The only thing as certain as death and taxes is winter and snow in the northern U.S. If you grumble every year and tell yourself that next year will be when you finally buy that all-wheel-drive car, then you’ll want to check this list out.
We dug deep to find the best cars for snow in 2018. Sure, we could just mail it in and run down the list of the zillions of crossovers on the market, but not everyone wants a crossover or SUV, so we stuck with sedans and wagons this time around.
Continue reading to find out which 2018 cars we feel are the best in the snow.
Spoiler alert: Yes, there are a lot of Subarus on this list.
Yeah, you’ll want to get used to seeing this name, as Subaru is the best in the biz at crafting weather-prepped sedans and wagons, thanks to its symmetrical all-wheel-drive system. In addition to being good in the snow, this rig, which is available as a sedan or a hatchback, is also easy on fuel with its 28 mpg city, 38 mpg highway, and 32 mpg combined ratings. Just a few years back, this sort of fuel economy from an all-wheel drive vehicle was simply unheard of.
And on top of all that, its $20,355 base price (including destination fees) is very strong.
Volkswagen Golf Alltrack
Volkswagen takes a swipe at the Impreza with a small all-wheel-drive wagon of its own, the Golf Alltrack. What makes it clear that this is aimed directly at the Impreza is the fact that it’s no ordinary wagon — it’s also lifted a bit and boasts plastic body cladding to protect it from debris.
While the Golf Alltrack may not have the off-road credentials of the Impreza, its powertrain outdoes the Scoobie. This wagon’s 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder throws down 170 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque. Plus, its dual-clutch transmission feels a bit more traditional than the Impreza’s CVT.
Dodge Charger GT AWD
Want something a little less plain-Jane looking but can still take on cruddy weather? Check out the Charger GT AWD. Sadly, Dodge stopped offering all-wheel drive with its mighty HEMI V-8 a few years back, but at least this rig looks the part of a muscular sedan. Plus, its 3.6-liter V-6 churns out 300 horsepower, so it’s no slouch either.
This combo does comes at a steep price: $34,090 (destination fees included).
Subaru is back on the list with its larger Outback. This wagon is a Swiss Army knife of sorts, as it does a lot of things very well: it’s comfortable, roomy, all-weather ready, well equipped, quiet, and so much more. What’s particularly nice about it are its two available engines. The base 2.5-liter engine is competent at 175 horsepower while delivering up to 28 mpg combined, while its 3.6-liter engine delivers just 22 mpg combined but offers more power at 256 ponies.
Like its Impreza sibling, the Outback is also surprisingly affordable, as its starting price is just $26,810 (destination fees included).
While the Taurus doesn’t come standard with all-wheel drive, it does have it as an option on a few trim levels. Within these trims lies the SHO model, which comes with a potent twin-turbo 3.5-liter V-6 engine that injects 365 horsepower into this 2-ton sedan. No, the Taurus SHO isn’t fast, per se, but it is plenty competent and should satisfy just about any buyer. Not looking for turbo? The Limited and SEL models come with a 288-horsepower V-6 instead that is also available with all-wheel drive.
What really stands out about the Taurus is just how comfortable it is. If you’re the type who misses the way the big boats of years past rode, then the Taurus is the rig for you.
Genesis flipped the luxury segment on its ear when it hit the market with premium sedans at a discount. Like the old Hyundai model the G80 stems from — the Genesis sedan — this premium four-door is no warm-over job either. It is a legit luxury sedan.
The G80 is available with three engine options: a 311-horsepower 3.8-liter V-6, a 365-horsepower turbocharged 3.3-liter V-6, or a 420-horsepower 5.0-liter V-8. And all three are available with all-wheel drive.
The only real downsides to the Genesis G80 are its iffy handling and the smaller rear seat for its class. Otherwise, it is the perfect luxury sedan, if you don’t need a flashy name.
Strap in; here comes yet another Subaru. This time around, though, it is the brand’s performance sedan, the WRX. Not only does the WRX have Subaru’s notorious all-wheel drive, but it boasts loads of power. The base model has a 268-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder, while the STI model has an impressive 305 horses.
What many buyers love about the WRX are its relatively mellow looks, despite its fire-breathing four-pots it comes with. Plus, its $27,855 base price (destination fees included) isn’t bad considering all it has to offer.
Want to handle inclimate weather with good, old-fashioned ‘Murrican muscle and class? Head to your nearest Chrysler dealer and take a look at the 300. Sure, it comes standard with rear-wheel drive, but it has a few all-wheel-drive variants too.
Sadly, just like its platform-mate, the Charger, you cannot pair its 5.7-liter HEMI V-8, which boasts 363 horsepower, with this all-wheel-drive system. That said, its 3.6-liter V-6, which cranks out up to 300 horsepower, should be plenty of pop for most buyers.
Now things do get pretty pricey in the 300, as its base price with all-wheel drive starts at $32,590 (destination fees included).
OK, we started with a Scoobie, had a few sprinkled in the middle, and now we’re ending with one. Meet the midrange Legacy, which is tucked nicely between the Impreza and Outback. Like all non-BRZ Subarus, the Legacy comes standard with the brand’s legendary all-wheel-drive platform while still delivering above-average fuel economy.
On top of that, in the off chance there is an accident in the snow, the Legacy is among the safest cars in its class. Sure, you’d rather not wreck, but it’s nice to know you’re protected.
Oh, and did I mention it’s affordable too? It starts at just $23,055 (destination fees included).