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Best car for driving in winter - subaru? volvo? other?

I want to be able to get to the ski slopes in Vermont without getting stuck. I want a relatively small car that also allows my 3 legged dog to get in on his own. And a car with relatively good mileage. Not really a big SUV. I worry about roll-overs. I’m thinking of a Subaru outback? Any suggestions?

You might also check out the Subaru Forester, it’s quite a bit bigger now. And if you’re buying new, rollovers aren’t worth worrying about. But you should consider a separate set of winter tires and rims, it’ll make a big difference in the snow.

Subaru Outback, Honda CRV and Toyota RAV4 are good choices.


There’s no breaking the laws of physics.

You aren’t going to roll over. When the computer detects an imminent roll, it orders the brakes to limit your turn. So you just plow into whatever you’re trying to avoid.

what ever you choose 4 winter tires/wheels imo,i’ve been using blizzak since 1995
driving in winter to us became worry free,pleasures.stopping,traction,cornering
confidence.put them on my 3 vehicles from dec. to march here in personal choice in budget subaru forester and new subaru outback for a little bit more.

You’ll see Subarus all over Vermont. There’s a reason for that. These cars have a very sophisticated AWD system, and will go when some of the others won’t.

The Outback is a good choice, as is the Forester or the Impreza hatchback.

Forget the Volvo. Maintenance and repairs on a Volvo will bankrupt you.

If you’re buying used a Legacy station wagon will be a bit lower to the ground than an Outback, making it easier for the dog to get in and out.

As others have said, winter tires make a HUGE difference, regardless of the vehicle.

If you hate your current car and want to trade it, then go for a Subaru or just about any AWD vehicle (forget Volvo). If you like your current car and you don’t already have winter tires; then get a set of winter tires (all 4) before you get another car. Virtually any car with decent winter tires can easily get to any ski slope.

Sometimes the biggest challenge is not so much going as seeing where you are going. Get a set of winter wiper blades and fill up your washer bottle with the best non freezing wiper solution you can buy before your next ski trip. With winter tires, winter blades, and lots of washer fluid you can tackle the Thruway, Northway, and Rt. 7 no problem.

If you get a new AWD car or SUV expect to spend more for gas each trip. These are not fuel efficient vehicles.

If you’re including a Volvo, it’s a matter of which will be good in winter for several years will less maintenance. New RAVs are the roomiest, Subaru Forester the best driving/handling and the CRV a good economical balance. In my experience, these three offer the best choices in reliability for your needs. If one has a locking feature, I’d prefer it for really deep snow, my preference. Thinking Outback is a good choice; a great car.

The new awd Subaru Legacy sedan, another good choice mentioned, gets only 1 less mpg overall than a Camry, perennial good mileage car. The awd systems affect mileage on the better cars less than their upright bodies and gearing. Check the comparisons in each model.

If you’re looking used, check to make sure all 4 tires match on ANY Subaru you look at. If it has mismatched tires on it, avoid the car like the plague, as this can mean an expensive repair in the future

Look at what cars are in the parking lot next time you go. You may be surprised by what you see. As so often posted on this board it is not how well a car goes in the snow but how well it stops under adverse conditions.

The parking lots in the Vermont ski slopes are loaded with Subies of all years and models. And the few Volvo XC’s that happened to make it all the way without breaking down.

Subie is a good choice.

Frankly the best car is the one with the best driver. A driver who knows the limitations of the car and knows how to avoid dangerous situations and is willing to say, it is too much of a risk to go to the grocery because I am out of BonBons.

I would say winter safety is 80% driver and 20% car.

ok i would suggest an old military dukw or a chevy trailblazer and not a honda passport (they suck)