The best cars for snow share the traits of adequate ground clearance, solid tires and extra horsepower. Ground clearance allows a vehicle to navigate soft snow banks. Solid tires give the driver control over icy asphalt while maintaining the integrity of the rubber over salty city streets. Swedish-built Volvo dominates the list with the most durable winter models built by people well-acquainted with long winters.
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The Volvo offers a "climate" package with heated seats and headlamp washers. It is rated No. 2 on the Forbes.com list of "Best Winter Cars." The ground clearance is 8.9 in., an effective height for winter road conditions. The car is moderately designed to accommodate the everyday driver in price and design.
2006 Cadillac STS
Russ Heaps of Autobyte.com chose the 2006 Cadillac STS as the No. 1 winter driving car. The STS boasts stability control, heated seats and side mirrors, headlamp wipers, engine block heater and all-wheel drive.
2009 Volkswagen CC VR6 4 Motion
The Vollkswagen CC VR6 borrows many of the design features of the Passat with a 280-horsepower, turbocharged V6 engine with three transmission choices. Heated mirrors and seats ensure a driver's comfort. Bankrate.com rated the CC VR6 No. 9 for winter driving.
Ranked the No. 1 winter driving car by Forbes.com, the Outback has ground clearance of 8.4 in., and all-wheel-drive improves control in snow and ice conditions.
2006 Volvo S80
The boxlike design of the classic Volvo is recognisable anywhere. The S80 was ranked third out of 10 top winter driving cars in 2006 by autobyte.com. The engine doesn't pack as much power (208 horsepower) as some other winter vehicles. However Volvo consistently designs cars that successfully manage icy, snowy roads.
2010 Volvo XC70 T6 Wagon
The Volvo Wagon provides good ground clearance, and the engine packs a mean punch with 281 horsepower. The XC70 has dual-zone automatic climate control and heated side mirrors. The wagon is meant for cross-country driving offering 72 cubic feet of hauling space. Bankrate.com ranked the Volvo Wagon No. 10.
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