It is not even technically winter yet, but states like Texas have experiencing record cold temps, and I would not want to live in Buffalo, NY. Now is the time to start shopping for a winter beater and last week I asked you to find the best AWD/4WD for under ten grand; here are the the top ten.


10. 1976 Jeep Wagoneer

Who says you can't drive a classic during the winter. As a surfer kid growing up in Ocean City NJ, the Jeep Wagoneer was the first car I lusted after.You can have this beautiful Jeep that is equally home in the snow or antiquing on the weekends for cheap and probably sell it for more than you paid.

(Suggested by dave.iuliano)

9. 2010 Suzuki SX4


The problem with large 4WD vehicles is they can cost a small fortune to fuel up. This Suzuki can easily maintain 30mpg and would be perfect for you city dwellers with tough parking.

Its cheap, shitty, reliable and good on gas. Perfect for those occasions of playing bumper cars on black ice with other cars. They are light, nimble cars that have no problem traversing light snow and should be able to get you out of most winter situations


(Suggested by Maxidrom)

8. 1999 Isuzu Vehicross


The Vehicross is arguably the coolest car Isuzu ever gave the US market. Here at Jalopnik we consider it a future classic. So if you want something that looks like it can handle the Dakar rally as well as your neighborhood snow drifts, you need a Vehicross.


(Suggested by Doug)

7. 2006 Dodge Ram 2500


Sometimes you don't just want to survive winter, you want to profit from it. This AWD, Cummins 5.9L, 4-door Mega cab is just a snow plow away bringing in some extra cash when the snow starts falling. Of course the reason for the cheap price is this truck does have a "salvage" title, but if everything checks out mechanically the mighty Dodge should have no problem clearing driveways for years to come.

(Suggested by Uak42)

6. 1980 Toyota Land Cruiser


Sure you can have any number of newer Land Cruisers or 4Runners, but if you want something really special, you'll want to check out this right-hand-drive (JDM yo!), diesel, with a manual trans that only has 100,000 miles. And despite the fact that you have to learn to shift with your left, it is fully road legal.

(Suggested by Chris_K_F)

5. 1977 International Harvester Scout


How can we have a list of best AWD/4WD vehicles without an appearance from a favorite of Truck Yeah's Andrew Collins? While Andrew's Scout is still a work in progress, this maybe one of the finest Scouts you can find.

Older models that aren't polished can be had cheap, they are rough as nails, simple to work on, and the engines just won't fail. Throw on a TBI conversion kit from Hamilton Injection and you gain the ultimate in winter vehicle.


(Suggested by TheamazingJared)

4. 2002 Audi A6 Avant


Maybe you don't want a "winter beater." Maybe you want to put your Miata away for the season and drive a nice luxury car that can transport the family in comfort as well and navigate the elements. I know many of your are hesitant about "German reliability" but a well maintained example of these A6 Avants can bring you many miles of enjoyment. And because this is Jalopnik...we needed a nice wagon on the list.

(Suggested by sm70- why not Duesenberg?)

3. 2004 Volvo S60 R


When considering an AWD vehicle you want to think about the country of origin. Naturally, places that get a lot of winter weather should make some pretty capable vehicles. It snows in Sweden so therefore the Swedes make a great sport sedan in the way of this S60 R, it's got AWD a turbo-5, and 3 pedals. What more could you want?

(Suggested by hillrat)

2. 1991 M923A2 5 Ton 6X6


What if we just didn't get snow storms, what if we went full on monster blizzard like The Day After Tomorrow? You may be called upon to rescue your friends and family, when that day comes (after tomorrow), you will want a miliatry surpluss vehicle like this BMY DIV of Harsco M923A2 5 ton, 6x6. For a full picture on what is like to operate a beast like this see Macnamara's post on Oppo.


(Suggested by ShirtBloke)

1. 2004 Subaru Forester XT


I knew if a Subaru didn't take the number one spot on this list I would get some pretty angry hate mail. Now some of you are still not going to be happy because the rally-tastic WRX didn't make the cut. The reason is that this Forester XT, is just as quick, just as capable in the snow, but has the added ground clearance that many people want in a winter beater.

(Suggested by Manwich)

Image: Matias Tukiainen

If you have a question, a tip, or something you would like to to share about car-buying, drop me a line at and be sure to include your Kinja handle.

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