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Best SUVs for Winter Driving

Defeat Old Man Winter at His Own Game

By

Winter places unique demands on an SUV. Vehicles need to be able to combat rain, slush, snow and ice, as well as negotiating rough road conditions and extreme temperatures. A vehicle that might perform beautifully on dry pavement could be a nightmare when the going gets tough.

The best SUVs for winter driving are equipped with sophisticated all-wheel drive systems, superior ground clearance and supple suspension components. We've compiled a list of eleven of the best SUVs for winter driving. Choose the one that suits your needs the best, and you'll be able to tame Old Man Winter before he defeats you on the road.

Audi allroad

Photo © Audi

The Audi allroad is back for 2013 -- smaller, trimmer, and simpler, a sports car among CUVs with a $39,600 price tag, a 4 year/50,000 mile warranty and EPA fuel economy estimates of 20 mpg city/27 mpg highway.

Winter Chops:

Ground Clearance: 7.1"
All-Wheel Drive
Maximum Wading Depth: TBD
Turning Circle: 37.33'

Chevrolet Tahoe

Photo © Ford

The 2013 Chevrolet Tahoe 4WD carries base prices from $43,990, with a 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty, a 5-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty and EPA estimates of 15 mpg city/21 mpg highway.

Winter Chops:

Ground Clearance: 9"
Four-Wheel Drive
Maximum Wading Depth: TBD
Turning Circle: 39.0'

Ford Explorer

Photo © Jason Fogelson

The 2013 Ford Explorer 4WD carries a base price of $29,995 with a 3-year/36,000 mile basic warranty, a 5-year/60,000 mile powertrain warranty and EPA fuel economy estimates of 17 mpg city/23 mpg highway.

Winter Chops:

Ground Clearance: 7.6"
All-Wheel Drive
Maximum Wading Depth: TBD
Turning Circle: 38.8'

Jeep Wrangler

Photo © Jason Fogelson

The Jeep Wrangler arrives with base prices starting at $22,195 for Sport 2-door models; $25,695 for Sport Unlimited 4-doors. Each Wrangler gets Jeep's 3-year/36,000-mile warranty and EPA estimates of 17 mpg city/21 mpg highway.

Winter Chops:

Ground Clearance: 8.8" - 10.3" (2-door); 8.7" - 10.2" (4-door)
Four-Wheel Drive
Maximum Wading Depth: TBD
Turning Circle: 34.9' (2-door); 41.2' (4-door)

Land Rover LR2

Photo © Jason Fogelson

Land Rover made over its entry-level LR2 for 2013, and it has emerged as a sleeker, more capable SUV that still maintains the Land Rover DNA. The 2013 Land Rover LR2 will carry base prices starting at $37,250, along with a 4-year/50,000-mile warranty. EPA fuel economy estimates are still to be certified.

Winter Chops:

Ground Clearance: 8.3"
All Wheel Drive
Maximum Wading Depth: 19.7"
Turning Circle: 37.1'

Land Rover LR4

Photo © Jason Fogelson

With a base price of $49,750, the 2013 Land Rover LR4 comes with a 4 year/50,000 mile warranty and EPA estimates of 12 mpg city/17 mpg highway.

Winter Chops:

Ground Clearance: 9.5"
Four-Wheel Drive
Maximum Wading Depth: 27.56"
Turning Circle: 37.57'

Lexus GX 460

Photo © Jason Fogelson

The 2013 Lexus GX 460 comes with a base price of $53,795, Lexus' 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, 6-year/70,000-mile powertrain warranty and EPA fuel economy estimates of 15 mpg city/20 mpg highway.

Winter Chops:

Ground Clearance: 8.1"
All-Wheel Drive
Maximum Wading Depth: TBD
Turning Circle: 38.1'

Mercedes-Benz GL 350 BlueTEC

Photo © Mercedes-Benz

With base prices starting at $61,570, the 2013 Mercedes-Benz GL 350 BlueTEC comes with a 4-year/50,000-mile warranty and EPA fuel economy estimates of 19 mpg city/26 mpg highway.

Winter Chops:

Ground Clearance: 7.8"
4MATIC All-Wheel Drive
Maximum Wading Depth: TBD
Turning Circle: 40.8'

Nissan Pathfinder

Photo © Jason Fogelson

The 2013 Nissan Pathfinder arrives as a unibody design, carrying base prices from $28,270 up to $40,770, depending on trim level, along with a 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty, a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty and EPA fuel economy estimates of 19 mpg city/25 mpg highway for the all-wheel drive version and a class-leading 20 mpg city/26 mpg highway for the front-wheel drive version.

Winter Chops:

Ground Clearance: 6.5"
All-Wheel Drive
Maximum Wading Depth: TBD
Turning Circle: 38.7'

Subaru Forester

Photo © Jason Fogelson

Carrying base prices from $21,995 up to $32,995, the 2014 Subaru Forester will arrive on showroom floors in March of 2013. The EPA estimates that the new Forester can achieve 24 mpg city/32 mpg highway with its 2.5-liter naturally-aspirated engine, and 23 mpg city/28 mpg highway with the turbocharged 2.0-liter direct injection engine.

Winter Chops:

Ground Clearance: 8.7"
Continuous All-Wheel Drive
Maximum Wading Depth: TBD
Turning Circle: 34.8'

Toyota Land Cruiser

Photo © Jason Fogelson

Hardly the stripped down adventure vehicle of the past, the 2013 Toyota Land Cruiser brings a base price of $78,244, a 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty, a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty and EPA fuel economy estimates of 13 mpg city/18 mpg highway.

Winter Chops:

Ground Clearance: 8.9"
Four-Wheel Drive
Maximum Wading Depth: TBD
Turning Circle: 38.7'

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