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New Subaru Ascent Scores Best AWD SUV In The Snow Beating Audi Q7, BMW X5, And Volvo XC60

The 2020 Subaru Ascent is one of the best all-wheel-drive SUVs in the snow. It beats the top European Luxury models. See how the other Subaru SUVs stack up.

Not all all-wheel-drive SUVs are created equal when it comes to driving in the snow. Some AWD vehicles will handle ice, snow, and mud better than others. How do you determine which vehicles are the best AWD SUVs in the snow? Just ask owners who drive in the white stuff all the time.

SUV shoppers looking for the best SUVs in the snow can check out results from the 2019 Consumer Reports Annual Auto Survey. The 2020 Subaru Ascent scores number one when it comes to owners rating their vehicles. In the survey, owners had driven their vehicles without changing to winter/snow tires and had faced at least six snowy days during the 2018-2019 winter.

2020 Subaru Ascent is the best AWD SUV in the snow2020 Subaru Ascent scores number one in driving in the snow

The Consumer Reports Annual Auto Survey (by subscription) revealed Subaru scored four vehicles in the top-ten models who were rated best all-wheel-drive SUVs in the snow. Here are the Top-10 models starting from number one. Subaru Ascent, Audi Q5, Subaru Outback, BMW X5, Volvo XC60, Audi Q7, Subaru Forester, Jeep Cherokee, Subaru Crosstrek, and Cadillac XT5.

Subaru created a niche brand of all-wheel-drive cars nearly 50 years ago, and they are still dominating today. The Japanese automaker started the small SUV all-wheel-drive segment with the iconic Leone Estate with 4WD. They perfected the Symmetrical all-wheel-drive system on the rally stages and still has the best AWD system today.

2020 Subaru Ascent is the largest model in the lineup and best in the snow2020 Subaru Ascent is the brand’s largest AWD model

Subaru doesn’t have a “one type fits all” approach like most automakers. Every Subaru models come standard with all-wheel drive, but each vehicle gets a “tailored” version of Subaru’s Symmetrical all-wheel-drive system to fit a particular powertrain or model. Subaru’s Symmetrical AWD system remains central to the appeal and capabilities of its SUV lineup except for the rear-wheel-drive BRZ sports coupe.

Torque News reported in 2017, Subaru Corporation is the #1 producer of all-wheel-drive vehicles on the planet beating out much larger Audi for the top spot. In the fiscal year April 2015 to April 2016, tiny Subaru sold 965,892 all-wheel-drive vehicles, which represented 15.3 percent of the global market. Auto giant Audi sold 720,510 all-wheel-drive Quattro units around the world.

2020 Subaru Ascent is the best AWD SUV in the snow without chnaging over to winter tires

Shoppers looking for the best all-wheel-drive SUVs in the snow can check out the 2020 Subaru Ascent 3-Row family hauler, newly-redesigned Subaru Outback wagon, Forester compact SUV, and Crosstrek subcompact SUV models that are rated in the top-10 best vehicles by their owners in the snow without changing to snow/winter tires.

You Might Also Like: Subaru’s Symmetrical AWD Beats Audi’s Quattro By Offering 4 AWD Systems

Denis Flierl has invested nearly 30 years in the automotive industry in a variety of roles. All of his reports are archived on our Subaru page. Follow Denis on FacebookTwitterInstagramSubaru Report. Check back tomorrow for more Subaru news and updates at Torque News!

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Photo credit: Subaru of New England


Tom (not verified)    January 17, 2020 - 2:06PM

The Ascent has a 60/40 torque split front to rear. So more front wheel drive bias. My 2018 Forester XT is a 55/45. The WRX is 50/550. So the Forester and the WRX wins. Man, you guys are Subaru fan boys.

E (not verified)    January 18, 2020 - 12:47AM

So I like the wording using the factory tires. Well the Q7 BMW all have high performance tires which are horrible in the snow. But put the same winter tires on all these cars and we will see the Audi is the definite clear winner. Quattro. Period. Research and u will see about the 40/60. 50/50. Etc...hate these articles.

Neil (not verified)    January 18, 2020 - 3:47PM

In reply to by E (not verified)

Well... the Subarus are still on stock tires as well, which are not made for snow driving. So perhaps spending an ADDITIONAL 20k for a vehicle and THEN changing the tires on it to match the Subaru's capability sounds like a better deal to you.. I'll save the 20k and buy snow tires for a Subaru instead.

E (not verified)    January 31, 2020 - 9:50PM

In reply to by Todd Thornhill (not verified)

Ok it says clearly like u said WITHOUT changing to snow tires!! So what other tires could they be using? Hmmm track tires? Really tires? KO2 A/t tires. Of course they mean the standard factory tires u genius! That's how they are comparing, from factory how it comes! I can't believe I ever replied to you but come on. Seriously? Do u need a full explanation on every detail. It's a Subaru. It's like comparing flying Economy class or First class, yes u sit in a chair and u take the same time to get there but literally no comparison. I still can't believe u saying because they didn't say FACTORY tires it means something else? It's a clear assumption. They are comparing these cars as they come standard from factory. No mods. No add ons etc.

