A vehicle defines you. It’s your mode of moving in the world, part of your identity, a depreciating investment, and so much more. It’s also your way of travelling to the mountain: a task that makes you want a serious four-wheel-drive to cross the pothole-heavy parking lot—and a Smart car when you finally find a semi-legal parking spot. To help you make the right choice when you’re going out there for a rip, here’s Forecast’s guide to selecting your next vehicle. —ULISES DALTON
WHAT’S YOUR VEHICLE BUDGET?
a) Whatever it takes to get a suitable winter vehicle, my Ferrari sucks in snow.
b) I’ll take a look at my line of credit.
c) My mom just scored me a job as a part-time liftie. How much do they make?
d) I’ve got a couple thousand saved.
WHAT DO YOU NEED YOUR VEHICLE TO DO?
a) My six buddies and I need to travel in comfort for our annual ski weekend.
b) Not much: transport me and my shit, perhaps be a place to crash, have room for skis, I might be getting a rescue mutt, and ideally it’ll make me attractive to potential partners.
c) I’ve never had a vehicle before, but my mom does.
d) Just to get around and do the odd road trip.
WHAT TYPE OF DRIVER ARE YOU?
a) Expert, confident, assertive. I pass inferior vehicles.
b) Laid back. I live life in the slow lane. Or the hard shoulder.
c) Flat out, I got my mom’s Prius to go 120 km/h once.
d) I get from A to B.
IS FUEL ECONOMY IMPORTANT TO YOU?
a) Oil isn’t the only fuel economy I invest in. I’m well diversified. You’re asking about my financial portfolio, right?
b) Yeah, I’m broke.
c) Will my mom pay?
d) Sure, whatever.
A) Frankly, I’m surprised you’re even consulting this magazine when Bloomberg has already written a feature on ski vehicles. It recommends the Bentley Bentayga. It has diamond-quilted leather, stage lighting and a 600-horsepower W12 engine. Gas consumption like that will give you the je ne sais quoi that comes with hastening climate change that threatens the very future of your annual ski trip.
B) With your tight budget and minimal income, you need a solid multi-tasker. A camper van is ideal: it’s reliable (downhill), a home, an Instagrammable style statement, a walk-in cooler in winter climates, it saves water (since you won’t be showering or flushing the shitter), it’s safe from wildlife (even garbage bears steer clear of those smells), and, frequently, it’s a catalyst for rescue fantasies—when you’re stuck on the side of a road, again. You can also park it, permanently, by the ski hill at more laid-back resorts. And best of all: you can typically pick up a stinky and unreliable one for a couple thousand dollars.
C) The bus, sometimes known as the loser cruiser. Much like you, it’s cheap(ish), reliable(ish), it doesn’t mind if you have a couple drinks (or even a couple more than a couple), you don’t have to park it, you don’t have to dig it out of the snow… wait, where were we going with this? Buy your bus pass, then punch a hole right through it, along with your ski pass, bank card, ID, and a copy of your mom’s phone number (in case you lose the GPS wristband tracker Santa gave you). Attach these cards to a piece of elastic on your ski jacket, and zip it all into your safest pocket.
D) Ten years ago we might have suggested a Toyota Camry, but these days you should get an electric tricycle with studded winter tires. Because with fuel and parking price gouging, you can’t afford anything gas-powered. The PEBL, pronounced poubelle in French, has a range of up to 160 kilometres, with a top speed of 32 km/h. Just watch out in school zones, because you’ll be a full two kilometres over the limit. This should be enough to get you home from the hill to whatever housing you can afford—in just under five hours.