The 10 Best Cars & SUVs to Own for Alaskan Living in 2024

Alaska is a land of extremes, which means your vehicle has to be able to extreme conditions. Forests and hills are blanketed in snow, while icy roads and frigid temperatures challenge driving.

Alaska has a lot of terrains to offer, and the best way to see it is by car. It is also said that an SUV is the best type of car for Alaska.

With all that in mind, you should consider the following factors when choosing a car for Alaska. It includes All-wheel drive, ground clearance, tires, heated features, safety features, fuel economy, reliability, and value for the money.

So, What is the Best Car For Alaska?

Vehicles with 4WD or AWD such as SUVs and Pickup trucks are a good choice for Alaska since they can handle the snow and ice very well. Many of the roads in Alaska are unpaved, so a high-clearance vehicle is also a good option.

If you’ll be driving in remote areas, it’s important to choose a reliable car with low emissions. You’ll also want to consider the vehicle’s fuel efficiency since gas is expensive in Alaska.

SUVs and pickup trucks are now equipped with fuel-efficient engines, so you don’t have to worry about breaking the bank to fill it up, especially with the hybrid engine, which allows it to be as fuel-efficient as a compact car.

Here are 10 of the best cars for Alaska:

Subaru Forester

Subaru Forester in Snow Photos

The Subaru Forester is a well-known SUV in Alaska. Many people may be surprised. In fact, the Subaru Forester has several features that make it ideal for driving in Alaska.

Subaru Forester is an SUV with excellent all-wheel drive, making it a good choice for driving in Alaska. It has high ground clearance and surprisingly handles unpaved roads very well. The Forester is also very fuel-efficient, which is important in Alaska. It is five passengers with various advantages such as;

  • All-wheel drive
  • High ground clearance
  • Fuel efficient
  • Roomy Interior
  • Ample Cargo Size

Its fuel consumption is about 33 mpg on the highway and 24 mpg in the city. So do not worry about when something bad happens along the way because Subaru is one of the most reliable car brands.

Ford F-150 Hybrid

Ford F-150 Hybrid Powerboost Pictures

Trucks are the most common vehicles in places that get a lot of snow, like Vermont, North Dakota, Colorado, and Alaska. Truck owners in Alaska do a lot of work outdoors, and they often help their friends who get stuck in the snow get out. Trucks make it easy to do everything.

The Ford F series, especially the F-150, is one of the most popular pickup trucks in the US. The latest generation F-150 comes with various features suitable for hilly and snowy roads, such as a 4WD drivetrain, Plentiful powertrain choices, spacious and comfy interior with heated seats, and decent towing capacities as well as payloads capacities.

I highly recommend you take a look at the hybrid version of the F-150, which comes with 20% less fuel consumption than the regular model but still has the same power.

RAM 1500

The RAM 1500 is a full-size pickup truck that’s available with 4WD. This makes it a good choice for driving in Alaska since it can handle the snow and ice.

The RAM 1500 is also very fuel-efficient, getting up to 29 mpg on the highway. It can seat up to 6 people and has many features that make it a great choice for driving in Alaska.

RAM 1500 Pickup truck

With a slightly higher price tag than the Ford F-150, the RAM 1500 brings a few things better than its competitors.

Under the hood, there is a 305 horsepower V6 engine with an eTorque mild-hybrid system that boosts torque during acceleration. This engine is strong enough for daily use.

For more serious towing needs, you can opt for a 395 horsepower V8 engine or a 260 horsepower V6 Turbodiesel engine. If all of that isn’t enough for you, there’s a TRX model with a 702-horsepower V8 engine to choose from.

GMC Sierra 1500

The GMC Sierra 1500 is a full-size pickup truck available with 4WD. This makes it a great choice for driving in Alaska since it can handle challenging terrain pretty well. It can seat up to 6 people and has some features that make it a great choice for driving in Alaska, including:

  • Smooth ride
  • Powerful engine
  • Spacious and Quiet Cabin
  • Fuel-efficient
  • Intuitive infotainment features

The GMC Sierra 1500 is a reliable vehicle that can handle the challenges of driving in Alaska.

The fuel consumption is okay, about 22 mpg on the highway and 16 mpg in the city. It is recommended to get a model with a diesel engine since it will be more towing capacity and be fuel-efficient.

Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid

Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid Pictures

The Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid is a midsize five-seat SUV suitable for Alaskan roads.

The Hyundai Santa Fe is an SUV with numerous advantages, including a spacious interior, a responsive engine, a large cargo capacity, and an all-wheel drive.

