Smart cars’ popularity has increased worldwide for their futuristic vibe. These vehicles are compact, quiet and, more importantly, consume less fuel. However, I believe you know that a car’s performance depends on many factors like drivetrain orientation. So, you may have a common question: are Smart cars good in the snow?
Most Smart car models, including Smart ForTwo or Smart ForFour, are designed with rear-wheel drive. These cars are not a good option for driving in snow for their weight distribution. But you should be fine if your Smart cars use stud tires.
In order to answer the question, I have cited specific information in this comprehensive guide. Thus, making an intelligible buying decision will be easier for you.
- Are Smart Cars Good in the Snow?
- How do Smart Cars Run in Snow?
- Are Smart Cars Safe to be Driven in the Snow?
- Built-in Safety Feature for Snow Driving
- Things to do for Improving Snow Driving
- Important Gears for Riding on Snow
- Wrap Up
Are Smart Cars Good in the Snow?
Smart cars can handle snowy roads and surfaces but not all the time. The reality is that they are not the safest cars to be driven in snow. In this case, to make them eligible for snowy terrains, install a few gears like snow tires to increase safety.
For example, installing snow tires will help your Smart car to negotiate the winter conditions. Your car performance will improve in ice and snow with studded tires. Finding the right size and high-grade snow tires can be challenging, but the right accessories will help you deal with snow efficiently.
Before buying, note that Smart cars are not built solely for snowy roads. However, they come with a few safety features: an anti-lock brake and electronic stability mechanism. Combining these features helps Smart cars negotiate ice and snow effectively. You will also love knowing these cars won’t skid when braking aggressively.
More importantly, Smart cars are lighter compared to other vehicles. For this reason, gaining traction when driving on snowy roads becomes challenging. In addition, ground clearance is only 5” for Smart cars. So don’t drive with snow more than 5” deeper. During light to moderate snow, Smart car owners will not face complications.
How do Smart Cars Run in Snow?
In reality, Smart cars are always difficult to accelerate in winter conditions. The reason is their RWD design; their drive wheels are in the lighter part of the car. Sadly, weight is also less on them. Thus, these wheels struggle for traction.
Moreover, RWD cars like Smart ForTwo or Smart ForFour tend to be Fishtailing as the drive wheels are available in the car’s lightweight parts. In such cases, Smart cars fail to accelerate properly, resulting in oversteering the car.
However, there is still hope at the end of the tunnel. The traction control mechanism is an innovative feature used in Smart cars, and by installing winter tires, you can conveniently drive them in snow. But remember, they are not the safest and most reasonable option to plow through 5” deeper snow.
Are Smart Cars Safe to be Driven in the Snow?
Now, the burning question is, are Smart cars safe to be driven in the snow?
The straightforward answer is; Smart cars are less ideal than other cars to be driven in the snow. However, if you know how to drive an AWD car in the snow, you will certainly be safe with your Smart car.
Here are a few tips for avoiding winter struggles when on the highways or roads with Smart cars.
- I recommend you add weight to the vehicle’s rear end. Thus, you can add more weight to the axle, sending power to the road and permitting your car to grip better.
- Moreover, learn how to drive Smart cars better in the snow. Remember, practice makes a man perfect and more practice will let you safely drive in winter.
Built-in Safety Feature for Snow Driving
Smart cars have 2 safety features, enabling users to drive them conveniently on icy roads.
Traction Control Technology
The electronic traction control system is now common in Smart cars. The benefits of this mechanism are,
- Keep wheels from spinning
- Prevents skid
- Ensure driver’s control
Anti-lock Brake System
This system is a part of the traction control mechanism. It is a sensor that detects the speed of each wheel. The mechanism consists of additional software for calculating the wheel speed’s difference, helping a driver to determine if the vehicle is losing traction in the snow conditions.
Moreover, it lets the Smart cars brake within short distances. Thus, you can avoid skidding on snowy roads.
Since Smart cars are not designed to be driven on snow, you can drive them on snow with less hassle by installing winter tires.
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Things to do for Improving Snow Driving
Road surfaces become unpredictable and slippery due to snow. Thus, not only the beginners but also the experienced drivers feel the inconvenience of driving in the snow.
To drive safely on a snowy road, here are a few things to improve snow driving.
Give More Time for Your Trip
A short trip is enjoyable and shorter on a nice, sunny day. But during snowy conditions, a short trip will undoubtedly take longer.
Keeping this point in mind, give more time for your trip.
Thus, you will get a little more time to guess the road condition. Moreover, dealing with potential road accidents can easily be avoided.
Always Inspect the Tires
Regular checking of your Smart car tires is significantly essential. This is more important when you drive in the snow regularly.
Your Smart car tires will fail to grip properly while driving in lower temperatures. If you don’t ensure regular check, you will end up with 4 pieces of worn-out rubber.
Make Sure Checking Wipers
Before setting off the Smart car on the road, don’t forget to inspect the windshield wiper blade visually. Replace the set if you find a crack in the blades.
You can test the wiper’s condition following a simple method. If the windshield leaves milky streaks, it is high time to change the settings.
Wear the Right Footwear
You might want to wear big boots during an incredibly bad snowy condition. But they are good for safely walking and are not an ideal option for driving.
So, wear more comfortable shoes to drive in. However, before wearing it, dry your shoes if you are walking in the snow.
Carefulness and attentiveness are the keys during snow driving. Remember, because of the slippery surfaces, the braking distance will surely increase, which can lead to a potential accident.
Early braking is necessary in this case to avoid any collisions. One important thing to remember is that the anti-lock system is less effective in snowy conditions. This mechanism increases the chance of locking your brakes if a sudden slow-down is required.
Stop Driving Aggressively
After pressing the accelerator, your vehicle engine will spin the wheel easily on a slippery road. That is why be extra careful with the throttle in winter conditions.
Be gentle with the throttle to reduce the risk of quick wheelspin. Firmly control the throttle. Moreover, fast driving is the key to disaster in the snow. Even if you are skilled or confident in driving snow, fast driving in snow is worth the risk.
Don’t Drive Beyond Your Car’s Limit
All in all, don’t push your car across its limit on the snowy roads. Forcing your Smart cars to drive through thick snow is not a good idea if you are not confident enough with your car.
Important Gears for Riding on Snow
Being prepared for a potential accident on snowy roads is crucial. Whether going for a short commute, or an energetic drive, having some vital gear for riding on snow can make a big difference.
Keep the below-listed gears in your car while driving on snow.
- Ice scraper
- Work gloves
- First aid kit
- Salt or grit
- Rope or chain
- Jumper cables
- Tire air pressure gauge
- Empty fuel can
- Non-perishable food and water
- Emergency flare and reflectors
- Small car toolkit
- Working radio
Happily, Smart cars are now equipped with innovative and modern technologies to handle low temperatures effectively. The heating and battery systems are incorporated, providing comfort in freezing environments. However, if you live in an area where the sub-zero temperature is common, I recommend you to go with a petrol or diesel Smart car instead of an EV.
Hopefully, through the above discussion, you got the answer to the question, are Smart cars good in snow?