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Snow Driver: Comfort Kings

Want to haul a family without the fuel penalty of a traditional SUV? New full-size AWD sedans look to smooth the way to the mountains.

Grand and gracious full-size sedans come to mind for a night on the town, not a ski trip up to the slopes. But vehicular times they are a-changin’. Some of America’s most beloved four-door family brands now boast models with the winter-beating traction and agility of all-wheel drive, handling all but the deepest of blizzard-buried roads. And even the Koreans are getting into the game. 

Snow Driver: Circling the Wagons

Snow Driver: Circling the Wagons
Ford Flex: Snow Driver 2014
Today’s full-size crossovers look to fill the traditional role of the family station wagon and can haul seven in total comfort. So much for the good ol’ days.

The ’70S-era Brady Bunch station wagon might be all but extinct, but families aren’t. And neither is the need to haul kids and gear. If you’re not interested in making the jump to an SUV, consider a variety of stylish crossovers—vehicles built on car rather than truck frames—that mix capacity with a smaller size.

Snow Driver: Euro Thrash

Snow Driver: Euro Thrash
Driver Jan.
A new wave of scaled-down SUVs takes Continental inspiration and turns it on its head.

When it comes to automotive role models, it’s hard not to want to craft your all-new ride in the style of those trendsetting Germans—dramatic looks, Autobahn power, and plenty of grip in the slippery stuff. 

That impulse has yielded striking new designs in a trio of once-bland small and midsize SUVs, one of which (Jeep’s Cherokee) returns to the market after a long absence.

Snow Driver: Luxe Trucks

A generation of ultra-leathery, winter-ready 4x4s has replaced the rough-and-ready pickup. And they’re not cheap.

If your mental image of a pickup is a rusted-out work truck with a faded Killington sticker on the rear window and a couple of dogs in the back, it’s time to bring you up to speed.

Manufacturers are in an arms race to see who can build the biggest and most audacious family-hauling, winter-hardy light-duty trucks with leathery, gentleman-rancher appeal.

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