Interior view of INFINITI QX80 during winter.


Shifting Into Winter Mode

What Cars Do Best in the Cold?

When winter is around the corner, Canadians contend with a few inconvenient truths. Sure, many of us never truly get used to the frigid temperatures and nasty weather. But aside from that, the thought of getting around in the mounting ice and snow can be a source of anxiety.

If you’re looking to rise above the daunting task of winter driving in Canada, there’s no better starting point than a crossover or SUV with 4x4 capability – something along the lines of the INFINITI QX80. We’ve included a rundown of our luxury SUV's top winter features, which are built to handle the toughest conditions. Keep an eye out for specs like these when choosing the right winter-ready vehicle for you.

A Rundown of the Essentials

Top Features for Winter Driving

INFINITI QX80 with a christmas tree on roof rack.

Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) & Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC)

To give you a leg up on the weather, the INFINITI QX80 comes with a standard Anti-Lock Braking System and Vehicle Dynamic Control. These systems help prevent your wheels from locking up, and your vehicle from sliding sideways on snowy or ice-slicked roads. [[290]]

High Beam Assist

Visibility is an issue for many drivers in the winter. The QX80’s standard High Beam Assist feature can help. It switches off your brights when an oncoming car is detected, and back on again once the way is clear.

Advanced Climate Control System (ACCS)

The best cars for winter have automatic temperature control; set-it-and-forget-it technology that keeps the cabin consistently comfortable. QX80’s available Advanced Climate Control System auto-adjusts the heat based on a number of factors, so everyone stays nice and cozy.

Remote Engine Start

No one likes the feeling of a chilly car the morning that first bout of frost hits. QX80 comes with standard Remote Engine Start, which lets you get the engine and heat running before you hop in. Turn it on with the press of a button on your key fob. [[111]]

Young boy with head stuck out of a vehicle during winter.

Blind Spot Warning

When it’s really coming down outside, being fully aware of your surroundings can be tricky. Winter-ready luxury cars like QX80 offer Blind Spot Warning, which alerts you to other vehicles in the next lane, so you don't try to merge. [[217]]

INFINITI QX80 predictive forward collision warning in snowstorm with poor visibility.

Predictive Safety Systems with Pedestrian Detection

Another standard QX80 feature you’ll appreciate in the snow is Predictive Forward Collision Warning. It watches the two cars ahead, alerting you if one slows down too abruptly, so you can react. If a collision seems likely, standard Forward Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection can apply the brakes automatically. [[207]][[230]]

INFINITI QX80 exterior front profile.

Around View® Monitor (AVM) with Moving Object Detection (MOD)

Busy parking lots can feel a lot more hectic when the forecast calls for snow. Fortunately, the QX80 offers the Around View Monitor with Moving Object Detection. It shows you a virtual 360° bird’s-eye view of your car on the in-dash display, so you can ease into a parking space with better awareness. [[156]]

INFINITI QX80 heated mirrors.

Heated Mirrors

A simple feature like heated mirrors can be a lifesaver when you need to melt away the ice and snow. Most luxury cars offer them as an option, and they’re standard on the QX80.

INFINITI QX80 heated steering wheel and seats.

Heated Seats and Steering Wheel

Once you’ve had these, there’s no turning back. Make sure you consider heated seats and a heated steering wheel when shopping for a winter-ready luxury car. Standard on QX80, both are a must for the Canadian winter.

INFINITI QX80 trail marks in snow showing ground clearance.

Ground Clearance

When you’re shopping for a winter-ready luxury car, be aware of ground clearance. That’s the distance between the underside of the car and the road. SUVs like the QX80 have a raised ground clearance, which means you can take on deeper snow and avoid unseen hazards.

INFINITi QX80 winter tires.

Snow Tires

All-season tires come standard on most cars, and they’re great most of the year. But when you’re in the thick of the winter months, you’ll want snow tires for the added traction. It’s best to install them before it gets too cold.

INFINITI QX80 drive mode selector.

4WD and Snow Mode

Some utility vehicles have special drive modes for different terrain. The QX80 has Snow Mode, a helpful performance setting you can switch on at the turn of a dial. It works with the 4WD system to generate the best possible traction in adverse conditions, so you can simply power through.

What’s Better for Snow?

4WD vs. AWD

As Canadians, we hear about four-wheel drive (4WD) and all-wheel drive (AWD) all the time, but many car shoppers aren’t sure of the difference. These systems may seem similar, but 4WD or 4x4 technology is capable of off-roading, while AWD is more like an upgrade over front- and rear-wheel drive. Both come in handy for the winter weather, but 4WD is the best option if you need to handle heavy snow, mucky backroads, or something even more rugged. Read our deep dive on each system here.

INFINITI QX80 and QX60 side by side.

Ultimate Off-Road Capability

What 4WD Does Best

Unlike all-wheel drive, four-wheel drive doesn’t work automatically. Since it’s a drive mode intended for off-road conditions, you usually have to activate it manually. When you switch on 4WD, it adjusts your vehicle’s driveshafts and axles, while sending torque to at least one front and rear wheel. That helps you maintain traction on tricky terrain – or regain it if you get stuck.

INFINITI offers All-Mode 4WD® on the QX80. It works like traditional 4WD, only it’s a little more advanced. This system can automatically adjust traction based on wheel slippage, so changing weather conditions won’t derail your journey.

INFINITI QX60 parked in snow.

Confidence on Any Road

What AWD Delivers

While four-wheel drive is best for off-roading, all-wheel drive is the ideal on-road option. It’s usually on in the background, and it provides that extra grip on icy pavement. It can work for light off-roading, but it’s generally less powerful than 4WD, so those who venture off the beaten path probably want the latter.

If you own an INFINITI, you have the added perk of Intelligent All-Wheel Drive. When roads are slippery, this system can send power to the front and rear wheels that need it most. When the conditions are nice and dry, it switches to two-wheel drive for a sporty response. If you’re a city driver, this is the option for you.

You can find Intelligent All-Wheel Drive on all INFINITI crossovers: QX50, QX55 and QX60.

Grab Your Winter Gear

Winter Driving Accessories

Naturally, there are plenty of winter driving accessories out there as well, which can help your vehicle withstand the elements. Things like weather-proof cargo mats, all-season floor covers, and emergency roadside kits are all good to consider. INFINITI has a number of accessories like these that help you protect your interior from the ice, snow and slush – and be more prepared in case the unexpected happens.

INFINITI QX80 spacious cargo for winter gear.