When the black of the pavement gets covered in snow, and your daily drive turns into an off-road adventure course, we’ve got our Top 5 picks for vehicles to help you survive Reno weather.

1.   2011 Toyota Tacoma Double Cab 4WD


2011 Toyota Tacoma

This compact pickup was born to run in Northern Nevada. When considering power and handling, many thought the base four cylinder output of 159 horsepower had satisfactory performance, but the is V6 model where she really shines. Yes, like any four cylinder you can save on gas when compared to V6, but with 236 horsepower the V6 4.0L engine feels the most capable inside this off-road warrior. We prefer the Double Cab vs the Regular Cab. With comfortable room for up to 5 passengers, the backseat becomes much more spacious. 

You’ll find the best factory off-road performance available in the TRD Off-Road Package, boasting features like a Six Speed Manual Transmission, Down Hill Acceleration Control (DAC), Hill Assist Control (HAC) and Differential Lock.

2.   2010 Audi A4 2.0T Quattro Tiptronic

2010 Audi A4 2.0T Quattro Tiptronic


Having an AWD or 4 Wheel Drive (4WD) in Reno can really be a game changer when push comes to shove around here. That’s why the 2010 Audi A4 made number two on our list. 

This luxury sedan has the fitted interior styling you’d expect from Audi combined with a subtle yet sporty exterior body. Adverse conditions will no longer be in your way with the equipped Quattro drive system. Check out YouTube to see a video of a Quattro drive Audi mowing through 12 inches of freshly fallen snow. The only draw back we found was the low ground clearance of only 4.1 inches. 

With the undeceive nature of Reno weather, you’ll find the versatility of this sedan to be most enjoyable. When the snow melts you'll have 211 horsepower, 5300 rpm turbocharged engine to help make your morning commute a breeze. 

3.   2009 Subaru Forester 2.5X AWD

2009 Subaru Forester 2.5X Limited

You see these all over town. From Sparks to Incline Village, this Subaru model isn’t popular just for how pretty it is. Believe me, it won’t matter if you’re loading up for that weekend camping trip or going down the street to pick up fresh groceries this SUV is the right tool for the job. 

With 8.7 inches of ground clearance you’ll have more confidence when navigating down the snowy mountain roads of Lake Tahoe. All Subaru vehicles sold in the US come equipped with Symmetrical All Wheel Drive (AWD). What does this mean for you? You’ll have better traction, stability, and control all while getting the maximum fuel economy. 

4.   2006 Jeep Commander 4WD

2006 Jeep Commander 4WD

With a boxy exterior styling reminiscent of the beloved Classic Cherokee and enough room for the whole family, Jeep shows us another level of rugged SUV. 

Back in 2006 TopSpeed did an article on the Commander saying, “Quadra-Drive II is one of the most advanced four-wheel-drive transfer case systems available..” Fast forward to 2017 and we still agree. In our drive up Mount Rose this winter we found the tractive capability to be on point, even in some of the worst weather conditions.

One notable feature of the Commander has to be the Electronic Stability Program (ESP).  Doesn’t matter what road or off-road surface you’re driving on, because of sensors equipped throughout the SUV, the (ESP) helps aid you when figuring out how much throttle and brake corrections must be made to keep you going exactly where you want to go. 

5.   2006 Hummer H2 SUT 4WD

2006 Hummer H2 SUT

Our favorite Hummer has to be the Sport Utility Truck (SUT). We love the extra cargo space of the bed and folding Midgate. Just like a Chevy Avalanche or GMC Envoy XUV, once you bring down the power-operated rear window the load floor almost doubles. Instead of just 47.3 inches you get 72.8 inches to load all your goodies. For us it had the perfect amount of space to pack our grill and cooler for a Wolfpack Tailgate.

It’s a little bigger and less agile than the rest on our list, but with a full time 4WD system and 9.9 inches of ground clearance we’ve never had a problem driving through snowy or icy conditions. If you need any extra convincing, check out this Hummer H2 on YouTube plowing its way through snow.


Well that wraps things up with this weeks Top 5. See you later for another edition of CarZone Reno Blogs.