Is Front-Wheel Drive Any Good in the Snow?

November 9, 2021
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Front-wheel drive (FWD) cars handle well in the snow as most of their weight sits over their driving wheels, giving the front tires more traction. When braking or turning they are just as capable as all-wheel drive (AWD) or 4-wheel drive (4WD) cars, but will struggle to accelerate as quickly.

That being said, a pair of snow tires will even the playing field as they help cars brake and turn - not just accelerate. All-season tires will be found on most cars that regularly see bad weather and while they can deal with some snow, they will grow hard in the cold weather,  struggling to grip and adapt to the new surface. 

Snow Tires vs All Seasons

Snow tires are designed to stay pliable in cold weather and can find purchase much easier. FWD cars equipped with the specialized tires often outperform AWD or 4WD cars with all seasons.

However If you are concerned about your FWD car stranding you in snow and don't want to buy snow tires, you'll likely be fine. Unless you live somewhere that sees snow come up to your door sills on a regular basis or drive on roads that rarely see snow plows, a FWD car should navigate slippery streets no problem.

What To Do If You Start Sliding

Just drive carefully with gentle inputs and stay home if it gets too bad. If you do start sliding, as we mentioned here, let off your brakes. Hitting your brakes in a panic will use up your tires' grip to slow down and it doesn't leave any for you to regain control - which should be your priority.

Your car can handle driving in some snow, just not enough to where it turns into a snowplow.

If you're looking for a car to tackle the snow, check out our selection here.

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