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Any suggestion for model of car for long winters?

I’m looking for a reliable, quiet and comfortable car for winter.



I live in upstate New York where winters are sometimes 8 month long. This is a hilly region and I drive for my job so good gas mileage, responsive handling, and mechanical durability are key.



Yes, heated seats would be great. So would a sun roof to enjoy the short summers. My dog rides with me and would appreciate the air!



I have done OK with 4 wheel drive, and don’t want to incur the repair cost and mileage issues of 4 wheel drive.



Thanks for your thoughts.

My recommendation is to stop by the local bookstore and pick up a Consumer Reports New Car Preview. They’ll have a lot more information than we can post here, show you all the possible models that meet your criteria, and do it with less bias than most of us have.

Happy hunting.

Subaru. Or consider moving to Arkansas…(or Mexico)…

A Subaru Legacy with heated seats and the optional winter package (engine block heater, heated mirrors, heated wipers) would be the ideal car for your region, despite your stated desire to avoid AWD.

And, the new 2010 Legacy with 4 cylinder and CVT transmission gets really great gas mileage. Owners are regularly reporting 31 mpg on the highway, which is very impressive in view of the larger size of the new Legacy.

Many vehicles meet the initial criteria but there are also the little finer points of daily use that aren’t in product reviews.
. Things like the suspension freezing up with snow and ice accumulation, the time it takes for the interior to get to a suitable temp, Door/weather strip freeze-up, wipers, defrost system ( including side & rear windows ), etc.

The best advice will come from your local neighbors and co-workers who have had to deal with these issues before. What brands do you see in use in your area ?

“I have done OK with 4 wheel drive, and don’t want to incur the repair cost and mileage issues of 4 wheel drive.”

Huh? If it works, why change? The added costs to go with a Subaru aren’t that great. I know that’s one option I’d consider.

what ever you decide on …you can get a seat heater from amazon for $20 certainly cheaper than a leather seat package…

You might consider a car with remote start if you do not park in a garage. You can start it, drink a cup of coffee, and then get into your warmed car. How much do you want to spend? Lots of cars could work, and far more than just Toyota and Honda are reliable today. FWD will work in all but the severest weather; you shouldn’t be driving then anyway (unless you are an emergency worker). You could get a Chevy Cobalt for well under $20,000 that would work, and so would a Lexus GS350 at over $40,000. Tell us how much you want to spend.

I also think you would be very happy in a Subaru. They are one of the most popular cars here in Alaska. I have owned four of them and still have an Outback as one of them. They eat snowy roads for lunch. Take a test drive in one, preferably on a snowy day. You will see what I mean.

If you do ok with FWD and don’t need 4 WD or AWD then I’d agree stay away from AWD and/or 4WD to save money and reduce maintenance and repair costs.

Any FWD car you like will work. All new cars have good heaters and rear window defrosters. I’d stay clear of leather seats. Leather seems colder in winter and seat heaters with leather is a must. Cloth seats are warmer naturally and seat heaters are nice but not hard to live without. The dog will not slip and slide around nearly as much on a cloth seat as s/he would on a leather seat.

The size of the car should be determined by the gas mileage you need and cabin space you need. I do fine in a mountain area in PA with an '03 Honda Civic, cloth seats etc.