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Wheels: Put Aside Your Winter Blues With One Of These Suave All-Weather Rides

Just a few of our favourite rides that’ll get you through snow, sleet and road salt…
By Casey Williams
Winter may not be your favourite season, but an all-weather ride can take the sting out of chilly air – even if you’re not going on a long holiday drive or heading off to your favourite ski lodge. From a compact hatchback to a legendary off-roader, frugal hybrid, efficient diesel or swift Italian, one of these capable steeds should help with your winter blues.
Mazda3 AWD Hatchback</strong
During the first drive, I said to myself, “I love this car!” It’s the most beautiful hatchback I’ve ever seen, and the interior – lush with plush materials, heated leather seats and Bose audio – embarrasses many luxury cars. Beneath the smooth suit is a peppy 186-horsepower four-cylinder engine and optional all-wheel-drive. Suspension and steering enjoy curvy roads. Pop the hatch to toss in all of your gear. Underway, a head-up display, Apple CarPlay, sunroof and full array of crash avoidance systems impress.
Base price: $26,000
Land Rover Defender
Land Rover’s legendary 4×4 is redesigned with sleeker exterior forms plus a glassy cockpit channelling today’s Range Rovers. Maintaining capability are the terrain response system that can be configured for varying conditions, locking differentials, and a choice of 300-horsepower turbo-four or 400-horsepower turbo-six engines. Add features like a roof rack, portable rinse system, wheel arch protection or chrome bling. Carry up to 900 kg, tow 3720 kg, and drive through up to 90 centimetres of water. Drive this beefy lad almost anywhere.
Base Price: $65,300
Toyota Prius AWD-e
This iconic hybrid’s fuel efficiency is unquestioned, but its snow skills, not so much. That changes with available all-wheel-drive, which uses electric motors to drive the rear wheels while allowing 4.7 L/100 km. Recently updated styling gives the car sportier facias, while interiors are upgraded with available heated steering wheel/seats, colour head-up display and JBL audio. Safety is enhanced by standard pedestrian detection, radar cruise and lane keep assist. Accessory roof racks fit snowboards or skis.
Base price: $29,550
Chevrolet Silverado Diesel
Recently redesigned with a front echoing the Camaro, the Silverado packs a new trick for 2020: a three-litre inline turbo-charged six-cylinder diesel engine capable of 277 horsepower, 624 Nm of torque and a frugal 8.7 L/100 km. Add on four-wheel-drive and this fab sleigh can get you to the mountain chalet or pull a cadre of snowmobiles. Passengers ride high with available heated seats, heated steering wheel, Bose audio and Wi-Fi hotspot. Choose High Country editions for Texas-style luxury.
Base price: $55,000
Maserati Levante
Let’s start with two Ferrari engines: a 345-horsepower V6 or 590-horsepower twin-turbo V8 (the latter able to propel this crossover from 0-100 km/h in 3.9 seconds on the way to 300 km/h). It looks ready to eat a Prius, but coddles with soft leather seats, Bowers & Wilkins audio and metallic weave trim. Intuitive infotainment screens let you focus on driving. Raise the suspension to clear high snow, or hit “Corsa” mode to lower the vehicle and let its inner Ferrari bellow.
Base price: $92,900

CASEY WILLIAMS is a contributing writer for He contributes to the New York-based LGBT magazine Metrosourceand the Chicago Tribune. He and his husband live in Indianapolis, where Williams contributes videos and reviews to, the area’s PBS/NPR station.

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