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How Well Does The Nissan Sentra Drive In Snow? (Answered)

Living in a snow-covered region & thinking about whether buying the Nissan Sentra would be a suitable option or not, well in that situation, this article might be helpful for you. Let’s begin with a quick answer.

The Nissan Sentra is an FWD vehicle which means it’s not ideal for snowy conditions. However, when equipped with proper traction control or snow tires, the Nissan Sentra can provide extra grip while driving on the icy, snow-covered streets.  Moreover, as a critical safety feature, Sentra has a standard forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking system, making it a safe car in the snow.

This isn’t the complete performance of Sentra in snow. That is why, firstly, we will discuss what owners of Sentra think about it while driving it in snowy conditions. Finally, we will dive into the detailed specifications that Nissan provides with its car for cold regions.

Also read: What’s The Towing Capacity Of A Nissan Sentra?

Experiences of Owners of Nissan Sentra

We believe it’s essential to discuss what the owners feel about driving Sentra in the snowy regions. For this, we did some research to find out the general opinion of owners about the car. 

We found that if you live in a less snowfall region where the snow is less than 3-4 inches, then buying a Sentra would be a great choice. As Nissan Sentra is an FWD vehicle, it is harder to control it on snowy, slippery roads than AWD. The general advice is to invest in a good set of snow tires since this does seem to make all the difference. 

Let’s start with a quick review of ownersAfter that, we will look deeper into what makes Sentra a good or bad car in the snow.

“I just bought this car and should have done research 1st, but the Carfax showed nothing wrong, so to me was a no brainer to believe, but I only own for a couple of days and should think about snow conditions. I was wondering how do these cars do in the snow. My car is a 2019 and only has 33,000 miles on it.

Should I go out and buy snow tires or leave it be. I love the feel of the car but now wish I went bigger like I had before and gone with the rogue, just for the snow condition.”


“This car is very reliable. It is great in the snow. Very good with gas miles. My only problem is it’s not very big inside. The back seat is very cramped, and the passenger side in the front is squished and makes it feel cramped. Not much arm room in the front for the driver and passenger.”


“Absolutely no problem in the snow! Buy a set of 4 good-quality snow tires on steel wheels, and there is nothing it hasn’t handled.”


“My car is very reliable and does pretty well in the snow. It also has excellent surround sound. It has excellent GPS options and gets outstanding gas mileage.

It’s a comfortable and good-looking car inside and out. It has pretty good up-and-goes, and its features are unique, and it is lovely in the winter because of the heated seats.”


Also read: The Expected Mileage Of A Nissan Sentra

Does Nissan Sentra Have Snow Tires?

The Nissan Sentra comes with standard all-season tires. These tires are suitable for general use, but they do not perform well when driving on snowy or icy roads. That is why winter tires are always recommended to be bought, as they provide much more stability than the standard all-season tires on snow.

Also read: The Types Of Gas A Nissan Sentra Takes (Explained)

Why is it essential to switch to winter tires in cold regions?

Firstly, winter tires are designed explicitly for slippery or icy roads. If the temperature goes below 7 degrees Celcius, the rubber of all-season tires begins to harden, drastically reducing their ability to grip the road safely. In contrast, winter tires are designed to provide flexibility, even in sub-zero conditions falling as low as -30 degrees Celcius.

Furthermore, winter tires are also designed to increase braking, handling performance, and better traction in cold regions. As a result, choosing the right tire ensures the driver’s safety on ice and snowy roads.

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!

Also read: How Well Does A Volkswagen Atlas Drive In The Snow?

What Drive System Does A Nissan Sentra Have?

Nissan Sentra comes with a Front-wheel drivetrain. Sentra is safe to drive in the snow, assuming you are equipped with winter tires and drive carefully. Still, we advise choosing an AWD than an FWD, where a lot of snowfall occurs.

Driving an FWD car in 4-5 inches of snow with snow tires is possible. This is because most of the weight in FWD cars is on the front tires, providing the drivetrain a good amount of traction. It pulls the vehicle forward to cut the oversteer. Oversteer is the reason for a car spinning in the snow; however, if you invest in a reasonable amount of snow tires for your Nissan Sentra, this can be prevented to an extent. 

Which is better, AWD or FWD in snow or ice?

Which is better in snow or ice? If you live in a snowy reason, there is a possibility that you face this same issue. At a glance, we can say that All-Wheel-Drive cars are usually a better option for icy or snowy regions because it powers all four wheels to keep you moving. Moreover, modern traction and stability controls help an AWD vehicle to handle most snow and ice conditions.

