Best Subaru Vehicles in the Snow

During winter months, many areas of the country deal with cold, icy weather. While snow blanketing winter landscapes look beautiful, snow and ice can make roadways difficult to travel without a vehicle properly equipped to handle challenging conditions.

Whether you live in a region that experiences heavy amounts of ice and snow every year or are looking for a reliable family vehicle for all your winter adventures – from skiing to snowboarding, to trekking through the mountains – Subaru has a range of options for you to choose from.

What Features Make Subaru Vehicles Handle Well in Snow?

With our rugged design and advanced drivetrain setup, Subaru vehicles incorporate a variety of features designed to maintain traction and stability across a multitude of road conditions, including driving in ice and snow.

Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive

Today, Subaru has become practically synonymous with all-wheel drive (AWD). AWD is a drivetrain system that delivers variable power and engine torque directly to all wheels and can increase power as needed to boost or regain traction. When driving over snow or ice, different wheels may lose traction at different times (particularly on uneven surfaces). AWD sensors detect these moments and deliver the right amount of power needed so a slipping wheel does not spin out.

But not every AWD system is created equal. While some cars have part-time AWD that only engages when sensors detect wheel slippage, Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive is a full-time AWD system that constantly delivers power and torque to the wheels, using sensors to monitor grip and traction and optimize distribution.

Subaru Symmetrical AWD comes standard on all Subaru vehicles, except for the Subaru BRZ sports model, which is equipped with rear-wheel drive (RWD).


For those times when you need even more performance on snowy or icy roads, Subaru X-MODE® provides enhanced power and control on-demand. When activated, X-MODE makes intelligent adjustments to the engine throttle and transmission to keep your Subaru in low gear without applying too much torque along with the added power.

Certain Subaru models are equipped with X-MODE Dual Mode System, including the Crosstrek Sport, Forester Sport, and Outback Onyx Edition XT. The X-Mode Dual Mode system includes both Snow/Dirt Mode and Deep Snow/Mud Mode to help accommodate drivers under challenging conditions on specific types of terrain.

Ground Clearance

Ground clearance is the distance between the ground and a vehicle's undercarriage. Higher ground clearance provides added room to travel more easily over snow banks or through areas that have not been plowed. All Subaru SUVs are designed with generous ground clearance — at least 8.7 inches on most models. The Wilderness family of vehicles includes increased ground clearance on all available models, with certain configurations able to accommodate larger wheels for added lift.

Choosing a Subaru Vehicle for Driving in Snow

Subaru vehicles have been recognized for their performance and safety across the automotive industry. With Subaru Symmetrical AWD standard on our SUVs and family cars, you can choose the model that best suits your tastes and gives you greater peace of mind when winter comes.


The popular Subaru Outback is a wagon-style SUV designed for the whole family. Built with ample cabin space, comfortable seating for up to 5 passengers, and plenty of room for cargo, the Outback is ready to accompany you on any snowy adventure.

All Outback trims are equipped with a variety of standard features to help you make your way through wintry conditions, including LED Fog Lights, LED Steering Responsive Headlights, and All-Season Tires. Subaru X-MODE comes standard on all Outback models. The Subaru X-MODE Dual Mode System is available on certain trims, including the Outback Wilderness.

To learn more about specific trims and configurations, explore the Outback today.


Compact and rugged, the Subaru Crosstrek is a smaller crossover SUV that doesn’t skimp on features. Its smaller size allows for exceptional handling and fuel efficiency. Standard features such as LED Steering Responsive Headlights allow drivers to more easily see ahead and around corners when navigating through snow. Optional features like LED Fog Lights, Heated Exterior Mirrors, and Windshield Wiper De-icer add a layer of technology and convenience for added peace of mind on long winter drives.

Despite its size, the Crosstrek makes efficient use of its cabin space, allowing up to 5 passengers to travel in comfort. For extra power in snowy conditions, the Crosstrek is equipped with X-MODE. The Subaru X-MODE Dual Mode System is available on the Crosstrek Wilderness and select other trims. 

To learn more about specific trims and configurations, explore the Crosstrek today.


Stylish and practical, the Subaru Forester delivers responsive handling, exceptional visibility, and impressive fuel economy in a small-sized SUV package. With its spacious interior, the Forester allows 5 passengers to travel comfortably, enjoying ample overhead and leg space. All trims leverage Subaru Symmetrical AWD for improved traction in snowy weather.

Standard features, including LED Steering Responsive Headlights and All-Season Tires, help drivers more easily navigate the road ahead under a variety of conditions. Optional features like LED Fog Lights and Heated Exterior Mirrors leverage leading-edge technology to improve visibility in rain, snow, and ice. The premium trim also feature the Subaru X-MODE Single Mode System, while others – such as the Forester Wilderness – are equipped with X-MODE Dual Mode System.

To learn more about specific trims and configurations, explore the Forester today.


Take the whole family on an adventure with the Subaru Ascent. Our largest offering, the Ascent provides impressive versatility. A third row of seating accommodates 7 or 8 passengers. When not in use, rear seating can fold flat for extra cargo room. The Ascent comes ready to tackle the snow, with X-MODE standard on all models and X-MODE Dual Mode System available on certain trims.

All Ascent trims come equipped with standard LED Steering Responsive Headlights and All-Season Tires to allow you to better see and handle the road ahead under a variety of weather conditions. Optional LED Fog Lights, Windshield Wiper De-Icer, and Heated Exterior Mirrors help offer a clearer view of the road and your surroundings in inclement weather, anywhere your adventures take you.

To learn more about specific trims and configurations, explore the Ascent today.

Shop for Snow-Ready Subaru Vehicles Today!

With standard Subaru Symmetrical AWD, generous ground clearance, and X-MODE available on most SUV models, the best Subaru for snow is simply the one that you like best and works with your lifestyle – through all seasons. Build your new Subaru today!