Best Used Jeeps For Winter Driving
We all know that when it comes to Jeeps and overcoming obstacles, they have it covered. Whether it be climbing rocky mountains, crossing streams or rivers, or snow blanketed highways, Jeeps are made for any terrain. So, as the days start to get shorter and the chillier breeze starts blowing, it seems like the right time to start saving to buy a used Jeep that will fit your exact needs this winter. Dashing through the snow or pulling an open sleigh, your Jeep will be equipped for the challenge.
Maybe a Jeep Liberty will be your calling. Maybe you don’t the luxury of a Grand Cherokee but do want something a bit more sporty so a Cherokee will suit your needs. Perhaps you are feeling like a Wrangler will be best for winter and also summer. Whatever your decision, it’s good to know that all Jeeps come with the best quality products ready to tackle the winter, but then also have the largest market for accessories and winter driving to really ready yourself for all that this upcoming season has to offer.
While you may use your Wrangler more for off-roading during the summer months, like most SUV’s or Jeeps, your Wrangler handles snow laden climates very well. As with any vehicle regardless of brand, if you live in a geography that dumps feet of snow on you, snow tires will be the best defense against getting stuck this winter. Though some Wrangler drivers leave their mud tires on for winter driving, they are not made to handle the conditions that snowy roads and temperature bring.
Any lift added to your Wrangler will help when trudging through deep snow, but it isn’t entirely necessary. Four wheel drive will be what you’ll need to get through most situations.
An ongoing debate about whether a two or four-door configuration is best in winter driving. A four door is going to be heavier, sturdier and have a wider and longer wheelbase which helps to control the jeep. Four doors are also going to be more expensive so if you don’t need four doors, a two-door will work just as well in the snow. It really comes down to what works best for your life.
Wrangler Polar Edition
In 2014 Jeep introduced the Polar. Specifically designed for winter weather climates, it’s based off the Sahara trim package. Its unique badge with latitude and longitude location where the most severe temperature on Earth was recorded in Antarctica and serves as a reminder that Jeeps are meant to go everywhere on this planet.
The Polar Edition is available in both two and four-door configurations.
Coming standard is a Trac-Lok anti-spin rear differential that can be combined with available electronic locker inside the Dana 44 axle. Up front, a Dana 30 is turned by the part-time Command-trac NV241, two-speed transfer case with a 2.72-to-1 low range. Automatic climate control, heated front seats, always appreciated in the freezing climates, and Electronic Vehicle Information Center are all included and smart for winter driving. Same drivetrain as other Wrangler’s, 3.6L Pentastar V6 with 285 horsepower and 260 lb/ft of torque.
Cherokee & Grand Cherokee
Best pick for small and midsize SUV’s, newly used Jeep Cherokees comes available in three four-wheel drive options that will help navigate you through the toughest winters. The Cherokee, having replaced the Liberty in 2012, now comes as a small crossover CUV but boasts a 9 speed transmission, which allows for automatic downshifting in snowy conditions. The Grand Cherokee sits taller on 20” wheels as a midsize SUV.
All Cherokees come with four wheel drive which is always going to be best for snowy conditions. Grand Cherokee models also come with Jeeps Selection Terrain System which maximizes traction with driver-selection settings that include auto (normal), snow, sport, sand/mud and rock. This makes driving in inclement weather be it heavy rain, sleet, snow or ice happen with much more ease and confidence. Made with adjustable air suspension which allows the Grand Cherokee to be raised 3.8 inches higher is perfect when snow conditions are deep.
While this is a small crossover CUV, the Patriot offers best-in-class 4×4 capabilities which will maximize your efforts in the snow. Also offering the Selec-Terrain Traction Control which allows your Jeep to use the best configuration for the specific road conditions. Its drivetrain and wheelbase are going to provide better handling and security while driving in winter conditions.
Patriot and Compass
As both are in the small crossover SUV segments and made more for fuel efficiency and running around town, but because they’re Jeeps they also excel in off-roading capabilities. What’s easy to forget about these smaller beauties is that they do have excellent all-wheel-drive and all terrain selections which allow for optimum maneuvering in the snow. Because they’re a bit smaller, snow tires will add more traction. Extra safety packages like the All Weather Capability Group are also available.
Smart Weather Driving
What’s most important to remember about driving Jeep SUV and CUV’s in any inclement weather is how you drive. Being responsible to outfit your vehicle with the proper gear to handle the conditions of the road. It will keep you secure, but you then have to drive safely to ensure the gear can properly keep you safe. Snow tires are key in winter, but they don’t mean you get to drive like it’s a sunny afternoon in June. Jeeps will always provide buyers with the best choices for questionable terrain, but you must use your head first.
While we all know that driving in snowy weather can sometimes be terrifying, there are those of us who, after spending enough time learning how, have grown a comfortable fondness of it. Like anyone with a Jeep, truck or large SUV, safe traveling in the snow isn’t always about the vehicle you’re driving, but knowing how to do it. You’ll always be best when learning in Jeep and you’ll always feel the most confident in your Jeep.
So why not enjoy it? Go ahead, get out there and be comfortable in the snow again!