What's The Best Winter Driving Car?

Illustration for article titled Whats The Best Winter Driving Car?

It’s cold outside. So it’s time to put away the P Zero Neros and get practical. But can safety be combined with fun on roads covered in slush? What’s the best winter driving car?


Gizmodo’s Brian Lam and I have been having this argument for months. He’s convinced AWD is the only possible option when it comes to snow driving, but I think he’s just trying to justify the purchase of yet another boring Audi. A couple of years ago I drove a C6 Corvette across the frozen Baltic Sea and a couple of weeks back I drove a Lotus Exige S 240 across a snow-bound Manhattan. You know what? Both cars were fine. Rear wheel drive and decent weight distribution led to predictable slides and big goofy smiles. If I had to pick a winter car, I think it’d be that C6 ‘Vette, equipped with winter tires of course. But maybe Brian’s right, maybe most drivers are better off in an A4. What say you?

(QOTD is your chance to answer the day's most pressing automotive questions and experience the opinions of the insightful insiders, practicing pundits and gleeful gearheads that make up the Jalopnik commentariat. If you've got a suggestion for a good "Question Of The Day" send an email to tips at jalopnik dot com.)

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Hey, you know what else is great fun in snow? The old 1970 SAAB 96 "sedan." Tall, narrow pizza cutter tires punch down to the pavement, the underbody is almost smooth so it just sleds along, not a lot of weight from anything, a heater under the hood almost as big as the engine itself, and the entire drivetrain is cantilevered ahead of the front axle.

Dad loved his for snow. Ye gods. The damn thing wasn't fast or powerful and it sure as hell wasn't sexy, but dang. If you couldn't have the Jeep, drive a SAAB. Dad did pretty well navigating a Chevy Citation in snow that sidelined a lot of Broncos and Blazers - driven by poseurs of course - but when the Citation couldn't go, the SAAB went well. We got turned back by the state troopers on one highway one winter. They told him ours was the first car they'd seen in over an hour, how the hell did we get this far?

Dad said, "Oh, you just gotta take it easy." Then we trundled around and went back the way we came.

Man I gotta get me another one. I miss it too much.