13 Best SUVs For Snow in 2022 (Budget Friendly)

When you live in an area with a high frequency of snowfall, the first thing you consider when searching for a vehicle is its ability to drive on snow or ice-covered roads.

In this situation, an SUV is the most likely option due to its greater ground clearance than others. All-wheel drive, traction control, stability control, and other SUV features are all useful in snow. These characteristics are necessary for a car to drive safely on snow and other difficult routes such as steep inclines or hilly terrain.

Whether you want a vehicle to transport you and your family or keep in one place while others struggle in their cars and trucks, the best vehicle for winter driving is an SUV.

Pro Tips: Whatever your car’s make and model, type of engine, drivetrain, or comprehensive safety features, you’ll need a decent pair of winter tires to drive safely on ice. All-wheel drive will propel your vehicle; winter tires will bring it to a stop.

Here are some popular SUVs that are ideal for snow driving.

Subaru Outback

Price: Starting at $28,395

Subaru Outback in Snow Pictures

The Subaru Outback is equipped with standard all-wheel drive and has been completely redesigned for better on and off-road performance. It has a raised ride height for greater ground clearance, and the vehicle’s body has been reinforced to improve stability.

The Subaru Outback also comes standard with X-Mode, a system that optimizes the engine, transmission, and braking for different types of terrain.

In addition, it has all-wheel drive to enhance grip on snow, ice, and sand, as well as several other features that come in handy during wintery weather.

Highlight features for snow:

  • Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system
  • EyeSight® Driver Assist Technology
  • Anti-lock Braking System
  • 8.7 inches Ground Clearance
  • Traction Control System
  • Heated rear outboard seats & Heated steering wheel

Toyota RAV4

Price: Starting at $26,975

White Toyota RAV4 Off-Road

The Toyota RAV4 is a compact SUV with excellent fuel economy and great features.

It comes with all-wheel drive and has multiple modes for different types of terrain, including mud, sand, snow, and rock.

With high ground clearance, all-wheel drive, traction control, heated seats, and heated steering wheel, the Toyota RAV4 is very satisfying as a family vehicle in winter.

The Toyota RAV4 is also available in a hybrid version which is more responsive, remarkably fuel efficient, and equally great for snow driving. I highly recommend you get the hybrid version.

Highlight features for snow:

  • All-wheel Drive
  • 8.4 inches Ground Clearance
  • Toyota Safety Sense
  • Hill Start Assist Control
  • Heated and ventilated front seating
  • Heated front seating

Honda CR-V

Price: Starting at $26,800

All-new Honda CR-V Photos

The CR-V is a compact SUV that’s fun to drive and one of the most popular car models on the US market. It has all-wheel drive to give you a superior grip on ice and snow.

Its selectable drive modes include Sport, Normal, Snow, and Sand/Mud, allowing you to choose a driving style based on your needs and current conditions.

The engine has been optimized to ensure maximum fuel economy without sacrificing performance.

Since the CR-V is also available with a hybrid engine, I highly recommend you take a look at it. With the CR-V hybrid, you get a comfortable, snow-capable vehicle and a very fuel-efficient one, reaching 40 mpg in the city.

Highlight features for snow:

  • Real Time AWD with Intelligent Control System
  • Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®) with Traction Control
  • 7.8 Inches Ground Clearance
  • ABS & EBD
  • Brake Assist
  • Heated Front Seats and Steering Wheel

Mazda CX-5

Price: Starting at $26,250

Mazda CX-5 in Snow

Undoubtedly, the Mazda CX-5 is one of the best vehicles for snow in its class. As a 2-row crossover SUV, the CX-5 is an easy choice for drivers who want a vehicle with complete features, a powerful engine, handsome style, and proven reliability.

The Mazda CX-5 is equipped with various winter features such as All-wheel drive, heated seats, heated steering wheel, traction control, and so on.

A glimpse of the CX-5’s All-wheel drive. Mazda calls it I-ACTIV AWD, an all-wheel drive system that works to “predict” the power requirements needed by each wheel using 27 sensors. The sensors monitor more than 200 times per second and look at wheel speed, engine dynamics, g-forces, and driver inputs before sending power to each wheel.

