My daughter just got her license. My wife is thinking of giving her the Prius, which we just finished paying off. She wants a car that’s good in snow that she’ll use for 20 minute city driving commute ( no highways) that she can also take to the mountains for skiing. I love the Prius and would like having a hybrid again but not sure what to get. Do you have any suggestions?
Just about any FWD vehicle will do well in snow if it is fitted with a good set of winter tires. You need four, not just two.
We won’t debate the wisdom of “giving” a car to a kid with a brand new driver’s license.
Just remember that gas mileage will drop dramatically when you put the winter tires on it. I’m not suggesting you keep the LRR tires on, just letting you know what to expect in addition to better handling on slick roads.
“Good in snow” is a really loaded statement. If the roads are snow covered and but plowed as most ski resorts are, just about anything with good snow tires will do. If the roads are occasionally un-plowed with deeper snow and that’s a concern…NO fwd compact car with the best tires you can find will do better then an AWD compact SUV with snow tires with it’s much better ground clearance. CLEARANCE is the next best thing along with awd/4wd if the snow gets very deep. Hills also favor awd over fwd.
It does no good to have a great handling car in the snow if your bumper is plowing the road better than the snow plows are. This past winter I didn’t even have to shovel my driveway due to the higher ground clearance of my suv
bscar is offering good advice.
I might add that it is not important that you can get through the snow, but it is mighty important that you can control the direction and speed of your car.
Better to have an extra set of wheels and trade them off winter and summer.
No Winter tyre is going to equal a good all season during the non-winter seasons. They will wear faster, may make more noise and will not provide the handling that all season (really just three season) tyres do.
Remember that the tyres are where all the handling, begins. If the tyres can’t hand the situation, it can be very serious. No matter how good a driver you may be, you can’t make up for the wrong tyres in an emergency situation. I would say that choosing the wrong tyres is not the actions of a good driver.
Generally the best tyres should be installed on the rear of the car, even if this seems wrong. In icy conditions it is a must!