ski cars...what do you drive?
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oldensign - DCSki Columnist
November 27, 2007
Member since 02/27/2007 🔗
437 posts
Reading in the latest skiing magazine (the free hook up worked) an interesting debate on ski cars between the Subura and the Toyota p/u. honestly I can't see how a Toyota p/u is a ski "car". It must be an out West thing (like skiing in something called powder).

Anyway wondered what the Beltway crowd thought was a ski car?
Straight Shot
November 27, 2007
Member since 08/16/2007 🔗
53 posts
At the moment I drive a 2003 Audi A4 sedan with all wheel drive and a 5 speed manual. I always have winter specific tires and I have had no problem with any snow conditions up to 18+ inches where ever I have driven with it so far. My last car was a 1993 BMW 325is with rear wheel drive and a 5 speed manual. This car was fitted with studs in the rear and deep snow treads in the front and it went everywhere as well. It's not exactly the average ski car, but it was better than people thought in the snow. I even took it on a no winter maintenance road near HV called Firetower Road where the raod is terrible already and much worse once you add a foot + of snow.
langleyskier
November 27, 2007
Member since 12/7/2004 🔗
824 posts
I drive a ford escape. It is '01 and has 4 wheel and does well in the snow without snow tires. Also it is nice because i can fold down only one seat in the back and fit as many pair of skis as i want, 4 people (including myself), and most luggage (i have a roof luggage rack if needed to ensure that everything will fit. It also has a good clearance. Only drawback is that i only get 20 mpg but the new escape averages around 27 mpg and the hybrid (which even comes with 4 wheel drive) gets 36 or something like that.
crunchy
November 27, 2007
Member since 02/22/2007 🔗
596 posts
Audi baby! the quattro is so damn solid in snow, you have no idea \:\) the only drawback to my car is the clearance tho. driving through some of the rutted forest roads in wv and such in summer/fall can be a pain with occasional scrapage. the all-road model is what I really want cause it has more clearance. but the quattro with the electronic slip protection (esp) simply manhandles any snowpacked roads. tires help too.. the continental extreme contact (all season) tires are superb tires for snow. one of the higher snow traction rated all-season tires.
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yellowsnow
November 27, 2007
Member since 12/15/2005 🔗
268 posts
Snow cars currently in my stable:
Good - Suzuki XL-7 AWD auto
Better - Blazer 4WD auto
Best - 325xi AWD auto (but alas, not suitable for Loop Road, Dolly Sods, Camp 70 Road, Poplar Lick trail and the like...painful and expensive sounds come from underneath).
crunchy
November 27, 2007
Member since 02/22/2007 🔗
596 posts
 Originally Posted By: yellowsnow

Best - 325xi AWD auto (but alas, not suitable for Loop Road, Dolly Sods, Camp 70 Road, Poplar Lick trail and the like...painful and expensive sounds come from underneath).


lol, i can't think of many cars that could make it through the second half of canaan loop road heading towards blackwater falls park.. heck, some spots give a truck a helluva workout!
tromano
November 28, 2007
Member since 12/19/2002 🔗
998 posts
Outback Sport.

Just about any light, front engine, front wheel drive comuter car like a civic will rock in the snow if you thrown on some snow tires (and if necessary chains).
GGNagy
November 28, 2007
Member since 01/5/2006 🔗
451 posts
Dodge Ram 1500 4 door with the Hemi that generates enough torque to be able to pull the other ski cars listed out of the ditch. Arr Arrr Arrrr \:D
Crush
November 28, 2007
Member since 03/21/2004 🔗
1,021 posts
hmmm i've had three good vehicles for snow so here they are with pros/cons

1) Dodge Raider (aka Mitsubishi Montero) jeep-like compact 4x4 with the basic part-time 4wd (no center diff) - great for anything/not very roomy

2) Chevy Blazer (89-93 depending on what part of it you are referring to) with basic part-time 4wd - like the commercial says "like a rock" never had problems with it except once at 270,000 miles my 4wd went out because battery acid ate the acculator - dependable,good carrying capacity/no cons for me .

3) 1993 Grey Market Range Rover ex rock climber with Old Man Emu long travel suspension, flotation tires, mild engine work on the 217ci Rover (aka Buick v8), full-time all wheel drive. One word: TANK . Huge 1 foot ground clearance under the diffs, huge interior, goes thru anything half-way sane/Weak engine, crappy (10 miles/gal) on gas, electrical system was a mess.
tgd
November 28, 2007
Member since 07/15/2004 🔗
585 posts
Chevy Tahoe '98 350/V8 4WD. 140K miles and counting. BF Goodrich All Terrain TA KOs - I do not get stuck in the snow.
dcmidnight
November 28, 2007
Member since 11/11/2006 🔗
125 posts
07 Infiniti G35x AWD with all season tires. Wife has the FX35 that gives me a little more ground clearance but I never hit a road last year that I felt unsafe in with my car so normally just take mine.
Clay
November 28, 2007
Member since 04/11/2006 🔗
555 posts
 Originally Posted By: GGNagy
Dodge Ram 1500 4 door with the Hemi that generates enough torque to be able to pull the other ski cars listed out of the ditch. Arr Arrr Arrrr \:D


