7 great SUVs for winter

2014 Nissan Xterra Pro-4X

Price: $31,950
Fuel Economy: 15 mpg city/20 highway/17 combined
Payload: 974 lbs.
Max Towing: 5,000 lbs.

Mean and lean, the Xterra is an ideal choice when winter work requires getting around in crowded spaces. Despite its compact dimensions — well, when compared wuth some of our other picks — everything from the bulging fenders and off-road tires to skid plates and brush guards says rugged and ready. Roughly $5,600 separates the base 2WD version from the top-of-the-line Pro-4X. But we think it's money well spent, because the price not only includes 4WD but adds such goodies as hill descent control, hill holder, backup camera, navigation system and a Rockford Fosgate-powered eight-speaker audio system. We've also included the optional five-speed automatic transmission for the 261-horsepower 4-liter V-6. Yet this Nissan can get most winter jobs done without breaking the bank.