Not everyone is fortunate enough to have their own ski lodge in the mountains, so most of us need to drive before we can reach our favorite resort. For some, that trip may be a short but technical journey from our accommodation in a ski town up to the lift, while others may have to drive hundreds of miles before they reach their destination.
The best cars for snowboarding are those that offer ample storage space for all your snowboarding equipment while also being able to safely navigate mountainous roads and potentially inclement weather like heavy snow. Excellent safety standards and a high fuel economy are also must-have features.
Today, we will look at the best cars for snowboarders – vehicles that can safely transport you, your friends and family, and all your gear up to the mountains. We’re also factoring in fuel economy because our emissions contribute to climate change, which is already impacting the quality of snow conditions. No snow equals no snowboarding, and nobody wants to live in a world without snowboarding.
Note: All of the cars reviewed are the 2023 base models, and our price scores reflect the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) for these. We’ve not covered features unrelated to snowboarding as these vary widely and impact all of the prices differently.
- Subaru Outback (Top Pick)
- Kia EV6
- Toyota RAV4 Hybrid
- Hyundai Tucson Hybrid
- Audi A4 Allroad
- Volvo V90 Cross-Country (High End)
|Car Name||Overall Score||Bottom Line||Price|
A superb all-rounder at an unbeatable price
|Check out at Subaru.com|
|93||A top performer that does its part for the planet||Check out at Kia.com|
Toyota RAV4 Hybrid
|92||A fun hybrid with great handling||Check out at Toyota.com|
Hyundai Tucson Hybrid
|92||Spacious with fancy tech||Checkout at HyundaiUSA.com|
Audi A4 Allroad
|88||Hit up the mountains in style||Check out at AudiUSA.com|
Volvo V90 Cross-country
A premium beast with all the trimmings
|Check out at VolvoCars.com|
1. Subaru Outback – Staff Pick
Overall Score: 96
- Plenty of storage
- Competitive pricing
- Built for the mountains and adverse conditions
- There’s not a hybrid/electric version
With up to 32.5 cubic feet of cargo space, the Outback can easily accommodate snowboards, boots, and most other gear.
The rear seats fold down for up to 75.7 cubic feet of space, providing even more room for larger items.
Additionally, the Outback’s standard roof rails allow for easy attachment of snowboard racks, so snowboards can be transported on top of the vehicle, leaving more interior space for passengers and any other equipment you might need for your trip.
The Subaru Outback boasts impressive safety standards, earning the highest safety ratings from both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
Its reinforced body structure and advanced airbag system provide increased protection in the event of a collision, while the standard EyeSight driver assist technology, including adaptive cruise control and lane departure warning, helps prevent accidents.
Additionally, the Outback has available LED steering responsive headlights and reverse automatic braking, which can help drivers avoid collisions when backing up in poor visibility.
The Outback has exceptional handling capabilities, making it well-suited for mountain roads and snowy conditions. All-wheel drive is standard, and its suspension is specifically designed for rugged terrain.
Combined with its responsive steering, this allows for confident handling on winding roads. The Outback also has high ground clearance, making navigating deep snow and uneven ground easier..
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the 2023 Outback, with the standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and continuously variable transmission (CVT), has an estimated fuel economy rating of 26 miles per gallon (mpg) in the city and 33 mpg on the highway.
The Outback’s standard all-wheel-drive system is designed to be more fuel-efficient than traditional four-wheel-drive systems.
At the same time, its turbocharged engine offers improved power and efficiency compared to previous models.
Combined with a start-stop system that automatically shuts off the engine while idling, the Outback is a fairly eco-friendly choice for a non-electric vehicle.
With a starting MSRP of $28,300 for the base model, the Outback isn’t just our favorite car for navigating the mountains, beating the competition on everything except fuel economy; it’s also the lowest price on this list, making it an unbelievably good deal.
2. Kia EV6 – Best All-Electric Vehicle
Overall Score: 93
- Great for the environment and saving money on fuel
- May need a roof rack for extra storage
- Relatively expensive
The Kia EV6 provides ample cargo space with up to 27.7 cubic feet behind the rear seats and a total of 53.5 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down.
With four passengers, you’ll likely struggle to fit everyone’s gear in the trunk, so you’ll want to invest in a roof rack, although you’ll find this to be the case with most vehicles.
The EV6 features top-notch safety standards, including a suite of advanced driver assistance systems, such as forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and blind-spot monitoring.
The EV6 offers a 360-degree camera system and rear cross-traffic alert, helping drivers navigate tricky snowy roads and tight parking spots.
While the 2023 model is yet to be tested by the IIHS, it has received a 5-star safety rating from the NHTSA in front crash, side crash, and rollover tests.
As an all-electric vehicle, the EV6 benefits from having a low center of gravity thanks to the positioning of its battery pack.
This improves stability and handling on mountain roads, especially during tight turns and sudden maneuvers.
The all-wheel-drive system and multi-link rear suspension provide better traction and control in snowy conditions.
