A List Of The Most Comfortable Winter Cars

A List Of The Most Comfortable Winter Cars

Ok, admittedly, the weather in the UK is not as extreme as it can be in some countries across the world. We don’t have snow on the ground for months on end like they do in Canada or in Europe's more mountainous regions, but we still face extreme weather challenges which can make driving treacherous.

The primary challenge for driving in the UK is the suddenness of our weather fluctuations! One minute it’s a balmy 15 degrees on New Year’s Day (that was a weird one, 2022), and the next, we have black ice on the roads, flooding, and snow coming in blizzards. It means that, as drivers, it’s best for us to opt for models that have the capability to weather inclement conditions - but work through the rest of the year, too.

This all means that we want a car that we can feel comfortable driving year-round but with the capacity to come into its own during extreme bouts of winter weather. Many drivers turn to SUV/Crossovers or large SUVs for this reason - but make sure the SUV you’re considering actually does offer four-wheel drive, as not all of them do! As four-wheel drive capacity tends to drive the vehicle's price up, and you likely won’t need this capability year-round, another option to consider is investing in winter tyres.

Sure, the thinner tyres on a city car will likely gain less traction than a four-wheel drive, but remember that they also need less traction to get going, and being a lighter vehicle can make them easier to control when you’re braking, and cornering. Heavy four-wheel drives are likely to get going without hassle, but there’s a lot of weight behind them which can provide an opportunity for skidding in treacherous conditions.

The two primary factors in safe winter driving? Traction and grip. When you’re combatting snowy or icy conditions, these are the two factors that become most important. Grip means you’ll hopefully avoid wheel spin, and feel like your car is firmly grounded to the road. It also means you’ll be more likely to retain control when you brake. Traction, meanwhile, is essential to get you off the starting line! Traction applies your car’s power effectively, rather than allowing for any tyre spin.

Below we’ve listed some of our favourite and most comfortable cars for weathering those inclement winter conditions - with a focus on the models that work year-round, too! No snowploughs allowed!

BMW 3 Series Touring Estate

The BMW 3 Series is a real all-rounder, and the Touring Estate adds on pounds of practicality on top of an already great vehicle. A rear-wheel drive, the 3 Series nevertheless delivers great traction control, and its slick electronic safety devices will make you feel safe and calm, year-round. The ESP steps in promptly to avoid the rear end slipping out, getting the car back on track with minimal fuss.

BMW Series 3 Cliff

BMW 3 Series Touring Estate

Specification

  • Top Speed: 155mph
  • 0-62mph: 4.6 seconds
  • CO2 (G/KM): 182
  • Luggage Capacity: 500L (Seats up) 1510L (Seats down)

BMW Series 3 Touring Estate leasing prices start from £480.18 exc. VAT per month

Land Rover Discovery Sport SUV

The Land Rover Discovery Sport is a large SUV with a heritage that speaks for itself in challenging driving conditions. The brand is renowned for their off-roaders, but their SUVs are road-friendly too, making them a great year-round choice for those with the budget.

You are unlikely to ever feel overwhelmed, even off-roading, but the car handles itself just as well on the tarmac, too. Big, wide tyres ensure traction, and the ‘terrain response’ system allows you to traverse the otherwise untraversable with relative ease. It even has a separate ‘snow mode’ (and a ‘mud mode’ too), to keep you on the move. You can also select a four-wheel-drive mode, which really comes into its own in those challenging winter conditions. Further tips for safe winter journeys can be found in our Safe on the Snow blog post.

Land Rover Discovery Sport SUV

Specification

  • Top Speed: 124mph
  • 0-62mph: 8.1 seconds
  • CO2 (G/KM): 215
  • Luggage Capacity: 840L (Seats up) 1451L (Seats down)

Land Rover Discovery Sport SUV leasing prices start from £321.36 exc. VAT per month

Subaru Outback Estate

The Subaru Outback packs a punch. Made for the driver who perhaps wants to steer clear of the SUV market, the Outback is an Estate/Crossover hybrid, offering that slightly higher ground clearance and the Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive set-up that Subaru is renowned for. Find out the difference between SUV, MPV, Crossover or 4X4.

This sends power to the wheels with the most traction, making sure you’re always maximising grip even in tricky conditions. Subaru were first sold through agricultural suppliers in the 1970s, so they are used to catering to those working with poor driving conditions. Their four-wheel-drive capacities add to the Subaru appeal, allowing the Outback to keep going through wintery conditions that few other models would happily tackle.

Subaru Outback Estate

Specification

  • Top Speed: 120mph
  • 0-62mph: 10.2 seconds
  • CO2 (G/KM): 193
  • Luggage Capacity: 561L (Seats up) 1750L (Seats down)

Subaru Outback Estate leasing prices start from £330.36 exc. VAT per month

Dacia Duster

This affordable SUV still delivers when it comes to winter driving abilities. Optional four-wheel drive makes it a competent offroader and perfect for treacherous conditions, and the second generation model proves even more comfortable (and sizable) inside than ever before. If you want all-wheel drive, you’ll need the 4x2 spec. 4x4 capacity is available when you choose either the Comfort or Prestige model options, which adds to the price of the vehicle. Happily, the Duster will still come in at barely £20,000, making it a super affordable SUV option.

Dacia Duster

Specification

  • Top Speed: 108mph
  • 0-62mph: 10.2 seconds
  • CO2 (G/KM): 139
  • Luggage Capacity: 411L (Seats up) 1444L (Seats down)

Dacia Duster leasing prices start from £156.69 exc. VAT per month

Mazda3 hatchback

The Mazda3 hatchback has such a high-quality level that it squares up to the premium brands. If you want all-wheel drive, Mazda only offers this in the GT Sport Tech and the SkyActiv-X petrol engine, the top-spec options. All levels offer good kit though, with LED headlights, sat-nav and parking sensors included.

Mazda3 hatchback

Specification

  • Top Speed: 134mph
  • 0-62mph: 8.5 seconds
  • CO2 (G/KM): 137
  • Luggage Capacity: 351L (Seats up) 865L (Seats down)

Mazda3 hatchback leasing prices start from £200.79 exc. VAT per month

Jeep Renegade

Many of the smaller SUVs on the market are only two-wheel drive. The Renegade puts its money where its mouth is; not only does it look like an all-rounder, it’ll really come into its own in the snow. The Renegade truly carries on Jeep’s tradition of making real four-wheel drive off-road-capable models. Four-wheel drive is available on the Trailhawk version, but the tech offered by their Selec-Terrain and Hill Descent Control fittings allows any model to feel sure-footed when conditions take a turn for the worse.

Jeep Renegade

Specification

  • Top Speed: 124mph
  • 0-62mph: 7.1 seconds
  • CO2 (G/KM): 44
  • Luggage Capacity: 330L (Seats up) 1277L (Seats down)

Jeep Renegade leasing prices start from £225.07 exc. VAT per month

For more 4X4 Rivervale recommendations, check out the best off-road 4x4s to lease.

We hope our list of snow-sure all-rounders laid out above can provide some inspiration when you’re sizing up your next model, and considering all-weather, year-round capability! Rivervale can provide the perfect model, whatever your needs, so get in touch today at 01273433480 to see what car might be perfect for you. Alternatively, request a callback at a time that suits you.

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