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SUVs have taken over the auto industry, leading sales and dominating headlines. But while all SUVs have common ancestry in utility vehicles, not all modern models have the guts and capability to actually tackle off-roading or snow driving. These three SUVs actually have real-world capabilities to match their adventurous looks.

The 2024 Subaru Forester is one of the best SUVs for snow 

If you’re looking for an SUV that can handle snowy road conditions, the Subaru Forester should be at the top of your list. 

The Subaru Forester may not look as rough and rugged as more off-road-centric models like the Jeep Wrangler – but don’t be fooled. This crossover is a winter-weather specialist that can make easy work of mountain passes and January commutes.

Subaru has long carried a reputation as one of the best automakers for winter-weather performance. That’s mainly due to its signature symmetrical all-wheel drive system. Equipped on all models except the BRZ, symmetrical all-wheel drive uses a center differential to divide power between all four wheels. It can maximize traction to the other wheels when one is losing grip. 

The new 2024 Forester continues the brand’s tradition of stellar snow performance. Its high ground clearance, standard all-wheel drive, and excellent visibility make it relatively easy to steer through winter driving conditions. While it won’t tackle hardcore off-roading, the Forester has the ideal level of capability for most folks’ everyday driving needs.

The 2023 Ford Bronco is among the best off-road vehicles on the market 

A red 2023 Ford Bronco faces toward desert rock formations. The Bronco is one of the most capable new off-road vehicles available today.
2023 Ford Bronco | Ford

The 2023 Ford Bronco is more than just a statement on retro design – it’s one of the most purely capable off-road vehicles on the market today. 

Ford introduced the Bronco a few years ago as a direct competitor against the benchmark for off-road performance – the Jeep Wrangler. Both models use old-school body-on-frame construction, offer standard four-wheel drive, have heaps of ground clearance, and come with removable tops. 

The Bronco and Wrangler are neck and neck on off-road capability, with each model having minor advantages. While the Wrangler remains the sales leader, the Bronco has dominated recent headlines with its shiny new looks and recent arrival. 

Ford packs as many off-road goodies as possible into the Bronco’s trims and packages. Aside from standard four-wheel drive, Car and Driver says the Bronco has optional all-terrain tires, skid plates, locking differentials, crawl control, and more. You can get the SUV as basic or fully-loaded with off-road features as your heart desires. 

The 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee offers the capability for all occasions 

The 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee is a perfect middle ground for drivers who want serious off-road capability in a more comfortable package. It isn’t the best pure off-road vehicle, but the Grand Cherokee covers all its bases with poise.

Sometimes, you don’t want the right tool for one job. You’d rather have a single tool to handle pretty much every job. That’s what the 2023 Grand Cherokee is to SUVs. 

On the one hand, the 2023 Grand Cherokee has impressive off-road performance. Its sophisticated four-wheel drive system and abundance of off-road technologies can make easy work out of trails and snow. 

On the other hand, the Grand Cherokee is a refined and comfortable SUV. It’s full of creature comforts like plush leather upholstery, automated climate control, and heaps of sound insulation. You can even move up to the Grand Cherokee L if you need three rows of seats. It’s an SUV for all people and all occasions, and it still slays off-road.

Is a capable SUV really necessary?

While most folks can reasonably get by without, the added capability and comfort of an SUV can add confidence to any drive. Whether you want a hardcore off-roader or the reassurance of a crossover that can handle snow, an SUV may provide the extra stuff you’re looking for beyond a typical sedan or hatchback. 


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