Road Trip

SKIERS DROVE THE POP­U­LAR­ITY OF CROSSOVERS BE­FORE ANY­ONE ELSE FIG­URED THEM OUT. BET­TER-THAN-EVER NEW MODELS ARE THEIR RE­WARD.

SKI - - CONTENTS - By Michael Frank

The new 2018 cross­over ve­hi­cles will take you to the moun­tains and back in a hurry— and in style.

For nearly two decades, the de­fault ve­hi­cle for skiers has been a car-based cross­over. They of­fer a more com­fort­able ride than truck-based SUVs, along with im­proved economies. But all crossovers are not cre­ated equal. Head­ing into 2018, here are three fa­vorites.

VW AT­LAS SE 4MO­TION ALL-WHEEL DRIVE

The all-new 7-seat At­las is mas­sive in­side, with plenty of room for gear, skis and your posse. What’s sur­pris­ing: It cor­ners, steers, and ac­cel­er­ates “smaller” than it looks, be­cause it’s based on a car, rather than truck chas­sis, yet it still has eight inches of clear­ance and two set­tings for win­ter driv­ing. Snow mode damp­ens throt­tle in­puts, so you can get un­stuck with­out spin­ning the tires. From $36,790 PROPS FOR: 72,000-mile war­ranty, best of any SUV; can lock/un­lock with phone app

GMC TER­RAIN SLE AWD

If you drive a lot of crossovers like we do, you’ll be im­pressed by what GMC has man­aged here. First, the Ter­rain is ul­tra-stiff, so you ex­pe­ri­ence a poised, smooth ride. And the cabin is muted via a sound sys­tem that works just like fancy noise-can­celling head­phones. The sec­ond row flips flat, with room for ski gear and lug­gage, and an ac­tive lane-keep­ing/blind-spot as­sist keeps you safer on the high­way. From $30,545 PROPS FOR: USB ports at all seats; wifi for up to seven de­vices

BMW X3 M40I

If you want a sports sedan feel, the BMW is our pick. Its trans­mis­sion de­faults to driv­ing power to the rear wheels (on dry roads), it has an adap­tive sus­pen­sion that stiff­ens in cor­ners, and its 3.0-liter tur­bocharged in­line six will launch the X3 to 60 mph in un­der five sec­onds. (That’s fast.) But it still has eight inches of clear­ance and AWD. The 40/20/40 split-rear seats leave room for both ski and hu­man cargo. From $54,300 PROPS FOR: Ac­tual vol­ume and tun­ing knobs, rather than dig­i­tal ones on a screen

VW launches its brawny new At­las (above) this sea­son, with room enough for seven ski bud­dies and their at­ten­dant pile of gear.

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