With winter in full swing and much of the country dealing with snowy roads, 4-wheel drive or all-wheel drive can make a world of difference in safety and performance. We’ve put together a list of some of the most-searched cars, trucks, and SUVs available with 4WD or AWD so you can get that reassuring extra traction whether you’re going on an off-road winter excursion or you just want a safer commute.
Here are the 10 coolest cars for winter 2020.
Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Custom Trail Boss
The Chevrolet Silverado
The Chevrolet Silverado 1500 comes in a lot of different trims, and one of our favorites is the Custom Trail Boss model. It’s a good way to get some off-road kit without the price getting too crazy. The Custom Trail Boss trim includes a rugged appearance package, a 2-speed transfer case and the Z71 off-road package, which includes Rancho monotube shocks, a 2-in suspension lift and improved approach and departure angles. You also get your choice of a V6 or two V8 engines. Naturally, 4WD is standard, so you can tackle any obstacle on-road or off.
Chevrolet Tahoe Premier
The Chevy Tahoe is one of the most popular choices in full-size SUVs for good reasons. It’s one vehicle that can haul a lot of people, a lot of stuff and tow a boat all without breaking a sweat. If you upgrade to the Tahoe Premier, you’re treated to all kinds of upgrades that you might expect to find in a more expensive luxury SUV. The Premier trim includes GM’s GM, -2.04% excellent Magnetic Ride Control, the latest safety tech, power-folding third-row seats, Bose premium audio and the option of upgrading to the muscular 6.2-liter V-8 engine. For a family hauler that’s both rugged and premium, check out the Tahoe Premier.
Ford F-150 XLT 4×4
The Ford F150
It’s likely you’re expecting to see the F-150 Raptor here, but not everyone has $60,000 (with options) to spend on a new winter-worthy truck. Trucks and truck-based SUVs are getting quite pricey. The F-150 Platinum starts at $55,000, and the Chevy Tahoe can be $70,000 depending on options. However, the Ford F, -1.70% F-150 has a starting price of just under $30,000 for the XL 4×2.
For a nicely equipped new truck, we suggest the F-150 XLT regular cab with the optional 4WD. The XLT offers plenty of comfort and convenience features, like a tilt and telescoping steering wheel, SYNC 3, a chrome grille, aluminum wheels, fog lights and a 23-gallon fuel tank. There are other features you can add, like an off-road package, a towing package and a more plush interior with leather trim and power seats. But stick with the XLT 4×4 and the price is just a bit under $40,000. That’s a lot of truck for the money. True, it’s no Raptor, but we think the XL or XLT 4×4 is a good truck for cold weather, and it can handle pretty much anything winter can throw at it.
GMC Sierra 1500 AT4
The GMC Sierra 1500 has a lot going for it, like its classy new look and its industry-exclusive available MultiPro tailgate. One of the coolest versions of the recently updated Sierra is the AT4 trim. AT4 is a new off-road-oriented subbrand of GMC, and it improves both the aesthetics and the capabilities of this full-size truck. The Sierra AT4 has hill-descent control, off-road suspension, a 2-speed transfer case, skid plates and an appearance package that really makes it stand out. In the end, the GMC Sierra AT4 is a great truck for both off-road and snowy conditions.
Honda CR-V EX
If you’re just looking for a practical compact crossover that can brave snowy road conditions, a modest Honda HMC, -0.23% CR-V can get the job done. The CR-V is a top choice in compact SUVs because it’s safe, reliable, efficient and extremely roomy for its class. The EX trim is in the sweet spot of value for its upgraded infotainment system, second-row USB ports, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats and a moonroof — all while keeping the price under $30,000. AWD is a $1,500 option if you want that reassuring extra traction.
Jeep Grand Cherokee Altitude
Jeep Grand Cherokee Altitude
The Jeep Grand Cherokee can get pretty pricey in the higher trims, but we think the more affordable models deserve some love too. One that strikes a good balance between luxury and value is the Grand Cherokee Altitude, which adds a cool, blacked-out appearance package, the excellent UConnect 8.4 infotainment system and leather seats with perforated suede inserts. This can all be had, plus 4WD, all at around the $40,000 mark, which is a pretty strong value for a midsize SUV that has excellent on-road manners and impressive off-road capabilities without compromise.
Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
The Jeep Wrangler has a well-earned status as an off-road legend, and that’s especially true of the Rubicon model. If you want to do some serious adventuring this winter, the Wrangler Rubicon can take you just about anywhere. You get the proven Rock-Trac 4×4 system with a 2-speed transfer case, 33-in all-terrain tires, 10.8 inches of ground clearance and electronic sway bar disconnect so you can really maneuver over and around tough obstacles. Being a Wrangler, there are countless customization options — you can pick either two doors or four, and you can choose between six different tops straight from the factory.
Nissan Altima SV
The Nissan NSANY, -1.83% Altima is a good car for winter weather because it’s one of the few midsize sedans from a nonluxury brand that you can get with AWD. We like the SV trim of the Altima because of its affordable price point and nice features, like all the latest safety technology, a power moonroof and the ProPILOT Assist semiautonomous driving system, which helps you accelerate, brake and steer in certain conditions and takes some of the driver fatigue out of long drives. The Altima is one of the most affordable, most efficient and coolest cars on this list.
Ram 1500 Rebel
The Ram 1500 that was updated for 2019 is a fantastic truck, and its best variant for off-roading is the Rebel trim. The Ram Rebel not only looks mean, but it has the off-road chops to back up its aesthetic with features like 4WD, a factory lift, a locking differential and off-road suspension. It’s also now available with a turbodiesel engine that makes impressive torque and fuel economy numbers. Even the interior gets a rugged upgrade with dark ruby red accents and tough premium vinyl and cloth seats. For a big truck with a big attitude, the Ram Rebel is worth a test drive.
Toyota 4Runner Venture Special Edition
The iconic Toyota TM, -1.05% 4Runner has a new Venture Special Edition that is basically the TRD Off-Road Premium trim with some added accessories and aesthetic touches that make it a little more interesting. It comes with black accents, all-weather floor mats, TRD wheels and a Yakima MegaWarrior roof basket. It also has the off-road chops you’d expect with 4WD, hill-start assist, multiterrain select and crawl control. You also get creature comforts like SofTex seats that are heated in front, premium audio, Android Auto, Apple AAPL, -1.36% CarPlay and Amazon AMZN, +1.42% Alexa.
This story originally ran on Autotrader.com.