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Buying a small or compact SUV is excellent for many reasons. However, some buyers fear it’ll drive poorly in snow or other inclement weather, just like many cars. One expert put together a list of the best types of each vehicle for driving in snow. The answer is pleasing to most buyers in the small SUV segment because it’s also one of the more affordable options available today. The Subaru Outback is the best small SUV for driving in snow and is affordable, according to iSeeCars.

Best small SUV for driving in snow

2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness rear view, the best small SUV for driving in snow is affordable
2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness | Joe Santos, MotorBiscuit

iSeeCars says the best vehicles for driving in snow are ones that overcome the challenges of freezing weather. Icy roads, reduced visibility, and low tire pressure are just a few obstacles snow drivers face. The publication also says the best models for driving in snow have all the same attributes. For example, all- or four-wheel drive, anti-lock brakes, driver assist technology, ground clearance, heated mirrors, remote start, traction/stability control, and winter/snow tires are just a few of the best features a small SUV or car can have.

The one to best fit the bill in the small SUV segment is the Subaru Outback. iSC gave it an overall quality score of 8.8 out of 10, one of the highest in its class. Additionally, the Outback ranks well in just about every other category. Safety, reliability, and value retention are all excellent for the Subaru small SUV.

A few reasons it’s the best for driving in snow are standard all-wheel drive across all models, a suite of standard safety features, and additional ground clearance. The Outback has 8.7 inches of ground clearance, making it an excellent snow-driving small SUV, along with the standard symmetric AWD system.

The 2023 Subaru Outback is an affordable small SUV

Subaru X-Mode
2023 Subaru Outback | Subaru of America, Inc

Next, buying a small SUV for driving in snow is impossible without an excellent price. Fortunately, the popular 2023 Subaru Outback, and previous model years used, are affordable. According to iSeeCars, a new Outback starts at $26,795, which is cheap compared to many rivals. Other SUVs usually start closer, or above, the $30,000 mark. Additionally, on average, a three-year-old used Outback costs around $34,443. Considering that the most expensive version of a new Outback starts closer to $40,000, it is affordable in today’s used car market.

However, one version of the Outback is better for snow driving than any other model. Buying any trim from the Subaru small SUV lineup gets you capability, but one trim level offers more.

Outback Wilderness is best for driving in snow

The Wilderness trim is the best version of the 2023 Subaru Outback to consider for driving in snow. As the off-road-oriented model, it comes with features to make it more rugged for dirt or snow. Starting just below $40,000, the Wilderness trim has a lot to offer. For example, an upgraded all-wheel drive system with a low-ratio setting, all-terrain tires, a lifted suspension for more ground clearance, a front skid plate, and water-repellent simulated leather upholstery.

Additionally, the Wilderness model uses a turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 260 horsepower and 277 lb-ft of torque. That’s a significant improvement over other Outbacks, which use a 2.5-liter four-cylinder, good for just 182 hp and 176 lb-ft.

An affordable small SUV is best for driving in snow

In conclusion, the best small SUV to get for driving in snow is the Subaru Outback. The Outback remains affordable whether it’s a brand-new 2023 model year or a used variant. Along with its standard all-wheel drive, the Outback has many excellent features to make it off-road capable. It’s best when purchased in the Wilderness trim, which adds ground clearance, all-terrain tires, skid plates, and other snow-driving niceties.


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