Which car best for living in New England

selling
winter
fuel-economy

#1

Hi, I curently live in Arizona and my husband and I are planning a move to MA. or NH. Becuase of the difference in weather I feel I will need a different car that handles better in snow.

Currently I have a beautiful 2000 Lincoln Town Car and hate to sell it but… it is not so good in the gas maileage and also not so good in snow… Can anyone give me an idea of car that would be good for this area. Thanks… Nancy


#2

Front wheel drive cars seem to be good in snow as long as it’s not a sporty one with wide tires. Up North, Subarus rule in the hills. They have all wheel drive. I don’t recommend the bigger Subarus because they get lousy gas mileage. They are made by a different division called Subaru Concrete and Iron Works. That would explain the problem. Lately the Ford Taurus is looking good with the front wheel drive model. I will bet that you don’t want a small car. April edition of Consumer Reports is in book stores now and has a lot of other infoormation in it that may be helpful.


#3

I live in the northeast and have owned many subarus. They are great, cheap to maintain and are great in bad weather. My son is about to buy his first car and my only advice to him is that it must be a subaru!


#4

If you check out the parking lots of any shopping mall in New England you will see every make and model available. They all get the job done, they all please their owners.

I think it is unrealistic to declare there is an “ideal New England car.” All can be effective. Keep your Lincoln. Rather than shell out for another car, put a few hundred into a set of four snow tires for the winter months. Of course, if you are disppointed in the fuel economy, then think new compact. There are many to choose from, none better suited for New England than any other.


#5

“If you check out the parking lots of any shopping mall in New England you will see every make and model available. They all get the job done, they all please their owners.”

Exactly, just drive whatever you like. Unless you are moving to the middle of noplace, they do have plows there. My 75 year old mom lives there and drive some kind of buick year around.


#6

Look into getting a set of 4 winter tires(mounted on their own rims if you prefer) for whatever vehicle you get so you can swap back and forth for winter and summer driving.


#7

I have a surprise for you. New England has snow plows. They also have Lincoln Town cars.

You may want to get some winter tyres. I suggest four along with four steel rims so it is easy to change them twice a year. Of course that will be next fall.

There really is no need to change cars. I believe there are places in AZ that do get snow so hopefully you have some experience. If not, don’t worry, everyone has a first time, it is not a skill they pass out to natives only.

It is true that some cars are better than others in the snow, but not that much better. I would rather have a marginal car with winter tyres and a skilled careful driver than the best car with all season tyres and a less careful driver. BTW that Lincoln has better snow handling than many cars.


#8

As a NE, there again is no need to specialize in cars…proper preparation for winter with winter tires will save lots of anguish. Otherwise, winter conditions can vary dramatically depending on your residence and activities. I would advise you to come on down with what you have, and talk to locals about your general travel plans. Pretty much the same advice you would give for any move. I would definitly not buy ahead. Winter areas are quite variable in NE…closer to the coast, the better chance you could be happy with your present car. Good luck.
Our kids call NE the black hole. Once you move here, you never leave…til you retire. Suspect to change…


#9

What you need, more than a different car, is to learn how to drive in the snow. This is FAR more important than which make or model of car you drive. Driving on snow or ice is not like anything you’ve ever experienced in Arizona, and it will take a little time to get used to it.

Those of us who’ve grown up in snow country learned winter driving skills out of necessity, or at least some of us have. There are still a lot of motorists who live where snow is common but don’t know how to drive when there is snow on the ground. These are the people who think that owning an SUV (4WD or AWD) will compensate for their lack of knowledge and/or skill. It DOES NOT work, so PLEASE don’t fall for that assumption.

Almost any car, including your Town Car, can be driven through snow (up to a point), as long as the driver knows what he or she is doing. The driver is ALWAYS the most important safety element in winter driving.

Having said that, a Subaru makes life in snow country SO much easier. Just don’t expect miracles. You cannot defy the laws of physics no matter what you drive. Knowing how to drive in winter conditions is MUCH more important that what you drive.

There are people who drive 2WD pick-up trucks through snow, and I can’t think of anything worse to try to drive through snow than a 2WD pick-up, except perhaps a Mazda RX-8, but I’ll bet there are a few brave RX-8 owners who have figured out how to get around in the snow.

Winter tires (on all four wheels) will make a world of difference no matter what you drive. I’ve seen people drive Town Cars (equipped with winter tires) through conditions that would make me want an AWD vehicle, such as my Subaru.

In addition to a Subaru, I have a 4WD pick-up truck that I drive as a company vehicle. Unless the snow is REALLY deep (in which case you should not be trying to drive AT ALL), the Subaru AWD system is far superior to selectively-engaged 4WD.

Having said all that, when my trusty Subaru finally bites the dust, I will probably go with a FWD car, like an Accord or Camry, and FOUR good winter tires. 95% of the time, at least where I live, I think that would be almost as good as an AWD vehicle, without the fuel mileage penalty.

The other 5% of the time?

When it’s snowing that hard you should just stay home.


#10

If your going to change cars for other reasons besides the snow than do so. However if you purchase four quality winter tires like Blizzak WS-60/Michelin X-Ice you won’t even blink an eye in the snow storms and more importantly stop and be able to turn really well. Winter tires transform any car whether AWD, FWD or RWD in a signicantly safer experience simply due to absolutely superior stopping power and most importantly being able to turn.

