Can You Drive a Ford Mustang in the Winter?

The Ford Mustang is America’s oldest pony car and one of the best-selling sports cars in history. However, for many owners across the globe, it’s also a daily driver. Still, driving your Mustang year-round might be a hindrance if you live somewhere other than San Diego or another fair-weather location. So, can you (or should you) drive a Ford Mustang in the winter?

Can Mustangs handle snow?

Ford Mustangs can handle snow like you should handle a package with the word “fragile” emblazoned on it: carefully. Mustangs are rear-wheel drive (RWD), meaning they send power back to the rear wheels via a driveshaft under the vehicle. That means the pony car and other RWD vehicles “push” the car rather than “pull,” like front-wheel drive (FWD) cars. In the case of FWD vehicles, the weight and driving surfaces are co-located, which balances the car and aids in traction during inclement weather conditions. 

Its not impossible to drive a Ford Mustang in the winter, just like this late model S550 Mustang.
Ford Mustang | Ford

Now, while driving a Ford Mustang in the winter might not go as smoothly as with an Audi A4 or Subaru Legacy, it’s not impossible. Depending on the age of your vehicle, you have driver aids at your disposal, and there are a few measures you can take to prepare your Mustang for winter driving.

How can you prepare to drive Ford Mustang in the winter?

You can implement a few tricks to get your Mustang ready to gallop in the snow. First, seasonally-appropriate tires are a must-have for winter driving. Next, adding weight to the rear of the vehicle can help with traction and better balance a RWD car for driving on a surface with a low value of friction coefficient like a snow-covered street. Finally, be careful when driving a powerful RWD Mustang on wet, snowy, or icy roads; mind the throttle. 

Driving a Ford Mustang in the winter isn't impossible, it just takes some caution and creativity.
An S197 Mustang in the snow | Sean Proctor, The Boston Globe, Getty Images

Do Mustangs have traction control?

Fortunately for fans of Ford’s sweetheart muscle car, many of the latest generations (SN-95, S197, S550) have traction control. As a result, your newer Mustang monitors traction conditions and decides how much power is necessary to help you without causing issues. Of course, many drivers turn off traction control in their sports cars, often leading to accidents for inexperienced or immature drivers. 

According to TrueCar, the newest Ford Mustangs have standard safety features like blind-spot warning, cross-traffic alert, rain-sensing wipers, and pre-collision automatic braking. Still, traction control and newer aids like automatic braking don’t guarantee a safe drive in a Ford Mustang in snow and ice. 

Is the EcoBoost Mustang a good daily driver?

The EcoBoost is a much more practical Ford Mustang daily driver than the V8-powered GT trim or special editions like the Mach 1. First, the EcoBoost is more efficient (duh, right?), returning fuel economy figures of around 21 mpg in the city and 29 mpg highway. More importantly, the EcoBoost’s power is much more manageable for daily and winter driving. The EcoBoost produces 310 horsepower with its 2.3L turbocharged four-cylinder engine and 330 with the high-performance package. 

Conversely, the latest GTs produce 460 or 450 horsepower, depending on the model year. While that power is smile-inducing and makes for a fun experience for those who drive a Ford Mustang GT and lots of performance potential, it makes the car more likely to lose traction under challenging conditions. Of course, that doesn’t mean daily driving a GT is impossible; many owners drive their Coyote V8-powered Ford Mustangs every day.  

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