Those of you who live in Alaska will notice that the roads are covered in snow during the winter; this is where the Hyundai Santa Fe shines. The Hyundai Santa Fe can handle heavy snow thanks to its high ground clearance and HTRAC all-wheel-drive system.

The Hyundai Santa Fe gets up to 36 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway, which is good for an AWD SUV. Overall, the Hyundai Santa Fe is a good car for you to think about.

Toyota Highlander Hybrid

The Toyota Highlander Hybrid is a brilliant choice for those of you who need an SUV with 7 passengers. The reason is the spacious interior, comfortable seats, ample cargo space, and a fairly long list of standard features in its class.

Toyota is very experienced in making vehicles with hybrid engines. The result is the Highlander Hybrid with powerful engine performance but still excellent fuel consumption.

Can the Toyota Highlander Hybrid face heavy snow during winter in Alaska? It is equipped with various features such as an all-wheel drive, active traction control, and electronic brake-force distribution to help you drive in heavy winter conditions.

Under the hood, there is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and two electric motors to produce 243 horsepower. The engine is quite efficient, Highlander Hybrid AWD recorded 35 mpg both in the city and on the highway.

Honda CR-V Hybrid

The Honda CR-V Hybrid is a good choice for a hybrid SUV because it has a lot of space inside, a smooth ride, and a powerful engine.

The Honda CR-V hybrid is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and two electric motors that produce 212 horsepower. AWD and CVT transmission are standard, making these compact SUVs capable in extreme Alaskan road conditions, such as hilly roads, light mud, or heavy snow during winter.

The CR-V Hybrid outperforms other hybrid SUVs in terms of fuel economy. It gets 40 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway.

Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid

Because Subaru is so popular in Alaska, I’d include the Subaru Crosstrek on the list, but it’s not just any Crosstrek. It’s a Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid.

The Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid carries a big name for Subaru as a brand that is dependable, long-lasting, safe, easy to drive, and capable of conquering snowy roads

All of the benefits of the Subaru Crosstrek are present in the hybrid version; however, with the addition of an electric motor, the Crosstrek hybrid becomes more powerful, has faster acceleration, and is much more fuel-efficient.

Hyundai Palisade

Hyundai Palisade Pictures

The Hyundai Palisade is a stylish 8-passenger midsize SUV. It is reasonably priced, has many standard features, has a high safety rating, and has all-wheel drive to accommodate snowy or hilly road conditions.

The Hyundai Palisade stands out among its main rivals, including the Chevrolet Traverse, Honda Pilot, Mazda CX-9, VW Atlas, and others. The Hyundai Palisade comes with complete features at a relatively lower price than its competitors; the interior and cargo space are also very spacious.

With a 291 horsepower 3.8 Liter V6 engine, the Palisade can do all kinds of things. Even though the Hyundai Palisade doesn’t get as many miles per gallon as a car with a hybrid engine, it’s still a good choice if you need a vehicle to hold 7-8 people.

Jeep Grand Cherokee

You can never go wrong with a Jeep Grand Cherokee, no matter where you go or what you do. The Jeep Grand Cherokee is a standard luxury car that can handle difficult road conditions like hills, sand, mud, and snow.

There are two engines to choose from for the powertrain, the 3.6L V6, and 5.7L Hemi V8. All-wheel drive with Quadra Trac Systems is available as an option but comes standard on V8 engines.

Overall, the Jeep Grand Cherokee is a good choice. Overall, the Jeep Grand Cherokee is an excellent choice. It’s suitable for various activities such as taking the kids to a hockey game, fishing, grocery shopping, and even road trips.

The only drawback is the considerable fuel consumption of the V8 engine. However, Jeep is preparing a Grand Cherokee with a hybrid engine, which usually has a good fuel consumption rating.


Do you need a 4-wheel drive in Alaska?

If you live in an area that gets a lot of snow and ice, you’ll need a 4WD. It will make your life easier and keep you safe. In the city, a car with AWD or FWD is fine.

Do I need an SUV for Alaska?

Because Alaska is a mountainous region with a lot of snow, an SUV is the best option. SUVs have high ground clearance, which comes in handy when the roads are covered in snow. When driving in the mountains, SUVs also have a lot of power on uphill roads.

Final Words

So these were the 10 best cars for Alaska that you can buy according to your needs and preferences. All of these cars are great choices for driving in Alaska and can handle the challenges of the Alaskan roads. Choose the one that best suits your needs and enjoy driving in the beautiful state of Alaska.

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