I would for cars that include electronic stability(skid) control that make those slips and slides(relatively common on slippery days) go away. AWD I don’t think is a requirement except for select driveways(inc mine) and locales however makes it more pleasant to drive around in iffy conditions. Expect a 0-4MPG mileage penalty for it.

Whatever you buy or keep your car, simply springing the $500-$600 for winter tires/rims is SO worth it. It sounds like an extra expense at first however when you realize your not using your other three season tires(also called all-seasons) and wearing them the cost significantly drops to near equal.


#11

Keep what you have…S NH doesn’t get that much snow. This year is a possible record breaking year…yet it’s LESS then what places around the great lakes get every year. I do suggest you get GOOD SNOW TIRES (4 OF THEM). And spend some time learning out to drive in the snow. The biggest problem with snow is NOT knowing how to drive in it.

With that said…If you really want to change vehicles…then a fwd vehicle is best…don’t even need snow tires…decent all season tires are fine for the snow we get.

Here’s your first lesson in driving in snow…SLOW DOWN…Let me repeat…SLOW DOWN. Slow and steady is the BEST way to get through when it’s snowing.


#12

The amount of snow is irrelevant in NH with regards to winter tires. I find it beyond slippery at times with 1"-2" of slushy snow on the roads vs 4"-10" of deep stuff along the roads which you have more stopping power and even turning ability. The benefit of winter tires is not moving IMHO but simply the far more important quality of stopping and turning.


#13

The amount of snow is irrelevant in NH with regards to winter tires. I find it beyond slippery at times with 1"-2" of slushy snow on the roads vs 4"-10" of deep stuff along the roads which you have more stopping power and even turning ability.

Wife NEVER had a problem with her Accords or now Lexus without snow tires. Never got stuck…never in a accident…20 years and over 500k miles.

WHY other places like upstate NY is so bad is because they get snow all the time…A week doesn’t go by without them getting 4-10" of snow. So you are constantly driving in snow. Some roads will have packed snow on them from December to March. You’ll start seeing pavement around St Paddy’s day.

Here in NE…we get 1-2" then it’s sunny and melts and we don’t see anything for a few weeks…This year we’ve been 5 storms of 10" or so…it adds up. Concord NH averages about 40"year…Boston around 30"…Snow tires are NOT needed.

The benefit of winter tires is not moving IMHO but simply the far more important quality of stopping and turning.

I find that stopping and turning has a LOT MORE TO DO WITH how FAST you were going…NOT what tires you have. Sure the snow tires MIGHT help if you want to maintain 30mph while turning a corner in 3" of snow…I prefer to keep the speed down. Actually works out much better.


#14

I will only say I have owned winter tires 4 seasons in 20 years of driving and its plain and simply superior even in 1" of snow and especially ice where you can’t even stand on. I don’t think you ever have driven on modern winter(not snow) tires so have no idea.

Its a option that can save your life in certain cases and make winter travel more pleasant. Other people choose luxuries like car badges, leather, … or whatever. Its small potatoes in the overall ownership cost of a vehicle once you realize your 3 season tires are not being worn down.


#15

I’ve driven in NH for most of the last 40 years (3 years of the last 40 was in ND) so it’s hard for me to say. I’ve driven all sorts of vehicles and never had a problem, but I always make sure I have good all-season tires (in the old days I got snow tires) when I see winter coming. I have a friend who came up from NJ with a 2000 Town Car and says it’s terrible on bad roads even with good tires, but I don’t know if she has good winter driving technique.

If you’ve never driven in a snow storm, I guess a Subie is the best way to go. McP and Andrew also posted good advice. The best advice, no matter what you drive. is to leave plenty of room around you, plan way ahead, anticipate things happening, and do nothing quickly…do everything in slow motion.


#16

I will only say I have owned winter tires 4 seasons in 20 years of driving and its plain and simply superior even in 1" of snow and especially ice where you can’t even stand on. I don’t think you ever have driven on modern winter(not snow) tires so have no idea.

Being superior and necessary are two totally different things. Sure a Corvette is superior to my wifes Lexus for taking a curve at 30mph…but NOT necessary…Now taking the curve at 50…then the Vette probably IS necessary.


#17

Thank you all for your great information. Your are right on when it comes to how to drive in the snow… I used to live the Seattle area and about once a year we would have some sone for a few days… I got a few lessons of how to drive…SLOW.
In the NW you see a lot of people who have 4 wheel drive SUV’s or trucks, going super fast for the conditions and then they can not stop… What a surprise…lol later you see them in the ditch. I would like to get a car that is more fuel efficient… and good in snow, but the Subaru is not a contender for us…my husband is too long legged to ride or drive them comfortably… Thanks again for all your responses… we are looking forward to living up in the NE where you have real trees and it is green… Nancy Degr :slight_smile:


#18

Unless it’s too much trouble, take the Lincoln with you. It’s one less worry until you get settled in. And besides, do you know how excited Boston will be to buy a car that’s lived it’s life in Arizona? Biiig plus!


#19

ski doo,polaris,artic cat,M1-A1 ,snow cat,unimog,H-1.