I need a car that is terrific in snow and safe for driving a family 7 all year round and in long snowy winters. We are on the road often for kid related sports activities. I need a car that can handle snow and ice etc. Please advise!
In your situation I’d look at the awd Toyota Sienna and I’d add a set of winter tires on rims. If a minivan’s out, then the larger 3-row CUVs with awd: the Honda Pilot, the Ford Flex and the GM Acadia/Chevy Traverse/Buick Enclave.
The OP has essentially described the Subaru Tribeca.
It is a luxury 7-seat AWD vehicle with good reliability.
Subaru has the best AWD system in the business.
Sounds like the OP needs to get all 7 together and go to a few dealers this weekend!
Of course, it’d be preferable to go to a car show - any coming up in the area, OP? We have one in a couple of months at the Texas state fair, see several brands in one place.
A minivan equipped with winter wheels(rims/tires) is best suited to the purpose. If you want AWD in a minivan it limits you to the Toyota Sienna however it is excellent in FWD or AWD forms.
There are numerous choices in SUV’s/Cross overs/Minivans, happy hunting.
However the key factor for snow/winter & safe is winter tires. You price them on tirerack.com.
I have an 09 Honda Pilot EXL and it has been perfect. Its great in the snow and it can carry a lot of people and stuff.
Just my personal opinion, but if I was told we were loading a mini-van with 7 people and snow or other bad weather was expected I would probably stay home if at all possible, or drive myself otherwise.
My personal opinion is that poor weather conditions are enough of a saftey hazard, but then loading to capacity is adding too potential degraded control issues. I do realise that the manufacture designs and also states you can load this high but at times I look at just what the manufactures motivation is.
If you have to go big you might as well go all the way. A slightly used Chevy Suburban or Ford Expedition/Excursion.
Either of these trucks with seven passengers is more environmentally fuel efficient per passenger then a Prius with only one person inside.
While my 4wd Suburban was good in the snow, and had a huge amount of storage room, the 3rd row wasn’t near as comfortable or as accessible as those in a minivan or a Traverse/etc.
The comparison of a Prius vs large SUV is invalid since she will have lots of passengers.
You will get at least a 7MPG penalty owning one of these vehicles. And if they do not have a full time 4wd mode they are pretty cruddy in winter weather.