18 Comments

  1. Scott
    April 20, 2016 @ 7:15 pm

    Ok, not much better at snow clearance than the Impreza, but…

    VolvoR

    Still a wagon, just German

    A Volvo c30 might be nice too, but smaller, maybe too small if you have gear to haul.

  2. rottenland
    April 20, 2016 @ 7:42 pm

    I was thinking Porsche 911 C4 , but then I saw the foot of snow travel and scratched that.

    To deal with the snow and still have some fun driving, I'd probably get a CX-5 with a manual .

    • Unknown
      April 20, 2016 @ 8:49 pm

      I was at work (classic car shop) years ago, middle of a blizzard probably 10 inches of snow on the ground and plows arent keeping up. Suddenly heard a beep at the back door and theres a fairly new 911. We hadnt plowed at all because we never dreamed anyone would show up that day. The snow was up to the bottom of his door. That guy was my hero.

    • Tim in Chicago
      April 21, 2016 @ 2:57 am

      Guess I could get the 911 c4 AND get a lift, 1984 Paris-Dakar style. youtube.com/watch?v=018OlzFd1BI

  3. Matt Cramer
    April 20, 2016 @ 7:53 pm

    Jeep Wrangler. Not only will it have no problem with unplowed driveways, it makes finding the driveway optional. Not an appliance like a crossover either.

    Although if a Wrangler is not interesting enough, may I suggest one of these?

  4. MC
    April 20, 2016 @ 8:21 pm

    I moved to the Golden, CO area two years ago in May. A couple of stark differences here from Chicago or the Northeast where I'm from… Snow removal here is not nearly as rigorous or thorough as you're probably used to. Most likely because the snow doesn't stick around very long due to the sun and temp variations. Last weekend I got 2 feet by 8am at my house and the unplowed roads were dry by evening. Secondary and tertiary roads aren't plowed unless snowfall is over a certain amount. In two winters I've only seen my neighborhood get plowed once.

    We had a major blizzard this winter and there were reports of 1-2 feet of snow on the roadway in the mountains. My coworker has a lifted jeep was able to get home from skiing but almost anything car height was stuck.

    Mountains highways can close due to weather, and/or implement a traction law:
    codot.gov/travel/winter-driving/TractionLaw

    If you need to be out driving in the snow for appointments, or plan on traveling to the mountains for skiing, I would highly recommend dedicated snow tires in addition to AWD. Black ice is common here as well, and again the road treatment is not nearly as thorough or proactive as what you're probably used to. Once the sun goes down road temps drop and any melt or liquid freezes up quickly. My neighbor has a new GMC 2500 pickup with all seasons, and got stuck in his driveway in 2.5 ft of snow because the bottom layer was slush and the snow was super heavy which hung up the frame.

    Also, used 4×4 and AWD vehicles hold their value here pretty well, you may want to consider buying in IL to save some money.

  5. Johnny16V
    April 20, 2016 @ 8:31 pm

    Jeep Wrangler JK (go Unlimited, i.e. 4-door) is the answer for the following reasons:

    1. Snow problem? No problem
    2. Remove the top and enjoy beautiful mountain air all summer long. It's a different kind of "fun" than sporty handling, but still fun nonetheless
    3. Within your budget, and will hold its value better than almost anything else you could buy
    4. You can probably go wheelin' all over your new neck of the woods, which means you start your new life with an immediate group of loyal friends: all your new Jeep buddies

  6. MB
    April 20, 2016 @ 8:57 pm

    And they make this thing in an Arctic Edition and oh my goodness is it a great looking car. It is even (kinda) on your way to CO!

