Buyers' Guide: Vehicles to get you up the slopes
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With MetService predicting the coldest winter in years, we can just imagine the glow on skiers’ and snowboarders’ faces as they start prepping for the cold spell ahead.
While the destination is meant to be cold and slippery, so, too, can be the roads to access it. And that can be far from ideal if you're driving the wrong car.
So, here's our top picks to get you, your family and friends and, inevitably, loads of gear, up the mountain safely this season.
When it comes to winter, there is no brand like Subaru. All its offerings are superb in snowy conditions (WRX, Impreza, Levorg), but the Outback is our pick of the bunch.
Originally a twin of the Subaru Legacy but with higher ground clearance, the Outback broke out as its own model when the Legacy wagon was discontinued.
Its standard roof rack and ample cargo room make it a great choice for snow sports, as you’ll be able to fit in everyone and everything. Where the Outback shines though, is with its standard all-wheel-drive (AWD) system, which helps the tough Subaru keep traction in even the worst road conditions.
If the Outback is a little too big for you, take a look at the smaller Subaru XV.
The Outback and XV offer raised ground clearance, which means you’ll be able to get to some of the harder-to-access ski areas, but will still have a smooth and comfortable ride for everyday driving.
Audi – various Quattro models
If you’re looking for a sensible everyday ride with AWD and a lot of luxury, you can’t get much better than an Audi.
Take a look at the mountain carparks and you will see they are full with four-ringed badges.
The Quattro all-wheel drive will be more than enough to handle the windy mountain ascent and ski lodge carparks (which we all know can get a bit dicey at times).
Luxuries such as heated seats, a great sound system, and comfort conveniences go a long way to making an Audi a great place to spend a few hours taking in those mountain views.
An Audi Allroad offers slightly higher ground clearance and is designed with a more off-road plan in mind.
BMW – various x-Drive models
The BMW 3 Series is one of the most capable cars available and is definitely a great choice to propel you up those rugged mountain roads. The wagon and sedan can come with xDrive as an upgrade (BMW’s AWD system). Both offer BMW’s tremendous level of comfort, and both come roof-rack ready.
If you’re the type to bring a BMW to the mountain, the 3 Series is definitely the vehicle for you.
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution
The Evo is a less practical option, but with added fun. This Japanese sports sedan may seem like an odd pick for a car to take to the mountain, but the Evo brings some of the best handling you could ask for in a vehicle.
This, along with its AWD and turbocharged engine, makes it a formidable vehicle for the mountains.
Unfortunately, the Evo’s cargo space is almost non-existent, so your best bet would be to invest in a roof rack for your skis or boards or you’ll be using rental equipment all season.
Don’t forget, slow and steady wins the race when it comes to driving on snow and ice. Sudden prods of the gas or brake pedals, or tugs at the steering wheel can cause unnecessary issues that no one wants to deal with.
Now bring on the season!