Canadian winters are tough on cars. It’s cold, snowy, and slippery, making driving a tricky situation. This is why it’s so important to own a vehicle that’s winter-ready when you live in Canada.
To help you find the perfect car for you during the cold months we’ve put together this list of the nine best cars for winter in Canada. And these vehicles come in all shapes and sizes. So, whether you prefer a sedan, hatchback, or SUV, there’s a car that’s perfect for you and is ready to tackle everything Canada’s winter has to throw at them.
There are plenty of great vehicles you can pick from that can handle the slippery roads once the cold weather strikes in Canada. However, choose one of these nine winter-ready vehicles if you want the best of the best.
The Jeep Wrangler is a stalwart in the off-road scene, its standard four-wheel drive also makes it a capable SUV when road conditions head south in the Canadian winters.
The current-generation Wrangler has a standard 3.6-litre V6 that delivers ample power for off- and on-road driving. You can also opt for a turbocharged 2.0-litre engine, a mild-hybrid V6 engine, or even a wild 6.4-litre V8 with pavement-punishing power.
The Wrangler also comes in multiple body styles to fit your needs. You can opt for the smaller, more off-road-friendly two-door model or a longer, family-friendly four-door model.
The one flaw against the Wrangler is Jeep designed it as an off-roader first, so it’s not an overly comfortable daily driver.
If you prefer something a little more comfortable from Jeep, consider the Jeep Grand Cherokee. It’s just as winter-ready as the Wrangler but has a smoother ride and better-equipped interior.
Subaru is the king of traction on snowy Canadian roads, and the Subaru model tons of buyers flock to is the Impreza. This five-door compact hatchback has tons to offer all sorts of buyers, including Subaru’s famed symmetrical all-wheel drive (AWD) and a fuel-efficient 2.0-litre horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine.
With a great set of quality winter tires, the Impreza is like a tank in just about any driving conditions. With it being so popular in Canada, you’ll have no problem finding a high-quality used Impreza and saving thousands over new.
The Impreza has many desirable features in all trims. The most recent generation comes standard with a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Plus, for those looking for more premium features, the higher-trim-level Impreza models have lots to offer, including upgraded audio systems, 11.6-inch touchscreens, and more.
The CX-50 is one of the newer crossovers from Mazda. It blends the brand’s sleek Kodo design language with a more upright body, delicately balancing rugged and sporty. This midsize crossover also boasts an optional 2.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder drivetrain that delivers up to 256 horsepower for good acceleration and a respectable 8.2 L/100 km highway consumption rating.
What makes the Mazda CX-50 shine in Canadian winter conditions is its standard i-ACTIV AWD on every trim. There are no options to tick or packages to buy to make this crossover one of the best cars for Winter weather.
On top of all this, the Mazda CX-50 is well-equipped in even its base GS-L trim. This entry-level model comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, a panoramic moonroof, LED headlights, a power liftgate, a 10.25-inch infotainment screen with standard wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, heated front seats and steering wheel, and tons more.
When you look up “longevity” in a dictionary, there might as well be a picture of the Honda CR-V in place of the definition. If you’re looking for a great deal on a Honda CR-V, look at the previous-generation model, which ran through the 2022 model year. However, you may be lucky and find a few of the all-new 2023 CR-V models on the pre-owned market.
The previous-generation CR-V came standard with a 1.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine that delivered 190 horsepower to its front-wheel-drive (FWD) system via a continuously variable transmission (CVT). However, an all-wheel-drive system is standard in all but the entry-level LX-2WD trim, making the CR-V one of the best cars for winter in Canada.
The CR-V comes decently equipped with standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a 160-watt audio system with four speakers, a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system, Bluetooth connectivity, and driver-assist technology like automatic high-beam headlights, automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, lane-departure warning, and more safety features.
If you opt for the 2023 CR-V, you’ll get the same 1.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 190 horsepower and standard FWD. Despite its all-new looks, the features in the new-generation CR-V are very similar to those in the previous generation.
Like the CR-V, the Toyota RAV4 is another example of longevity in the winter-ready crossover segment. This notorious compact crossover has seen many changes throughout its lifetime, and the latest may be the best version yet. It boasts a rugged, upright body with just the right amount of creases and sharp body lines to give it a legit off-roader look in certain trim levels.
The current RAV4’s standard powertrain includes a 2.5-litre four-cylinder powertrain that delivers 203 horsepower, but there’s also a 219-horsepower RAV4 Hybrid. All-wheel drive (AWD) is standard, so you have no options to pick to make the RAV4 a winter-driving-ready SUV. If you’re seeking extra inches of ground clearance for that really deep snow and a more off-road-ready crossover, check out the Trail AWD trim level.
