8 Best Winter Cars and SUVs for 2024

Find the best vehicle for you before winter hits.
Christine Lacagnina Written by Christine Lacagnina
Christine Lacagnina
Written by Christine Lacagnina

Christine Lacagnina has written thousands of insurance-based articles for TrustedChoice.com by authoring consumable, understandable content.

Reviewer: Jeffrey Green Reviewed by Jeffrey Green
Reviewer: Jeffrey Green
Reviewed by Jeffrey Green

Jeff Green has held a variety of sales and management roles at life insurance companies, Wall street firms, and distribution organizations over his 40-year career.  He was previously Finra 7,24,66 registered and held life insurance licenses in multiple states. He is a graduate of Stony Brook University.

Closeup of car tires in winter on the road. Best winter cars and SUVs.

According to experts, the best winter cars and other vehicles have a few things in common. They're reliable, handle well in the snow, have high safety ratings, have comfort features like seat warmers, have great defrost features, and have all-weather or winter tires. 

A vehicle that checks all these boxes might seem rare, but it's not. Many options, from sedans to large SUVs and everything in between, can keep you safe and comfortable all winter long. No matter what you prefer, make sure you're covered with an affordable car insurance policy.

We went on a hunt to find the best vehicles for winter drivers, asking experts, interviewing consumers, and digging deep online. We considered all the features mentioned above for each vehicle and more. And we're pretty confident we found the correct answers.

Note that the price we've tagged on each car is for a new model. If you're looking to buy used, you can save some money. Make sure that you get a thorough inspection when you're buying used.

8 Best Winter Cars and SUVs on the Market in 2024

1. Subaru Outback

Winner: Best Small SUV for Winter

2024 approximate base price: $28,395

It's hard to find a Subaru that doesn't have AWD as a standard feature, and the Outback is the same. That's why it's no surprise that the Outback isn't in competition with sedans but SUVs. To boot, the Outback:

  • Routinely gets top safety ratings
  • Has higher ground clearance than other sedans
  • Promises reliability and longevity

With the right set of winter tires, the Outback, even the base model, is an affordable choice for winter.

If you're looking for a slightly larger alternative, the Subaru Forester is another excellent option for a winter car.

2. Audi A4 Allroad

2024 approximate base price: $39,900

The Audi A4 doesn't come standard with AWD like other choices on this list. But the option for Quattro AWD puts it firmly on the list of best 2024 cars for winter. 

Even if you don't opt for the Quattro AWD, its four-cylinder engine and outstanding safety scores, combined with front-wheel drive, don't compromise its position.

The A4 also offers the following:

  • Standard heated front seats
  • Extensive standard safety features
  • Additional safety features for upgraded trims

If you want a sedan that's fun to drive in all seasons and safe for the winter, the Audi A4 is a great luxury small car to consider.

3. Honda CR-V AWD

2024 approximate base price: $29,910

Like the Audi A4, the Honda CR-V doesn't come standard with AWD. But because the base model is so affordable, it isn't difficult to add that feature. 

Experts suggest going with the high-end model for winter driving. This slightly upgraded trim comes with additional safety and comfort features. The 2024 model also comes with the following:

  • Improved suspension for better handling and comfort.
  • A more powerful engine
  • Responsive handling

You can get a well-equipped crossover in the CR-V without breaking the bank, whether for winter or any other season.

4. Volvo V90 Cross Country

2024 approximate base price: $58,650

The V90 was a new model for Volvo in 2018, and it's still taking the best winter car market by storm. Not only does it top other wagons, but its Cross Country model, though a bit higher than the base price above, is ideal for winter roads.

Other benefits for winter driving, aside from heated seats in both rows, include:

  • Powerful engine (2.0 liters, four-cylinders)
  • AWD is standard
  • Higher ride height

If you're looking for a luxury wagon, the Volvo V90 is your winter dream car.


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5. Dodge Challenger GT AWD

Winner: Best Sports Car for Winter

2024 base model price: $38,765

There's no reason you can't be both stylish and safe in your ride during the winter season. The Dodge Challenger GT is highly affordable for a sports car while still packing plenty of muscle. Here are some key features that make this car a great option for the winter:

  • V6 engine
  • All-wheel drive
  • Dual-zone climate control
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Large heated front seats

You'll be the coolest driver on the road after the snow starts falling if you get your hands on a Dodge Challenger GT AWD.

