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Your top pick car for skiing? - Page 2

post #31 of 437
For over twenty years I've been driving front wheel drive VWs. Last year at the ETU I drove up to the Mountain in my FWD '99 Passat on Monday after the big 4 foot dump then drove home to western PA the next day and passed many AWD SUVs on snow packed I-89.

I drove my '86 diesel Jetta down Laurel Mountain's RT 30 in 2 feet of snow then passed many AWD when RT 30 went 4 lanes.

I used my '81 diesel Rabbit on many 2-3 hour day trips to any number of PA, MD, and WVA ski areas often passing slow moving snow plows.

Then there's my '93 Eurovan. It too has seen a number of deep/slick drives to and from skiing. I usually don't pass many people as the wife and kids are along and the boss yells at me.

AWD is for wimps and I really don't care for ABS either.
post #32 of 437
a FWD volkswagen with snow tires is quite effective. It ranks right next to subaru and audi in my mind.
post #33 of 437
I like my Subaru Legacy wagon (1997). Don't know if it is the "Ultimate", but it might be right up there for someone with a budget. Later on (in 1999 I belive) they did away with the folding seats, so now it wouldn't be so great. I can fit my skis or my road bike in the back of the car when I fold the seats down, so no need for a rack. I have gotten 2 bikes in there, both my mountain and road bike when I was on a long road trip. Great handling in snow, 30mpg, reliable and relatively cheap mainenance-what more could you ask for?
post #34 of 437
the new legacy's are really nice. Volvo also makes some nice wagons and sedans too. If you go turbocharged you don't have any problems with the engine losing power at higher elevations. AWD is nice but not really that necessary, if you are on plowed roads the only benefit it provides is to accelerate faster, going faster is not the way to drive in winter. There are too many drivers that think they are invicible with awd. It will get you going in deeper snow though. All the crazy dynamic stability control systems are nice to have as well. As a few people have said tires are the difference maker. I'm mostly a car person but have always wanted an old toyota pickup too have fun with in the snow and take offroad.
I've got some new nokians to mount up on my focus if it ever starts snowing, can't wait to have snow tires for the first time.
post #35 of 437
Late 80's Subaru wagon.... Not quick, but insanely reliable and great in the snow. I have had an '81, an '85, an '87 and now an '89. All with well over 200,000 miles.... All have been great ski cars! Old, so wet gear inside and the inevitable dings and scratches from sand on the roads are of no concern.

Also had an '87 Pathfinder, fantastic for the same reasons as the Subarus, but with good ground clearance.
post #36 of 437
The Ultimate? I'm thinking Audi A8L or.... how about a Bentley Continental GT?
post #37 of 437
I drive the Legacy GT sedan AWD. Would like to try a new one with the bigger engine.

Used to use a Yukon SLT till the gasoline and wallowing on mountain roads made me quit, but it could sure push a plow and haul a horse trailer!
post #38 of 437
My ride (120 miles round trip daily to the ski hill) is an Audi 200 quattro with the 20-valve engine. Four Nokian Hakkapeliitta Q's provide the best traction I've experienced in a nonstudded tire (studs aren't allowed here) on any kind of 4/all-wheel-drive car or truck. The ski sack holds up to four pairs of skis and permits four occupants in the car, although I rarely have more than two. With four, the boots have to go in the trunk (brrrrrr). We also have Audi V8 quattros in our yard, but until this winter I've had inferior snow tires for them. This year, all our quattros will have the Hakkas.
post #39 of 437
1993 Pontiac Grand Am V6. She may leak, parts may fall off at random (rear view mirror?), and there are some nasty cheeto spots around the wheel wells, but shes never failed to start, even in temps as low as -20 F. Plus, she's fire engine red with rust-colored accents.
post #40 of 437
Glint ... how about you sell your Neon and buy my WRX. Then I'll go get the Volvo S60 and call it a day.
post #41 of 437
1997 Dodge Ram 1500 4X4 w/360 mild re-build... .020 over, throttle body mods, ported heads matched to intake, balanced crank, rods, pistons and square-decked the block, dual exhaust. It helps that my brother-in-law owns a performance engine machine shop and I know how to run most the equipment. It came in handy when the engine blew 2 years ago. The rest of the truck is stock, but, fun to drive this truck anywhere...and I do mean anywhere!
post #42 of 437
My favorite pick is a Cessna 310R or a Beech B 55 Barron with the full known ice option. Why? Very reliable, relatively cheap to operate and very quick to get to the best skiing locations from Ohiya.
post #43 of 437
Dream Pick: Porsche Cayenne Turbo
More Realistic Pick(s): Legacy GT, Audi S4, or my wife's MDX
post #44 of 437
I agree with Ghost (just get a Chevy and put chains on it), but I would prefer one with FWD. I've been going to the mountains for years and front wheel drive is all I've ever needed; and I've been in some dicey situations. Where are people going that they need all that clearance? In my experience if they don't plow the roads you ain't gettin' there no matter what. If they do, clearance is not a problem. We have more snow here than anywhere and I just drive a little FWD car car (Focus) with a box. Works great.
post #45 of 437
Passat Wagon AWD

