Pickups have established plenty of traction in today’s marketplace, and the best trucks for snow and ice are just as successful on the slippery stuff. Of course, it certainly helps when those trucks have a competent four-wheel-drive system, so all of the options on our list do, in fact, have that hardware on their options lists. Most can be ordered with additional cold-weather comforts as well, including heated seats, heated steering wheels, and heated exterior mirrors. But if you do get completely snowed in, some of these trucks can even function as mobile Wi-Fi hotspots, to keep you connected until the plows come. And these trucks are ready when icy conditions strike in more typically temperate locations, to appeal to customers across the country.
10 Best Trucks for Snow and Ice
Photo Credit: Honda
2018 Honda Ridgeline
The very best trucks for snow and ice go beyond four-wheel-drive technology multi-mode drive systems, they automatically adjust key driving systems for optimum performance in different surface conditions. The 2018 Honda Ridgeline, for example, features a standard Intelligent Traction Management system with dedicated “Snow” settings for both front- and all-wheel-drive models. The all-wheel-drive Ridgeline further provides settings for “Mud” and “Sand.” As for other handy content for cold-weather climates, the Ridgeline can be ordered with heated front seats and a heated steering wheel, and a rearview camera is standard. Also standard in the midsize Ridgeline is a 280-horsepower V6 engine, while also optional are Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and a full complement of Honda Sensing driver technologies.
Photo Credit: Ford
2018 Ford F-150
The Blue Oval continues to upgrade the best-selling vehicle in the country, and as a result, the 2018 Ford F-150 is one of the best trucks for snow and ice in the full-size segment. The latest advantage is an optional 10-speed automatic transmission with five driver-selectable operation modes. Needless to say, “snow/wet” is among them, but also in the mix is a “normal” setting, along with three modes for optimum fuel efficiency, maximum performance, or hard-core towing and hauling. Nor is that transmission the only new item on the menu for the F-150. The new gearbox is standard with an all-new 2.7-liter V6 EcoBoost engine, and then Ford boosts technology with available resources like a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot.
Photo Credit: Chevrolet
2018 Chevrolet Silverado
Unlike the best trucks for snow and ice with multi-mode drive systems, the 2018 Chevrolet Silverado relies on an electronically locking rear differential for an important traction benefit. Per Chevy, this gives the truck the extra traction it needs to “power through the toughest terrain by keeping the rear wheels moving together” (instead of independently.) Also, though that differential is indeed standard for rear-wheel-drive models, owners can pair it with four-wheel drive for greater levels of grip. The Silverado seals the deal for cold-weather customers by offering heated seats, a heated steering wheel, and heated exterior mirrors. When it comes to the industry’s hottest technologies, Chevy serves up a standard mobile Wi-Fi hotspot and Android Auto/Apple CarPlay smartphone integration.
Photo Credit: Chevrolet
2018 Chevrolet Colorado
The best trucks for snow and ice in some cases are the same models designed for high-performance off-road duty. The 2018 Chevrolet Colorado, for one, starts with a standard all-speed traction control system specially engineered to maintain grip in snowy or wet conditions. However, it’s the new ZR2 model that’s the most capable player in the lineup. Designed to handle everything from rock crawling to desert running, the Colorado ZRZ also gains two inches of ground clearance to keep you above the white stuff, wider front and rear tracks for a more stable ride, and both front and rear locking differentials (when equipped with AWD). Naturally, the Colorado checks the same boxes for standard connectivity tech and optional heating as its bigger sibling.
Photo Credit: Toyota
2018 Toyota Tundra
Boasting the perfect name for our best trucks for snow and ice, the 2018 Toyota Tundra can deal with slick surfaces in a variety of ways. Rear-wheel-drive trims feature a standard automatic limited-slip differential as part of their traction control systems, for instance, and four-wheel versions are configured with Toyota’s A-TRAC Active Traction Control. A-TRAC itself has a multi-mode controller to ensure the Tundra’s traction settings are a match for the relevant road, or trail, conditions. Unsurprisingly, the full-size Tundra can fill out its content list with heating elements for the seats and exterior mirrors, although oddly enough, not for its steering wheel. Something else that’s unexpected here are standard safety technologies such as automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, and lane-departure warning.
Photo Credit: Toyota
2017 Toyota Tacoma
Toyota’s best trucks for snow and ice also include its midsize pickup, the 2017 Toyota Tacoma. Backed by a firmly established reputation for off-road performance, the Tacoma takes things to the next level for 2017 with a brand-new TRD Pro edition that was developed for “uncompromising off-road expertise.” But that means no sacrifices when there’s slush or snow on the road either, especially since the truck is tricked-out with Kevlar-reinforced all-terrain tires, an automatic limited-slip differential, heated front seats, and even LED fog lights for cutting through blizzard conditions. To appeal to tech-minded customers, the Tacoma TRD Pro also has standard features such as a rearview camera, a blind-spot monitor, rear cross-traffic alert, a 6.1-inch infotainment touchscreen, and an app-based navigation system.
Photo Credit: Nissan
2017 Nissan Titan XD
For a diesel-powered alternative, the 2017 Nissan Titan XD stands out because it not only carries the only V8 turbodiesel in the segment (with 310 horsepower and 555 lb.-ft. of torque on tap,) it also can be configured with a highly capable four-wheel drive system for enhanced traction. Front and rear differentials, a new-for-2017 transfer case, and a limited-slip braking-differential function are all standard, as are segment-competitive tech resources that include hill-descent control and hill-start assist. Another benefit for folks who hate freezing weather is that the Titan offers heating for both the front and rear seats, and that warming function can be paired with both leather and cloth seats, for affordability.
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2018 Ram 1500 Rebel
The most off-road capable version of the 2018 RAM 1500, is the Rebel model which combines 33-inch tires and 1-inch factory lift kit for 10.3 inches of altitude. With that kind of ground clearance, and a four-wheel drive and an automatic locking rear differential, the truck can keep out of trouble in a wide range of winter weather conditions. The Rebel also rocks the latest smartphone-integration technology, thanks to an infotainment system that bundles an 8.4-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The typical trio of heating features also is available to warm up the seats, steering wheel, and exterior mirrors.
Photo Credit: GMC Media
2018 GMC Sierra
Like many of the best trucks on this list, the 2018 GMC Sierra offers a dedicated model for the most demanding road surfaces. At the Professional Grade brand, that’s the Sierra All Terrain X that showcases Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac tires, four-wheel drive with a two-speed Autotrac transfer case, and for more traditional off-road adventures a trail-friendly suspension with Rancho monotube shocks. This being a GMC product, drivers in the Sierra All Terrain X also can enjoy luxury touches such as heated seats, a heated steering wheel, and heated exterior mirrors. The truck shares a common GM advantage, too, with standard connectivity technologies that extend to a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay.
Photo Credit: GMC Media
2018 GMC Canyon
As you might guess, the midsize 2018 GMC Canyon is available with most of the same goodies as the Sierra, so it gets the same recognition as one of the best trucks for snow and ice. To be exact, the Canyon comes with its own All Terrain X package for Wrangler DuraTrac tires, an automatic locking differential, a standard two-speed transfer case, heated seats, heated exterior mirrors, and a heated steering wheel. Standard leading-edge connectivity technologies are onboard with a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay. The Canyon (along with the Sierra and the Chevy Silverado and Colorado) also bring GM safety technologies like forward collision alert, low-speed forward automatic braking, and lane-keeping assistance.