In short, I-ACTIV AWD can make the Mazda Cx-5 conquer snow and ice like a champion.

Highlight features for snow:

  • I-ACTIV All-wheel Drive
  • Dynamic Stability Control with Traction Control System
  • Anti-lock Brake System with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution & Brake Assist
  • Hill Launch Assist
  • 7.6 inches Ground Clearance
  • Heated Seat & Steering Wheel

Kia Telluride

Price: Starting at $33,390

Kia Telluride in Snow

Kia Telluride is one of the best SUVs you can find today; even cars.usnews.com rated it as the No. 1 best midsize SUV on their list. It’s no wonder the Kia telluride has many things that make it stand out, and even the thick winter snow won’t stop it from shining.

Best 3-row SUV for Snow

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Available in 2 drivetrain variants, FWD and AWD. While Front-wheel drive will cope well with the snow when equipped with winter tires, I still recommend you to get the all-wheel drive version if you frequently drive in the snow.

Equipped with a 291-horsepower engine, all-wheel drive, and 8.0 inches of ground clearance, the Kia telluride can easily tackle 2 feet of snow (with winter tires). The Kia Telluride is also one of my recommended SUVs for mountain driving with hilly road conditions.

Highlight features for snow:

  • Active On-Demand All-Wheel Drive (AWD) w/ AWD Lock and Snow Mode
  • Torque Vectoring Cornering Control (TVCC)
  • 8.0 inches Ground Clearance
  • Vehicle Stability Management (VSM)
  • Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
  • Hill Start Assist Control (HAC)
  • Heated Seat & Steering Wheel

Subaru Forester

Price: Starting at $25,895

Subaru Forester in Snow Photos

The Subaru Forester is known for its utility and versatility and is ready for the snow.

It comes with standard all-wheel drive and can use engine power to control the limited slip function of its active torque vectoring system.

The Subaru Forester also comes with special functions that allow you to control the crossover on extremely slippery surfaces. All-wheel drive provides effective traction, even in extreme weather conditions.

Highlight features for snow:

  • Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system
  • EyeSight® Driver Assist Technology
  • Anti-lock Braking System
  • 8.7 inches Ground Clearance
  • Traction Control System
  • Heated rear outboard seats & Heated steering wheel

Jeep Grand Cherokee

Price: Starting at $39,395

Jeep Grand Cherokee in Snow Pictures

This SUV is big but elegant and provides a smooth ride while remaining responsive and agile.

It’s equipped with the Active Drive I Low range gear set, an off-road package, and Quadra-Lift air suspension.

Four selectable terrain settings allow you to choose between Normal, Sport, Snow/Mud/Sand, and Rock. The Grand Cherokee is made to handle extreme conditions without any issues.

Highlight features for snow:

  • Four-wheel Drive with Quadra-Trac
  • Traction control
  • Brake Assist & ABS
  • 8.6 inches Ground Clearance
  • Heated Seat & Steering Wheel

Hyundai Tucson

Price: Starting at $24,950

Hyundai Tucson Hybrid on Hilly Roads

The All-new Hyundai Tucson has improvements in various sectors, with a more contemporary design and complete features that make it reliable for driving in the snow.

The New Tucson is available in 2 drivetrain options, front-wheel drive, and All-wheel drive. Specifically for AWD, Hyundai gives it the name HTRAC AWD; what is it?

HTRAC AWD is an intelligent multi-mode system that provides all the benefits of all-wheel drive traction when additional grip is needed. The system allows the wheels to get optimal traction and power while maintaining efficient fuel consumption.

Highlight features for snow:

  • HTRAC All-wheel Drive
  • 7.1 inches Ground Clearance
  • Electronic Stability Control (ESC) with Traction Control System (TCS) and Brake Assist (BA)
  • Vehicle Stability Management (VSM)
  • Heated Stuff

Nissan Rogue

Price: Starting at $27,150

All-new Nissan Rogue

If you are looking for an SUV with snow capabilities, look for one with decent ground clearance. This will help it get over the snow more easily and keep it from getting stuck in the snow. It will also have to have winter-specific tires on good all-wheel drive. The tires will help with traction, and the all-wheel drive will keep you from having to push it out.

