Winters here in Kansas are often brutal. We may see ice, rain, and snow all in the same week. (Of course, it all comes with biting, bitter cold and frequent gusty winds.) Unfortunately, the world does not stop for inclement weather. You need a vehicle that will keep you and your family safe and warm, no matter the road conditions or outside temperatures.
Here are the 11 best vehicles of 2018 and 2019 for winter. We divided our list into our favorite “winter” cars, trucks, minivans, and SUVs based on safety, handling, comfort, and value.
Best SUVs for Winter
The Equinox was redesigned for 2018 and offers great handling and a good safety rating. Adding on the optional all-wheel-drive will offer even better performance for snow and ice driving. It also comes standard with an abundance of features, including a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot, remote-start, and heated seats.
U.S. News and World Report included it on their list of the 10 best winter vehicles for 2018.
Toyota Land Cruiser
The Land Cruiser is a name nearly synonymous with SUV. With 4-wheel-drive, a powerful v8, and rear differentials, the Land Cruiser quite literally lives up to its name, allowing you to go anywhere, including through snow and ice. Land Cruisers also offer winter comfort with zoned heating, heated steering wheels, and luxuriously cushioned seats. If you are looking for a supreme SUV that is really and truly all-terrain, this is the clear choice.
The 2018 Land Cruiser made its way onto a number of “best of” lists, including Business Insider’s 21 Best Cars for Winter Weather Driving.
The Pathfinder is another excellent all-terrain vehicle that’s made for snow and ice. An “auto mode” system allows the car to sense road conditions and automatically switch from 2WD (better fuel economy) to 4WD (more traction). This is a truly incredible safety feature that is especially useful when approaching black ice. It is the best of both worlds.
Best Cars for Winter
One of the most important characteristics of any car is its ability to keep passengers safe. For 2018, the Toyota Camry made the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s coveted Safety Picks + list. Only 15 cars and SUVs found their way to this list, meaning they aced the tests from every direction. The Camry has, for a long time, been a solid choice for safety and reliability, and it’s certainly a candidate for “best winter car.”
The Buick Regal went through a massive redesign for 2018. (If you have not yet seen one, it definitely does not look like Grandpa’s Buick.) Featuring AWD, safety, comfort, and value, this is a great choice if you want a comfortable, reasonably priced sedan that will make it in the snow.
The sporty sedan also found its way onto U.S. News and World Report‘s list of the Best AWD Sedans.
Hyundai’s luxury line, Genesis, has hit the market with gusto. Premium luxury and safety is a combo that is hard to beat, apparently. The AWD package can be paired with either a V6 or a V8, so it packs a powerful punch as well. With AWD and excellent safety records, the Genesis is a fantastic choice for a luxury sedan that can still traverse treacherous roads.
Offering top-of-the-line luxury and safety, the G90 earned both the IIHS Top Safety+ Pick and a spot on U.S. News and World Report‘s best AWD Sedans list.
Best Vans & Minivans for Winter
The Sienna absolutely tops the list for AWD minivans that can go in the snow. With typical Toyota quality and reliability, the Sienna is a great choice for anyone who regularly transports a lot of people throughout Kansas City’s long winters. A test drive in the Sienna is the only way to appreciate its amazing minivan qualities.
The Sienna was the only minivan to make the same list the Land Cruiser made, Business Insiders’ 21 Best Cars for Winter Weather Driving. The Sienna also made Digital Trends’ Best Minivans of 2018.
If you need a full-size cargo van for work, take a look at the Nissan NV. The NV comes with some excellent comfort features, like heated seating for up to 12. The van can also function as a cargo van that offers more than 300 possible configurations. With an impressive 9.6/10 customer rating on Kelley Blue Book, the new Nissan NV is surely one of the best work vans for winter.
Best Trucks for Winter
The new GMC Sierra comes standard with Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac tires and 4WD. In addition to snow-driving features, the latest Sierra comes with some seasonal comforts in the form of heated seats, steering wheels, and side mirrors. As a bonus, it comes with a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot.
The Sierra also made its way to Autobytel’s 10 best trucks for snow and ice list.
Well, it is called the Tundra after all, and for going strong on snow, ice, or most other terrains, this Toyota is hard to beat. The 4WD version comes with a traction control system that detects road conditions, ensuring the correct traction configuration. The Tundra also comes standard with heated seats and side mirrors, as well as some safety features like lane change detection.
The only truck to make it onto the Business Insider’s list for the Best Cars, Trucks, and SUVs for Snow and Winter Driving, the Colorado is a typically tough Chevy truck. It has all-speed traction control designed to handle wet and snowy roads, both front and rear locking differentials on the AWD version, and a wider wheelbase for more stability. It also comes with the comfort of heated seats and steering wheel, along with the Wi-Fi hotspot.
Choose The Ideal Vehicle This Winter At McCarthy
Don’t let the snow and sleet keep you down this winter. Head to your McCarthy car dealer near Kansas City to grab the keys to a new or used car that’s perfectly suited for winter driving. Find your closest McCarthy Auto Group dealership online to get started, and be sure to browse our current new car specials to get an unbeatable deal. Stay safe.