I wish I was joking. Anyways, I’m ranking the best snow cars within. Come on over and tell me why I’m wrong.
Apparently my place of work got another foot of snow last night and is entirely inaccessible. So... No work today either. For better or worse, I don’t have a laptop. Sounds like the service providers are all out anyways so it probably wouldn’t have allowed me to work from home anyways.
The Miata has finally been outmatched by the snow. I went to the gym this morning and got stuck twice on the way home. All-in-all though, the roadster crushed it this year. And that’s on budget snow tires that are missing half their tread... Next year we try hakapalatias, and hopefully a 3"lift.
My parking lot has about 16 inches of slushy goop, with a few rock hard patches for good measure, and multiple cars have been damaged by falling tree limbs. Including my old Subaru. Spoiler and integrated brake light are toast. One of the Volvos might have been dented, or the dent might have always been there. I was hoping the foot of snow on top would protect them.
AAs for recoveries, here’s the tally.
2 Foresters recovered, one solo and one with a group.
1 Model 3 (rwd) recovered.
1 Volvo owner helped (I gave him my chains)
1 Evo recovered (500 hp and all-seasons)
2 Jeep Liberty’s recovered
1 e30 coupe recovered
The Maxxtrax knockoffs were amazing, and the recovery strap worked great, although I definitely want some soft shackles and a better place to attach them to. The big winner though, was carrying a full size metal snowshovel in the Miata at all times, along with a tiny hand shovel.
So this snow season, besides the Miata I drove a turo Gt-r, a tuned Sti, my old Outback, a 4runner, a Protege5, a brand new Tacoma, and an e30.
The Sti on brand new winter tires was miles ahead of everyone else in terms of snow capability. Absolutely unflappable. Totally unstoppable. Even the low ride-height couldn’t bring the Subaru to it’s knees.
The next best—and I HATE to say this—was my old Outback. After digging it out and driving up onto the snow, it handled the weather like it always used to. Which is to say exactly like any other weather condition. Outback don’t give 2 shits about how much snow, ice, or slush there may be. Outback just go. Outback just stop. Outback boring af, but again, completely unphased.
3rd goes to the Miata. Until today it made it through everything. And it was tied in 1st for most fun with the Sti. Old winter tires, lightweight, rwd manual was apparently the perfect combo to get around safely, but with just enough pucker-factor to keep things lively. Haven’t checked the total snowfall yet, but I’m guessing we’re around 2 feet over the past week? That’s a lot for around here. Damn Miata just wouldn’t quit. And another thing, being able to drop the top and get full 360° visibility is a benefit that I think a lot of people overlook. It definitely saved me a few times though when backing up over tricky spots.
4th goes to the new Taco. 4x4 manual, on whatever tires Toyota provides. It’s heavy, and you’re aware of that at all times. Also, the manual and engine don’t really seem to compliment each other that well, the gearing is just odd. Never got stuck, but had some issues with braking at the bottom of hills.
6th place goes to... The 4runner. Now in fairness, this was driven in the worse conditions by far. But still. Not a great experience. If the taco makes it’s weight known, the 4runner REALLY MAKES IT’S WEIGHT KNOWN. Tapping on the brake with more than a whispers strength would instantly lock them up and send you into a slide. The OEM headlights are garbage. Driving through a windy pass, I’ve never felt so in danger of my car tipping. Supremely uncomfortable feeling. In 4Low with the differential lock engaged, I had no trouble climbing up trails, and I feel like the capability is there.... It just felt sketchy the entire time. The 4Runner being a bit finicky about engaging 4wd, diff locks, switching modes, etc. Was also worrying. And I saw that in not one, but three 4runners.
6th goes to the trusty white Protege5 my buddy owns. And honestly it was sliding all over the place. We had to back up and get running starts to make it up hills, and drift around bends so as not to just plow straight ahead. But we made it everywhere we needed to be! Manual gang.
7th was the Turo Gt-r. Who rents a GT-R to a group of incredibly handsome young men in the middle of a snowstorm, you ask? Good question. She mentioned insurance many times, and I kind of think she was just looking for a payout..? Anyways, as fun as this was, it was stuck more than every other car on the list combined. We eventually parked it at a church, and would just drive our other cars to the church whenever we felt like hooning the nissan. With proper tires it would probably dominate, but the high performance all seasons were hilariously bad. Definitely worth the $25 I pitched in.
And trailing in last place was the e30. I’m... Not really sure why. Same formula as the Miata, similar ride height, similar weight and power. SAME tires even... But we couldn’t get it to stop spinning out. It would catch some ice and no amount of correcting would stop you from doing multiple 360's. The one saving grace was how easy it was to recover.