This compact SUV comes standard with loads of features, including five USB ports, heated front seats, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, an 8-inch touchscreen, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and much more.
If you prefer a more compact, luxurious, and affordable car that can also handle Canada's snowy conditions, the Audi A3 may be the best Winter car for you. This subcompact sedan boasts a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 201 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque. This power flows through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and out to all four wheels via Audi’s legendary quattro AWD.
This setup not only makes it pretty quick — 6.7 seconds to 100 km/h — but it also makes a great pick for ice and snow driving.
On top of this, the A3 is a legit luxury sedan, so it has loads of standard premium features. Some highlights include standard LED headlights, 17-inch alloy wheels, heated mirrors, panoramic sunroof, heated front seats, a 10.1-inch infotainment screen, digital gauge cluster, leather upholstery, and more. As for safety tech, it includes standard automatic emergency braking, parking assist, and a rearview camera.
The Nissan Pathfinder lost its way for a while, becoming a soft family car, but the 2022 model year brought it back to its more rugged roots. This full redesign gave it a more upright and boxy body that looked more like the SUV it was in the early generations.
The Pathfinder is still a wonderful family car, plus it’s great in the Canadian winters. It comes standard with a 3.5-litre V6 powerplant that pumps out 284 horsepower and 259 pound-feet of torque. This power is routed through a nine-speed automatic transmission and out to all four wheels via Nissan’s Intelligent 4x4 4WD system, giving it great grip in the snow.
The Nissan Pathfinder is also well-equipped from the base trim level up. It comes standard with eight-passenger seating, heated front seats, a heated leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated washer nozzles, heated outside mirrors, a 10-way power driver’s seat, a Wi-Fi hotspot, an 8-inch colour touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and more.
It also has a wide range of driver-assist features and safety tech. Its standard equipment includes steering assist, adaptive cruise control, driver awareness monitoring, automatic headlights, a rearview camera, blind-spot warning with crash mitigation, high-beam assist, forward collision warning, lane-keep assist, rear cross-traffic alert, and much more.
This hatchback-style crossover features several all-electric powertrain options, starting with a 167-horsepower unit to a wild 576-pony setup in the supercar-fast GT trim. The EV6 comes standard with rear-wheel drive (RWD), and its available dual-motor AWD system makes it one of the best winter cars.
The Kia EV6 won’t disappoint in driving range either. Its AWD variants all deliver up to 454 km of all-electric driving range, but you can expect a small — around 10% — range reduction in extremely cold conditions. Charging takes 7 hours and 10 minutes on a 240-volt, 48-amp level 2 charger, while a DC fast charger can get the battery to 80% in just 18 minutes at 350 kilowatts.
Features are plentiful in the EV6 too. The AWD Long Range comes standard with cloth and synthetic leather seating, heated front seats, a synthetic leather steering wheel and gear shifter, heated steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, dual 12.3-inch screens, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, drive mode select, a heat pump, wireless phone charger, and much more.
The EV6 also boasts a long list of safety and driver-assist technology, including standard automatic emergency braking, lane-keep assist, lane-follow assist, driver attention warning, rear occupant alert, rearview camera, safe-exit assistant, and more.
The Hyundai IONIQ 5 is closely related to the Kia EV6 and shares virtually everything other than its body and the wild 576-horsepower option with its Korean counterpart. Like the EV6, the IONIQ 5 is a hatchback-styled crossover, but its hatchback looks are more traditional than the EV6’s so it may appeal to buyers who prefer to blend in a bit more.
The IONIQ 5’s powertrain options range from 168 to 320 horsepower — it lacks the punchy GT variant the EV6 has. Like the EV6, the IONIQ comes standard with RWD, but has optional dual-motor AWD in the Preferred Long Range trim.
Other than those nuances, the IONIQ 5 and EV6 are virtually identical, so it’s more a matter of style preference when choosing between them.
Are you ready to pick up the best car for winter in Canada but don’t want to overspend buying a brand-new model? Head to Clutch’s 100% online showroom and find the perfect used winter car priced thousands less than its new counterpart without setting foot in a dealership.
Are you unsure about buying your winter car 100% online? Rest assured knowing that any vehicle you choose from Clutch has been through a 210-point inspection and reconditioning process, ensuring they’re ready for your wintertime road trip. Clutch then adds a 90-Day Protection Plan and nationwide roadside assistance.
Want even more peace of mind? You can also opt for a nationwide Extended Warranty for even more security.
Best of all, you’re covered by Clutch’s 10-Day Money-Back Guarantee, which means that if you don’t love your new winter car, you can exchange it for a new one or return it for a no-questions-asked refund.
Check out our inventory of quality used cars today and choose a model suitable for you this winter—then get it delivered to your door. You can even set up the financing and get your trade-in vehicle appraised entirely online. No need to set foot in a dealership.