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What’s the Best Car for Having Fun in the Snow?

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Photo: Steve DaSilva

It’s the middle of October, which means the weather’s starting to cool down. Our own Erin Marquis has already seen the first snowflake of winter, which means those long months of ice-covered roads are nigh. But while snow may be an inconvenience to commuters, for those just looking to get from Point A to Point B, it can be an absolute blast for us enthusiasts. As long as we’re in the right car, that is.

But what is the right car? Do you need front-wheel drive, the weight of an engine over your powered wheels, to get you around? Would you rather send all the power to the back, letting you slide around through unplowed parking lots? Or do you want the best of both worlds, a rally-inspired package that gives you all the world’s traction without sacrificing control over your slip angles?

It’s a Subaru, I didn’t have to dig it out of here. It just pulled right through.
Photo: Steve DaSilva

I’m of two minds when it comes to fun snow cars: AWD or RWD. I’ve owned both in the snow, and I’ve drifted both through unplowed roads on the way to and from Wegmans (it’s how you keep your tofu from breaking, I hear). So, in the interest of fairness, I’ll put one of each out as a fantastic winter car: the Subaru WRX and the Toyota GR86.

A WRX, from any generation, will simply refuse to get stuck in any snow situation. You can always get to your destination, and always feel like Colin McRae as you make your way downtown. You can even kick the tail out in a parking lot, provided you aren’t too picky about where it ends up when you lay on the throttle.

If you are, of course, you’ll need to take power away from those front wheels. A GR86, successor to my own much-loved FR-S, is a perfect vehicle for learning to drift — having held one in a constant slide for about a mile of unplowed highway, I never felt like I was at risk of losing control.

Those are my picks for the best fun snow cars, but what are yours? Do you refuse to drive through the winter in anything less than an Evo, or would you rather saddle up a 4Runner with skis and hit the slopes? Leave your choices in the comments, and we’ll collect our favorites tomorrow.

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