Range Rover In Snow & Winter Driving (Explained)

Range Rover may be one of the reasons so many people associate SUVs with status and luxury.

The iconic British vehicle debuted in the late ’70s and over time has transformed into one of the most opulent vehicles available on the market. 

But when it comes to traveling in snow, is the Range Rover designed to handle the conditions?

Read on to find out…

Here is the short answer to whether the Range Rover is good for snow and winter driving:

The Range Rover is the perfect choice for driving in snow thanks to its available 11.7″ ground clearance and suite of safety features. It provides plenty of grip thanks to its Full-Time AWD, Dynamic Stability Control and Terrain Response Control which means you can easily drive on snow-covered roads.

Is the Range Rover Good in the Snow?

Range Rovers offer a driving experience that is second to none and despite question marks over the reliability of this model – there is no denying its winter performance.

All Range Rovers are equipped with a sophisticated full-time 4WD system that delivers power proportionally to the front or rear axle depending on road conditions, resulting in better handling and more grip.

Range Rovers also have one of the highest ground clearances you can find in any modern SUV and when driving in snow – more ground clearance is always better in most cases.

Air suspension comes standard in all trim levels which lets you adjust the vehicle’s ride height.

  • Off-road modes give you up to 11.7 inches of ground clearance
  • Standard driving modes still give an impressive 8.6 inches of ride height

It also boasts a 5 star Euro NCAP safety rating which is the highest rating that’s ever been awarded to any large off-road passenger vehicle.

Equipped with some of the best off-road features and technology available the Range Rover makes light work of snow and ice.

It makes no compromises when it comes to on-road comfort and off-road prowess, and all this comes in a very stylish package with a very commanding road presence.

What Features Will Improve Winter Driving?

Detailed below are some of the features that make the Range Rover an outstanding winter vehicle.

Full-Time Intelligent All-Wheel Drive

Range Rovers use a full-time All-Wheel Drive (AWD) system that constantly sends power to all four wheels. This allows you to get maximum traction on slippery roads and difficult terrain.

  • This means you’ll find it much easier to get moving since AWD turns four wheels instead of two, therefore there’s more available grip.
  • When roads are covered in snow you can accelerate better, with less or even no tire slippage, the vehicle feels stable and doesn’t slip or fishtail.

Active Rear Locking Differential

Active Rear Locking Differential comes standard in the Autobiography models, but can also be added as an option to other trim levels.

It is designed to ensure power is transferred to the wheels with the most grip. 

This improves:

  • Cornering stability
  • Traction on uneven surfaces and during oversteer situations
  • Wheel-slip

Terrain Response Control

Seven driving modes can be selected via the Terrain Response system.

  • Dynamic
  • Eco
  • Comfort
  • Grass/Gravel/Snow
  • Mud and Ruts
  • Sand 
  • Rock Crawl

Each mode changes the characteristics of the following:

  • Engine response
  • Transmission 
  • Differentials and 4WD system
  • Suspension
  • Stability and Traction Control

The Grass/Gravel/Snow mode reduces throttle sensitivity and employs the traction control to keep the wheels under the tightest control.

With the Terrain Response 2 option, you can also simply push down the knob into Auto mode to let the vehicle automatically select the best driving mode for the situation.

All-Terrain Progress Control

All-Terrain Progress Control (ATPC) is another optional feature that’s available on all Range Rovers. 

It’s an off-road, low-speed cruise control system that enables you to set and maintain a steady speed in challenging conditions such as snow and ice so you can concentrate on steering and navigating.

ATPC will also automatically go up and down slopes at a controlled pace and is designed to function between 1 and 18 mph.

Low Traction Launch

Provides optimum torque control when moving from stationary and is designed to improve capability in slippery conditions like snow and ice.

Electronic Air Suspension

All Range Rovers are equipped with Air Suspension which allows you to lower or raise its ride height at the push of a button. 

The Air Suspension also automatically adjusts whenever you switch between different Terrain Response driving modes. 

In the off-road driving modes, the vehicle’s ground clearance can go up to 11.7 inches, giving you lots of room to go through really deep snow and uneven terrain. 

The standard driving modes still give you lots of ground clearance at 8.6 inches.