Another important feature is heated seats and mirrors, which will keep the windows from fogging up while driving. This can affect vision and provide you with some warmth after getting out of a snow day.

Highlight features for snow:

  • Intelligent All-Wheel Drive (AWD) with Drive Mode Dial
  • 8.2 inches Ground Clearance
  • Traction Control
  • Brake Assist & Electronic Brake force Distribution 
  • Heated Seat & Steering Wheel

Subaru Crosstrek

Price: Starting at $23,645

Subaru Crosstrek in Snow

The New Subaru Crosstrek has a standard all-wheel drive, but you can get optional all-wheel drive if you want more traction in snowier climates.

The optional heated seats and mirrors on this vehicle will make it more comfortable for your family. The 22 inches of ground clearance and power steering will help you drive easily in the snow.

The steering wheel Sensing System that comes with this car is an advanced technology that signals you to adjust the steering wheel position as needed when there’s a potential collision. This technology also helps keep your hands from getting numb when you drive in the snow.

The new Subaru Crosstrek is one of the best SUVs for snow for under $25,000. It is compact, nimble, has good handling, and good gas mileage, a complete package for a daily driver.

Highlight features for snow:

  • Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system
  • EyeSight® Driver Assist Technology
  • Anti-lock Braking System
  • 8.7 inches Ground Clearance
  • Traction Control System
  • Heated rear outboard seats & Heated steering wheel

Hyundai Palisade

Price: Starting at $34,950

Hyundai Palisade Perform in Snow and Sand

The new Palisade offers Hyundai’s all-wheel drive, which can greatly benefit during snowstorms.

This model also comes with heated seats and mirrors, so you can warm your hands up on the seat and not have to worry about freezing your rear end off when you are stopped for an extended period.

This SUV is smaller than most other options, making it easier to park. Its compact size will let you navigate inclement weather without being too big to handle the snow and ice on the roadways.

Highlight features for snow:

  • HTRAC All-wheel Drive
  • 7.9 inches Ground Clearance
  • Heated Stuff
  • Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
  • Traction Control Support (TCS)
  • Brake Assist (BA)
  • Vehicle Stability Management (VSM)

Toyota Highlander

Price: Starting at $35,855

Toyota Highlander Hybrid Pictures

The Highlander is a 3-row family SUV and offers a decent amount of space in the back seat with comfortable seating for five.

This SUV also offers the standard all-wheel drive and the option of an active traction control system, which will help you get moving when you need to during inclement weather conditions.

This model also comes with heated seats, mirrors, and large windshield wipers that make it safe to see on the road when there has been snow or rainstorm.

The Toyota Highlander is also available in a hybrid version with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and two electric motors producing 243 horsepower.

In addition, thanks to the hybrid engine technology, the fuel consumption of this 3-row SUV is one of the most efficient in its class, up to 36 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway.

If you feel that the Toyota Highlander suits your needs, I highly recommend getting the hybrid version.

Highlight features for snow:

  • All-wheel drive with Electronic On-Demand AWD system
  • Multi-Terrain Select
  • 8.0 inches Ground Clearance
  • Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control (VSC)
  • Traction Control (TRAC)
  • Downhill Assist Control (DAC)
  • Heated Seat & Steering Wheel

Nissan Pathfinder

Price: Starting at $34,640

New Nissan Pathfinder Driving in Snow

Nissan introduced the newest generation of the Pathfinder with numerous upgrades and a boxy body that is indicative of an off-road-capable SUV.

In fact, these eight-passenger SUVs can handle various challenging driving situations, including driving in snow and mud.

The all-new Nissan Pathfinder is available in 2 drivetrain options, a front-wheel drive and a four-wheel drive (4WD). You can get a version with front-wheel drive, which is sufficient for light snow on city streets, but 4WD is the better option for more severe snowfall. After all, 4WD is the most compelling reason we look at the Nissan Pathfinder, right?

Aside from 4WD, the Pathfinder also has a full complement of standard safety features, a powerful engine, a spacious interior, and ample cargo space.

Highlight features for snow:

  • Intelligent 4×4 System
  • 7.1 inches Ground Clearance
  • Heated Stuff
  • 4-wheel Anti-lock Braking System
  • Tractions Control