What is a cheap car that is good in the snow?
I would recommend something with front wheel drive, to have the weight of the engine on the axle that has the traction... beyond that, it's a toss up as far as I know...
Definitely front-wheel drive, but you want a car with a high aspect ratio (narrow) tires. Wide tires are great for handling on drive payment, but are utterly worthless in the snow. So, avoid the high-performance version of any particular car (too many to list here), make sure the car has traction control and second-gear startup capability if it's an automatic.