Skiing is a lifestyle. For the best experience you need the right equipment, clothing and transportation. Vehicles must be safe and winter friendly. And, cargo space matters. While many folks rack their skis atop the vehicle, I keep my Renouns inside away from weather and corrosive road salt. With all that I mind, I looked at top performing vehicles that meet skier needs. They all but drive themselves. And, that just may happen next year.
Audi A4 AllRoad
Bottom Line: It might look like a standard Audi from the outside - but the AllRoad is packed with features to make the snowbird lifestyle easier. And it does it all without being too flashy.
We've been a fan of the A4 long before the AllRoad appeared on the scene. We wanted top safety ratings in a 4WD car. Little extras -- like the “ski bag” that extended through the A4 sedan’s back seat – sealed the deal. Today’s A4 AllRoad wagon with higher ground clearance and adaptive damping suspension is exactly what you need in case a blizzard kicks up. This baby handles snowy roads and rough parking lots without hesitation. An acoustic windshield minimizes cabin noise and the kids can use the three-zone climate control to get comfy. The enhanced night vision assistant picks up obstacles in your path easing the long drives home.
Bottom Line: Next-level class, the Macan will turn heads when you show up - and it’ll be the smoothest way to travel with it’s adaptive suspension.
With an entry-level price below $50,000, the Porsche Macan might surprise you. Sure it’s an iconic power brand, but this model is engineered to tackle snowy excursions. Consider the active all-wheel-drive Porsche Traction Management system that distributes drive power for optimum traction in most road conditions. Add optional air suspension for constant ride height on any terrain. And, like Renoun skis, you don’t have to worry about vibrations. The Porsche Active Suspension Management continuously adjusts damping forces for each wheel.
Tesla Model X
Bottom Line: the safest SUV in the world is more important than it just being an electric snow-chasing mobile.
You’ve heard of the all-electric Tesla Model X and its by far the most futuristic and the safest on our list. AWD controls traction and torque even in the snowiest conditions. Enhanced autopilot features include forward-facing radar to detect distant objects and 12 ultrasonic sensors to detect nearby cars, prevent collisions and assist with parking. Falcon wing doors create a visual metaphor for its ability to fly down the road for an incredible range of nearly 300 miles. But, if you’re willing to wait a year or more the Tesla Model Y just might drive home while you nap.
Bottom Line: The largest SUV, the Suburban has a powerful presense on the road - and with the XLT package, its classy enough for any black tie event.
If the Chevrolet Suburban is safe enough for the presidential motorcade, it’s safe enough for you. The oldest, continuously produced vehicle nameplate in the industry, the Suburban is also one of the largest. It seats eight people and still has a massive 39.3 cubic feet for their clothing and equipment. Its safety features prevent collisions or respond in the event of one. The kiddos just might be silent watching the Rear-Seat Entertainment System. That way mom or dad can pull a laptop computer from the center console (it’s that large) and preview the ski map for what’s ahead.
Bottom Line: Volvo has a beautifully refreshed brand look and the XC90 is certainly the leader.A beautiful SUV that will surprise you - and your neighbors.
In the 1990 movie “Crazy People,” Volvo is called “boxy, but safe.” Well, times they are a ‘changing. The XC90 – a luxury family SUV -- adds style to its safety features. And, if it isn’t muscular enough, buff it up with the exterior styling kit’s black trim, stainless steel skid plates, integrated exhaust pipes, and running boards. Not just another pretty face, the XC90 boasts ultra-low carbon emissions with its T8 twin-engine plug-in hybrid option. It has collision mitigation features and, to keep track of snowfall, a panoramic moonroof. The interior continues a tradition of modern Scandinavian, minimalist aesthetic.
Land Rover Range Rover Sport
Bottom Line: The Inferno is a beast and everyone will know it. It just happens to also be Bonds choice for a winter getaway vehicle when the DB9 is in the shop.
Who needs a ski lift if you have a Range Rover Sport? This beefy SUV can take on the toughest terrain. It recently completed the Swiss Alps’ Inferno Challenge in record time. With a 6,300-foot vertical descent, this nine-mile downhill ski race is considered one of the longest and most challenging courses in the world. For skiers! Humans have flexibility and maneuverability to twist and turn through nature’s challenges. Vehicles not so much unless you consider the Range Rover Sport SUV – driven by a highly competent race professional. This four-wheeling beast took the challenge in summer. With a 5.0L Supercharged V8 it had the power. And the option of a Rock Crawl setting helped it shift from wet mud to rocky terrain. In addition to the usual bells and whistles, you can get a waterproof wristband that functions as a key fob. No more losing your keys.
Subaru Outback R
Bottom Line: the upgraded 3.6R package elevates the Outback into the sporty category - and will be the last place someone will look for a pair of RENOUN’s in the back.
Hear us out. A standard Outback works fine for others, but drop in the 3.6R and its no longer your nieces college car. With 8.7-inches of ground clearance it can handle most bumpy parking lots and symmetrical all-wheel drive gives it traction on slippery surfaces. EyeSight is Outback’s advanced safety technology to monitor traffic, optimize cruise control and keep you in your lane. Opt for the touring model and a heated steering wheel will warm après ski fingers.