Drivetrains and Snowy Roads: What’s Safe and What to Avoid
There’s no two ways about it: AWD is the best drivetrain for driving in the snow. However, there’s a idea floating around online that anything other than AWD is completely useless in the snow. Is that true?
Is it safe to drive a FWD car in the snow? How about a RWD one?
Are FWD Vehicles Safe in the Snow?
Yes, FWD cars and crossovers are completely safe to drive in the snow assuming that you have winter tires and drive carefully. Most of the weight in a FWD drive vehicle is directly above the front tires, giving the drivetrain a good amount of traction. And since all the weight is either above or behind the wheels doing the driving and steering, a FWD “pulls” the vehicle forward, cutting down on oversteer. Oversteer is a likely cause for a car spinning out in the snow. However, a FWD car with worn all-weather tires won’t fare well in the snow.
Are RWD Vehicles Safe in the Snow?
RWD cars are more unpredictable in snowy conditions even with winter tires. And while we love a good RWD sports car, it will struggle on snowy roads. Many vehicles offered with RWD (e.g., trucks and big SUVs) have an AWD or 4WD version. If you live in a place that gets snow, we recommend getting those, without exception. Luckily, AWD systems are relatively budget friendly, usually costing somewhere between $1,100 to $1,400 extra on a brand-new vehicle.
Looking for an AWD Vehicle?
Here at Hall Mazda, almost our entire stock of new Mazda vehicles has AWD. If you’re like for a capable winter driver, give Hall Mazda a call. And if you’re serious about a buying or leasing a new Mazda, check out the local Mazda incentives to make sure you’re getting the best deals.