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The 8 Small SUVs Best For Snow And Subaru Outback, Forester Vs. Jeep Wrangler

What are the best new models if you shop for a compact SUV that can handle the snow and get you to your destination safely? The 2023 Subaru Outback and Forester rank high, but how do they compare with the Jeep Wrangler? Find out from the new report here.

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Which new compact SUVs are the best for driving in the snow? A recent report from iSeeCars ranked the eight best new small SUVs for shoppers this winter. There are many choices, but which new models are the best vehicles to handle the snow and get you to your destination safely?

See why they say the 2023 Subaru Outback and 2023 Forester rank second and third best. See why they rank behind the Jeep Wrangler.

2023 Subaru Outback and Forester vs. Jeep Wrangler

The report from iSeeCars says not all small SUVs are created equal when it comes to taking on all-weather driving conditions. They use criteria like buying a vehicle with all-wheel-drive, anti-lock brakes, driver-assist safety technology, ground clearance, winter driving features like headlight washers, heated mirrors, seats, and steering wheel, remote start, and traction/stability control.

To select the best SUV for snow driving, iSeeCars analyzed SUVs across all sizes. The small SUVs listed here achieved a score of 8.0 or above (out of 10) on iSeeCars quality analysis. The scoring considers long-term reliability, value retention, and the highest average safety ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

2023 Subaru Outback and Forester vs. Jeep Wrangler

Based on these criteria, an iSeeCars Quality Score was calculated. These small SUVs also have all-wheel or four-wheel drive and the right combination of safety features that aid drivers in snowy conditions.

iSeeCars eight best small SUVs for driving in the snow

The 2023 model year vehicles are ranked from best to last. The Jeep Wrangler scores number one with a score of 9.2. The Subaru Outback achieves second (8.8), and Subaru Forester is third best (8.7). They are followed by the Honda CR-V (8.6), Toyota RAV4 (8.5), Hyundai Tucson (8.4), Kia Sportage (8.1), Mitsubishi Outlander 8.1), and Ford Escape (8.0).

The Jeep Wrangler scores higher than the Subaru Outback and Forester because it has a slightly higher reliability score of 8.5 vs. 8.4 for the Outback and a higher retained value score. 9.8 vs. 8.0 for the Outback and 8.1 for Forester.

When comparing the Jeep Wrangler with the Subaru Outback and Forester, which is the better value? New car starting MSRP pricing and the average 3-year-old used vehicle price is where shoppers can save significant money buying a Subaru vehicle.

The Jeep Wrangler has a starting MSRP of $29,725 and an average 3-year-old used vehicle price of $40,119. And with new car shortages, Jeep dealers know the Wrangler is in demand, and some charge significantly more.

The Subaru Outback has a starting MSRP of $26,945 and an average 3-year-old used vehicle price of $34,443. The Subaru Forester has a starting MSRP of $25,195 and an average 3-year-old used vehicle price of $31,934.

We recently reported that Subaru has the lowest average new vehicle transaction price of any automaker at $35,513. Stellantis, which makes Jeep vehicles, has an average new vehicle transaction price of $54,721, near the top of the most expensive car brands.

What does iSeeCars say about the Jeep Wrangler?

“The best small SUV for snow is the Jeep Wrangler. The Wrangler is known for its off-road prowess, thanks to its high ground clearance, which also helps this vehicle maneuver in the snow. It also has optional four-wheel drive, which provides added traction in snow and icy conditions.”

What does iSeeCars say about the Subaru Outback?

“The 2022 Subaru Outback, which also tops the iSeeCars Rankings for the Best Small SUVs, is a top SUV for snow. Every Subaru Outback includes a forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist, and radar cruise control. The Outback comes standard with all-wheel drive to provide increased grip and excellent outward visibility from its wagon-like exterior design.”

What does iSeeCars say about the Subaru Forester?

“The Subaru Forester’s standard safety technology includes forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist, and radar/adaptive cruise control. Similar to the Outback, standard all-wheel drive means the Forester offers increased grip during inclement weather. Upper trims also include hill descent control with X-Mode traction enhancement, which assists drivers in safely traveling down snow-covered hills.”

What is the price of all 2023 Outback trim levels?

The 2023 Outback comes in nine trim levels for U.S. customers; the base trim is priced from $29,620, Premium ($31,920), new Onyx Edition with a 2.5-liter engine ($34,720), Limited ($36,520), Touring ($41,070), Outback Wilderness ($39,670), Onyx Edition XT ($39,820), Limited XT ($40,920), and Touring XT ($43,520). Pricing includes $1,225 destination and delivery fees.

What is the price of all 2023 Forester trim levels?

All 2023 Forester trim levels increased by $550 in price. The 2023 Forester comes in six trim levels; The Base Forester starts at $27,620, Premium ($30,620), Sport ($32,190), Limited ($34,300), Wilderness ($35,245), and Touring ($37,720). Pricing includes dealer fees ($1,225).

The Subaru Outback and Forester come standard with Subaru’s Symmetrical all-wheel-drive, and it’s not optional like the Jeep Wrangler. They have 8.7 inches of ground clearance on standard models (9.5 inches on Outback Wilderness and 9.2 inches on Forester Wilderness) and have all the winter convenience, and safety features that iSeeCars says are important for the best snow vehicles.

For new car shoppers looking for the best value and the highest-ranked small SUVs for driving the snow, the 2023 Subaru Outback and 2023 Forester should be on your shopping list

You Might Also Like: 5 Subaru Winter Driving Features And One That's The Most Misunderstood

Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role working with every major car brand. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press. Check out Subaru Report, where he covers all of the Japanese automaker's models. More stories can be found on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Comments

K. A. SMITH (not verified)    January 7, 2023 - 6:35AM

Good article.
Please comment about the longevity if the CVT's Subaru uses.