Colorado winter weather makes the national news all the time.  Sub zero temperatures, snow measured by the foot and ice cover roads sound like a nightmare to new comer.  However,  don’t believe the hype.  This Colorado native is proof positive that learning to drive in the snow or in the mountains, takes time, but is worth it.  So, the question is, what to drive when moving to Colorado?

You will need a car with the power to climb

Chances are, you have research and read about the beautiful Rocky Mountains, world class ski resorts and ultimately the best back yard one could ask for.  Traveling along I-70 to Colorado’s high country, elevation goes to 5,280 feet to an astounding 11,158 at the Eisenhower Tunnel and  back down again.  During the summer months, the drive is clear and dry, however during the winter months, it can be icy, snowy and sometimes even closed due to driving conditions.   The Colorado Department of Transportation has crews around the clock that clear the highways to maintain safety.  Colorado implements a traction law that states between the months of September thru May,  motorists are required to either have a 4WD or AWD (all wheel drive) vehicle and all tires must have 3/16″ tread depth.  The law focuses on passenger vehicles, as commercial vehicles follow their own restrictions.

Driving during the winter months in the Denver Metro area is a different story.  Road crews are dispatched during winter storms to clear main highways, secondary streets and neighborhoods.    There have been storms that have closed the city, but those do not happen often.

The perfect Colorado car

Deciding on whether or not you want to bring your current car or buy a new one upon moving to Colorado is a big one.  Driving to the Colorado high country, you are going to want a car that will climb the “hill” during both winter and summer months.  Truth be told, any AWD car/SUV will do fine in the Denver Metro area.  It is important to note, high altitude does effect the horsepower, higher altitude does mean less power, but not by much. And, during the winter months, the cold air may have an effect on your tire pressure.

What does this Colorado native drive?  A Jeep Grand Cherokee, and yes it has the HEMI in it.