5: Subaru WRX STI

Subaru’s WRX STI is plenty potent on dry pavement but takes like a fish to water when thrown into inclement weather. The standard all-wheel-drive system makes getting up to speed less of a hassle. Of course, you’ll probably want to ditch the summer rubber and replace it with some quality snow tires because stopping and steering are almost just as important as going in straight lines quickly.

4. Mazda Miata

Yes, it will be cold. Yes, it’s a rear-wheel-drive sports car with a folding top. But, with the addition of a set of snow tires, the Miata is a light and nimble winter cruiser that turns a light snow into an excuse to go drifting. While it might be cold initially, the heated seats and cabin heater will get you up to temp quickly. Sure, you could get a boring crossover, but you won’t have nearly as much fun as you will with a wintertime Miata.

3. Audi RS7

Subaru WRX STIs and Mazda Miatas might be perfect hoon-mobiles, but if you’re trying to hoon and impress valets at dinner, it doesn’t get much better than Audi’s RS7 sedan. With 605 hp and the quattro all-wheel-drive system, you’ll only be limited by how slow the other cars are going (and of course the posted legal speed limit) while you’re hitting malls for that last-minute gift for your nondenominational holiday party. It is on the pricier side -- with new models starting over $110K -- but, 'tis the season.

2. Land Rover Range Rover Sport SVR

OK, you probably knew we’d be heading to crossovers/SUVs eventually. The Land Rover Range Rover Sport SVR packs the snarling supercharged 5.0-liter V8, which should add some extra sparkle to your morning commute. Hell, with 575 hp, even picking up the kids from hockey practice will be less of a chore and more of a treat. Like the Audi, this Land Rover is far from cheap, with a similar sticker to the RS7 above, but think of the time you’ll save.

1. Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk

It would be hard to make a list like this and ignore Jeep’s monstrous Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. The 707-hp, all-wheel-drive Trackhawk sits atop Jeep’s lineup, but that’s because it should. It’s cheaper and more powerful than its other high-end listmates but still costs more than the STI and MX-5. Though, with 700-plus hp, it’s hard to argue with a steep sticker price. You might want to throw on some snow tires because getting traction might be hard with a heavy foot.

Source: Autoweek

December 7, 2018