Wintertime in Canada is tough on cars, with blistering cold weather and lots of snow and ice making for slippery roads. While cautious driving will get you far in the Canadian winter, you still need a vehicle built to handle the snow and ice like a champ.
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. Whether it's a sedan, hatchback, or SUV, these vehicles are 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.
While the Jeep Wrangler is mainly known for its off-road prowess, its standard four-wheel drive is also quite capable when road conditions head south in the Canadian winters.
The current-generation Wrangler comes standard with a 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 a wild 6.4-litre V8 with pavement-punishing power.
The Wrangler also has a body style to fit your needs, including a smaller, more off-road-friendly two-door model or a longer, four-door model built for the whole family.
The only downside to the Wrangler is that Jeep designed it as an off-roader first, so it’s not nearly as comfortable as most models on this list.
Subaru is the king of traction on snowy Canadian roads, and the go-to Subaru model for many buyers is the Impreza. This five-door compact hatchback has everything a buyer could want, including Subaru’s famous symmetrical all-wheel drive (AWD) and a fuel-efficient 2.0-litre horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine.
Slap a set of quality winter tires on the Impreza and it essentially becomes a tank in just about any driving conditions. And because it’s such a popular model across Canada, there’s plenty of used Impreza inventory to choose from and save thousands over new.
The Impreza is also well-equipped in all trims, as the most recent generation comes standard with a 6.5-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, 8-inch touchscreens, and more.
The CX-50 is one of the newest crossovers from Mazda, and it blends the brand’s sleek Kodo design language with a more upright body, giving it a delicate balance of rugged and sporty. This midsize crossover also boasts an available 2.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder drivetrain that delivers up to 256 horsepower for good acceleration and a respectable 7.9 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.
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.
Few models scream longevity in the crossover segment better than the Honda CR-V. 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 — it’s all-new for 2023.
This CR-V came standard with a 1.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine that delivered 190 horsepower to its front-wheel-drive 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.
Another legend of quality in the winter-ready crossover segment is the Toyota RAV4. This notorious compact crossover has been through many variations throughout its lifetime, but the most recent model 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 comes standard with a 2.5-litre four-cylinder powertrain that delivers 203 horsepower, though you can opt for a 219-horsepower RAV4 Hybrid. Front-wheel drive (FWD) is standard, but winter-driving-friendly AWD is available — hybrid models come standard with AWD. If you want extra ground clearance and a more off-road-ready crossover, check out the Trail AWD trim level.
The Toyota RAV4 comes standard with loads of features, including five USB ports, heated front seats, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a 7-inch touchscreen, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and much more.
Want something compact, luxurious, and affordable that can also handle Canada's slippery winter driving conditions? Look no further than the Audi A3. This subcompact sedan packs a standard 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine that pushes 201 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque 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 it a tank in the snow and ice.
On top of this, the A3 is a legit luxury sedan, packing tons of premium features, including 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.
It’s still a great family car and a treat 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.
On top of its snow- and off-road-ready platform, the Nissan Pathfinder is well-equipped, even in its base trim level. This rig 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 color touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and more.
As for driver-assist features and safety tech, the Pathfinder has plenty. 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.
Kia’s first-ever dedicated electric vehicle platform, the EV6, launched in 2022 with impressive credentials. This hatchback-style crossover boasts a range of all-electric powertrains, ranging from a 167-horsepower unit to a wild 320-pony setup. The EV6 comes standard with rear-wheel drive (RWD), but it has an available dual-motor AWD system, making it a great winter car for those seeking an EV that’ll work well in Canada’s slippery driving conditions.
If you’re concerned about driving range, the Kia EV6 won’t disappoint. Its AWD variants all deliver 441 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.
Inside, the base AWD variant 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 is loaded to the gills in safety and driver-assist technology too, 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 with its Korean counterpart. The IONIQ 5 is also a hatchback-styled crossover, but it features a far more traditional design that will appeal to buyers who prefer to blend in a bit more than the bold EV6 will allow them to.
The IONIQ 5 has the same range of powertrain options as the EV6, which range from 168 to 320 horsepower. Like the EV6, the IONIQ comes standard with RWD, but has optional dual-motor AWD in higher trims. However, the IONIQ 5’s AWD is only available in the Preferred Long Range trim. the EV6 has it in several trims, including the sporty GT-Line.
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.