These SUVs may seem distant from their racing and autobahn roots, but they’re surprisingly capable—and still plenty speedy.
There may have been a time when rolling up to the slopes in a beater SUV was fine for your hardcore cred—and budget. But now that you’ve achieved a new station in life, it’s time to represent with one of a growing stable of prestigious German luxury SUVs. Each is loaded with innovative safety and entertainment systems and luxurious leather. Each dashes through snow with confidence but would be equally at home on a racetrack. And they’re all available as diesel models, if extra torque (and mileage) turns you on.
A new wave of scaled-down SUVs takes Continental inspiration and turns it on its head.
When it comes to automotiverole 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.
The future of ski cars might be the new range of tiny, hyper-stylish luxury crossovers.
While there was a point, not so long ago, when it looked like GMC’s Yukon XL would be America’s ski car forever, rising gas prices and—oh, yes—an auto market that includes the rest of the planet have meant some new and very international AWD choices. Meet the small luxury crossover.
Subaru down-shifts back to its off-beat roots with the affordable mountain-ready Crosstrek
While the rugged and reliable Subaru brand has become positively ubiquitous in snowy lands since the 1970s, there’s been one alarming trend: The cars have become less and less weird in recent years, much to the dismay of iconoclastic tweakers with their Mad River Glen bumper stickers.
Only the names remain the same when it comes to the newest SUV models.
Besides old Glen Plake videos, nothing captures the ski-trip vibe of the mid- to late ’80s like that first generation of box-on-frame SUVs—slab-sided classics like the Nissan Pathfinder, Toyota 4Runner, and Jeep Cherokee, followed in 1991 by the Ford Explorer. Just about everybody owned one—or wanted to. Back when nobody worried about gas mileage (or ride quality) they were must-haves for winter road trips.