6. Ford F-150 Lightning

Winner: Best Electric Car for Winter

2024 approximate base price: $39,974

This one's for our pickup truck lovers, as well as those who love electric vehicles. The Ford F-150 Lightning carries a rather attractive price tag for electric vehicles and is also known to do well in winter weather. Here are some key features:

  • All-wheel drive
  • Good center of gravity
  • Heavier weight from the battery pack, making for good traction

Keep in mind that if you want the model of the Ford F-150 Lightning that's upgraded for winter driving, you're looking at a price tag of closer to $73,000. But knowing all the features it comes with, including an Extended Range battery, it can be well worth the investment.

Budget Options for Winter Cars and SUVs 

7. Subaru Impreza (Used)

Winner: Best Winter Cars under $5,000

It's been called a "winter driving master" by some. If you can find a good used model, you should have many options for budgets that need to stay below $5,000. So why is the Subaru Impreza great for the winter? Here are some key features:

  • Low center of gravity for better handling
  • Excellent durability from the Subaru brand
  • Symmetrical all-wheel drive system

If you're looking for a reliable winter vehicle on a strict budget, look no further than a used Subaru Impreza.

8. Jeep Grand Cherokee (Used)

Winner: Best Winter Cars under $10,000

Older models of a Jeep Grand Cherokee can easily be spotted for around the $7,500 price mark. Better yet, this powerhouse of a vehicle is known to have unbeatable traction in inclement winter weather. Here are some key features:

  • Four-wheel-drive
  • Easy-to-maintain engines and powertrains
  • Luxury options
  • Excellent traction

When you need a reliable, sturdy, and safe vehicle to get you around in the snow and you've got a bit more wiggle room in your budget, check into your local used dealerships for a Jeep Grand Cherokee from the early 2000s. 

RWD Vehicles for Winter

Looking for the best RWD cars for winter? Well, rear-wheel vehicles are typically not recommended for winter driving, in fact, quite the contrary. However, if you have an RWD vehicle already and want to make it safer for winter roads, there are a few practical tips you can follow, including:

  • Adding weight to the back of the vehicle with bricks, sandbags, etc.
  • Keeping a loose grip on the steering wheel in case you lose traction, so you don't over-correct
  • Only lightly accelerating to prevent the wheels from spinning

We wouldn't recommend going out and buying a new (or used) RWD vehicle for winter weather, or if you live somewhere that's prone to snow, ice, etc. But if you've already got one of these vehicles, at least you can follow this guide to make it safer for winter driving.

Best Winter Car Accessories

Just having the vehicle for winter weather isn't enough. Here's a quick list of some of the best winter car accessories to get your hands on before the first snowfall.

Best Winter Tires for SUV: Bridgestone Blizzak WS90

These tires take the cake for the best winter options for SUVs thanks to their excellent stability, grip, traction, and braking responsiveness.

Best Winter Tires for Cars: Michelin X-Ice Xi3

This top spot for best winter tires for cars has been earned thanks to the X-Ice Xi3's studless texture that makes them ideal for all types of inclement weather including snow, ice, slush, sleet, etc.

Best Car Cover for Winter: Autsop Car Cover

This car cover offers six layers of protection against all the elements, including ice and snow, hail, sleet, etc. It's also available in 13 different sizes for convenience. 

Best Car Wax for Winter: Shine Armor Fortify Quick Coat

This wax easily claims our top spot in this category thanks to its ease of application, no matter the temperature or weather.

Best Car Battery for Winter: Odyssey 65-PC1750T

Our choice for best winter car battery goes to the Odyssey 65-PC1750T model, thanks to its 950 CCA rating, which is quite a bit of a boost from the typical 250 to 600 you can typically find from most other batteries today. Thanks to this increased CCA rating, the battery has a better chance of supplying more current in freezing temperatures, which gives your vehicle the best chance of starting.

The Bottom Line for Your Next Winter-Friendly Car, Truck, or SUV

In recent years, the US Department of Transportation reported that there are over 5,748,000 vehicle crashes each year. Approximately 22% of these crashes, or nearly 1,259,000, are weather-related. This means you need good auto insurance coverage.

When you're looking for coverage that's right for the risks you face, an independent insurance agent can help. Independent insurance agents work for consumers, not for insurance companies. A winter-ready car and the right insurance coverage give you peace of mind. Get yours with an agent in your neighborhood today.

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