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We can’t control the weather, and with winter right around the corner, there is a good chance the white stuff will soon be falling and settling on our roads!

Pickup trucks are designed to tackle harsh terrain that other vehicles would typically struggle with. But the main question is, how do they fare on snow?

To answer the question, pickup trucks handle snow well. However, it depends on several factors and the vehicle’s features. For example, here are the basic essentials that should be considered for decent snow performance:

  • All-wheel drive or four-wheel-drive capabilities.
  • All-season or snow tyres.
  • Decent ground clearance.
  • The anti-lock braking (to prevent skidding).
  • Electronic stability control.
  • Even weight distribution.

With so many pickup trucks to choose from and winter knocking on our door, how do we know which is best for snowy conditions?

We are here to help answer this question with our top 2 picks, and the good news is, we have these trucks available to you!

But first, let’s provide more information on what other tech and specifications we should consider for snowy conditions.

What Specifications & Features Make A Pickup Truck Good In Snow?

Without a doubt, pickups need the required technology to make them safe for driving in the snow. Understanding these technologies and whether they are activated is imperative.
For example, some pickups require the driver to initiate the 4×4 system. A powerful truck lacking sufficient grip in snow can make for hazardous driving conditions.

There is plenty to know about pickups, their technologies, and also how you can personally equip them for even safer winter traveling.

Here are a few things to consider:

Difference between all-wheel drive & four-wheel drive

On slippery conditions, having all four wheels doing the driving improves traction. Therefore this provides more control and safer driving conditions.

The all-wheel drive option typically works automatically on pickups. This means all four wheels are being driven at once by default. Depending on sophistication, some systems can independently adjust each wheel to provide the required torque to further improve traction.

Pickups with four-wheel drive capabilities usually have to be initiated by the driver. All the wheels turn with the same applied torque. The point is don’t forget to turn it on in snowy conditions!

If your truck is only two-wheel drive, then don’t be disappointed with its lack of performance on snow (especially if it is rear-wheel drive).

Single cab vs double cab performance

Traditionally, truck owners wanted to maximize the bed area to carry larger loads. Typically this meant most of the weight being distributed towards the rear axles.

Recently though, these trucks have been used also as family vehicles. In came the double cab option with rear seats and generous legroom. This meant a compromise in the rear bed size and a more evenly weighted distribution along the length of the vehicle.

The more even the distribution, the more even the traction on each wheel. As a result, this means having more control.

Remove standard tyres for snow tyres

What you don’t want to do is drive on snow with regular or standard tyres.

Although tyres aren’t considered tech, there is some technology that goes into snow tyres. For example, snow tyres have a tread compound that’s designed to get harder as the temperature drops. This helps provide a better grip over heavy snow, slush, and ice.

These tyres can be pricey. So if you don’t want to spend too much, the alternative is snow chains. They are cheaper and far easier to fit than having to swap out tyres for 3-4 months of the year!

Ground clearance requirements

Unplowed snow is a nuisance for most vehicles. Unless you have a lift kit to slice the snow away from the underside of the vehicle, you may experience problems.

The advantage of pickups is they win when it comes to ground clearance. The undercarriage of this type of vehicle can be as much as 300mm off the ground. The greater the ground clearance, the less interference the snow has to the underside of the vehicle.

Now that we have a better understanding of the basic requirements for snow driving, we move on to the pickup trucks we feel do fantastically well on snow.

Make sure you keep reading because some of the features these trucks are equipped with are unbelievable!

#1 Ford Ranger Wildtrak – Best Seller Pickup

Our #1 pick has to be the Ford Ranger Wildtrak. As the model name suggests, it is all about taking on challenging tracks and doing it with ease.

This beast of a machine has a 4WD capability which is a must for tackling snow and icy conditions.

Complimenting the 4WD is its Traction Control System. Although 4WD improves traction in slippery conditions, wheelspin is still possible.

This is where Traction Control comes to play. The system senses if a wheel is spinning at a higher-than-required rate and adjusts for that to prevent the spin and regain traction.

Another feature Wildtrak has that is similar to Traction Control is its Electronic Stability Control (ESC). This feature, again, uses sensors. It monitors wheel speed, line of driving, and vehicle acceleration.

Essentially ESC monitors this data and tries to predict any loss of control. In the event of control loss, the system makes brake adjustments independently to each wheel, while reducing torque from the engine. This significantly reduces the chance of skidding, swerving, and even overturning.

Features the Wildtrak has:

  • 3 Drive Configurations
  • Anti-Lock Braking
  • Hill Descent Control
  • Hill Start Assist
  • Electronic Stability Control
  • Traction Control

Ground Clearance: 229mm

#2 Toyota Hilux Invincible X – A More Affordable Option

Second, on the list is the Toyota Hilux Invincible X. The capabilities of what this truck can do is also indicated in the model’s name.

This beast has three drive configurations. This provides even more 4×4 driving settings to suit the specific type of snowy conditions you are in.

These include:

  • Low gear 2-wheel drive
  • Low gear 4-wheel drive
  • High gear 4-wheel drive

Like the Ford Wildtrak, the Invincible X is designed for off-road capabilities. Luckily, being able to tackle the challenges of off-road conditions, means being able to handle snow. Come to think of it, what about handling off-road snowy conditions?

A 212mm ground clearance is ample for the snowiest of days on UK roads. However, it’s not just about ground clearance, but more so about approach and departure angles that will save the day. This is especially true when going off-road on rocky or snowy (or both) terrain.

You will notice that Invincible X has an approach angle of 29° and a departure angle of between 25-27°. These angles avoid hitting obstacles and funnel snow under and through the vehicle more efficiently. This greatly reduces the chances of the truck getting stuck.

Features the Invincible X has:

  • 3 Drive Configurations
  • Anti-Lock Braking
  • Hill Start Assist
  • Downhill Assist Control
  • Traction Control
  • Vehicle Stability Control
  • Ground Clearance: 212mm