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How Well Does A Subaru BRZ Drive In The Snow? (Answered)

Subaru, a brand known for its Rally-potential, is a sports-DNA carrier. The Subaru BRZ is a statement of its own that goes way beyond just the Sports Posture of the Subaru brand. It entails driver pleasure into the mix of several sports and maneuverability characteristics of its vehicles.

The Subaru BRZ is a reasonable car for winters and snowy conditions. The car has rear-wheel drive and a low ground clearance of 4.9 inches which doesn’t make this car ideal for winter driving. However, owners do report that the car is maneuverable in winter and electronic systems such as VSC, TCS, and ABS allow for some form of traction.

The plethora of Youtube reviews reveal that the BRZ is an uphill task to move about on snow and wet roads. But there are techniques that the drivers use to counter this and enhance the drivability of the BRZ in snow and winters. Things like traction devices and adding weight to the trunk are among a few workarounds. Let’s take a deeper dive!

Experience Of Subaru BRZ Owners

There is no way a mathematical numbers sheet would paint a clear picture of the BRZ’s snow capabilities. And to make things worse, there is a lack of feedback about this topic as well, because the inclination of the BRZ buyers is towards drifting and acceleration, etc. But still, since it is to be done, we will do our due diligence in finding out as much as possible.

One of the drivers on YouTube has done a fantastic job of painting the picture with great clarity. He has a set of winter tires installed that he bought from craigslist and tried them in 6 inches of snow. Here is what he has to say about his experience:

“In the six years that I have owned this car I have never been stuck once. It’s maybe not the most relaxing experience behind the wheel on snow but gets through with ease………there is a lot of balancing that needs to be done with the throttle.”


Another driver quotes:

“I think clearance is probably the biggest issue in this car and frankly you need to worry about clearance in this car”


Looking at the reviews given by drivers on Youtube and other platforms, it won’t be hard to discern that the Subaru BRZ isn’t a car meant for snow and winters. The driver’s ability is a more critical variable in this picture as, at the end of the day, the driver can ensure the vehicle stays stable in weather as extreme as snow and winters.

Does Subaru BRZ Have Snow Tires?

Like every other car, the Subaru BRZ is fitted with All-season tires standard from the factory. Since it is not directed as a snow driver, it will be less than intelligent to expect a snow/winter tires setup from the factory. It is the case with every brand. Every car on sale today comes with All-season tires.

The problem is that the All-seasons aren’t a good fit for winters and snow. They tend to harden at relatively higher temperatures than snow/winter tires, resulting in decreased traction for road surfaces in regions of snow and winter extremes.

The rubber compound that goes into the construction of winter and snow tires is characterized by higher resilience against temperature drops. It is, therefore, a default choice of every driver to have snow and winter tires put on their BRZs as there is simply no other way to build better traction at the tires than to switch.

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!

What Drive System Does A Subaru BRZ Have?

As we have elaborated earlier, the Subaru BRZ is a car meant for drift-enthusiasts and for the ones who appreciate a car’s misbehavior on the road. It is a given that such vehicles will have a Rear Wheel Drive system as a default. Having a brain won’t do much good as it is a given that RWD is what drift-lovers and misdemeanor lovers expect.

With the exclusion of an AWD system, car manufacturers are deprived of tasting a big bite of the market. They compensate for this by adding characteristics like 53F/47R weight distribution. This allows the front to be heavier than the rear, and the result is a vehicle that can convince even the friendliest drivers to floor the gas pedal.

As soon as one does this, the car’s rear end starts slipping from left to right and vice versa. But a drift-lover loves this more than his girlfriend. The BRZ is, by default, a car that stimulates that hidden drifter that resides inside every driver’s heart. It convinces one to misbehave.

The fault of such a drift-lover setup is the decreased winter and snow worthiness of a car such as the Subaru BRZ. It takes less than a second for the tail end to move sideways when the weather hits low temperatures and the driver floors the gas pedal.

What Electronics System Helps The Subaru BRZ In The Snow?

All modern cars come equipped with various driver aids to help driving anomalies feel less noticeable. The same is the case with Subaru BRZ, as it also has quite a menu to offer for the close to $30,000 price tag.

