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How Well Does A Mazda 6 Drive In The Snow? (Answered)

When it comes to snow driving, there are quite a few factors to be considered while making sure the experience is as trouble-free as possible. Wheelspin, body roll, loss of traction are just a few elements that make driving worse in less than ideal conditions. Let’s see how Mazda 6 performs in such conditions in the following passages.

Mazda 6 is a popular car in the US and Canada, where a large portion of the owners face winter and snow driving conditions. The Mazda 6 delivers a decent driving experience in such conditions and hence becomes an ideal purchase for drivers in areas with snow and winters. Even more ideal than its competitors.

Being a front-engine and front-wheel drive midsize sedan, it offers great tire grip at the front wheels. The engine and front axle weight are evenly dispersed at the front tires allowing for better winters and snowy driving conditions. The driver gets immediate feedback from the front wheels and hence can be more agile in winters.

Another factor to consider here is that the SKYACTIV-G 2.5L 4 cylinder engine cranks out 187 horsepower at 6000 RPM, making it one of the most powerful base models in the midsize sedan segment. This adds to the driver’s arsenal of tools available to him in less than friendly conditions.

Moreover, the torque figure of 186 pounds-feet at a low 4000 RPM further ensures fairly instant power delivery to the front wheels to keep the car in control, especially when the driving conditions worsen.

Also read: How Many Miles Can A Mazda 6 Last?

Experience Of Mazda 6 Owners

For an average driver, the numbers mean nothing but gibberish from a rocket scientist. It is the feedback of drivers and users that amplifies a buyer’s confidence in any product. When it comes to feedback from Mazda 6 owners, the remarks are nothing less than stellar. One of the drivers has commented:

“The Mazda 6 I was driving was equipped with Blizzak snow tires. This car handled like a dream with the snow, ice and then wet sloppy roads once everything was melting. I never once worried about slipping or sliding. I was surprised that a mid-sized car, not an SUV, would perform this well in the snow.”

(Source)

Another driver remarks:

“We have winter snows and storms, sometimes pretty severe ones, every year. This past winter was my first with a 2006 Mazda 6s. I had no problems with getting stuck or loosing control on the roads.”

(Source)

Does Mazda 6 Have Snow Tires?

The Mazda 6, like other cars, comes standard with P225/55 R17 all-season tires. However, there are various options to choose from to get better traction and enhance the tire grip in winter and snow. The winter and snow tires are built with a special rubber compound that can retain grip in less than 45-degree temperatures.

Why should you go with the snow tires? Well, snow tires have the following characteristics that make them suitable in heavy snow to black ice and everything in between that winter has to offer.

The Tread Rubber

Extreme cold temperatures cause the tread rubber of an all-season or summer tire to stiffen and become less able to provide sufficient traction. To combat this, the tread rubber compounds of winter tires are composed such that they remain flexible, allowing the tire to grip the road better.

Tread Depth and Patterns

Unique to snow tires are deeper tread depths and unique tread patterns. Deeper tread depths reduce snow buildup and thus provide better traction on the snow. The tread patterns are designed to channel snow and slush and expel water.

Biting Edges

Snow tires have many biting edges and high densities of small slits that increase the tread surface area, thus increasing grip in wet, icy, and snowy conditions.

Also read: The Exact Bolt Pattern Of A Mazda 6

Have Snow Tires Equipped As Soon As Possible

If you want to buy snow tires, we advise you to use Tirerack. They have a great tool that allows you to find the perfect fit for your exact model, so you won’t have to worry about fitment issues. Furthermore, they also offer free shipping on most of their orders. Check out their store here!

The ideal range for all-season tires that come installed on the Mazda 6 is more than 45 degrees. These tires are good but don’t have the ability to withstand the cold torture presented by winters and snowy conditions. The best bet is to change the tires to winter tires and obtain better drip in winters.

Furthermore, Mazda also offers all models with the option of 19 Inch wheels. These larger wheels offer better grip since the patch of the tire in contact with the road surface is bigger than on the 17-inch wheels. Contingent upon budget, one can easily get better tire performance using 19-inch wheels and winter tires and have a safe driving experience.

What Drive System Does A Mazda 6 Have?

Mazda 6, like its competitors, offers a Front Wheel Drive system. There are various advantages of an FWD system when it comes to winter driving. Midsize sedans have front engines, and the weight of the engine and the axle is dispersed evenly on both front tires. This allows for better grip.

The car also has 12.6 inch ventilated front discs, which add to the car’s braking ability. Now combine both. The FWD front-engine characteristic and large disc brakes. It doesn’t matter if one is going uphill or down or driving on straight roads. This combination offers amazing performance in more ways than one.

First, the front tires, which are meant to drive the car, have the most grip available to them because of all that engine and axle weight. Secondly, larger discs at the front allow for better braking performance in severe weather like winters and snowfall. It becomes a heck of a lot easier to drive a car that has this setup than a car that doesn’t.

The front-wheel-drive configuration also offers better feedback to drivers as they take turns,s and this allows for immediate decision making about whether to accelerate or brake in such conditions, leaving less room for error. And that certainly helps make Mazda 6 a car of choice for residents of winter and snow intensive driving conditions.

Also read: Types Of Gas A Mazda 6 Takes (Explained)

What Electronics System Help The Mazda 6 In The Snow?

Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD)

The Mazda 6 comes with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution as standard. EBD systems have the job of channeling brakeforce to wheels encountering the most amount of wheelspin. Wheelspin is one factor that adversely affects vehicle stability and unpleasantly compromises driver control over the vehicle.

EBD systems make sure that the brakeforce is equally and optimally distributed among all 4 tires. Wheelspin can be significantly reduced with this system, and it decreases the chances of grip loss in winters and snow. The resultant of this brakeforce optimization is vehicle stability and more driver control in winters.

Vehicle Stability Control (VSC)

In addition to the EBD system, Mazda 6 also stabilizer bars at the front and rear suspensions. The stabilizer bars try to keep the vehicle mass centered and control the body roll of the vehicle. Body roll is a significant detriment to the car’s performance in conditions where drivers face less traction.

The stabilizing bars ensure that the vehicle suffers the minimum amount of body roll because it surrenders against inertia and tries to keep the vehicle going where the mass of the car wants to take it. And this is not what a driver wants. The stabilizer bars try to forcefully maintain the car’s upright stance by applying forces to its suspension.

This is part of the Vehicle Stability Control system and, in combination with EBD, allows for a better driving experience in winters and snow. Overall, it will be safe to say that both of these systems make Mazda 6 a great option for buyers looking for decent winter and snow performance of their car.

Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS)

Like most cars, Mazda 6 offers an ABS System. ABS systems are designed to prevent the wheels from locking under braking above certain speeds. When the tires are locked, they lose traction, and this is highly life-threatening. ABS Systems are made to ensure that wheels stay in rotation under intense braking.

If the tires stop rotating and are locked, they lose traction, and it is impossible to steer the car in such a nerve-racking situation. ABS prevents the wheels from locking by applying and revoking brakeforce intermittently. This behavior keeps the wheel rotating and thus helps the driver regain tire grip to safely reduce the cars speed.

ABS systems are nothing new but have been perfected over time through constant research and development by manufacturers. ABS systems play a vital role in refuting the dangers associated with such adverse driving conditions when it comes to winters and snow.

Also read: Mazda 6 Transmissions: Overview, Problems, Fluids

Weight Distribution

The standard weight distribution ratio for Mazda 6 is 59:41 front and rear. These changes for the models offering the turbo-charges variants add an extra 133 pounds to the frontal weight of the car.

2021 ModelsWeight Distribution F/R
Sport59:41
Touring59:41
Grand Touring60:40
Grand Touring Reserve60:40
Carbon60:40
Signature60:40

Ground Clearance (in): 6.5

Ground Clearance plays a vital role in vehicle performance during winters and snow conditions. Mazda 6 has a minimum ground clearance of 6.5 inches. This brings it very close to the ground clearance numbers of some mini SUVs. One can easily see that people appreciate Mazda 6 for a reason.

SUVs are known for higher ground clearance since they are designed to handle all types of different terrains and conditions. They also offer wheels with bigger diameters and coupling that with higher ground clearance. They are definite champions of all conditions. Not to mention how well they perform in winters and snow.

Mazda 6 appears to have taken a few clews from SUVs and is offering SUVs like driving dynamics in a midsize-sedan format. The compact sedans offer less than 6 inches in ground clearance and thus are less ideal for conditions like winters and snow. Mazda 6 goes against the tide here and offers 6.5 inches of ground clearance.

This easily allows it to drive better in winters and snow by allowing for a somewhat upright stance to the entire vehicle. Higher ground clearance also adds to road visibility and makes it a driver-friendly feature. This creates a higher point of view for the driver and thus enables the driver to have a better drive in winter.

Wheelbase (in): 111.4

Midsize sedans are cars with longer wheelbases. Mazda 6 has a wheelbase of 111.4 inches across all variants. The wheels are stretched further apart in midsize sedans, and therefore, they are great vehicles for going up and down the inclines in winters.

A longer wheelbase in addition to VSC, EBD, and ABS allows for better handling on slippery road surfaces. The wheels are stretched farther apart, which allows for better grip and handling while the car is in an inclined state. The wheelbase is the distance between the front and rear axle of the car. The greater it is, the better will be the stability of the car in an incline.

It builds an auto-correction instinct in the vehicle compared to cars with a shorter wheelbase. It requires more time for a car with a longer wheelbase to spin than for a car with a shorter wheelbase. This is one reason why SUVs have a hard time losing traction in winters than sedans.

SUVs usually come with longer wheelbase numbers and are more resistant to wheelspin than sedans. By increasing the wheelbase, manufacturers try to develop a similar characteristic in sedans. Therefore, having a longer wheelbase adds to Mazda 6’s credibility as a useful winter commuter.

What Traction Device You Can Use On The Mazda 6?

Drivers in areas where they see heavy snow and severe winters, there are a few devices that can come to your rescue. One of such devices is Cable chains. Cables chains can assist with building traction at the tires, and drivers can have a better driving experience than driving without them.

There are various options for one to choose from the plethora of available products in the Class S chain cables. Amazon.com is one marketplace where you can easily find quite a few options for Class S cable chains. The prices start from $ 81.31 for a set of these, and this is one worthy spend.

Most drivers use these chain cables to enhance the Mazda 6 in winters and snowy conditions. It is always better to prepare and prevent than to repair and repent.

Happy driving.