Best Coupes in the Snow

US News

If you’re in the market for a coupe, you’re probably looking for something sporty and fun to drive. Unfortunately, if you live somewhere that gets snow every winter, you know that coupes aren’t the most practical vehicles. But some coupes manage to balance style with snowmobile-like capabilities. Here are the features to look for if you need a coupe that can handle whatever Old Man Winter throws at it.

All-Wheel Drive and Snow Tires

Your first priority should be all-wheel drive, which sends power to all four wheels rather than just using the front or back wheels. Having power sent to all four wheels gives the car a better grip on the road, even if parts of it are slick. While AWD can decrease fuel economy in clear conditions, it is one of the most useful features to have when the weather takes a turn for the worse. Unfortunately, the list of coupes that offer AWD is rather short and those that do offer AWD tend to be more expensive. But if you live in a snowy area, it’s worth the extra money. Audi offers its Quattro AWD system on its A5 and S5 Coupes, as well as on its sportier TT Coupe. The BMW 328i xDrive Coupe and Infiniti G37x Coupe also have AWD.

If you don’t want a coupe with AWD but still want to be able to get to work when the next snowpocalypse hits, invest in a set of snow tires. Even if you do have a coupe with AWD, snow tires may be worth it for the extra grip they provide. When spring comes, you can just put the standard tires back on your coupe.

Ground Clearance

Even if AWD isn’t a priority, you’ll want to think about your coupe’s ground clearance. When driving on snowy roads, you want to make sure your car can glide over the snow, rather than having to plow through it. The MINI Cooper Hardtop’s ground clearance is taller than nearly every other coupe, making it a better option for winter than other coupes without AWD. If you’re interested in a more traditional coupe, the Ford Mustang sits relatively high and offers a similar amount of ground clearance. By contrast, one of the worst coupes to have in the snow in terms of ground clearance is the Nissan 370Z. Although its rear end has a good amount of clearance in order to increase its aerodynamics, its front sits low, making it more likely to get stuck in the snow.

Good Features for the Snow

Make sure your coupe has enough space to store a snow emergency kit. It’s a good idea to keep a small shovel, sand or cat litter, flashlight, ice scraper, jumper cables, blankets, warm clothing, AM/FM radio, water, food items and a first aid kit in your coupe in case you get stuck. These kits can get pretty large, so make sure that your trunk or back seat has enough space to carry all of this, plus the stuff you usually haul around. The Dodge Challenger is well-suited to this task with its 16.2 cubic feet of trunk space, which is more than what most coupes offer.

Some automakers give you the option of cold weather packages and other features that can increase your comfort and improve visibility when it snows. The BMW 128i Coupe offers a $700 cold weather package that includes headlight washers and heated front seats.

Roadside Assistance

Finally, you may also want to look into roadside assistance services. If you do end up getting stuck in the snow, some automakers offer warranties that include complimentary 24-hour roadside assistance. GM covers the all-wheel drive Cadillac CTS with five years or 100,000 miles of emergency roadside assistance. Even if you’re prepared for a weather-related emergency, something can still go wrong, and it might be worth it to have that extra peace of mind.

Below is a chart of coupes that perform well in the snow. Just keep in mind that sometimes the safest option when it snows is to stay home and wait out the storm.

 

MSRP

Available AWD

Cold Weather Package

Cargo Space (cubic feet)

Audi A5 Coupe

$36,900

Yes

No

12.2

Audi S5 Coupe

$53,650

Yes

No

12.2

BMW 128i Coupe

$30,950

No

Yes

10

BMW 328i xDrive Coupe

$39,550

Yes

Yes

11.1

Cadillac CTS Coupe

$38,365

Yes

No

10.5

Dodge Challenger

$24,670

No

No

16.2

Ford Mustang

$22,310

No

No

13.4

Infiniti G37x Coupe

$40,250

Yes

No

7.4

MINI Cooper Hardtop

$20,100

No

Yes

5.7 rear seats up/24 rear seats down

Nissan 370Z

$31,200

No

No

6.9

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