As we all know, Canadian winters can be harsh, so choosing a vehicle that will help you deal with those conditions is essential. Power on all four wheels is helpful as are good winter tires, but there are also some other requirements to make our list of best GM vehicles for Canadian winters.
For example, as much as a heavy body is a downside when you are stuck, it is an advantage in not getting stuck in the first place. Heavy bodies improve traction and break through snow easier.
Ground clearance is very important as well, so this list will not be populated with some vehicles whose AWD makes them capable in snowy conditions, but short ground clearance puts heavy snows above our comfortable level. With this in mind, trucks and SUVs will obviously play a major role in our list. They offer AWD/4x4, but they are also more rugged, have more space between the body and the road and, in most recent times, many of them are packed with luxury, so you can actually enjoy your winter ride.
Speaking of improved luxury, one of the best examples of this advancement is the latest GMC Terrain. The design is far more modern and that grille really takes the spotlight.
On the inside, things are even better – bathed in great materials, spacious and very functional. There is enough space for adults in the rear, loads of storage space and a great infotainment system.
The GMC Terrain has three engines available – 1.5 gas with 170 hp, 2.0 gas with 252 hp and a 1.6 diesel with 137 hp. All of them are turbocharged and give torque remarkably low in the rev range, which is great for winter driving.
Of course, if you are buying the Terrain to deal with winter conditions, the AWD version is a must.
This massive Luxury SUV is just what it should be. Every new generation added more luxury and modernized the theme of the vehicle. It is so good that it has been around for quite a while and seems destined to stay.
No explanations should be necessary when it comes to the luxury and space available inside the Escalade, so we’ll point out the 6.2 l V8 with 420 hp paired with a 10-speed automatic. AWD is an optional feature and definitely one that you should tick. Steering is much better in this generation and that is very important while navigating the huge body on slippery terrain.
Chevrolet Tahoe or GMC Yukon
These two full-size SUVs come with massive interior space bathed in luxury and packed with features. The Tahoe and the Yukon are very similar models, with the same basis and engines and just some minor differences. They are imposing, boxy and practical body-on-frame SUVs and they don’t try to be anything else.
The plush interior with all of its comfort, tech and safety features is driven by a 5.3 V8 EcoTec3, or a 6.2 V8 EcoTec3. They cut through heavy snow with ease, but they are not meant to do any extreme off-roading. However, if you need to tow something the Tahoe and Yukon are up for it with 3,900 kg of towing capacity.
When you say something is a full-size SUV like the Tahoe from the previous entry, you expect it to be the biggest. But the full-size has a big brother in the form of the Suburban. The current one is an outgoing model, which means that it has been refined over its production run so every new model year brings improvements.
The Suburban is quiet, refined and comfortable on the inside and it has loads of space for up to 9 people, depending on the trim level. Even the third row has good space and leaves enough room for luggage. In spite of being replaced in 2020 by a whole new model, the interior is very modern and comfortable, packed with tech, great materials and loads of practicality.
Basically, it is a bigger Tahoe and if you need loads of space and capability, it is one of the best options on the market. And heaps of snow? If the Suburban can’t break through, it’s not very likely that anything else can.
The Enclave is also a great example of modernization and how versatile these new vehicles are. It replaced several vehicles from the previous lineup and brought a stunning new design with sweeping lines that emphasize elegance rarely found in vehicles of this size.
The interior hosts seven seats, active noise cancellation, sleek design and plenty of storage spaces. Access to the third row is improved, so getting in while in your bulky winter jacket is a lot easier. Moreover, loads of trim levels and optional features give you the chance to tailor your Enclave to suit all your winter driving needs.
The engine in the Enclave is a 3.6 V6 with 310 hp. It also has a FWD and AWD option. Of course, you should go for the AWD, which not only pushes all four wheels through the snow, but also features an Intelligent AWD system with active twin-clutch rear differential.
For those of you not in need of tanker-size space, but still looking for a bit more flexibility, the Equinox is a great choice. It is a prime example of the engine downsizing trend that brought us smaller, but more powerful and efficient engines.
The powering options for the Chevrolet Equinox include a 1.5 turbo with 170 hp, 2.0 turbo with 252 hp and a 1.6 diesel with 137 hp. Even the least powerful diesel is definitely good enough for winter conditions, and its top torque available from just 2,000 revs means that it will pull with ease, and without any needs for high revs that result in wheel spin on slippery roads or inclines.
Modernization is not only evident under the hood but also on the interior and exterior designs for the Equinox, as well as in its long list of features. If you want something of this size for the snowy months, the latest Equinox is a great choice.
Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra
Just like the Tahoe and Yukon, the Sierra and Silverado are very similar. They both offer up to 5 combinations of bed and cabin sizes, so versatility of choice should not be a problem. They are also powered by the same engines, including a choice between a 4.3 V6 with 285 hp, 5.3 V8 with 355 hp or 6.2 V8 with 420 hp. Carrying heavy cargo in snow should not be a problem for either of these vehicles.
The main differences lie in the interior, but they are not huge either. Most of the features are the same, but higher trim levels for the Sierra are plusher and the Denali clearly stands out in terms of luxury.
So, when it comes to beating snow, either the Silverado or the Sierra will do a great job. If you want the top level of luxury while sailing through blizzards, the Sierra Denali is the way to go.
If any of these vehicles sound like they could make your winter feel a little warmer (and safer) come in and visit our Fort McMurray car dealership at 530 MacKenzie Blvd. You can also give us a call at (780) 743-2871 and we’ll be happy to answer all your questions. If you want to get straight into the drivers seat of any of these great vehicles, you can also book a test drive online now.