive system that has a driver-controlled center differential, which can be used to dial in the torque being sent to the front and rear wheels; allowing up to a 50/50 split. This kind of control allows the driver to fine tune the vehicle for all weather conditions. The WRX Sti has a 2.5 liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, that cranks out 305 horsepower and 290 lb-ft of torque and a 6-speed manual transmission. In or out of the snow, the WRX STi is fun to drive.
9. 2015 ACURA TLX
The 2015 Acura TLX replaces the Acura TL and TLS for the 2015 model year. The Acura TLX comes with an option for either a 2.4 liter four-cylinder engine mated to an 8-speed dual clutch manual transmission that puts out 206 horsepower, or a 3.5 liter V-6 with an output of 290 horsepower and a 9-speed automatic transmission. What makes the Acura TLX capable of handling the roads when the snow falls is Acura’s all-wheel drive system, named the Super Handling All-Wheel Drive.
What earns the name super is the torque-vectoring control, which makes every turn as precise as possible. When cornering on dry or snow covered roads, the Acura TLX registers vehicle speed, body roll, and tire slip. Should the car begin to lose traction or control the vehicle adjusts wheel speeds accordingly to keep control.
10. 2015 SUBARU FORESTER
The fourth Subaru to make the list of best winter cars, the 2015 Subaru Forester is a favorite among drivers accustomed to the snow. There are two different engine setups available for the 2015 Subaru Forester.
First is the base model, a 2.5 liter four-cylinder that produces 170 horsepower. The second is the XT edition, equipped with a turbocharged 2.0 liter four-cylinder that churns out 250 horsepower. The base model can be mated to either a 6-speed manual or continuously variable transmission (CVT), while to XT only comes with the CVT. The 2015 Subaru Forester of course has the standard all-wheel drive system Subaru is known for, allowing either model power through snow as though it’s not even there.