Its a cheap Audi, and has plenty room.


Thule on top.
post #46 of 437
Originally Posted by Springhill Crazie
AWD is for wimps and I really don't care for ABS either.
AWD is for wimps...and more usually idiots from downstate. That failed physics.

ABS has a bad rap, but modern ABS that is well implemented is very nice to have in the winter. In the older vehicles, I usually pull the fuse in the summer and leave it in for the winter. The ABS usually works well on low traction surfaces, not so ideally on the grippier ones.

What sucks monkey balls is the effect of modern ABS/EBD on pedal feel. The newest cars have some of the worst pedals around. In my book, good brakes with ample heatsink, ultimate brakeforce, and above all pedal feel are way more important than a sprightly motor. Of course, that goes back to me thinking AWD is a stupid waste of money, gas, steel, and performance.
post #47 of 437
I like my mazda 5 wagon which is standard. good pickup and room and great gas mileage. Only thing is I can't get snow tires for it unless i change the rims,etc. I don't mind downshifting but when the weather gets worse my husband prefers his vw bug with snow tires, also a standard. It is excellent in snow. I see too many suv rollovers on weekends. looks scary. Does anyone drive a Saab wagon? I know the bug sounds small but with the seats down and only two of us we have gotten an amazing amount of junk in it including enormous snowboards.
post #48 of 437
Turbocharged SAAB 9-3 hatchback FWD with Gislaved studded tires. Great traction on ice and in snow, utilitarian, no loss of power at altitude due to turbo, good gas milage and comfortable on long drives. I was debating between a AWD Subaru or Saab several years ago. Chose the Saab but it was a close call. Now with the debut of 9-2X SAABaru you can have the best of both.
post #49 of 437
I'll have to put my vote in for the WRX too. Considering the amount of days I spend driving it IN the snow, I am extremely happy with it's handling. Never had a problem shifting through the gears to get the performance I want and never noticed the indoor noise (guilty of loud music playing). Windshield wipers...guess so, I bought new ones. I'd have to say that while the SUV's and trucks are spun out on and off the road, I'm cruising happily along in my 'lil Subaru.

Carry's 2 snowboards and 3 skis, 3 teenage boys, all our gear, clothes, food and a bird...but I'd have to say I'm pretty crafty when it comes to packing the car for a trip!

Used to have a Chevy Safari conversion van and it was definitely roomier and mostly fine, but it would get squirley on me.
post #50 of 437
It would be hard for any car to reasonably beat the WRX STI for ultimate ski car. This is rally car territory, and the only other readibly available car in the states that meets that description is the Evo, and it traded rally for street. With a pair of studded snow tires the STI can drive up a frozen waterfall.

Now, if you extend cars to include SUVs or Trucks the competition opens up. After all, these vehicles were built with that purpose as more of the motivation.

