You may have considered getting an SUV in the past, but when you start thinking about winter road trips, it becomes essential. That compact economy car isn’t going to cut it, for more reasons than one.
When you’re shopping for a family SUV with a winter road trip in mind, your priorities shift towards practical. Things like all-wheel drive, budget preparation, traction control, and cabin space move to the top of your list of must-haves.
Fortunately, you don’t have to scour the internet to find the best SUVs for winter travels. We’ve narrowed it down for you right here.
The following are the best family SUVs for winter road trips.
If you have a large family or are a fan of having extra legroom, the Chevy Tahoe should be top on your list. As a bonus, the Tahoe can stand up to virtually anything Mother Nature can dole out.
Unlike most family SUVs, the Chevy Tahoe has a truck-like body and a long track-record for performance in extreme weather conditions.
The Tahoe also features available all-wheel systems that include an auto feature to help the driver retain control in slippery conditions.
Toyota Highlander Hybrid
The Toyota Highlander Hybrid offers a good balance of performance and legroom with impressive gas mileage. This SUV earned EPA fuel economy estimates of up to 30 mpg in the city and 28 on the highway. Great gas mileage like this is hard to come by in a midsize SUV, and it’s a major advantage on a road trip.
The Highlander Hybrid also comes standard with many features, including all-wheel drive and various safety features, that are optional on other comparable models.
Toyota’s Safety Sense system comes standard and includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control, and automatic high beams.
The Audi Q5 offers a great deal of peace of mind in winter weather, and it does so with style. Not only does this SUV contain Audi’s highly-acclaimed Quattro all-wheel-drive system, but it also won a 5-star crash test rating by the NHTSA and a Top Safety Pick award by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
The Q5’s advanced safety features and excellent safety scores may give you some sense of confidence as you’re heading towards a Nor’easter.
As a bonus, Audi’s Q5 model was fully redesigned for the 2018 model year, so it comes with that new car feel. At a base price of over $41,000, this is one of the more expensive SUVs on the list, but it also comes with an impressive list of safety features and a luxury feel.
The Acura MDX checks off all the boxes, making it a well-rounded SUV for winter road trips. It comes with many standard advanced safety features, an outstanding all-wheel-drive system, and a roomy, comfortable interior.
Depending on the configuration you choose, the MDX can seat 6 or 7 people comfortably.
Some of the MDX’s standard safety features include adaptive cruise control, front and rear parking sensors, lane-keep assist and emergency braking. If you’re not a fan of the SUV driving experience, this may be the SUV for you. It drives more like a car than the others on this list.
The only drawback to the MDX for road trips is that it doesn’t have quite as much cargo space as others in its class.
SUV shopping can be fun, but it’s always important to think about how you’re going to use your vehicle. If you take an annual family trip to Aspen, for example, you’ll need an SUV that’s up for the challenge. Choose any on this list, and you can confidently transport your family uphill in the snow (both ways, if necessary).