10 min read
23 Jan

Who doesn’t wish they had a dependable, capable SUV at their service come winter when the roads are covered in snow and ice? 

We've already made a list of the best cars for driving in winter, and now we’ve turned our attention to select SUVs with advanced all-wheel drive systems and cutting-edge safety features, promising a blend of performance, comfort, and versatility, and making them ideal companions for winter motoring. 

These vehicles prioritize safety, traction, and cold-weather capabilities, ensuring a secure and enjoyable driving experience during the frosty months ahead. So, this guide unveils, in categories, the 13 best SUVs equipped to conquer the challenges of driving through winter. 

See also: 14 Badass Civilian Military Vehicles For Confident And Safe Movements In The Most Dangerous Places 

Best Compact SUVs For Winter Driving

1. 2024 Subaru Forester

  • Starting MSRP: $26,895
2024 Subaru Forester is great for winter driving.

The Subaru Forester is a practical and spacious option for winter driving. To many in the know, this Japanese C-SUV is so winter-ready that it’s the first vehicle that comes to mind for snow season. 

The 2024 model features a comfortable, spacious cabin with excellent outside visibility and great safety scores and features. The standard LED foglights and available rear roof spoiler enhance visibility in winter conditions. The Forester is equipped with a well-known AWD system, making it suitable for navigating snowy or slippery roads. 

Additionally, its ample cargo space and plush interior provide comfort and practicality for winter trips. However, the Forester's handling is not particularly exciting, and it lacks turbo or hybrid powertrain options. 

Nonetheless, the SUV’s famous AWD capability, practicality, and emphasis on outdoor adventure make it an affordable, safe, and versatile choice for winter driving. 

2. 2024 Mazda CX-50

  • Starting MSRP: $30,300
2024 Mazda CX-50.

Despite slotting as the smallest of compact SUVs, the Mazda CX-50 comes with the company’s i-Activ AWD system that provides enhanced traction and stability. 

Mazda’s i-Activ AWD system uses sensors to monitor road conditions, driver inputs, and vehicle behavior. It can adjust power delivery to help ensure optimal traction and stability on various road surfaces, including slippery or low-traction conditions such as snow, ice, and wet roads. 

The system continuously monitors driving conditions and can proactively make adjustments to maximize performance and safety. This technology contributes to improved handling and control, making the Mazda CX-50 suitable for driving in a variety of weather conditions, including winter. 

Additionally, the CX-50 features i-Activsense safety features such as stability control, which helps maintain control of the vehicle in slippery conditions. 

3. 2024 Tesla Model Y

  • Starting MSRP: $43,990
Tesla Model Y is great for winter driving.

You’re probably better off steering clear of EVs if you’re shopping specifically for driving in cold weather. However, going electric comes with numerous benefits, and the Model Y is our best recommendation for this purpose. 

If you must drive electric in winter, we recommend the 2024 Tesla Model Y due to its electric all-wheel drive system, which provides excellent traction and stability on snow and icy roads. 

The e-motor’s instant torque delivery enhances control in slippery conditions, and the heavy-duty winter tires further improve traction and handling. 

More importantly, the Model Y features efficient battery thermal management to maintain optimal performance in cold weather. The combination of all-wheel drive, instant torque, and advanced battery management makes the 2024 Tesla Model Y a reassuring electric car for driving in winter. 

Best Luxury Compact SUVs For Winter Driving

4. 2024 Volvo XC60 ­

  • Starting MSRP: $47,645
2024 Volvo XC60  is great for winter driving.

The 2024 Volvo XC60 has some notable features promoting its suitability for winter driving. The selling points for this Swedish compact luxury C-SUV are its satisfying list of safety features, sleek design, and advanced tech. 

Firstly, the engine coolant contains 50% antifreeze, protecting the engine from frost erosion down to approximately –35 °C (–31 °F). Also, the low-viscosity engine oil improves cold-weather starting and reduces fuel consumption when driving with a cold engine. 

We’d recommend equipping your XC60 with snow tires on all wheels for optimal traction and road-holding in slippery conditions. Using washer fluid containing antifreeze helps prevent ice from forming in the washer fluid reservoir. 

Take the SUV out for a test drive on slippery surfaces under controlled conditions for a first-hand experience of the vehicle's road manners. 

