BusinessWeek’s automotive section recently showcased winter’s best automobiles. Along with the vehicles brandished ↓ and in Part I, BusinessWeek provided some interesting statistics.


SUBARU OUTBACK: BW says: “The Outback has as much ground clearance as the taller Tribeca SUV (which is based on the same platform), and like all Subarus, the Outback has permanent all-wheel drive as standard equipment.” TGCG says: “The Outback is an obvious choice and obviously good.”


VOLVO XC70: BW says: “Ground clearance is almost three inches higher than the V70 wagon, and only a fraction of an inch less than the more imposing Volvo XC90 SUV.” TGCG says: “The previous XC70 was the most comfortable vehicle I’ve ever spent a weekend in, a weekend with snow and sun. I expect nothing less from the new Cross Country.”

AUDI A6 AVANT: BW says: “Besides Audi’s Quattro all-wheel-drive system, the A6 Avant has headlight washers. Standard equipment includes heated front seats and heated exterior mirrors. A cold-weather package of options ($600) includes heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, and a removable ski sack to keep melted snow from dripping in the rear cargo area.” TGCG says: “Much as I love the headlight washers, I stick to the imposing appearance and impressive capabilities as reasons for making wintry use of an A6 wagon.”

TOYOTA SIENNA: BW says: “The Sienna is rare among minivans in that it has all-wheel drive in its highest trim and equipment levels.” TGCG says: “You and your’s and their’s and their stuff will fit comfortably and possibly unaware of the peril outside.”

HONDA RIDGELINE: BW says: “The oddly styled Honda Ridgeline gets good marks for off-road performance in slippery conditions, with a driver-friendly combination of all-wheel drive, traction control, antilock brakes, stability control, and a five-speed automatic transmission that helps take care of most slippery situations automatically.” TGCG says: “It may look funny, but the Ridgeline is capability personified.”

TOYOTA FJ CRUISER: BW says: “Toyota says the FJ Cruiser is the most capable off-road SUV in the Toyota lineup.” TGCG says: “That lineup is freakin’ full of SUV’s, too. Put a plow on the front and take care of every driveway in the neighbourhood. So cool.”

HUMMER H2: BW says: “Features aimed more specifically at Old Man Winter include heated front and rear seats, heated outside mirrors, and remote starting.” TGCG says: “Read my review.”

RANGE ROVER: BW says: “With a single knob, the driver can select one of five modes, depending on the road (or off-road) surface: general, for everyday pavement; grass/gravel/snow, for slippery conditions; sand; mud and ruts; and “rock crawl.” The system governs throttle response, automatic transmission operation, electronic differentials, antilock brakes, the air suspension, traction control, and hill descent control.” TGCG says: “It may be the world’s most impressive all-around vehicle… the Queen seems to think so.”

SATURN VUE: BW says: “The front-drive version, with a four-cylinder engine sitting over the driving wheels, probably provides enough winter traction for most people, coupled with antilock brakes, traction control, and electronic stability control, all standard—plus winter tires, which cost extra.” TGCG says: “The Vue is almost cool now, but not if the badge lacks the V6 and AWD alphanumerics.”

TOYOTA TUNDRA: BW says: “Something called the Tundra better be able to go (and stop) in the snow, and with optional all-wheel drive this pickup certainly has the right equipment, subject to proper tires.” TGCG says: “The Tundra is fast, and will accelerate almost as quickly in slippery conditions when badged 4×4. But be careful, you’ve many thousands of pounds to slow down.”