I think subaru has the market cornered on the good ski vehicle. Peppy little engines, awd, relatively cheap, and plenty of space make cars like the forrester XT hard to beat in these areas. Just look at how many people in SLC drive Subbies...
post #51 of 437
I also throw my vote to subaru although my vote goes to the forester which I don't see mentioned yet. (just noticed the turbo version got a late mention int he post above) I'm on my second Forester (first one got stolen). Gnarly drives over Rogers Pass, or Crowsnest Pass or the Coquahalla just get a little easier and a ski box on top and you're good to go. The driving around home just isn't often that tough but the unplowed 1A vs. the rental car/SUV infested hwy 1 is often a nice option. Ski box on top and good to go fully geared up.
post #52 of 437
It's time someone represented for the Trooper. I love my 2001 Trooper. Has AWD and 4WD, and will go anywhere, on road or off. Add to that leather, Heat Seaters and a killer stereo, and it's the ultimate for me. Except for the ... um ... horrible gas mileage. But if I had to choose between 120 miles in my Trooper vs. 120 miles in a WRX (I used to have a friend who had one), the Trooper is sooooo much more comfortable and quiet.
post #53 of 437
Originally Posted by epic
The Ultimate? I'm thinking Audi A8L or.... how about a Bentley Continental GT?
As long as you're talking about "floating" to the slopes... how bout a Maybach? hehe Who's your driver?
post #54 of 437
Audi allroad 2.5 bi turbo V6 engine
six speed manual
cold weather package
flat allroad gray color
studded nokian winter tires
retrofitted front bumper with a 1.5 ton winch (possible?) to get it out of ditches when you have too much fun rallying
some roof box

this is the ultimate. the available clearance of most SUVs, the original awd design developed for military off road vehicles, all with a nice, safe, better handling lower center of gravity.

room for four full size adults and all their ski junk.

it will eat every SUV for breakfast in all road driving conditions, and what ski areas aren't on a road?

for sleds:
Chevy 2500 HD crew cab, diesel
manual transmission
studded nokians
no pick up bed, rather diamond steel plated hydraulic-lowering flat bed for two sleds

the other ultimate.

of course i don't have either of these...yet
post #55 of 437
I guess the ultimate would have to be a Hummer. The original, not that pansy new Chevy one.

Custom hardtop hummer. Room for couches inside, limo style. A wet bar for apres ski on the way home, some flat screens to watch Blizzard of Aaaahs on. Gear storage and go anywhere anytime capability for you and a few buds. Yep, that would be the ultimate ski wagon.
post #56 of 437
The worst is my van. A 1992 Econoline one ton normally aspirated diesel with 400k miles on it. Better have a can of ether and some sand with you.
post #57 of 437
Wifes car: Audi Allroad, very fun to drive and functional.

Mine: Toyota 4runner also functional but not nearly as fun as the Audi.
post #58 of 437
2001 Volvo V70 XC SE
Bridgestone Blizzacks

Comfy heated leather seats, roof rack with a ski box, inside cargo room, wipers on the headlights, fog lights (including one of those extra-bright red ones in back), 25MPG highway, turbo for passing, smooth as silk at 75MPH when it's dry, will go up hill thru anything when it's not(as long as it's not so deep that you would actually bottom out the chassis in snow).
post #59 of 437
Originally Posted by Bryan
PS I'll miss the free ticket for Jeep days. Sigh.
I heard that last year was the end of the Jeep Owner Appreciation Days, so I don't think you'll be missing out on anything...
post #60 of 437
I drive a 04'Nissan Titan double cab. Great truck, sucks on gas. very smooth and comfortable fosgate/Rockford stereo and heavey as hell. just put about 300# of rock salt in the bed and its solid on the snow. I did drive in a new BMW X5 last season in very bad conditions and it was the best driving car I have been in. it has the new suspension and drive system that just keeps the X5 going in the direction you are turning. My friend even tried to skid it out and it wouldn't slide sideways.
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