There are a lot of things to take into account when shopping for a new or used car, but if you live in an area with long, cold, and snowy winters, you should definitely consider how it might make your life easier or harder. Driving in the snow isn’t fun for a number of reasons: traction is bad, traffic is slow, and it is very cold. Some cars work great in the snow, whereas others don’t do nearly as well. It might also be worth to consider factors related to car shipping when choosing a car. However, you can find a winter-ready car at the dealer’s by looking at the right factors.
One of the most important factors on how well a car will work in the snow is the type of drivetrain it has. The best option is a four-wheel drive vehicle, because all four wheels can be controlled by the engine. This way, in case one wheel loses traction in the snow, the other wheels should give you control as you regain traction. All-wheel drive is a similar concept that handles decently in snow, but four-wheel drive is still best. Front-wheel drive is the next best option for snow driving, and rear-wheel drive is the worst.
The overall weight and the weight distribution of a vehicle will also have an impact on how well it handles in the snow. Part of the reason front-wheel drive is better than rear-wheel drive is because the weight of the engine is placed directly over the front tires which are receiving torque from the engine, and the weight helps you keep control on snow or ice. Newer cars are designed to be energy efficient, so some new cars are extremely light and will not work great in snowy conditions.
You should also look at the heat system to make sure it works properly, so you can stay comfortable in your car on frigid days. This is especially important when buying used, as it isn’t uncommon for something like a broken heater to go unnoticed until after the purchase.
If the car you’re leaning towards at the dealer’s doesn’t seem optimal for snow driving, there is a way to improve its snow handling after your purchase. By purchasing snow tires or snow chains and putting them on each winter, you can greatly improve your winter driving experience.