Between ice, snow, and sleet, the winter driving experience can range from unpleasant to dangerous. So what can you do to keep yourself and your family safe on the roads this winter? Having proper tires for the conditions in your area is a good start, but if you're in the market for a new vehicle, choosing a crossover or SUV that is winter-ready can provide even more peace of mind. This means the vehicle offers AWD, high ground clearance, and advanced safety features to help you tackle winter driving. 

kia telluride driving in snow
There's a lot of buzz around AWD for winter driving. Can it really help?

All Wheel Drive is a feature many car shoppers look for in a vehicle, but some are under the impression that it will give them traction in all winter driving situations. This is a dangerous misconception. Yes, AWD can help in slick conditions by delivering power to all of the wheels for better traction, but you shouldn't get a false sense of security. AWD can help your vehicle accelerate from a stop without sliding, but it won't help much with traction as you turn or stop. Although nothing beats smart driving or staying off the roads entirely during extreme conditions, these 5 SUVs give you extra confidence behind the wheel this season. 

1. 2019 Honda CR-V

2019 honda crv

The 2019 Honda CR-V is an all-around solid vehicle that offers passenger space and cargo space galore, a comfortable ride, and impressive fuel economy. Popular among small families, the CR-V is known for being extremely practical and it should also be known for its ability to tackle some extreme driving conditions. AWD is available on any trim level, and this compact SUV's ground clearance of 7.8 inches will help it navigate through deep snow. As far as overall safety is concerned, the Honda CR-V earned a 2019 Top Safety Pick rating from the IIHS and it has numerous safety features to help you keep your cool, including automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist, and automatic high beams. 

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2. 2020 Kia Telluride 

2020 kia telluride driving

The 2020 Kia Telluride is one of the best new SUVs on the scene with its ruggedly handsome looks, spacious 3-row interior, and a composed ride. Additionally, the Telluride will stay composed in all weather conditions thanks to available AWD, excellent safety tech, and 8 inches of ground clearance. The Telluride comes with Front Wheel Drive standard, but upgrading to the optional Active On-Demand AWD with 'snow' mode can provide a better driving experience for winter commutes. There is no shortage of safety features in the Telluride that can help with everyday driving or driving though a snowstorm. These include blind-spot collision avoidance, forward collision warning, and brake assist. Adding the optional automatic high beams can add extra confidence when you're driving in a blizzard. 

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3. 2019 Audi Q5

2019 Audi Q5

One of the top-rated SUVs in the luxury segment is ideal for driving in conditions like snow and ice. The 2019 Audi Q5 is equipped with AWD and loaded with standard safety features. The Q5 gives you excellent performance year-round thanks to a powerful engine, quick acceleration, and a composed yet entertaining ride. When winter rolls around, you will appreciate Audi's quattro AWD system that comes standard on every trim and proactively distributes torque for enhanced stability and traction. Standard safety features include pedestrian detection, forward collision warning, and automatic emergency braking to put your mind at ease. The generous ground clearance of 8.2 inches will be useful when the snow begins to accumulate. 

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4. 2019 Subaru Forester 

2019 subaru forester side

There are many features we like about the new 2019 Subaru Forester including improved styling, better driving dynamics, and generous cargo space. This time of year, we especially like that the Forester is ready for winter driving thanks to standard symmetrical AWD and Subaru's Eyesight safety tech which comes standard. The safety suite includes Pre-Collision Braking, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning, and Pre-Collision Throttle Management. This tech is useful in all conditions but especially when the roads are slick or snow-covered. The Forester's ground clearance of 8.7 inches will be welcomed in areas that get heavy snow accumulation. 

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5. 2020 Ford Expedition 

2020 Ford Expedtion

If you need a winter-ready SUV that can haul the whole crew through the elements, the 2020 Ford Expedition is ready for the challenge. Based on the Ford F-150, the Expedition trades the truck bed for extra passenger room (up to 8) and comfort. Optional intelligent 4WD with Terrain Management allows you to navigate through wintery conditions and select from various drive modes including 'snow'. The standard Ford Co-Pilot360 safety suite gives you Auto High-Beam Headlamps, Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking and Lane-Keeping System. Additionally, the 9.8 inches of ground clearance will keep you moving forward all winter.

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