Snow, ice, and hazardous driving conditions are all but guaranteed this winter. Having a trustworthy and well-equipped SUV is crucial for surviving winter driving in British Columbia. Due to the inconsistency of the weather and the difficulty of the roads, it is essential to have a vehicle that can handle driving in the snow, ice, and other adverse conditions.
Here, we’ll go over the six best SUVs and the features to look for in a winter-driving SUV, so you can hit the BC road in complete command even as the temperature drops.
What to consider for a winter driving SUV
You may be wondering what qualities a winter-ready SUV for driving through BC through snow, ice, and subfreezing temperatures during the winter. After all, not every SUV is designed to cope with the hazards of driving in the winter. These are some of the key features that you should look for in a winter-driving SUV:
When your tires have good traction, they hold onto the road well and don’t slip or skid. In the winter, when snow and ice can make roads slippery and dangerous, traction is essential.
Search for an SUV with all-wheel drive (AWD) or four-wheel drive (4WD) if you need better traction. These systems send power to each of the vehicle’s four wheels, increasing the vehicle’s grip and stability in hazardous conditions. You should also try to find an SUV with traction control, which cuts power to the slipping wheels or applies the brakes to keep the vehicle under control.
Alternatively, you can upgrade your traction by installing winter tires. For FWD SUVs, which are less effective in the snow because of their lack of all-wheel drive, winter tires can make a world of difference when driving on snowy roads. Winter tires have a tread pattern that helps them grip the road and a rubber compound that allows them to remain flexible even when the temperature drops.
Keep your SUV from skidding or spinning by ensuring its stability. In the winter, when even the slightest movement or turn can cause your SUV to lose control and slide off the road, stability is of the utmost importance.
If you want your SUV to be more stable, look for one with stability control. This feature helps keep your SUV stable and stops it from skidding or spinning by putting brakes on only certain wheels or changing the engine’s power.
Also, look for an SUV with a special driving mode for snow or ice. This mode changes the throttle response, transmission shift points, steering sensitivity, and suspension settings to make the car perform better and handle better on slippery roads.
The term “clearance” refers to the height your SUV has above the ground. Clearance is especially crucial in the winter when snowdrifts can block your SUV’s path.
Shop for an SUV with greater ground clearance, which improves the vehicle’s ability to drive over snow and uneven terrain. In addition, driving through deeper snow is possible in your SUV with increased ground clearance.
Your SUV’s heating system is what allows you to stay toasty and relaxed while driving. When temperatures drop below freezing, it can be uncomfortable or even dangerous to drive, making heating a necessity. You can avoid wearing as many layers of clothing in the winter if you find an SUV with heating features like heated seats and a heated steering wheel.
One feature to keep in mind when shopping for an SUV is remote start, which allows you to turn the engine on from a distance using a key fob or a smartphone app. Warming up your SUV with a remote start can help you save time and increase your comfort level before you even get behind the wheel.
Your SUV needs regular maintenance to keep running smoothly and keep you safe. Winter is a particularly important time for maintenance because the harsh weather can damage your SUV’s parts and systems. Be sure to keep an eye on simple maintenance practices you can adopt this winter that will pay dividends.
Driving in the winter can be difficult, but with the right SUV, you can take on the season with ease and confidence. You should think about traction, stability, clearance, heating, and maintenance when shopping for a winter-ready SUV.
What are the 6 best SUVs you should consider purchasing for winter driving
To help you choose an SUV that can handle the British Columbia winters, we’ve put together a list of the top 6. These SUVs are ideal for driving in British Columbia during the winter. These are the best models in terms of price, performance, and dependability. Our top choices are as follows:
1. Subaru Outback
The Subaru Outback is a flexible SUV with a quiet cabin, plenty of cargo space, and all-wheel drive as standard. The Outback has an X-MODE system that adjusts the settings of the engine, transmission, and brakes to improve traction and stability on wet and slippery surfaces, in addition to its high ground clearance. Safety features on the Outback include things like adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, and blind spot detection.
Standard ABS, Traction Control, and Stability Control, 8.7-inch ground clearance, and Subaru’s Symmetrical AWD make the Outback a good winter car. It comes equipped with a number of de-icing and anti-freeze features, as well as a heated steering wheel, heated side mirrors, and heated windshield wipers.
The 2023 Subaru Outback is an excellent all-season SUV, especially in the snow. Several of Subaru’s features are designed to improve the experience of driving in the winter. All 2023 Subaru models, including the Outback, will offer remote start as a standard feature on many trim levels. Standard on most Subaru models is access to Subaru’s Starlink suite of connected services. Smartphones can access the remote starter app.
