We all know the struggle of making that perilous journey to work in the winter. Battling against blustery winds, icy roads and thick snow is something you have to get used to in the UK. You might find you start to notice that some cars can handle this hazardous weather better than others, whilst others find themselves slipping and sliding back down the treacherous winter hills turned ski slopes. With the winter season looming it is important to know which cars are best suited for winter driving and what you can do if your car isn’t ideal for tackling the ice and snow.
The Land Rover Discovery is our top choice for driving in extreme or icy conditions. It is made specifically for tackling difficult roads so there’s no surprise that this has come the first in our list. With its 4 wheel drive it is impressively stable in snow and ice and even without winter tyres fitted it still tackles the winter weather better than most other vehicles. Perhaps more commonly seen on the high street than the countryside, the Land Rover Discovery retains its off-road abilities whether its in city or rural areas. A fashionable choice, yet extremely practical for the winter.
The Nissan Qashqai is a popular car here at Creditplus and understandably so. It’s perfect for families and has many technological add ons that make driving an extremely enjoyable experience. The 4 wheel drive provides extra grip and makes it much more stable and comfortable to drive in wintry conditions than most other family cars. Crossover SUVs are becoming more and more popular, especially amongst families. Its ability to cope with the coming winter conditions should provide added peace of mind to those seeking a safe car for their loved ones.
The Range Rover Sport is an excellent SUV with a luxurious feel and agile drive. This car combines striking looks, a stylish interior and off road driving capability beautifully. Like the Land Rover Discovery, it is built for off road travel so it feels very comfortable in extreme weather conditions. Anyone concerned about driving in adverse conditions could do a lot worse than choose the Range Rover Sport.
The BMW 3 Series is a firm favourite of ours and is loved among many car enthusiasts for obvious reasons. The BMW 3 Series boasts superior performance, a luxurious feel and plenty of options to choose from. The 4 wheel drive option transforms the standard rear wheel drive car into something far more suitable for icy conditions. A different prospect to the 4×4 and crossover SUVs previously featured in the list, the 3 Series Saloon is a stylish choice that would suit modern professionals who have to travel for business, no matter what the weather conditions may be.
This is an unexpected choice as often sports cars aren’t the most sensible option when it comes to driving in the snow and ice. Speed can be dangerous during the colder months. The Audi TT boasts superior handling, excellent performance and a stylish appearance and that can handle winter driving. Like the BMW 3 Series, it has the option of a 4 wheel drive version which makes it much steadier in the winter months. So if you are after something a bit more sporty that can handle British weather at its worst, the Audi TT Coupe is a more than suitable choice.
Winter tyres are specifically designed to give you extra grip in temperatures less than 7°C to reduce the risk of skidding on icy roads. Winter tyres are the perfect solution for those that have cars that aren’t ideal for winter driving. Blackcircles reports that when driving at 20mph, winter tyres will stop you 11 metres shorter on icy roads and at temperatures of 7°C or below they will stop you 4.8 metres shorter.
Winter tyres do clearly make a noticeable difference and are likely to be worth it if you live in a rural or particularly cold area that is susceptible to icy roads. You will often be able to find out from the manufacturer whether it is sensible for you to have winter tyres fitted as some cars are much more suited to adverse conditions than others. The main drawback to winter tyres is that they are often quite expensive which should be taken into consideration when making the initial car purchase decision.
Image Courtesy of RAC
Snow socks are a stretchy fabric that fits over tyres to help them keep their grip and are a cheaper option to winter tyres. But do they do the same job? According to officials, they shouldn’t be considered as a direct substitute for winter tyres and should instead be considered as a precautionary measure just in case snow falls when you are out or you need to get out of a sticky situation. They have been shown in tests to improve the performance of normal tyres but are not nearly as capable as winter tyres at improving grip.
Apart from the cars and tyres themselves, your driving skill actually has a lot to do with how safe you are when travelling during wintertime. Driving style must be adapted to icy and snowy weather conditions. This means driving in a smooth way and ensuring you keep the gears as high as possible to reduce risk of skidding. Advanced driving courses can help with this and you can also find ones specialising in extreme conditions to ensure you are fully prepared for every situation.