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Are SUVs Better in Snow?

Are SUVs Better in Snow?

Does it snow a lot where you live? If so, then you might want to know if an SUV is a good vehicle to have in the snow. Well, we wanted to find that out. 

Different cars have different strengths, but when it comes to safety, you want to ensure that you have the best option available. The snow can be a hazard for anyone, but some vehicles are better equipped for it than others. So, are SUVs better in the snow?

SUVs are safer to drive in snowy weather because they offer more protection with their larger size and the height of the vehicle gives you more clearance over snow on the streets. SUVs are a better choice than sedans when you need to drive on snowy streets. 

Want to find out what makes SUVs the better choice? Keep reading to see what information we found out about why SUVs are good to drive in the snow. 

SUV Benefits in the Snow

Driving an SUV can help keep you safer when you are on the road, and there are several benefits that you get by driving this vehicle in inclement weather.

Here are some of the most important reasons to drive an SUV in the snow.

#1 Total Weight 

Having a larger car when you are on a snowy road will help keep you from sliding on patches of ice or hard snow.

The extra weight can help you stay where you are instead of slipping on wet patches and sliding into snow piles, which can happen with sedans and compact vehicles. 

Also, because SUVs are so large, many drivers subconsciously drive more conservatively because the vehicle isn’t as nimble.

Driving a large vehicle holds some more responsibility on the road because they are more dangerous to other vehicles and pedestrians, so it can make you drive appropriately without you even thinking about it. 

Although having an SUV doesn’t make you immune to these situations, it does help to lessen the chances of anything happening. This will allow you to feel more confident and drive with less worry. 

#2 AWD 

Many SUVs come with AWD, or all-wheel drive, which makes it easier to control your vehicle because it sends torque to each of your four wheels. This allows you to have better traction when you need it, which is ideal for when you need to drive in heavy rain or snow. 

AWD allows your wheels to have more traction and keep better control of the vehicle. Having AWD can help you regain control of your SUV if you happen to slide on slick ice or snow so that you don’t lose control of the car completely. 

This allows you to remain in control at all times so that even when you slip or slide on the road, you will be able to bring yourself back before you hit another vehicle or obstacle.

However, it should be mentioned that having AWD does have a negative effect on overconfident drivers. Because AWD gives you better traction, it could allow you to feel like you don’t need to abide by other inclement weather driving recommendations. 

If this happens, you could end up in a collision by following another car too closely or not allowing enough room between cars when switching lanes. Either way, this could end up being a hazard because the driver feels a false sense of security. 

You should remember that having AWD does not mean that your SUV is unaffected by the weather conditions. So, even if you have an SUV with AWD, don’t neglect the rules of snowy road driving. 

#3 More Protection 

Because of the large size of an SUV, you also get more protection than other types of vehicles. If you were in an accident while driving a small sedan, you could potentially be injured worse because you don’t have as big of a car body to protect you. 

That is not an issue with an SUV because the frame and body are both large and provide a larger amount of protection from injury and fatality. SUVs can help you from getting injured when hit by another vehicle, and it can also help you stay safe if you slip and slide into a pile of snow. 

A smaller vehicle doesn’t give you the same amount of protection because the body is not as large, but an SUV has more space in the interior to keep you safe even if you were hit. 

SUVs in the Snow 

SUVs are the safer option on the road, and with all the benefits that come with driving this vehicle in bad weather, you can see why.

SUVs are equipped with everything that you need to stay safe in the snow, and if you make sure to follow inclement weather driving suggestions, you will keep yourself from getting into an accident. 

However, there are always a few negatives reasons why someone would choose not to drive an SUV. So, we wanted to cover those as well, so you can decide if you should drive one in the snow or not. 

1. Lower Fuel-Efficiency 

It is not news to people that SUVs can only get so far on one tank of gas and that you will be spending more at the pump if you choose to drive an SUV.

However, with a lowered gas mileage during the winter months for all vehicles, this can make matters even worse. 

SUVs already have lower gas mileage, so with that being further decreased, you will be spending even more to drive your vehicles during the winter.

Also, because the engine is bigger, you will want to allow it to heat up longer in the morning, which will also use up more gas. 

If you are on a tight budget, then spending more for the entire winter is not doable, and can be a major reason not to own and drive an SUV. 

2. Longer Body 

Another reason why some people might choose not to drive an SUV in the snow is that they don’t want to drive a car with such a long body. Longer bodies require you to make wider turns and adjust the way that you drive.

If you are used to driving a sedan, this might feel like you are driving with a trailer or boat attached to the back because it feels so long. This may make you feel like you don’t have as much control on the road, which is never a good thing. 

You want to drive a vehicle that makes you feel confident behind the wheel because if you don’t, then you might get scared and make a dangerous mistake. 

Winter Conditions

Driving even in good weather carries some risk of an accident, but when the winter comes around, the chances of being injured in an accident go up even more.

The slick streets and piles of hard snow can make it difficult to navigate, and with the increase of accidents on the road, traffic can actually get worse during this time of year. 

This makes driving more dangerous when there is snow falling. Also, some people, even those who have grown up with snow, might not feel totally comfortable driving when snow begins to fall. 

This makes people more scared on the road, which leads to more driving mistakes being made. This can also cause more accidents to occur. 

So, no matter what vehicle you decide to drive, you always want to make sure that you know how to drive in snow and that you are comfortable doing so. You wouldn’t want to get a good vehicle for snow only to get into an accident and damage it. 

You want to remember that you should stay farther behind the car in front of you and use your brakes earlier when you need to slow to a stop. This allows more space between you and the vehicle ahead of you so you have time to stop even with slick roads. 

You also need to remember to accelerate and hit the brakes slower. You need more time to be able to speed up and slow down, so being slow to hit the brakes or the gas pedal will help keep you safer on the roads. 

Also, if you live in an area that gets snow every year, you will want to invest in snow tires. This will make your driving safer and allow more traction on the road while keeping the snow out of the tire tread.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are SUVs better in snow than trucks?

SUVs are generally better than trucks in the snow because they have better weight distribution across their front and back wheels compared to trucks. Although trucks have good clearance, they often will need weight added to the bed to enhance their winter performance.

Is AWD or 4WD better in snow?

Four-wheel drive (4WD) is preferred in snowy conditions if you will be driving offroad, however, it provides fewer advantages over AWD for classic road driving.

Is an SUV safer in snow?

With their increased weight and ground clearance, SUVs provide many benefits to driving in the snow. While their heavier weight does improve traction, it can also lead to longer stopping distances.

Conclusion on are SUVs better in the snow

Driving an SUV is one of the safest options when there is snow falling. However, not everyone loves the idea of driving a longer and larger vehicle. 

There are some positives and negatives to driving an SUV, but if you are comfortable enough to drive one, then this can keep you much safer on snowy roads. From the AWD to the large size, an SUV will keep you safe from accidents and mishaps on the roads. 

If you think that you might want to switch your car so you can be safer in the winter, an SUV is the way to go!

Zach Reed

Hi, I'm the founder of! Having owned a wide variety of vehicles in my life, I was astounded at how hard it can be to find answers to common automotive questions. Rather than sit idly, I decided to create this website to help others!