  7. Hunsbloger
    April 20, 2016 @ 9:40 pm

    They're not so easy to find, but unless you need to haul stuff, go with the Volvo S80 with the V8, its AWD and basically an XC90 without the cargo box on back. Tinding one with low miles is tough, especially in snow country. Before you laugh them off, yoootuub some S80 V8 videos with aftermarket exhaust:)

  8. Eloquaint
    April 20, 2016 @ 11:02 pm

    For the sake of your soul I'm going to vote delegation. Unimog, Land cruiser, willis jeep, whaterver with a set of dedicated snow tires for the 20" and a sports/GT car for when it's not snowing. Trust me, compared to the roads in Illinois you're going to want one. On the practical side you're also halving the miles going onto each.

  9. bubba goat
    April 21, 2016 @ 2:30 am

    Get a separate set of winter and summer tires and wheels and don't drive in the mountains w/out good snow tires. If ground clearance is an issue because of snow, just call it a snow day and re-schedule! I can't explain why but I've always liked the Infiniti EX35 – smallish luxury, realtively powerful, hatchback, reliable and AWD. The Audi wagon above is gorgeous. Maybe a 5 Series wagon? Also – don't buy it here, you'll pay a stiff premium for 4×4 and AWD in Colorado. Welcome to the neighborhood (I work in Golden)!

  10. Tim in Chicago
    April 21, 2016 @ 2:43 am

    Thanks to all for the great suggestions. My current ride is a '08 Saab 93 station wagon, so the Volvo and the Audi were on my mind. But looking at some of the other options (no, not the Unimog, but thanks for putting it out there)like the Wrangler don't seem too far-fetched. I definitely plan on an extra set of wheels with winter tires. Bubba, I saw the price on the Audi wagon, and in Chicago it would cost about 5 grand less for one with similar miles/options. But in Boulder I can probably get more money for my Saab as well, so give some, get some. Thanks MC and the others as well for the good info.

  11. C.J. in Centennial
    April 21, 2016 @ 3:59 am

    As someone that has lived in Centennial, Colorado for nearly 40 years (a southeast suburb of Denver), I can say that the number of times that you truly need to clear high snow will be pretty limited, even being there in Golden and the foothills. So if you base your vehicle purchase on that need alone, you are going to end up utilizing its full capabilities maybe 10 to 30 days a year (and that’s probably a stretch). Now, that’s not to say that having AWD on a “regular” car isn’t nice more often than that, such as with an Audi (Quattro), BMW (X-Drive), Subie, etc.; but even then, if you are comfortable driving in inclement weather, which being from Chicago I would think you would be, you’d be surprised how much you can get around in the winter in just a “regular car”.

    So my suggestion? Spend +/- $5k on an old pickup, Jeep, etc. with 4WD and high clearance for those few times you need it. (And if you make it a pickup, you then end up having something around for when you need to haul a pile of stuff.) Nothing fancy, but just reliable enough to start-up every time you need it. Colorado is “out west”, so there are plenty of good pickups to find.

    _Then_ use that remaining $20k on something that will be a lot more fun tearing up and down the mountains the other 90% of the time, say that 911 Targa you were mentioning.

  12. Paul Wells
    April 21, 2016 @ 4:30 am

    AMC Concorde if you can find one. But it may be so hipster than you will need the hat plus an ironic beard at the same time…

    [img] upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/30/1982_AMC_Eagle.jpg[/img]

  13. Paul Wells
    April 21, 2016 @ 4:30 am

    AMC Concorde if you can find one. But it may be so hipster than you will need the hat plus an ironic beard at the same time…

    [img] upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/30/1982_AMC_Eagle.jpg[/img]

    • Zach
      April 21, 2016 @ 6:37 am

      Or with utility of a wagon?

      anchorage.craigslist.org/cto/5544061669.html

  14. matthewdesigns
    April 21, 2016 @ 5:19 am

    Forester XT for the commute, rest of the monies for something fun when it's dry. I daily an N/A NA Miata year round in Colorado Springs (though it's relatively flat in town), and hoon around in a turbo NA whenever the roads are dry. You'll find a happy medium. Two vehicles is the best solution.

    And you'll want something fun as soon as you take your first drive up Coal Creek Canyon Rd in something slow and topheavy. I got my last speeding ticket in a neighboring canyon…

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