Jump to content

Best car for home visiting nurse in New England?

Nurses   (1,226 Views 22 Comments)
by PHNinNE PHNinNE (New Member) New Member

92 Visitors; 1 Post

advertisement

Hello all,

I just moved to Southern Maine and will soon be starting a job as a home visiting nurse. I live in a city but will often have to drive on rural roads in the winter for the job. I don't currently have a car, and I'm looking to buy a used AWD that can handle the conditions up here.

I've been looking at the Subaru Impreza, but I'm concerned about ground clearance. Would a SUV or crossover with higher ground clearance be a better choice considering that I may have to drive on unplowed roads for the job? I would prefer a smaller car with good gas mileage but I am nervous about getting stuck out in a rural area.

Any suggestions for a reliable car/SUV that handles well in the snow?

Thank you!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Luckyyou has 8 years experience as a BSN, RN and works as a RN, CCRN.

15,770 Visitors; 450 Posts

Check out the Jeep Cherokee. Small SUV, good gas mileage, optional heated steering wheel (the love of my life), excellent capability in nasty winter weather. I love mine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

River&MountainRN has 3 years experience.

1,688 Visitors; 178 Posts

I love my Subaru Forester-snow, ice, mud, floods, it does it all!!! The heated seats that I got with my Forester are a boon in cold weather! And I'm averaging 28-30 mpg.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

16,550 Visitors; 1,501 Posts

Mainer here, I commute 50 minutes in good conditions. Never miss work. Ever.

In reality, ground clearance is rarely an issue. If you are looking at a rural road with more snow on it than most cars will clear, It is probably time to head home.

That being said, you can get pretty good ground clearance from other AWD cars, particularly Subarus. The Impreza is probably the lowest.

One thing to keep in mind- Tires. All season tires refers to all the seasons one might encounter in the Mid-atlantic, not here. Even on our Outback, we run two sets of tires. Buying proper winter tires is not much of an expense- your "all season" tires will last much longer, and you will have better tires in any condition you encounter.

And, an emergency kit in the car. Most of Southern Maine is not what Mainers would call rural, but if you are going to be on rural roads, an emergency kit that gets you through a night in your car, and clothing that allows you to walk safely.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not_A_Hat_Person has 10 years experience as a RN.

1 Follower; 37,404 Visitors; 2,891 Posts

I drive a Legacy. Most of my colleagues drive either Subarus or big trucks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

traumaRUs has 27 years experience as a MSN, APRN and works as a Asst Community Manager @ allnurses.

14 Followers; 130 Articles; 185,763 Visitors; 20,644 Posts

2018 Subaru Outback: great ground clearance, 31-32 mpg. I drive 100-200 miles per day in my job and this is the 4th Subaru I've owned. Would never own another vehicle.

This is my second Outback:

I had a legacy but it didn't seem to have enough trunk space. I had a Forester and it was too small, my two Outbacks hold carseats for the grandkids, my turn-out gear (i'm on my rural fire dept), extra stuff I carry in the back for work and still room enough for groceries. Its bigger than the Forester and the ground clearance is fine for up to 13 inches of unplowed snow (I've tested it up to this depth and made it to work on unplowed rural roads).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
advertisement

4 Followers; 17,727 Visitors; 2,727 Posts

I have a Subaru Forester and I swear by it. Although I don't live in Maine I am a Ski Patroller which means driving in the weather, no matter how bad the conditions, in rural hilly areas. That being said I do not switch out to winter tires as it is not absolutely necessary where I live but I believe that is the single most important thing you can do to assure your safety no matter the car you drive. Buy a relatively inexpensive set of wheels and have the tires mounted on them. That way it's an easy switch and many of the tire stores in the NE will store your tires for you (for a fee but totally worth the convenience). If you do get a Subaru make sure it has the "all weather" package which is the heated seats, heated side mirrors and heated windshield which keeps the wiper blades from freezing. The difference in cargo space between the Forester and the Outback is the Forester vertical volume is bigger which means taller things fit better. I don't believe you can go wrong with either Subaru.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

4 Followers; 17,727 Visitors; 2,727 Posts

I wanted to add something about AWD. AWD does NOT mean all wheel stop! I will repeat this. All wheel drive does not mean all wheel stop! The advantage of AWD comes in deep snow and trying to get out if you're stuck. I can't tell you the number of times I've seen people driving AWD SUV's on icy highways at inappropriate speeds only to find them in ditches a few miles up the road. "But, but, but I have AWD" is the first thing every one of these idiots say. You can safely navigate snowy roads in a Honda Civic with good snow tires just as well as in an SUV (and maybe better if the SUV has all season tires) by driving smart. Leave early. Slow down. Know the road conditions. Take your car to a snowy parking lot and practice steering out of slides. Learn your vehicle. I can feel when my car is pushing it's limits because I know what they are and I can slow down to avoid losing control. Maintain assured clear distance. Don't make any quick moves. Don't slam on your brakes. Assume every other driver around you is about to do something stupid (they probably are) and have evasive maneuvers in mind. Do all of these enough they become second nature and winter driving becomes fun.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

LibraSunCNM has 10 years experience and works as a CNM.

24,459 Visitors; 1,098 Posts

I have a Subaru Impreza which was great driving in the snow in suburban NJ and in NYC, but I would probably go with a Forester or an Outback in your case. I cannot sing the praises of Subarus enough!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

City-Girl has 20 years experience.

446 Visitors; 101 Posts

My Subaru Outback performs excellent in the Nor' Easters that are inevitable every winter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MunoRN has 10 years experience and works as a Critical Care.

63,431 Visitors; 6,012 Posts

It's way more about tires than the car, particularly in New England where the issue is more with ice and compacted snow than with deep, light snow. People often assume that SUVs are better on ice and compacted snow, although their weight and high center of gravity makes them poor performers on these surfaces, and SUV's tend to use a drivetrain more accurately described as 4 wheel drive rather than all-wheel drive (yes there is a difference). A not-excessively heavy AWD vehicle, such as a Subaru, with either dedicated ice tires (not 'all-season' tires) or studded tires is usually a safe bet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

4 Followers; 17,727 Visitors; 2,727 Posts

It's way more about tires than the car, particularly in New England where the issue is more with ice and compacted snow than with deep, light snow. People often assume that SUVs are better on ice and compacted snow, although their weight and high center of gravity makes them poor performers on these surfaces, and SUV's tend to use a drivetrain more accurately described as 4 wheel drive rather than all-wheel drive (yes there is a difference). A not-excessively heavy AWD vehicle, such as a Subaru, with either dedicated ice tires (not 'all-season' tires) or studded tires is usually a safe bet.

I just realized that in my first response I forgot to put "snow" in front of "tires". What I actually meant was get an inexpensive wheels to mount good quality SNOW tires on so they can easily be switched when the time comes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
×