5. 2024 Audi Q5

  • Starting MSRP: $45,795
2024 Audi Q5 is great for winter driving.

Photo credit: Motor Trend

The 2024 Audi Q5 is a great option for winter driving due to its advanced safety technologies, including Adaptive Cruise Control and Active Lane Assist, which come standard on all trims. Additionally, its heated steering wheel provides added comfort during cold weather. 

The available Black Optic Package offers a special look for those who desire a unique and stylish appearance. Also, the Q5 benefits from Audi’s renowned Quattro permanent all-wheel-drive (AWD) system, distributing power to all four wheels at all times. 

Many Quattro systems use a Torsen (torque-sensing) center differential, which dynamically adjusts the distribution of power between the front and rear axles based on driving conditions, enhancing performance and stability. 

The Audi Q5 also features the highly touted MMI infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone connectivity, ensuring convenience and entertainment no matter the season. 

Best Midsize SUVs For Winter Driving

6. 2024 Ford Bronco

  • Starting MSRP: $39,130
2024 Ford Bronco is great for winter driving.

The 2024 Ford Bronco is a rugged and capable option for winter driving, thanks to its off-road-oriented specs and classic design. The Bronco’s standard four-wheel drive and G.O.A.T. modes significantly improve the SUV’s ability to tackle tough terrain, making it suitable for navigating snowy or slippery roads. 

Additionally, its removable roof and doors provide an adventurous open-top driving experience for winter outings. However, note that the Bronco's interior materials may feel cheap, and it tends to get loud at highway speeds. 

Nonetheless, the SUV’s world-class off-road capabilities and strong engines make it a compelling option for braving the winter weather. 

See also: 10 Awesome 1-Seater Cars That Belongs In Every Enthusiast's Garage 

7. 2024 Jeep Grand Cherokee

  • Starting MSRP: $41,830
2024 Jeep Grand Cherokee is great for winter driving.

The 2024 Jeep Grand Cherokee is a top contender for winter driving due to its advanced technology, powerful capability, and all-weather versatility. 

It offers an optional plug-in hybrid electric powertrain, which includes all-electric driving modes, providing groundbreaking efficiency while maintaining legendary Grand Cherokee capability. 

The mild-hybrid powerplant comprises a 2.0-liter straight-four engine and an e-motor producing a combined 375 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque, while the gas model relies on a 3.6-liter V6 producing 293 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. 

The 4xe (hybrid) model is equipped with a quadra-drive system, specifically designed for excellent capability in almost any weather conditions. The third-row seating available in the Grand Cherokee L model provides added space for passengers and cargo. 

Best Midsize Crossover SUVs For Winter Driving

8. 2024 Subaru Outback

  • Starting MSRP: $30,240
2024 Subaru Outback is great for winter driving.

The 2024 Subaru Outback is a versatile and capable option for winter driving, combining the practicality of a wagon with the capability of an SUV. The Outback’s standard all-wheel drive and generous ground clearance provide excellent traction and stability on snowy or icy roads. 

Additionally, it offers ample cargo space and a comfortable interior, ideal for winter trips with family and friends. Moreover, the Outback is packed with safety features, such as anti-lock brakes, stability control, front and side airbags, and a security system. 

The vehicle also comes with optional convenience features like heated seats and headlight washers, enhancing comfort and making winter driving less challenging. 

Note that some trims of the Outback offer more powerful engines, which could further improve its winter performance. There’s a reason the Outback is popular among outdoors enthusiasts and families, no matter the season. 

9. 2024 Subaru Ascent

  • Starting MSRP: $34,195
2024 Subaru Ascent is great for winter driving.

The versatile and capable 2024 Subaru Ascent is the largest SUV in Subaru’s lineup, catering to families and adventurers alike. 

It offers three-row seating for up to eight passengers and boasts the confidence of EyeSight® Driver Assist Technology, while also featuring convenient features like standard wireless Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ integration. 

The Ascent is equipped with the all-weather capability of standard Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive and 8.7 inches of ground clearance, providing excellent traction in snowy or icy conditions. 

Furthermore, the Ascent's durable and fuel-efficient design, along with a towing capacity of up to 5,000 pounds, makes it a practical choice for winter road trips. It also features X-MODE, which optimizes the all-wheel drive system for maximum traction on slippery surfaces. 

