As the fifth most selling car of the Ford Motor Company, the Mustang is a sports car with every feature a luxurious automobile should have. It carries a small size with the Real Wheel Drive (RWD) drivetrain, thrilling speed, tricky handling, to name a few.
It is not to forget its exhaustive styling and high-end engine options like a turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine with 310 & 330 bhp power, a 5.0-liter V8 engine with 460 & 480 bhp power, and a supercharged 5.2-liter V8 engine.
However, due to its small size, low ground clearance, and RWD drivetrain, many people agree on its unsuitability in snow conditions. But is this completely true? Is it safe to drive a Mustang in the snow?
If not, how to improve the winter driving experience of a Mustang? These are some of the prominent queries that usually spiral up in this regard. Thus, that’s the reason behind this piece to answer all these queries.
Is it safe to drive a Mustang in the snow?
Being a rear-wheel drive train car, a Mustang is inappropriate for driving on snow-covered roads due to its tendency to slip. In RWD, the engine power goes to the rear wheels, which then drive the front wheels. Hence, the front wheels are dependent upon the rear ones for power.
However, since the weight on the car’s rear axle is minimal, the rear wheels tend to slip over a snowy surface.
In other words, this is called fishtailing, acceleration skidding, or over-steering. In this, the rear wheels of the vehicle skids down the surface instead of moving in the desired direction.
Thus, this fishtailing is the primary reason why people don’t feel safe driving a Mustang in the snow. However, this does not depict the entire story.
With certain add-ons, you can make your Mustang compatible with the winter season and drive it over the snow without stumbling. But what amount of snow can a Mustang handle? Continue reading to know this.
How much snow can a Mustang handle?
With a below-par ground clearance of just 5.7 inches, your Mustang can handle only light snowfall or skinny snow up to a few inches high.
If you try to take it out in heavy snowfall or a place with a thick layer of snow, it’s most likely that the snow will fill the wheel wells and thus restrict its movement.
Ideally, the thickness of the snow layer should not exceed 4.5-5.0 inches to enable a decent and smooth drive of your Mustang without getting stuck.
If you live in a place that receives heavy rainfall for most of the year, you should not use a Mustang and look for another alternative for commuting.
Can an older Mustang model handle winter?
No, an older Mustang model isn’t good at handling snow. Besides their RWD drivetrain, several other voids, an older Mustang has made it a bad choice for winter driving.
Apart from these, several other key winter driving aiding features even the older models of Mustang lacked and added to the woes of the people.
For example, Ford introduced its anti-lock brakes (ALB) only after the 1990s. Similarly, the year 1999 marked the introduction of the traction control feature in Mustang that too on a trial basis.
Features that one can add to improve winter driving
According to the Department of Transportation (DOT) in America, around 1300 Americans lose their lives, and another 116,800 suffer serious injuries due to road mishaps every year during the weather season.
Thus, it’s a no-brainer that driving in the winters is much more difficult than in the summers. With low temperatures capable of freezing the engine oil to snow-covered slippery roads waiting to drift away from your car, you need a lot of courage to drive during winters.
However, with companies putting their best efforts into equipping their cars with the best features to support their customers, the above woes of winter driving have surely taken a back seat.
Some of these features include:
Forward collision warning and auto-braking system
Modern-day cars come equipped with collision sensors fitted in the front end to sense forward collisions and other hazards on the road and inform the driver about that.
Now, in the expensive models, this forward-collision warning system accompanies an auto-braking system that automatically applies the brakes to avoid any mishap. While in other low-end cars, this auto-braking feature is unavailable.
It is an awesome feature as the sensor can detect hazards much better and quicker than the human eyes or senses.
With the advent of forward-collision systems with auto braking, road accidents have reduced by nearly 8-10%.
Lane departure warning system
A lane departure warning system warns the driver if their car is drifting into another lane. It is a common issue on slippery roads as wheels can slip and move into another lane.