All features work together to ensure the EV6 can navigate the most challenging driving conditions.
The 2023 Kia EV6 boasts an impressive electric range, with a single charge capable of taking the vehicle up to 300 miles.
This makes it an extremely economical option, especially if you have a significant drive to the slopes.
The EV6 also features regenerative braking technology that helps recharge the battery while driving, increasing overall efficiency.
As environmentally-friendly vehicles go, you’ll be hard-pressed to find one better suited for mountain roads.
With an MSRP of $48,700, the Kia EV6 doesn’t come cheap.
However, the EV6 was named 2023’s North American Utility Vehicle of the Year, so it’s still great value for money, and that’s before you factor in the thousands of dollars you’ll save on gas over the car’s lifetime.
3. Toyota RAV4 Hybrid – Best Hybrid
Overall Score: 92
- Relatively low price
- Good fuel economy
- Fewer high–tech features than some competitors
The 2023 Toyota Rav4 Hybrid offers 37.6 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats and 69.8 cubic feet with the rear seats down.
It also comes with a foot-activated power liftgate for opening the trunk, allowing for easy loading and unloading: a handy feature if your hands are full or you’ve got gloves on.
Ultimately, the RAV4 Hybrid provides an efficient and functional solution for storing and transporting snowboarding gear.
The RAV4 Hybrid offers a range of advanced safety features that make it an excellent option for snowboarders who frequently drive in challenging weather conditions.
These include Toyota’s Safety Sense 2.0 technologies, such as pre-collision warning, lane departure alert, and adaptive cruise control.
While the NHTSA and IIHS are yet to release the safety ratings for the 2023 model, the 2022 RAV4 Hybrid received five out of five stars from the former and the highest rating of Top Safety Pick+ from the latter, so it’s a safe bet that the newest edition will follow suit.
The RAV4 Hybrid’s standard all-wheel-drive system provides enhanced traction and stability, while the regenerative braking system allows smooth and efficient stops.
Additionally, the RAV4 Hybrid features multiple driving modes, including Eco, Normal, and Sport, which can be selected based on driving conditions or personal preferences.
Overall, the 2023 RAV4 Hybrid offers confident handling, making it an excellent choice for snowboarding trips.
The RAV4 Hybrid is an excellent choice for snowboarders seeking an eco-friendly SUV with excellent fuel economy.
Equipped with a hybrid powertrain that combines a gasoline engine with an electric motor, it offers exceptional fuel efficiency, achieving an estimated 41 MPG in the city and 38 MPG on the highway.
This impressive fuel economy will help reduce your carbon footprint while saving you money on gas. Leaving you money that you can spend on more snowboarding gear.
An MSRP of $30,725 is an excellent price for a hybrid SUV from one of the industry’s most reliable car-makers.
While you might not save as much on fuel as you would with a full electric vehicle, there are still dollars to be saved (that can go towards more snowboarding gear).
4. Hyundai Tucson Hybrid
Overall Score: 92
- Plenty of storage with roof rails as standard
- Good tech features in the base model
- Not quite as fun as the competition
The 2023 Hyundai Tucson Hybrid offers 38.7 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats in place and a whopping 72.8 cubic feet of cargo space with the seats folded down.
The folding seats come in a 60/40 design that lets you make the best of both worlds, fitting two passengers in the back with one seat down for your boards.
If you need that extra seat, the Tucson Hybrid’s roof rack cross rails provide additional storage options for snowboards and other equipment.
The 2023 Hyundai Tucson Hybrid is a safe and reliable choice for snowboarders who hit the mountain in any weather condition.
Equipped with advanced safety features, such as forward collision warning and adaptive cruise control, it provides drivers with an extra layer of safety when navigating mountainous terrain or encountering inclement weather.
The Tucson Hybrid also includes standard blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, which can be especially useful when driving in snowy conditions.
Rated 5 stars by the NHTSA for overall safety and a Top Safety Pick+ award from the IIHS, the Tucson Hybrid offers peace of mind for snowboarders looking for a safe and dependable ride.
The 2023 Hyundai Tucson Hybrid’s handling is optimized for mountain and snowy conditions. Its all-wheel-drive system delivers exceptional traction on slippery surfaces.
At the same time, its electric power steering offers precise handling and responsive feedback on winding mountain roads.
Its compact size and nimble handling make navigating tight turns and narrow mountain passes easy.
Designed for balance and stability, the Tucson Hybrid’s handling inspires confidence in drivers on any road condition.
Snowboarders looking for a reliable and agile ride will appreciate the Tucson Hybrid’s exceptional handling capabilities.
The 2023 Hyundai Tucson Hybrid is an excellent choice for snowboarders seeking a reliable and fuel-efficient ride to the mountain.
Its exceptional fuel economy, with an EPA rating of up to 38 mpg combined, outperforms many competitors in the compact SUV hybrid category.
The Tucson Hybrid’s hybrid powertrain, delivering 226 horsepower, provides powerful and efficient performance, making it perfect for navigating mountainous terrain.
