Unless you're in Florida, this past week has been a stark reminder that winter is here and here to stay. Life doesn't stop when the ice and snow show up, so it's important to factor a vehicle's ability to drive in frosty conditions if you live in places like the Midwest or Northeast when you're shopping for a new car.
Since many of our editors here at AOL Autos live states that see snow for far too many months out of the year, we're always thinking about cars that perform well in wintery conditions. Within this gallery, you'll find ten of our absolute favorites.
Along with being well-suited for dashing through the snow, many of our favorite winter beaters exude sporty attitudes and deliver exciting performance, too. Head through to see the cars we love in the ice and snow.
Sticker Price: $21,995 - $32,995
Invoice Price: $20,811 - $30,836
Fuel Economy: 22 mpg city, 29 mpg highway
The Subaru Forester is an excellent choice for people living in areas that see a lot of winter weather, as its symmetrical full-time all-wheel drive system and high ground clearance can make plowing through fresh powder a breeze. Inside, the Forester has a spacious cabin that remains a comfortable place to ride even when wearing bulky layers of cold weather clothing.
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Porsche 911 Carrera
Sticker Price: $84,300 - $181,100
Invoice Price: NA
Fuel Economy: 19 mpg city, 27 mpg highway
While Porsche offers several all-wheel-drive versions of its 911, even the most basic rear-wheel-drive Carrera model can be a great winter driver when shod with snow tires. The 911 has always had its engine in the back, which has made Porsche’s venerable sports car good in the white stuff. Today’s 911’s are no different, as their rear-weight bias gives them extraordinary traction during acceleration. With stability control to help novice drivers compensate for this difference in driving dynamics, the modern 911 is as ready for winter as any car Porsche has built.
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Subaru XV Crosstrek
Sticker Price: $21,995 - $24,495
Invoice Price: $20,876 - $23,178
Fuel Economy: 23 mpg city, 30 mpg Highway
The XV Crosstrek is essentially a modified Subaru impreza hatchback -- which is a good winter vehicle in its own right -- aimed squarely at the outdoor enthusiast. Its raised suspension provides an impressive 8.7 inches of ground clearance, which is great for when the snow starts piling up. Like other Subarus, it also employs the excellent Symmetrical full-time all-wheel drive system. If you're a single or a small family looking for an inexpensive little winter beater, put the XV Crosstrek on your list.
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Sticker Price: $29,600 - $40,780
Invoice Price: $27,898 - $38,027
Fuel Economy: 17 mpg city, 24 mpg highway
The Ford Explorer is especially adept at tackling a snowstorm when purchased in its 4x4 configuration, but even with front-wheel drive this handsome SUV is quite competent. It is especially well-suited for families that live in places that see lots of winter weather, as it comes with seating for seven and a host of safety and comfort features. For a big, heavy car, fuel economy isn't bad, either.
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Sticker Price: $26,920 - $41,710
Invoice Price: $24,900 - $38,373
Fuel Economy: 18 mpg city, 25 mpg highway
Toyota offers the only all-wheel-drive minivan left on the market. While minivans are big and truckish like SUV’s, they roll with far less regularity. That’s probably because minivans tend to be driven more carefully, what with all the kids they carry. But minivans also have a lower center of gravity than SUVs. Even without the Sienna’s optional all-wheel-drive, front-wheel-drive minivans can be great winter drivers.
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Sticker Price: $39,600
Invoice Price: $36,828
Fuel Economy: 20 mpg city, 27 mpg highway
The Audi allroad is essentially a souped up A4 in wagon form. It has a higher suspension for better ground clearance (so you don't get the underside of the car stuck) and a few styling cues that make it a bit more aggressive. The allroad is powered by a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder engine and Audi's legendary Quattro all-wheel drive system. The interior is heavy on the luxury and technology features. All of these things combine to form a truly formidable winter weather machine. Jack Frost should be very afraid.
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Land Rover Range Rover
Sticker Price: $82,650 - $135,450
Invoice Price: $75,625 - $123,937
Fuel Economy: 17 mpg city, 23 mpg highway
The Range Rover has long been admired for its ability to drive on things that aren't pavement. Snow is certainly one of those things. The Range Rover is a big, burly luxury SUV powered by a 3.0L supercharged six-cylinder engine and Terrain Response four-wheel drive, which allows the driver to tackle a wide range of "road" conditions. Inside, the Range Rover is roomy and luxurious, with features like heated front and rear seats included specifically for cold-weather drivers.
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Sticker Price: $23,495 - $32,095
Invoice Price: $22,123 - $30,034
Fuel Economy: 22 mpg city, 29 mpg highway
Much like the Forester, the Subaru Outback conquers the snow through its high ground clearance and excellent all-wheel drive system. The Outback also comes with a high level of versatility, courtesy of its large trunk. If you're into skiing, sledding or snowshoeing, the Outback is a great choice. It's one of the best cars for the active winter adventurer.
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Sticker Price: $32,400 - $45,700
Invoice Price: $30,456 - $42,958
Fuel Economy: 21 mpg city, 30 mpg highway
The refreshed Volvo S60 is a good choice for winter weather in its all-wheel drive configuration, as it can plow through the snow with relative ease. But it's more of a commuter car. If you live in a place that doesn't see a lot of snow plows, you'll want something with more ground clearance. Where the S60 really shines is with its fantastic interior, which is perfect for cold days and nights (it was designed in Sweden, after all). The buttons are big so you can grip them while wearing gloves and the heated seats, which have to be the most comfortable in the industry, get toasty very quickly.
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Jeep Grand Cherokee
Sticker Price: $29,195 - $63,995
Invoice Price: $28,799 - $60,776
Fuel Economy: 17 mpg city, 25 mpg highway
The Jeep Grand Cherokee is one of the best vehicles you can buy for winter weather, given its legendary ability to tackle any kind of terrain and road condition. It also comes with handsome styling, a luxurious interior and a great infotainment system (Chrysler UConnect is the best in the business). The Grand Cherokee now comes with a 3.0L diesel engine that achieves 28 mpg on the highway, meaning you won't have to spend nearly as much time filling up in the frosty air.
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