You Might Want To Avoid These Cars For Snow Driving

It seems like a blanket statement, but there are cars out there that show their distaste for snow more so than others, like the Mazda MX-5 Miata. It might seem obvious, but there are specific reasons why cars like the Miata and the beloved Chevrolet Corvette are snow-phobic. Here are some examples of cars to avoid driving in the snow unless you must. Of course, any of these vehicles can perform much better in the snow with dedicated snow tires.

  • Mazda MX-5 Miata
  • Chevrolet Corvette
  • Nissan Z
  • Honorable Mention: Any classic car

Is Mazda MX-5 Miata good in snow?

While the Mazda MX-5 Miata isn’t a crash waiting to happen, the sports car’s light weight and rear-wheel drive (RWD) application aren’t great for grip in inclement weather. While the newer MX-5s have modern safety features like blind-spot warning, automatic emergency braking, and adaptive headlights, the car’s lightness and relatively low ground clearance make it a poor choice for climates with many months of snowfall. Specifically, the 2022 Mazda MX-5 Miata Club weighs just 2,345 lbs and sends power to the rear wheels. 

Furthermore, older models like the 1990 Mazda MX-5 Miata weigh just 2,210 lbs and lack even basic safety features compared to newer variations. Frankly, lightness, RWD, and especially inadequate tires don’t handle ice and snow driving very well. 

Is a Chevrolet Corvette good in snow?

Like the diminutive Mazda MX-5 Miata, the venerable Chevrolet Corvette isn’t exactly a snow leopard. Later model Corvettes have very low ground clearance and high horsepower figures. For instance, the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray has around 4 inches of ground clearance and 455 horsepower (with the performance exhaust). Pair that with the plastic fantastic’s rear-wheel drive application and light curb weight, and you’ve got a Kentucky-built ice skate. 

The C7 Corvette isn't great for snow driving compared to AWD cars like an Audi or Subaru Impreza.
A C7 Chevrolet Corvette | Bill Pugliano, Getty Images

Should you avoid driving a Nissan Z in the snow?

The Nissan Z is possibly the best starter drift car in the world right now, but drifting into another vehicle on slick streets isn’t the sliding you want. The Z packs a powerful front engine, rear-wheel drive application, and a light curb weight. For instance, Car and Driver says the 2008 Nissan 350Z weighs just 3,320 lbs and has around 4.8 inches of ground clearance. 

Moreover, while the 2008 coupe’s 306 horsepower was impressive, the upcoming 2023 Nissan Z produces a slide-inducing 400 ponies. Of course, the new Z has safety features like frontal collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and rear-cross traffic alert. Still, safety features don’t change physics. 

A Nissan Z, like a Miata or Corvette, isn't great for snow driving.
2004 Nissan 350Z | National Motor Museum, Heritage Images, Getty Images

Honorable Mention: avoid driving a classic car in the snow

It sounds like a blanket statement to say, “avoid driving a classic muscle car in the snow.” However, classic muscle cars lack basic safety features like airbags or anti-lock braking systems (ABS). In some cases, classic cars lack disc brakes and instead use antiquated drum brakes. Of course, even a RWD classic car can be better equipped for driving in inclement weather with seasonally appropriate tires, weighing down the rear end, and driving with care. 

However, if you have any interest in protecting your sports car, muscle car, or classic car from the weather, other drivers, or salt corrosion, you might want to consider a different means of wintertime navigation. More importantly, driving a vehicle that isn’t suited or set up for harsh winters puts you and others at risk. Scroll down to the following article to read about vehicles that are better for driving in the snow!


RELATED: Is a Chrysler 300 AWD Good in the Snow?