2. Toyota RAV4
The Toyota RAV4 deserves its reputation as a best-seller among Canadian SUV buyers. The 2024 Toyota RAV4 is an extremely well-liked compact sport utility vehicle. The RAV4 has a potent engine, a hybrid drivetrain as an option, and an all-wheel drive system with dynamic torque vectoring to optimize power delivery to the wheels.
The Toyota RAV4 is an excellent choice for winter driving. There is a snow mode, as well as mud and sand, rock and dirt, and normal settings available via the multi-terrain select mode.
All-wheel drive, traction control, and anti-lock brakes are just a few of the winter-ready features it offers. In addition to its extensive list of safety features, which includes a pre-collision system, lane departure alert, and rear cross-traffic alert, the RAV4 also boasts a roomy cabin and a large cargo area.
3. Honda CR-V
The Honda CR-V is another best-seller among SUVs because of its excellent mix of power, luxury, and fuel economy. The CR-V is equipped with a powerful turbocharged engine and a real-time all-wheel drive system that can instantly send torque to the rear wheels if necessary.
The 2023 Honda CR-V receives three updates that enhance performance in wintry conditions. The transmission and throttle controls in Snow Mode have already adjusted the AWD system to prepare it for slippage before you even get behind the wheel. Second, real-time AWD with an Intelligent Control System has been updated so that it can occasionally direct 50% of its power to the rear wheels. The third upgrade is Hill Descent Control, which prevents accidents when driving downhill.
The 2023 Honda CR-V’s new features make it a good winter car. For better performance, consider winter tires if you live in an area with heavy snowfall or icy roads. Hill start assist prevents the CR-V from rolling back when starting on an incline. CR-Vs have a roomy interior, foldable rear seats, and safety features like forward collision warning, lane-keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control.
4. Ford Escape
The Ford Escape is a quick and responsive SUV that can make navigating the snow and ice more exciting. It’s stylish outside, comfortable inside, and available with a variety of powertrains to meet your needs. The 2023 Escape is a practical vehicle, but it also provides a stylish and relaxing ride. The Escape’s exterior styling is so sleek and modern that it can’t help but attract attention wherever it goes.
The 2023 Ford Escape is an excellent compact SUV for snow and ice. Ford’s Co-Pilot360 suite of safety features, including automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, and more, are standard. All-wheel drive is also an option. The Escape has a sufficient ground clearance of 7.9 inches for driving in the snow.
High-quality materials and user-friendly controls help make the cabin a relaxing and comfortable place for everyone inside. Whether you’re going on a weekend trip or commuting to work, the Escape’s large interior gives you plenty of room for both people and things, making it a great choice for all your winter adventures.
5. Hyundai Santa Fe
Stylish and roomy, the Hyundai Santa Fe can seat up to seven passengers. It has a luxurious interior with a big screen and many useful features. A standard 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine produces 191 hp and 181 lb-ft of torque, while a turbocharged version of the same engine produces 277 hp and 311 lb-ft. All-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission come standard with both engines.
The 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe performs admirably in the snow. Electronically-operated traction control is a significant aid in keeping the vehicle stable. The Santa Fe doesn’t come with winter tires, but they can be installed if you buy them separately.
The Santa Fe’s interior is warm and welcoming, making it perfect for long winter road trips. The large seats provide ergonomic comfort and support to keep you alert and revitalized. In addition, there is a lot of room and comfort in the back seats.
6. Kia Sorento
The Kia Sorento is yet another option for a large SUV accommodating seven people. It’s got a panoramic sunroof, a high-tech infotainment system, and a plush interior.
When it comes to winter driving, the 2023 Kia Sorento is an excellent option. The Sorento’s all-wheel drive and 6.9-inch ground clearance make it an excellent choice for driving in the snow and ice. Traction on icy roads can be greatly improved by using winter tires.
The Sorento is equipped with a snow mode that improves traction control and grip in comparison to the regular driving mode, making it ideally suited to driving in snow. In addition to its already impressive set of safety features, the Sorento also benefits from a regenerative braking system that allows for more responsive braking as well as pedestrian and environmental detection.
These 6 SUVs are among the best choices for navigating the snowy roads of British Columbia. You should always take a vehicle for a test drive before buying it to make sure it suits your needs and tastes. However, if you choose one of these SUVs, you can rest assured that you’ll have a vehicle that is not only safe for the family but also comfortable and enjoyable to drive during the winter months.