Exactly. Big and black with a hard bed cover to stow the bigger gear (if I ever took the gear any place other than the condo )

Clay
skiTLINE
November 28, 2007
Member since 12/15/2004 🔗
230 posts
2003 Pewter H2 which can get me through most anything. But if I stop on the hill up Slopeside Dr in Northface and talk with Kim midway up as he is walking his dog........ its tough to get going again (as Kim will attest)
kwillg6
November 28, 2007
Member since 01/18/2005 🔗
2,034 posts
Depends on where you go and what you want performance wise. I've tried most, Ford Explorer, Chevy Blazer, FWD car, Have a Tahoe for when it gets deep. Love that size and weight. I can go through almost anything and anywhere except I can't pass a gas station and at $3+ a gallon..... The Mrs. and I have a definite love for the Suburau Outback. We're on our third. It has a 5 speed which we have discovered is GREAT for mountain driving and gets 28 mpg on our 3 hour drive to the valley. About twice the mileage of the Tahoe. I'll have to check on the tires cuz we had the stock tires traded when we bought it last november cuz they were crap on ice and snow (learned thru experience). I think the wheelbase is the same as most sport UVs if not longer. I have a KIA Sorento, 4wd which can't hold a candle to the Outback. Too short a wheelbase, too light, geared all wrong for white roads. The only problem with the outback and any other "cars" is that with the ground clearance, and in deep snow (15+")it'll belly up. The 07 is much better than the 98 and 04 that we had cuz it has 2-3" more ground clearance.
tommo
November 28, 2007
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
303 posts
GMC Safari AWD. Just bought a 2003 to replace a '98. Can use large treaded truck tires, all the gear goes inside on the floor under the seats, hauls 6 folks in style w/seats and belts for 8, relatively high ground clearance, has rear heat that boil water, and gets you high and out of road spray. Have had Audi Quatro, Toyota awd, Ford awd, and various FWD but nothing comes comes close to these vans for "goin' when its snowin'" except a full size 4x4 SUV. And those just don't have enough room inside for skis, boards, poles, etc...
fishnski
November 28, 2007
Member since 03/27/2005 🔗
3,530 posts
Ive always liked the Outback too Kwill but I cannot convince Betterhalfski..We use the Exployer & bust thru the deep stuff but that allwheel drivetrain sucks!a lot of mulla to fix er up! Been looking at downsizing to the Escape but those things hangin in the back undercarraige look like they would trap & build up an ice/snow pack...anyone have one?
jimmy
November 28, 2007
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
2,650 posts
AHha tommo i've always thought safari/astro AWD would make the ultimate ski vehicle, now i no y \:D .

 Quote:
has rear heat that boil water, and gets you high
jb714
November 28, 2007
Member since 03/4/2003 🔗
294 posts
 Quote:
Been looking at downsizing to the Escape...anyone have one?


My wife drives an '05 Escape with the V6. Last February we had her Escape up at our property near 7 Springs. It's located in a subdivision with an unpaved road that is plowed only occasionally. On President's Day weekend last year we had probably close to 16" on that road, and her Escape cruised right through it - it did as well as my 4Runner. I like the fact that the Escape is essentially front-wheel-drive until it senses wheel spin - then the rear wheels engage. It gives a much more stable feeling than having to throw a transfer case into 4WD when you hit a snowy/icy spot
SeaRide
November 28, 2007
Member since 03/11/2004 🔗
237 posts

I like some of my friends'cars like Subaru Outback, Dodge Durango, etc. I have 2001 F150 4x4 SuperCrew with cap. I just load the stuff (wet/dry) in the back of the truck and go. Easily fit 6 ppl. Limit slip diff on both axles. Heavy duty transmission, oil cooler, trans fluid cooler and all the good stuff. Bed sprayed with X-liner. Throw in outdoor rug to soften the blow when throwing skis,boards, and poles etc. Ran into no problems since 2001 period.

Tip: Driving up the rear entrance road to Snowshoe, whenever the asphalt road gets icy, drive on the gravel shoulder. That's what I kept telling people in their cars to drive on the gravel shoulder so they don't skid all over the frozen asphalt. I get tired of towing ya know.
Bumps
November 28, 2007
Member since 12/29/2004 🔗
538 posts
Primary - F150 w 4x4 off road package ugg ugg
skid plates come in handy when you pull off the snow covered side of the road only to find it is really a thin layer of ice over a 3ft ditch.

Secondary - Wifes Durango w/ hemi

But I got to say its all in the tires. When I was a kid we put big mud tires on an VW. Ueed it to go deer hunting in snow/mud. Was almost no where it couldn't go.
skier219
November 28, 2007
Member since 01/8/2005 🔗
1,318 posts
I've got an Acura RDX now, but my best ski cars have been Subaru wagons. My last Outback had 8.7" of ground clearance, rear-biased AWD, and the 250HP turbo motor. It was pretty much unstoppable in snow. I even made it through the Snowshoe parking lot with about 18" on the ground once. In contrast, the Acura (also AWD) is just average in the snow.
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