Perfect Cars for Winter
It’s no secret that we are self-proclaimed petrolheads, there’s just something special about cars and that feeling they give you that can’t be replicated anywhere else. So when it comes to Winter, snow, rain, ice, sleet, all that and the favoured rear-wheel drive doesn’t really mix, unless you like driving in circles!
So here are some of the best options for cars that you can enjoy in the Winter weather, we’ve not included supercars or SUVs, those are for another time, but all of these come with four or all-wheel drive, and some even have rally credentials thrown in for good measure.
Subaru WRX and WRX STI
A descendant of a bonafide rally legend, Subaru produced some of the most iconic rally cars of the 1990s and 2000s. With the legendary Colin McRae behind the wheel, Subaru celebrated WRC Manufacturers’ titles three times in a row, from 1995 to 1997.
Between the 90s and 00s, the WRX was in direct competition with the Mistubishi Evo, but with Mitsubishi basically deciding they don’t want to make exciting cars anymore, the WRX was left on its lonesome. A more modern rival would likely be something like the Audi S3 – an all-wheel drive saloon or hatchback, that comes packed with power and is extremely fun to drive.
If having something a little different is what you’re after, then the Subaru is for you, but the fact that the newest version of the WRX STI won’t be coming to the UK is upsetting. This does mean that the Subaru is becoming a more dated option compared to its rivals also, but if pure driving pleasure is what you’re after, you’ll struggle to beat it!
Audi RS3 or TTRS
Audi has a proud racing history, with their revolutionary Quattro all-wheel drive system basically redefining what a rally car needs to have to be a winner in the 80s. That legendary Quattro system has been refined over the last 40 years and put into both the RS3 and the TTRS, both of which sport the same 2.5L turbocharged engines producing near enough 400bhp.
That 400bhp is delivered to all four wheels in dramatic fashion, with the TT offering only slightly better figures in terms of times, mainly due to its weight difference. The difference really is negligible though, if you stick a better driver in the RS3 over the TT, the RS3 will undoubtedly win, they’re that close.
Basically, the only real difference between the two is which one you prefer the look of, and how many passengers you have. The TT is the least practical with two seats and a small boot but is arguably the prettier option. The RS3 has two body style options, the hatch and saloon, so appeals to a much wider audience, with both options sporting more storage space and seating than the TT.
Toyota GR Yaris
We, along with the rest of the motoring world, have said our piece on the GR Yaris many times already. One of the most exciting little cars of the past decade, Toyota spent millions developing the Yaris into a rally car, which then never went on to rally. We can’t help but wonder how good this little car would have been on the dirt, after seeing how good it is on the tarmac.
The genius that put an all-wheel drive system in a lightweight hatchback, with the world’s most powerful 3-cylinder engine and a manual gearbox needs a promotion if you ask us. The grip is immense, all-wheel drive and that short wheelbase means the car just sticks to the road. There really aren’t many negatives with the GR Yaris, yes Toyota has kept it simple with the interior, but this is still a Yaris (technically), all of the money was spent on making this the most fun it can be, not the most luxurious, and rightly so.
You’re guaranteed a fun drive rain or shine in the Yaris, but the fact it was originally built to rally means it’s perfect for the Winter too. Rally cars are designed to be able to drive in some of the most difficult and slippery conditions, and they’re designed to drive in those conditions FAST. Slip on some Winter tyres and a big coat and you’ll be driving like Colin McRae in no time!
Mercedes AMG A45 S
One of, if not the most powerful of the ‘Hot Hatch’ grouping, realistically you’re getting into a new Hyper Hatch bracket with the A45 S alongside the RS3. 400bhp in a hatchback is A LOT of power, hence the need for four-wheel drive, otherwise you’d be shredding tyres like nobody’s business.
Mercedes know how to make great quality, and exciting cars, the A45 S is the perfect example of that. The previous gen was very fast, and that’s about it, but they have found the excitement now, and the newest iteration is an extremely fun car to drive. The bonus here too is that you can pick how lairy you want to look, you can spec an A45 to look essentially like a regular A-Class, but you can also stick on a big wing and go for bright yellow paint, the choice is yours.
The A45 S has stiff competition in the RS3, but holds its own. With the pricing of the new RS3 going a little crazy of late too the A45 S offers better value, both though are expensive, and very much in sports car territory if you’re looking for a second car rather than a daily. The practicality is a bigger seller here though, the hatchback form factor is one of the most popular nationwide, with good reason, they’re easy to park, pack plenty of space for passengers and luggage and, at the end of the day, there’s just something exciting about all that power in such a small form.
You’ll need a coat for this one. Ariel started making vehicles back in the late 1800s, with a history of predominantly motorbikes to their name. After everything went quiet in the early 70s, the Ariel brand was reborn in 99/00 when they launched the Atom, a track toy that could compete with the big boys because, well, it’s basically a chassis, an engine and some wheels. They made the Atom to be as light and exciting as possible, and if you’ve ever been in one you’ll know they did a fantastic job.
After the Atom’s success, the Nomad was the next vehicle to come from Ariel, with an entirely off-road outlook. The Nomad didn’t disappoint on launch either, beating fully-fledged rally cars around stages and living up to the giant-killing reputation the Ariel had set. We did kind of cheat here though, the Nomad is rear-wheel drive, but it comes with some beefy off-road tyres so no doubt you’ll be smashing the green lanes without issue.
They kept the scaffolding look, which does mean you will need a coat, gloves, scarf, hat and all that to keep yourself somewhat warm whilst ploughing through the snowy fields. You WILL get wet and you WILL get muddy, but you’ll have the biggest smile on your face doing so.
So there are some of our suggestions for some fun in the snow this Winter. There’s bound to be plenty more, with so many cars adding all and four-wheel drive to their model ranges. In short, if the company designing the car has rally credentials, you can bet on the cars they make to be a fun drive. Just imagine how much fun you could have with an RS3 winding up and down mountain roads in the snow, just make sure you stick your Winter tyres on!
If you’re looking for one of these exciting examples yourself or any other car for that matter, why not try our calculator for quotes in seconds, or contact one of our expert concierge team for something a little more tailored!