The Top Five Ultimate Ski Weekend Vehicles

By Trevor Dorchies | January 24, 2012
The winter represents different things to different people. Many people pack up and head to warmer climates at the first sign of snow. Others wait for it to pile up so a weekend at a favorable ski resort can happen. If you fall into the latter category of those who enjoy the snow, keep reading. We've compiled five vehicles that are best suited to haul you, your friends, and all your gear up and down your favorite mountain.  All feature four-wheel or all-wheel drive, obviously, and all of them are within reach of the 99 percent.
5: 2012 Toyota RAV4
Perhaps the most affordable and common vehicle on the list, the Toyota RAV4 checks in at number five on our list. Two engine choices are available to power the RAV4, a 2.5-liter four-cylinder and a 3.5-liter V-6. The RAV4 has a wheelbase of 104.7-inches, is 71.5-inches wide, and 66.5-inches tall with a three-row roof-rail configuration. Tread width checks in at 61.4-inches for the four-cylinder and 61.8-inches for the V-6. Put it all together and you have all the power, space, and utility needed for a ski weekend. Fold the second and third row of seating down and 73 cubic-feet of cargo space readies itself for anything needed for a weekend getaway to the mountain. Pricing for the 2012 Toyota RAV4 starts at $22,650.
4: 2012 Nissan Frontier
How could we pass on a vehicle that's advertised as a giant snowboard? Obviously the Nissan Frontier isn't a real alternative to a pair of skis or a snowboard, but ever since Ford announced it would be halting production of its small Ranger pickup, Nissan has stepped up its marketing of its mid-sized truck. The Frontier's 125.9-inch wheelbase serves up a smooth ride with or without a weekend's worth of cargo in the bed. Knowing you have a bed that's ready to hold all the necessary cargo needed to shred your favorite mountain makes that trip even easier. Pricing for the 2012 Nissan Frontier starts at $22,780.
3: Ford F-150 SVT Raptor
Combine off-roading capabilities rarely seen on a production vehicle with the best-selling truck 35 years running and you get the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor. The Raptor's sole mission in life is to navigate all types of terrain just the same as it would on asphalt.  A Torsen front differential boosts the Raptor's grip no matter what elements lay beneath its monstrous tires. FOX Racing Shox enable the Raptor to ride along smoothly no matter what is in the bed on what terrain it's racing over. Pricing for the 2012 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor starts at $43,565.
2: Subaru Outback
With a 107.9-inch wheelbase the Subaru Outback offers up 71.3 cubic feet of cargo space, almost three more cubic feet than the Jeep Grand Cherokee. As always with Subaru models the Outback is all-wheel-drive providing optimal traction on icy mountain roads. The Outback possess a rear cargo area that is comparable to many small SUV's and the rear hatch opens up high enough making the loading of skiing goods a breeze. Pricing for the 2012 Subaru Outback starts at $23,295
1: Jeep Grand Cherokee
Jeep shines when the pavement ends and four-wheel-drive is needed to get you to your final destination and that is why it's number one on our list.  Features like the Quadra-Lift air suspension system and Selec-Terrain make the Grand Cherokee formidable when presented with terrain other SUV's simply can't traverse. With a load floor height of 32.4 inches, piling in boots, skis, coolers, and whatever else is needed for a weekend of carving up the back-country is easy. Behind the rear seat you can fit 35.1 cubic feet of cargo which is good for a few coolers and bags but when you fold the seats down 68.7 cubic feet of space presents itself which is good for multiple pairs of skis.  Pricing for the 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee starts at $27,490. So there it is, our top five vehicles we think are best suited to take you and all of your skiing equipment up and down the mountain. Do you agree? Did we miss something? Tell us what you think in the comment section below.