However, note that adult passengers may find the third-row seating a bit cramping, and the acceleration might come off as sluggish during passing maneuvers. 

Best Luxury Midsize SUVs For Winter Driving

10. 2024 Rivian R1S

  • Starting MSRP: $78,000
2024 Rivian R1S is great for winter driving.

As long as the $78,000 starting price isn’t a problem, you don’t have to look further than the R1S in your search for a suitable luxury midsize SUV for winter driving. 

The 2024 Rivian R1S is great for on-road and off-road adventures, boasting an upscale design, impressive all-terrain capability, and a Quad-Motor providing blistering acceleration. The R1S’s three-row seating is a family-friendly setup for winter trips. 

Additionally, it features an air suspension system that includes modes for leveling the vehicle for better comfort and utility, including camping and loading/unloading scenarios. 

Furthermore, it delivers outstanding handling, extraordinary acceleration, and off-road prowess, lending itself well to winter driving activities. The absence of Apple CarPlay or Android Auto is, admittedly, a turnoff, and its glass roof lacks a sunshade. 

Despite these drawbacks, the R1S remains a strong pick for those looking for a high-quality electric SUV with impressive performance and capabilities for winter driving. 

Rivian has just recently rolled out fresh OTA updates to improve the SUV's winter readiness, including a drive scheduling feature that lets you remotely precondition the SUV’s interior and high-voltage battery ahead of your planned trips, a new regenerative brake assist feature that improves the deceleration ability in cold climates and other critical conditions like long downhill climbs, and several other updates. 

11. 2024 Land Rover Defender

  • Starting MSRP: $56,400
2024 Land Rover Defender is great for winter driving.

The 2024 Land Rover Defender is backed by a strong off-road heritage and boasts impressive capability for winter driving. 

It offers exceptional off-road performance with its all-wheel drive system, sophisticated suspension, and Terrain Response system, allowing it to navigate challenging winter conditions with ease. 

The spacious and well-crafted interior provides a comfortable and luxurious experience for winter trips, while the available seven-seat configuration makes it ideal for accommodating family and friends on winter adventures. 

Additionally, the Defender's towing capacity and advanced technology features further enhance its suitability for winter driving. However, the Land Rover Defender isn’t exactly the most purse-friendly SUV on the market due to its higher price point and low fuel efficiency. 

See also: The 2024 Citroen Holidays Is Absolutely The Best Car To Live In 

Best Luxury Full-Size SUVs For Winter Driving

12. 2024 Range Rover Velar

  • Starting MSRP: $62,775
Range Rover Velar is great for winter driving.

Range Rovers are famous for their legendary all-terrain capability and advanced technology. The Terrain Response system allows drivers to optimize vehicle performance on various surfaces, including snow and ice, ensuring excellent traction in challenging winter conditions. 

Additionally, features like Hill Descent Control and All-Terrain Progress Control enhance the SUV’s stability and composure when driving in low-grip environments. 

If we were to pick a Range Rover model specifically for braving the winter season, our favorites would be the Range Rover Sport and the Range Rover Velar, equipped with the Terrain Response system and other advanced off-road features, advanced all-wheel-drive systems, adjustable air suspension, and traction control features. 

Shod in appropriate winter tires, the Range Rover Sport or Velar are excellent choices for winter driving, offering a sweet combination of luxury and robust capability. 

Best Full-Size SUVs For Winter Driving

13. 2024 Chevrolet Tahoe

  • Starting MSRP: $58,195
2024 Chevrolet Tahoe is great for winter driving.

Photo credit: Lakewood Chevrolet

This is the preferred SUV for families and people with hauling needs due to its spacious cabin, towing capacity, and versatility. The 2024 Chevrolet Tahoe is great for winter driving due to its safety features and robust performance.

 It comes equipped with anti-lock brakes (ABS), stability control, front-impact airbags, side-impact airbags, overhead airbags, and seatbelt pretensioners. These features promote safety and control in winter weather conditions. 

Additionally, the available 4x4 drivetrain provides excellent traction and stability on snow or icy roads. The Tahoe's powerful engine options and rugged build further contribute to its capability in winter driving conditions.

* The email will not be published on the website.