Your Questions About Safest Suv In Snow And Ice

October 31, 2012

Lizzie Your Questions About Safest Suv In Snow And Ice

Lizzie asks…

Mid-size crossovers or suvs with awd for winter driving?

I live in north central pa where we can have bad winters with snow, ice, etc
What are just a few of the safest awd midsized crossovers /SUV to handle the snow, and ice?

Thanks in advance icon smile Your Questions About Safest Suv In Snow And Ice


20 winter crossovers and suvs for snow and ice conditions.


Jenny Your Questions About Safest Suv In Snow And Ice

Jenny asks…

What cars are safe and good to drive on snow and ice?

I live in Minnesota so we have very snowy and icy roads in the winter. I am looking to purchase a new car but I know absolutely nothing about cars. I want a car that is reliable and safe but also not over $20,000. Small cars only. I don’t like trucks or SUV‘s. I was thinking cars like the Ford Fiesta, Mazda2, or a Hondai Accent.
I hear that since the car is so low to the ground that damage will be done to the body is that true and are there any cars that have higher bodies that can avoid this situation?


Any car with proper tires on it will work fine in Minnesota winters. For years I drove a rear-wheel drive Mazda RX-7 which in spite of having the drive wheels at the wrong end of the car and very low ground clearance when equipped with a good set of snow tires would run rings around most other vehicles on the road – including AWD SUV’s.

Currently I have a Nissan Sentra SE-R Spec V. Its small, cheap and has too much power for winter but again, with a set of snow tires on it works brilliantly. It stops, it turns and I have only been stuck once – and that because the snow was up to my headlights.

So any of the cars on your list would be fine, but the so-called “all-season” tires they come with are not IMHO adequate for Minnesota winters. I would suggest buying a second set of tires dedicated for winter-only use such as the Bridgestone Blizzak, Continental Winter Contact or Michelin X-Ice or swapping those tires out altogether for the “all-weather” Nokian WR G2 which is a winter tire you can drive 12 months a year.

The problem with “all-season” tires is – and few people understand this – all-season does not mean winter. It means “light snow” and moderately cold temperatures, typically 45 degrees and above. All-season tires are not designed for freezing temps, deep snow or ice like you and I see in Minnesota.

The only downsides of running winter tires are the additional cost (partially made up by the extended tire life of your original tires as they only get used 7-8 moths per year) and the need to store the extra tires.



Look around you next time you are on the road at all the small cars out there. If there was such a problem with them nobody would use them in this climate.

Sharon Your Questions About Safest Suv In Snow And Ice

Sharon asks…

Snow tires or chains for a sedan?

I have a Saturn sedan and I have to endure the harsh weather of Lake Tahoe this winter. Before, I use to work in the same place as several of my friends with SUVs/4WD. But alas, that job was awful and had to go. So, now I work on the complete other side of town where all my co-workers live on THAT side, so no rides from them!

So my question is, which would be better/safer? Snow tires or chains?

I’m only going to be driving from one end of the town to the other (10 miles I think there and back? Maybe less), not ever going to go down the hill. I’m just really worried about ice and snow berms and getting stuck. I’m just trying to figure out how much money I’m going to need to budget here soon.


oh ps
Please don’t suggest getting an SUV, if that were in option, I’d have one by now. Thank you.


Snow tires!

Thomas Your Questions About Safest Suv In Snow And Ice

Thomas asks…

Please recommend a car (or possibly an SUV) for me?

I don’t know if I want a car or an SUV. Are SUVs wasteful?? If so, how?

- I would like to pay about $25 – 35,000.
- I need to be able to drive in ice and snow.
- I like cars with an elegant look, like Jaguars and Mercedes, but I don’t want to spend crazy money.
- I want a safe car, in case of an accident.
- I am not wasteful and want a car with decent gas mileage.
- (I now have a Jeep Grand Cherokee.)

Please advise!! Thank you!!


Well if you say you aren’t wasteful then you should not be driving a Grand Cherokee. Those things aren’t exactly gas sippers with stunning emissions. Mercedes SUVs are mostly out of your range unless you go back a few years and buy a used ML. Look into Subarus. People snub them for not being luxurious but you can option them up and get the best AWD next to Mercedes 4matic. They’re incredibly safe too. Sure, they aren’t elegant looking but when that drunk driver comes barreling into your vehicle, do you want a sleek looking car or the ability to keep breathing post-impact?

Grand Cherokees are awful with crashes. A family friend’s son had one and the frame literally broke when he flipped it while off-roading in Arizona. The frame isn’t supposed to break!

Paul Your Questions About Safest Suv In Snow And Ice

Paul asks…

Safest winter driving route from TN to MA?

On November 1st I’ll begin my cross-country trip from Southern California to Central Massachusetts (job relocation). As it’s so close to winter I’m a little concerned about bad weather conditions (snow and ice) through part of the route (especially since I’ve never driven in snow or iceand I’m driving a Nissan Sentra, not an SUV or anything).

I have planned a route from Southern California to Knoxville, TN (I-40) but from there I’m lost. I could use google maps but I really can’t tell if the route google is giving me is going to have me go through mountains and snow and such.

Could someone please tell me what would be the safest route in winter (least likely to have snow and ice) from the I-40 in Knoxville TN to central MA?


The chance of ice and/or snow in early November is about non-existent. Don’t worry about it. Just stick to the Interstate highways for the easiest drive, although a bit boring.

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