With its impressive fuel efficiency and outstanding performance, the Tucson Hybrid is a top choice for snowboarders looking for an economical and environmentally friendly ride to the slopes.
With a starting MSRP of $31,150, the Tucson Hybrid is almost on par with the RAV4, especially regarding price and value.
Ultimately, it’s down to personal preference – while the Tuscan was a bit more spacious with better tech, we found the look and drive of the RAV4 to be more up our alley.
5. Audi A4 Allroad
Overall Score: 88
- Audi style and performance
- Hybrid cargo area
- Audi Pricing
The 2023 Audi A4 Allroad offers impressive storage capabilities, making it a versatile and practical vehicle for snowboarders. With a cargo capacity of up to 58.5 cubic feet, it can easily accommodate your gear.
The 40/20/40-split folding rear seat adds even more flexibility to the cargo area for a combination of storage space and passenger room. The A4 also features a power-operated tailgate for easy access.
The A4 Allroad prioritizes safety, with a range of features designed to protect occupants in the event of an accident.
The Allroad features a rigid body structure, multiple airbags, and a host of driver assistance technologies, including adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking.
The Allroad also offers excellent visibility thanks to its high seating position. While it’s not yet been rated by NHTSA, IIHS has awarded the A4 Allroad the highest possible rating of Top Safety Pick+.
The 2023 Audi A4 Allroad is designed to impress with its exceptional handling, especially regarding difficult terrain and weather conditions.
The Quattro all-wheel drive system provides exceptional traction, while the smooth suspension and responsive steering allow for a comfortable and controlled ride. In addition, the car offers customizable drive modes, allowing drivers to adapt the handling to their driving preferences.
Whether you’re navigating icy roads or heading off the beaten path, the 2023 Audi A4 Allroad offers a thrilling driving experience.
The 2023 Audi A4 Allroad delivers impressive fuel economy, especially for a vehicle with an all-wheel-drive.
The car’s turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine is paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, allowing smooth and efficient power delivery.
According to the EPA, the A4 Allroad achieves an estimated 24 MPG in the city and 30 mpg on the highway. Additionally, the car has a start-stop system, which shuts off the engine when idling to conserve fuel.
Audi’s are known to be on the pricier side, but with an MSRP of $45,900, the base model is still good value. However, it’s worth noting that Audi tends to bump up in price once you start opting for the extra features.
6. Volvo V90 Cross-Country
Overall Score: 86
- Premium features as standard
- Exceptional Volvo safety standards and features
- Very stylish design
- Fuel economy could be better
The 2023 Volvo V90 Cross-country offers plenty of storage for snowboarding gear, with a spacious cargo area that expands up to 53.9 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down.
Its convenient power-operated tailgate allows for easy loading and unloading of gear, while its integrated roof rails offer additional storage space for skis and snowboards.
Whether you’re headed to the mountain for a day trip or a week-long getaway, the V90 Cross-country has ample storage space to accommodate all your gear.
The 2023 Volvo V90 Cross-country prioritizes safety with a range of advanced safety features that provide peace of mind for snowboarders on the road.
Its standard City Safety collision avoidance technology uses automatic emergency braking to help avoid accidents, while its advanced driver assistance features like adaptive cruise control and lane departure warning help maintain safe distances and prevent accidents.
With a five-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA, the V90 Cross-country is a top choice for snowboarders.
The 2023 Volvo V90 Cross-country delivers confident and capable handling in snowy and mountainous conditions.
Its all-wheel-drive system provides exceptional traction on slippery surfaces, while its advanced suspension system delivers a smooth and comfortable ride on rough mountain roads.
With a turbocharged four-cylinder engine delivering 250 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, the V90 Cross-country offers plenty of power to handle steep inclines and challenging terrain.
The 2023 Volvo V90 Cross-country’s fuel economy is impressive for its size and capability.
Its turbocharged four-cylinder engine delivers up to 33 mpg on the highway, making it an economical choice for snowboarders looking to save on fuel costs.
However, its fuel-efficient engine doesn’t sacrifice performance, with 250 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque on tap.
Additionally, the V90 Cross-country’s stop/start system helps save fuel during idling, and its eight-speed automatic transmission provides smooth and efficient gear changes.
With an MSRP of $58,450, the V90 is the most expensive car on this list; however, it must be said that the base model, called the Plus, comes with cutting-edge features as standard that other manufacturers would have as extras anyway.
When it comes down to it, the end price isn’t too far off what you’d pay for the upgraded equivalent of a competitor.
In conclusion, when it comes to choosing the ideal car for your next snowboarding trip, you want to ensure it has enough storage space for all your gear, can handle snowy and mountainous roads with ease, and boasts excellent safety ratings.
Additionally, a high fuel economy is a critical feature that will save you money on gas while you enjoy the slopes.
Considering these factors, you’ll be well-equipped to select the perfect vehicle for your next snowboarding adventure.