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What your winter beater says about you


Like the saying “you are what you eat,” the type of car you drive reflects your personality. It’s an extension of who you are, your interests and how you want others to perceive you.

And this notion of self-identification may ultimately nudge you toward one brand over another.

But while most go to great lengths to choose a daily driver that reflects their unique style, you can still tell a lot about a person based on the inexpensive vehicle – or “winter beater” as they are commonly referred to as – that he or she drives when there’s snow on the ground.

Although the following list doesn’t encompass every vehicle that makes the perfect winter car, it reflects some of the most popular beaters and the stereotypes associated with them.

1984-2001 Jeep Cherokee (XJ)

If this is your preferred method of transportation in the winter, chances are you’re a Millennial who received the Cherokee from your parents as a gift when you turned 16.

Though you may have bought a newer Honda, Toyota or Nissan after graduating from college, you keep the Jeep since you’re afraid of tracking salt, slush and other wintry debris into a car that you’ll be making payments on for the next decade.

Why it’s a great winter beater

While it may not be the most glamourous SUV since rust is starting to form around the fenders and below the door panels, it gets you where you need to go in any type of weather. And since they were in production for 17 years, second-generation Cherokees parts are easy to find.

Moreover, the optional 4.0 L I6 is virtually indestructible and, unlike a Wrangler, having a unibody roof and windows comes in handy when temperatures dip below freezing.

1992-2007 Ford Crown Victoria

If a Crown Victoria or its Mercury counterpart, the Grand Marquise, is your idea of a winter beater, you’re most likely a Baby Boomer who often says, “they don’t make cars like they used to.”

While you bought the Crown Vic new and babied it ever since it rolled off the showroom floor, once it hit 75,000 miles you decided to graduate to a Cadillac CTS or Lincoln MKZ.

However, you couldn’t justify trading in the car since it’s in pristine condition, so you decided to keep it solely to drive the three miles to the grocery store and back from Dec. to Mar.

Why it’s a great winter beater

Although a Crown Vic is a rear-wheel drive car, it’s built like a tank and is heavy enough, at over 4,000 lbs., to easily traverse snow-covered roads with a little added weight in the trunk.

And the 5.0 L V8 is built to last, so it’s no wonder they’re regularly still used as police interceptors and taxi cabs.

1993-2004 Subaru Outback

Those who drive an Outback are typically members of Generation X who purchased the car years ago after hearing how much a friend loved hers. And you can’t quite part ways with it because of a strong bond that was forged with the vehicle during many camping and fishing trips.

While your daily driver is most likely a newer Subaru, you treat this station wagon more like a second vehicle than a beater, driving it whenever you can – often more than the new car – simply because it deserves to get used more than four months out of the year.

Why it’s a great winter beater

These cars routinely have over 250,000 miles on the odometer, but show no signs of slowing down. And though they may lack the tech features of a newer car, they’re known for being safe and reliable.

And in the winter, what more could you ask for?

If you have a winter beater that needs a good tune-up so it’ll always start in sub-zero temperatures and never leave you stranded, give Andy’s Auto Service a call at 412-478-9304 to schedule an appointment.


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