driving in winter

Best Car Features for Snow and Winter Driving

If you live in a cold-weather state, you’ll need a dependable vehicle to carry you through the snowy, icy winter months. Thankfully, there are many features in modern vehicles that make driving in the winter easier, safer and more convenient. But how do you know which features are actually worth it – and which ones you can skip over? 

Below are the best car features to look for when buying a vehicle to drive in the snow and ice. They will keep you safe and make winter driving more comfortable. 

Winter Tires 

Once the first snowfall hits, you’ll need a reliable car with good tires. But not just any tires – you need tires that can handle the snow and ice. 

Winter tires, or snow tires, are not the same as all-season tires. They feature a unique material that allows them to stay flexible in below-freezing temperatures. Snow tires also have a unique tread pattern and deeper treads to reduce snow buildup. 

However, you won’t want to use these tires in the summertime because they’re much less effective at dispersing heat. To save money and drive safely, it’s best to switch out these tires in the summer. 

Advanced Safety Features 

Today’s vehicles have a host of advanced safety features, so which ones are really necessary? Obviously, we recommend anti-lock brakes and stability control (both required by law), adaptive headlights and forward collision avoidance. These features help improve visibility on the road. 

While not necessary, heated seats and heated steering wheels can make your drive more comfortable. Some other features that will help you drive easier in winter weather are: 

  • Automatic high beams
  • Blind spot monitoring 
  • Emergency braking 
  • Ground clearance 
  • Headlight washers and wipers
  • Rain-sensing wipers
  • Heated windows
  • Remote start 

All-Wheel Drive 

All-wheel drive (AWD) delivers power to all of your wheels instead of just two. This is crucial when driving in snow because if one or two tires lose traction, power is delivered to the other tires to help the car stay in control. 

Many modern vehicles drive the front or rear wheels continuously, while delivering power to the other set of wheels as needed. This is most efficient on fuel. However, there are some vehicles that deliver the same amount of torque to all four wheels at all times, though they are less fuel efficient. 

Winter driving is not for everyone, but if you live in a cold-weather state, you’ll probably be out on the roads in snow or ice at least a couple of times. To ensure you are safe and comfortable on the road, be sure to look for these features in your new vehicle.