Two-Speed Transfer Case

Additional lower gears can prove invaluable in challenging conditions, such as when driving in snow, off-road or towing.

The two-speed electronically controlled transfer case provides precise speed and control in such instances.

You may also be interested in our article: How Long Do Range Rovers Last?

Dynamic Stability Control

Dynamic Stability Control is designed to improve the stability of the vehicle, even in critical driving situations, by detecting and reducing loss of traction. 

The system uses various sensors to calculate the placement of the vehicle in conjunction with the road by constantly monitoring:

  • Steering wheel position
  • Wheel speed 
  • Lateral acceleration
  • Vehicle direction

It can identify unstable driving behavior, such as understeer and oversteer and helps to keep the vehicle under control and heading in the right direction by manipulating the engine output and applying the brakes at individual wheels.

Electronic Traction Control

Electronic Traction Control helps your wheels grip the road better by preventing wheelspin when driving on slippery surfaces.

When the system detects that the wheels are ‘over-spinning’, it will automatically apply the brakes and limit engine power.

It is most effective when:

  • Accelerating from a stationary or slowed position
  • When trying to accelerate up a slippery hill

If stuck in snow or mud and in need of wheelspin to rock or power your way out, the traction control can be disabled by pushing the DSC button.

You’ll also want to disable it if you install tire chains.

Anti-Lock Braking System

Anti-Lock Brakes or ABS is an important feature when driving on snow and ice because it’s easier to lock up the wheels and start sliding while braking when the tires have less grip.

ABS prevents this by quickly pumping the brakes on and off many times a second to keep the wheels turning until the car comes to a complete stop. 

Electronic Brake Force Distribution

EBD ensures the right amount of brake force is applied to each wheel, this helps significantly reduce the risk of:

  • Brake lock-up
  • Fishtailing
  • Skidding

Since braking is more effective on vehicles with EBD, you will also notice a reduction in stopping distance.

Emergency Braking Assist

Emergency Brake Assist uses cameras to help to prevent collisions with other vehicles or pedestrians by displaying a warning which gives you time to take action.

If you don’t react quickly enough, it will also automatically apply the brakes for you. 

Adaptive Dynamics and Dynamic Response

Adaptive Dynamics monitors your driving inputs and road conditions up to 500 times a second and automatically adjusts the suspension dampers to keep the vehicle composed and minimize body roll. 

This gives you better handling and stability in all road conditions but is also quite useful in the winter because it keeps the car settled and in control.

Dynamic Response is another system that reduces body roll and improves handling. But instead of changing the damper settings, it adjusts the vehicle’s anti-roll bar.

When driving off-road, it will also increase the articulation of the wheels so that the tires can still reach the ground when the body leans at an awkward angle.

Heated Mirrors, Glass and Creature Comforts

The Range Rovers comes standard with a lot of heated amenities such as:

  • Heated front and rear seats
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Heated side mirrors
  • Heated front and rear glass

The Executive Class Comfort Plus option gives you heated armrests, calf rests and foot rests in the rear.

All Range Rovers also come with a three-zone climate control system, as well as an optional 4-zone system.

Remote Engine Start

All Range Rovers come with a remote start feature which can be accessed via the Land Rover InControl app on your smartphone.

This allows you to turn on the engine and turn on the climate control to the desired temperature even while you’re far away from the vehicle. 

Does the Range Rover Have Snow Mode?

All modern Range Rovers come with a Snow Mode specifically labeled as Grass/Gravel/Snow as part of its Terrain Response system.

This reduces the throttle response and starts the transmission in second gear to limit wheelspin when moving from a standstill. 

It’s the best mode for daily driving around town and cruising on highways during the winter. 

You may also be interested in our article: BMW X5 in Snow & Winter Driving

Can You Install Additional Snow Gear on a Range Rover?

Many owners want to take advantage of the Range Rover’s off-road capabilities so you’ll have no problem finding OEM and aftermarket accessories to make it a better winter vehicle. 

  • Winter tires
  • Snow chains
  • Outdoor car cover
  • Rubber floor mats
  • Ski & Snowboard Racks
  • Tire cables
  • Snow socks
  • Engine block heater
  • Roof racks

How Much Snow Can a Range Rover Handle?

