Which SUVs Are Best for Snow?

October 25th, 2020 by

Many Ohioans have experienced the unwanted thrills of trying to navigate through snowy roads with a vehicle ill-equipped to do so. If you don’t want to be in that precarious situation again, there are a few features you can look out for when you shop for your next adventure-ready vehicle.

Best SUV for Snow

SUV white driving in snow storm

Image via Pixabay by Pexels

There are a few factors that make a vehicle a capable one when driving through snow. Most of those reasons have to do with traction. As you shop for your next vehicle, look for SUVs that offer these snow-tackling features:

  • All-wheel/four-wheel drive, or at least front-wheel drive.
  • All-season/winter tires.
  • Decent ground clearance.
  • Decent weight distribution.
  • Locking differentials.

You don’t need all of these features to make for an SUV that’s suited for travel through snow. However, the more of them your vehicle has, the better off you will be when the roads turn slick. If you’re concerned about your vehicle’s ability to travel through snow, don’t accept an SUV that’s not equipped with at least an all-wheel-drive system.

4 Wheel Drive SUV and All-Wheel Drive SUV

Arguably, the most important of all these features when it comes to snow is the vehicle’s drivetrain. All-wheel or four-wheel drive means that rather than sending power to only two wheels, your vehicle can send power to all four.

All-wheel drive is adaptive, sending extra power to the wheels that are experiencing a loss in traction. Four-wheel drive sends power to all four wheels equally, which provides a great boost in traction. The first is good for safety, and the second is good for getting out of tough situations. Both are better than the alternatives when it comes to driving in the snow.

Here are a few SUVs that offer snowy terrain-tackling features to help you get started in your search:

Buick Enclave

The three-row Buick Enclave SUV strikes a great balance between year-round luxury and winter confidence. If you’re looking at a new 2020 Buick Enclave, be sure to opt for a model equipped with the available intelligent all-wheel-drive system. This smart system, which comes with an active twin clutch, engages when it senses a loss of traction on the road. It automatically senses which wheels have lost their grips and sends power to them, improving the SUV’s safety and capability on slick roads.

Chevrolet Suburban

For an even larger cabin, check out what the Chevrolet Suburban has to offer. The 2020 Chevy Suburban seats up to nine passengers in three rows, or up to 121.7 cubic feet of cargo. Best of all, it can be equipped with some top-notch snow-ready features. All three of its trim levels — the LS, LT, and Premier — can be equipped with a powerful four-wheel-drive system that greatly boosts the SUV’s traction. Though it doesn’t have the automatic engagement feature of an all-wheel-drive system, it’s still equipped for getting your SUV unstuck from snowy traps.

Chevrolet Tahoe

The full-size, three-row Chevrolet Tahoe has been a sought-after SUV for decades, in large part due to its capabilities on the road. Its bold, powerful stance on the road hints at what it’s hiding underneath. Each of the 2020 Chevy Tahoe‘s trim levels can be outfitted with a four-wheel-drive system. This drivetrain, coupled with the standard V-8 engine, gives drivers a powerful workhorse SUV that’s great for navigating through winter roads. Inside, features such as tri-zone automatic climate control, remote engine start, and heated front seats keep you comfortable all winter long.

Ford Escape

The Ford Escape is a stylish small SUV that’s perfect for taking on life in the city while providing confidence on slippery roads. It’s a five-seater crossover SUV that’s available in a spread of trim levels with multiple engine options, including hybridized engines. Choose a model equipped with the optional all-wheel drive for enhanced safety during the winter. To improve said safety, each Escape comes with smart driver-assist technologies, such as a blind spot monitor, lane keep assist, and forward collision mitigation. In short, the new Escape is ready to keep you safe and sound during your travels.

GMC Terrain

Those searching for a smaller SUV will find a good home away from home in the GMC Terrain. This five-seater SUV has an available all-wheel-drive system that comes with the Traction Select System. This lets you choose between multiple drive modes: FWD, AWD, Off-Road, and Tow/Haul (with the towing package). During the summer, improve fuel efficiency with front-wheel-drive mode. When the weather turns wintry, switch to all-wheel drive for a boost in traction and confidence. However, even if you choose a Terrain equipped with front-wheel drive, you’ll get access to Snow mode, which helps reduce the chance for wheel slippage.

GMC Yukon

If you love the GMC SUV style but need a little more space, consider the GMC Yukon. When properly equipped, it can tow up to 8,400 pounds and seat up to eight passengers. It can also be equipped with an automatic locking rear differential that enhances the SUVs ability to push through tough terrain, including snow. Locking differentials force both wheels of an axle to turn simultaneously, even when one of the wheels doesn’t have a grip on the road. This is a great performance feature that improves off-road performance and performance on snowy roads.

Jeep Grand Cherokee

When people think of terrain-ready vehicles, their minds often go to the Jeep lineup. If yours does as well, consider looking into the Jeep Grand Cherokee. It has remained one of the most off-road-ready full-size SUVs on the markets for years, thanks to its list of performance features. Each 2020 Grand Cherokee trim level at the very least offers four-wheel-drive, and some come standard with it. Other features this SUV employs include an available rear electronic limited-slip differential, multi-terrain drive modes, and all-terrain tires.

When you’re ready to find an SUV that’s as well-suited to take on your lifestyle as it is the snow, come visit our team at Sweeney Buick-GMC in Youngstown, Ohio. With our selection of new and used SUVs, you’re sure to find a ride that can handle your winter adventures.

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