E (not verified)    January 18, 2020 - 11:01PM

K so the comparison is that the tires on a Subaru are basic everyday all season, where as the audi, BMW performance based. So let's do it the opposite way. Let's put these cars on a track on dry warm weather and we'll see how the cars do on the track on handling and turning the point is the Audi and BMW etc...are always going to be better than the Subaru especially the Audi, now the Subaru is a good car but if u want the best as to what this article is supposed to be about then you get what you pay for, you want to get a Subaru you pay less and you get less. After eight years you will see how Rusty the Subaru is compared to the Audi or Bummer and that's where you see your money comes into play the more you spend the better you get, majority of the time. Again this article is about handling what's the best all-wheel drive what's the best drive but clearly the comparisons aren't equal, it's like making a car race on wet road and the other car race on dry road.

Steve Wootton (not verified)    January 20, 2020 - 7:17AM

In reply to by E (not verified)

So let's go one farther seeing you are using the 8 year comparison. I manage an auto and truck repair facility and an 8 year old German car, take your pick of the brand has become a HUGE money pit. Every single one that we see that has more than 60,000-80,000 needs major repairs usually to the tune of $4,000-$6,000 or more above and beyond normal maintenance. So you start out $20,000 in the hole, add in the snow tires and/or wheels for another $1500-$2000 and now huge and cost repairs $5,000 and I could have bought 2 Subaru vehicles and continue driving then for another 200,000 with little to no major repairs. We have one customer that has a 2009 Outback currently at 330,000 miles and the only thing outside of normal maintenance we head gaskets at 225,000 miles. As far as the tires go many of the tires Subaru has used tires(Goodyear Eagle LS2) over the years that have been downright pitiful on wet pavement and worse in the snow. Do some research on the factory tires that the vehicles use and you'll find that it's closer to apples top apples then you think. There are some "performance" tires that do as well as or better than some "all-season" tires on the market. We tell our customers that if you want an AWD vehicle it's Subaru or a European vehicle but expect to pay a large premium up front and over time if you go the European route.

E (not verified)    January 31, 2020 - 10:02PM

In reply to by Steve Wootton (not verified)

Ok. Let's go further like u said. U manage. I own an independent dealership where I carry approx 75 cars on my lot. Primarily 3-4 yrs old. Mostly personal lease returns I buy direct from Manufacturer. So just u know. I buy direct from Adesa and Manheim. Closed dealer auctions that only APPROVED dealers can buy. So yes Audi is more expensive etc... But do you know how many Foresters, Imprezas, WRX ,STI, Legacy 3.6r Engines I have with complete failures. Oil consumption, Oil pressure failing causing pistons to collapse (just happened on customer 2015 STI with 68000kms, thank God for extended warranty, $8k later), coils/plugs always needing replacement due to constant misfires and this is on every 4cylinder. No matter if Impreza, forester etc ... And the XT model turbos don't even start with me and the clothes. Garbage!! U know how many Audi's I've had with engine failure??? In the past 5 years not 1!!!! Subaru? 3 in 2019 alone!! Lol like seriously have your 8 yrs managing a basic shop. I sell Toyota, Nissans, Audi, BMW ,Benz. Volvo. Hyundai. Honda. Porsche. Kia. Subaru. So I've seen them all and I ain't talking about 10 year old cars here and the odd one here. Consistently. Subaru engines. Always. Nissan CVT tranny issues especially Pathfinders, BMW coils/plugs issues, Benz a lil of everything. But honestly Subaru a pain in the ass. I had a 2015 Forester XT. Audio Amp died and cut in and out. So had to replace and of course every 3 years they change the type so to find a used one? Impossible I had to buy brand new from dealer. It's a damn subaur. The amp cost ME LITERALLY $980. AND THATS MY DEALER COST!!! it's an amp for a Subaru?? So to tell me Audi cost more in long run??? How many Audi's I see with 300kms like nothing. Not too many Subs I see past 180kms. Nuff said. Take ure NeXT oil change call I gotta get back to work.

E (not verified)    February 1, 2020 - 10:50PM

Why would I give you my dealerships name?? So u can leave stupid negative reviews on Google? So u can harass me? Lol. Secondly I'm doing voice to text ( if you don't know what that is Google it might be too advanced for you) not wasting my time typing this out so it's not getting my words exactly, I don't care about grammar here, I'm not writing a short story I'm not writing a financial statement I'm not doing my business plan for you I'm just telling you facts based on years of having this business, and I figured having to dumb it down and bad grammar is probably good for people like yourselves with these questions and comments that you are coming up with. Anyway this article is about as useful and accurate as your comments. Uneducated surveyors and surveyees. Annoying how things like this and JD power associates, comsumere reports make people have misconceptions about actually what are good cars and what are bad cars. Anyway keep digging and enjoy your weekend