If the other cars in that lane aren’t attentive enough and so is you, all the cars, including yours, would collide.
However, the lane departure warning system will warn you through light, vibrations, or a buzzer as soon as it detects your car drifting into another lane.
Besides just warning, some top-end cars that cost thousands of dollars come with assistive technology that will itself move the car back in its original lane.
Note that this technology doesn’t work when the lane markings hide under the snow.
Poor visibility is another common problem during snowy conditions. You may wonder that the best headlights in the market would help you with visibility; however, there is much more to that.
In winters, instead of bright lights, you must consider adaptive headlights. These lights tend to follow the directions of the steering wheel to show you the road ahead.
For example, if the steering wheel is in the left direction, the headlights will also move towards the left to better visibility and vice-versa.
These headlights are now pretty common in high-end vehicles and have successfully reduced winter road accidents by 10-20%.
Bright LED taillights
Besides adaptive headlights, brighter LED taillights are slowly replacing the traditional halogen lights owing to their better visibility, long life, and cost-effectiveness.
When you are reversing the car on a snow-covered road under poor visibility at the back, having LED lights installed can give you an edge over the traditional halogen lights.
While driving on a slippery road, your car’s tires will slip or skid as you transfer power to them to boost their motion. Modern cars come with a safer traction control feature to avoid this.
This feature measures or senses the rotation of the wheels and directs the engine to transfer required power to the wheels to regain control.
In some cases or types of traction control systems, the system can apply brakes to the wheel(s) slipping to prevent the entire car from slipping.
As the name reads, the stability control feature monitors the stability of your vehicle on the road and takes the necessary steps to regain stability.
For this, the sensors continuously monitor your car’s wheel’s speed, steering angle, and rate of acceleration.
It will then reduce the engine power and apply brakes to stop the car if it senses something wrong with the car’s stability.
Emergency brake assist
If your car has normal brakes, it will take some time to fully stop the vehicle even after pressing the brake pedal with full force.
Due to this, the car won’t stop on time and slow down a bit instead of coming to a must-have emergency brake assist feature.
It will assist the car’s braking system in bringing the car to a complete halt quickly.
There are many car tires available in the market with different applications, pros, and cons.
If you frequently drive on snow, your car must have winter tires instead of all-weather tires or ordinary tires.
The snow tires are specially for winter months and snowy roads—you may use all-weather tires for other weather conditions but not winters.
So, these are the top features your car must house if it frequently runs on snow-covered roads.
While some of these features come pre-installed, you will have to install others without delay. Note that technology is further coming up with other features to assist you in winter driving.
Can you drive a Mustang GT in the winter?
Yes, since Mustang GT comes loaded with key winter-specific features like traction control and fine-tuned stability systems, you can drive a Mustang GT in the winter season.
Additionally, you can get the other features installed in your car to assist you in driving on snow-covered roads.
Is the Mustang EcoBoost good in snow?
All Mustang cars are rear-wheel drive with a low ground clearance of 5.7 inches. Due to this, even the Mustang EcoBoost ought to behave similarly to its other models.
However, as said above, there are various features you can add to a Mustang to make it winter ride ready on all fronts.
Is it possible to Drive Mustang in Canadian winter?
No, since Canadian winters include a few months of heavy snow with biting cold conditions, driving a Mustang in such conditions isn’t easy at all.
There are high chances of serious wheel spinning and traction control failing to control the spinning.
Thus, it would help if you look for other car alternatives for driving in Canadian or any winter months.
Mustang is a popular sports car from Ford Motor Company that is a huge hit among customers who want something unique in design and features.
However, there is a major downside of the same Mustang. It cannot drive in the winter months on snowy roads.
The major reason behind this is its RWD drivetrain and low ground clearance that obstructs its movements.
However, with several features now available to assist you in driving a Mustang, the ride has become much simpler & safer than before.
And it’s worth noting that since all Mustang models have rear-wheel drivetrain, no Mustang is ideal for winter driving at first.