Vehicle Stability Control (VSC)

A Vehicle Stability Control system is a feat of engineering that ensures vehicle stability on surfaces that cause the vehicle to roll and destabilize the car causing extreme dangers to the car and the driver. Drifters love it.

It reduces and sometimes even cuts power to the wheels and thereby regains traction and control of the car. The idea is to keep the vehicle going in the direction of the front wheels. If the car loses stability, it disobeys what the front tires want it to do. Under heavy braking and acceleration, it comes into play and brings the vehicle back into the driver’s control.

Traction Control System (TCS)

The traction control system is designed to reduce the power delivery to the car’s spinning wheels. This is done by an intelligent sensor web across all four wheels that detect the amount of wheelspin and the lack of it, resulting in power reduction to the wheel where the wheelspin is highest.

This system allows the driver to regain traction, and therefore, the vehicle rests again in the driver’s control. For the most part, this system helps in winter and snow by controlling the wheelspin and ensuring maximum traction at all four wheels to keep the car planted on the road surface.

It won’t be unnecessary to mention here that traction is the element that keeps the car in its place even in weather like winter and snow, where maintaining traction is more complex than keeping a mother-in-law happy.

Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)

As even a preschool child knows nowadays, the anti-lock braking system is meant to ensure traction by preventing wheel-lock under heavy braking. It operates with the use of sensors mounted on all four wheels. The sensors keep in check any situation where the wheel stops rotating while the brakes are being applied.

Usually, a human instinct is to apply the maximum amount of force to the brake pedal when a driver senses danger ahead. This locks the wheels, and loss of traction coupled with the vehicle’s inertia takes the car out of the driver’s control. This is one situation pretty much every snow driver faces once in a while.

The ABS prevents the wheels from locking by allowing and disallowing brake force transmission to the calipers, thereby keeping the wheel in rotation. This, in turn, maintains traction and enables the driver to steer the vehicle away from danger. Without ABS, the car is at lucks mercy.

Weight Distribution

The BRZ comes with a heavier front as standard because it focuses on drift lovers and people who have a crush on outing the car’s tail. But with that, the vehicles have to be somewhat practical and need a daily-driven moniker too. As standard, the BRZ comes with a 53:47 weight distribution.

Drivers counter this by adding more weight to the trunk to make the rear wheels spin less.

2021 ModelsWeight Distribution F/R
BRZ Limited53:47
BRZ tS50:50 (claimed)

Ground Clearance

The Subaru BRZ comes with a 4.9 inches ground clearance. Because it is a coupe, the overall stance of the vehicle is low-slung and closer to the ground to maintain its center of gravity; in an attempt to achieve a coupe-like behavior, the ground clearance has to be low but at a cost.

The resultant is a very notorious winter/snow demeanor. The BRZ is a car that is not designed to handle snow or winters, to begin with. That’s a given. But with drivers who still opt for the Subaru BRZ, ground clearance is one thing that is a severe detriment to a car’s winter and snow capability.

For this reason alone, a big chunk of car buyers opts for SUVs owing to their winter and snow mannerism. Because of the ground clearance and softer suspension, the SUV is a better fit. Reverse both of these factors, and the Subaru BRZ becomes a child begging for attention. A lot of it.


The Subaru BRZ, being a sports coupe, has a shorter wheelbase by birth. The car stands at 101.2 inches in terms of its wheelbase. With the shorter wheelbase, an advantage that comes in by default is a lower center of gravity since the ground clearance is also comparatively lower.

This adds to the vehicle’s=s overall stability. No matter how harsh the conditions are in winters and snowfall, the vehicle can still hold its own with a lowered center of gravity and a shorter wheelbase, which is why some people can still drive these in winters.

What Traction Device You Can Use On The Subaru BRZ?

Many drivers use traction devices to ensure higher traction in winters and snowfall. The challenge here is that the SubaruBRZ’ss wheel arches are closer to the surface of its tires. If you put anything on the tires for traction, the likelihood of damaging your wheel arches becomes higher.

You can try putting on the cable ones that wouldn’t take much space. You can also try putting on studded tires but before you do that, make sure that the state you live in hasn’t banned it. Owners manuals mainly advise keeping shovels in the back just in case.