Depending on your vehicle, driving in the snow can be either a harrowing experience or an exhilarating one. Although knowing how to drive safely in the snow is important, it is a lot easier with the right car. Take the wrong one out in a snowstorm or with lots of snow on the ground, you could find yourself stuck and calling for roadside assistance, or even worse.

There are a number of features to look for in a snow-friendly vehicle. Along with choosing the right vehicle, many will argue that snow tires are an important feature in order to experience the best that driving in the snow can offer. Although snow tires can help most vehicles, some vehicles stand out for snowy driving more than others do.

Factors to Consider for Snow Vehicles

When you look for the best vehicle for driving in snowy weather or on snow packed roads, there are a number of things to keep in mind. All-wheel drive is an important factor. Cars with all-wheel drive have power that goes to all of the wheels, rather than just the front wheels. This helps to increase traction in the snow and help the car stay connected to the ground in slippery conditions. A car with all-wheel drive can move easier on ice and snow.

Ground clearance is another factor in choosing a car for snow. This refers to the amount of space under the car. Obviously, if there were an accumulation of snow, you would like to have a vehicle that is able to make it through and over it more easily.

Another factor to keep in mind when looking for a snow vehicle is electronic stability control. In general, stability control can help prevent the vehicle from losing control and prevent rollovers. In snowy and icy conditions, electronic stability control can help prevent your car from sliding and skidding. According to an analysis of the General Estimates and Fatality Analysis Reporting System, crashes in snowy weather declined 88% for SUVs that had electronic stability control and for passenger cars; it was 75%.

Some vehicles that are meant to deal with snow offer other features such as heated windshield wipers, headlight washers, and heated seats in both the front and back.

Volvo XC

Made in Sweden, the Volvo has a number of models that are good for snow. The Volvo XC series is considered a crossover vehicle and has many features that make it on the list of best cars for snow. Along with being all-wheel drive, it has stability control, active bending lights, hill-descent control and an anti-skid system with a ground clearance of 8.6 inches. Drivers can opt for a climate package that includes washers for the headlights, heated seats, heated washer nozzles for the windshield, a system that detects carbon monoxide inside and rain-sensing wipers.

Subaru Outback

The Outback from Subaru has long been a top choice for snow. It has all-wheel drive, anti-lock brakes and stability control. Ground clearance is high with 8.7 inches and the Outback has heated side windows, de-icers for the windshield and standard heated front seats. In colder areas of the country, you might even consider splurging for the optional engine block heater and battery warmer.

Land Rover Range Rover

If you have the money to spend, the Land Rover is a good snow option. Standard features include anti-lock brakes, stability control, all-wheel drive, traction and skid control, and hill descent control. You also get dynamic response to prevent rollovers and understeer control, which helps with adjusting in the snow. A package for climate comfort is available which includes a heated steering wheel, heated seats in the front and back, heated washer jets and heated windshield.

Toyota Land Cruiser

Standard items of the Land Cruiser include four-wheel drive, hill assist, dynamic suspension to prevent rollovers, traction control, heated side mirrors, and a wiper de-icer. It also has Crawl Control, which takes over in bad weather and controls the accelerator and brakes so that you can focus on the road ahead. For a bit extra, you can add a rain-sensing windshield and headlight cleaners.

Volkswagen Touareg TDI

The Touareg has good ground clearance with electronic stability control, all-wheel drive, 225 horsepower, and good anti-lock brakes. As a turbo diesel, you also get better gas mileage. For its price range, in the upper $40ks, the Volkswagen Touareg TDI offers many standard winter driving features such as a rollover sensor system and rear defroster, heated wiper jets, heated side mirrors and heated front seats.

Driving in the snow is not for the faint of heart or inexperienced driver. However, with the right equipment and vehicle it can be a lot more enjoyable. These vehicles help you maintain control while on the snowy road while offering inside comfort as you drive.