The Range Rover has one of the best ground clearances in its class. 

When the air suspension is set to its highest position, it can easily go through 11 inches of snow and not have to worry about damaging the underside of the vehicle.

You can go through deeper sections of snow but this can easily damage your bumper and you’re at a much higher risk of getting stuck. So it should be done with utmost care and only for very short periods of time. 

How Does the Range Rover Handle Low Winter Temperatures?

Jaguar-Land Rover has a winter test facility in Minnesota where temperatures drop to below freezing during the winter. 

This allows the company to fully test the Range Rover’s different drivetrain components and accessories before they’re introduced to the market. 

If you want to make sure your Range Rover is fully prepared for extreme winter temperatures, here are a couple of things you can do:

  • Switch to cold-weather rated engine oil
  • Make sure the cooling system is using antifreeze and not water
  • Use windshield washer fluid that won’t freeze
  • Make sure your battery is in good condition
  • Use a battery tender when parked in the garage
  • Clean out any corrosion that forms on the battery terminals
  • Switch to proper winter tires
  • Install an engine block heater

Can a Range Rover Drive on Ice?

The Range Rover can safely drive on ice with its intelligent 4WD system, stability and traction control, and advanced braking systems always working to keep you from losing control.

If you frequently deal with ice on your commute, you’ll need winter tires or even studded tires to keep you safe on the road.

Range Rovers are also regularly used in Land Rover’s Ice Driving Academy in Sweden where owners can truly explore the winter driving capabilities of their vehicles. 

Related: 3 Most Common Problems With Range Rovers (Explained)

What About Older Range Rovers And Winter Driving?

The latest Range Rover models all use the 4th generation Range Rover platform that dates back to the 2013 model year. 

Although it’s seen a couple of engine and exterior upgrades over the years, the older 4th gen models will have the same winter performance as the latest models.

All-Terrain Progress Control was only introduced in the 2015 model year, but this isn’t really a deal breaker considering all the other off-road features that the 4th gen Range Rover came with.

If you’re looking at older generations, here are some of the major changes introduced over the years:

  • 2006 – Terrain Response was first introduced in the 3rd generation Range Rover 
  • 2001 – Launch of the 3rd generation Range Rover
  • 1994 – Launch of the 2nd generation Range Rover
  • 1992 – Electronic Air Suspension and Traction Control was added 
  • 1989 – ABS was introduced

All Range Rovers dating back to the very first model in 1970 came with 4WD, so they should all do fairly well in the snow. 

If you want more safety features and driver aids, you should stick to the 2006 and newer model years. 

Do Range Rovers Need Snow Tires?

If you only have to deal with a handful of light snow days in the winter, you can keep using the stock all-season tires.

For harsher winters though, you’ll definitely need to equip your Range Rover with a good set of winter tires.

Winter tires are proven to significantly improve handling and stopping distances in winter driving conditions.

  • The compound is made to grip the road better in lower temperatures as it remains soft and flexible in cold weather.
  • The tread pattern is designed to push the snow out from underneath the tire.
  • Have a deep tread for added reliability

Please also read our article: Acura RDX in Snow & Winter Driving

Can You Mount A Snow Plow on a Range Rover?

Newer generations of the Range Rover won’t be able to stand the abuse that a snow plow will put on its chassis and drivetrain. 

The first and second-generation Range Rovers used a body-on-frame design and stronger solid axles which are more suitable for snow plowing duties.

Winter Checklist

  • Shovel
  • De-icer
  • Heavy-duty jumper cables
  • Flashlight (with spare batteries)
  • First aid kit
  • Windshield scraper
  • High-energy food and drink
  • Safety triangles
  • Matches
  • Tow rope
  • Blanket

Towards the end of autumn, book a pre-winter check at your local Land Rover Retailer







  • Ian Sawyer

    Growing up with a father who was a mechanic I had an appreciation for cars and motorcycles from an early age. I shared my first bike with my brother that had little more than a 40cc engine but it opened up a world of excitement for me, I was hooked. As I grew older I progressed onto bigger bikes and...