On the other hand, Front-Wheel-Drive cars are also good in cold regions, and since the engine is located over the drive wheels, the extra weight helps provide better traction and control. If you live in an area with a moderate winter climate, then in that situation, you can save some money by purchasing a Front-Wheel-Drive car and a good set of winter tires. 

What Are The Features That Help The Nissan Sentra In Snow?

Nissan’s Sentra has various safety features that allow its owners to have a pleasant driving experience in the snow. These features assist you in keeping your car stable and in control while driving in the snow and keeping you on track.

Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) with Pedestrian Detection

Sentra looks out for what’s coming up ahead as well as people crossing in front of you. Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) uses radar technology; it measures your speed and distance between you and the car ahead. It warns the driver by providing audio and visual warnings to reduce the vehicle’s speed or even apply the brakes if it detects the possibility of a frontal collision. 

In snowy regions, this feature might get confused with radar signals, limiting its effectiveness on slippery roads that mean longer braking distances: Even given a warning, your vehicle may not be able to stop in time.

Blind Spot Warnings

This feature in Sentra monitors the blind spot area and alerts you if it detects a car. Due to the snow and fog, a person’s sight can be impaired; it assists the driver in avoiding a collision with lane changing by detecting vehicles in the blind spot.

Like other radar and camera-based systems, sensors may be affected by snow and ice. Most systems warn drivers with a signal light on the driver-side mirror. So, if you’re driving a Sentra in the snow, make sure the sensor is clear.

Lane Departure Warning

It warns the motorist when the car begins to move out from its lane on the road. The system detects if the vehicle is going off track, and precautions that you’re drifting over from your lane help you avoid crashes. But Lane Departure Warning system can be affected by snow as it is hard to detect the road markings due to snow or fog.

How Does The Lane Departure Warnings System Work? It identifies the lane markings and warns you when a tire touches the lane marker. The warning is usually a flashing sign, or it beeps from the corresponding side.

Intelligent Trace Control

This feature helps you steer smoothly through the corners. Intelligent Trace Control constantly monitors your steering, acceleration, and braking inputs and uses the information to detect when the vehicle departs from the steered track. The system then automatically applies the brakes and helps bring the car back into the correct cornering line. 

Front Heated Seats

Driving in the cold weather on the icy roads well, this feature of Sentra will give you a pleasant and comfortable driving experience. It offers not only luxurious comfort and relaxation but also has physical health benefits and increases safety. 

We found these safety functions and features in the owner’s manual of the 2021 Nissan Sentra.

Weight Distribution Of Nissan Sentra 

The drive and electronic helping systems are the most important if you intend to drive the Nissan Sentra. However, other factors certainly play a role. In this case, weight and the way it’s distributed also have to be taken into account.

The overall length of the Nissan Sentra is 182.7 inches. Its curb weight ranges from 3,036 to 3,084 pounds, and its gross vehicle weight rating is between 3,957 and 4,001 pounds. The average mid-size sedan weighs this much only. Generally, if a car’s weight is heavier, it helps in better traction and control in the snow, but it is somewhat neutral in Sentra, as it is neither too heavy nor too light.

Why Is Proper Weight Distribution Necessary?

The weight distribution is essential because it determines how quickly the car accelerates and decelerates, and handles when cornering. In FWD cars like Sentra, 65 percent of the weight is on the front tires and only 35 percent on the rear tires. Front-drive vehicles are inherently good designs because they pull the vehicle’s center of gravity down the road from the front, which provides better traction.

Also read: How Well Does A Kia Optima Drive In The Snow?

Ground Clearance

Ground Clearance is another crucial aspect to consider while purchasing a car that is good in the snow. It’s the distance between the road and the chassis of your vehicle. More ground clearance is an advantage because you are less likely to plow the snow with your car.

One of the most compact family sedans in the market, the ground clearance of Nissan ranges from 4.3 inches to 6.5 inches; it varies on the trim and model year. The 2021 Nissan Sentra offers a good ground clearance that lies between 4.8 inches and 4.9 inches.

If you live in a less snowy region where the snowfall is off few inches only, then this must not be a problem for you. However, if you live in areas where snow can pile up overnight, it is advisable to look for an SUV or truck. SUVs have a ground clearance of 6-8 inches on average, making it easier to cut off the snow.

Also read: How Well Does A Mazda 6 Drive In The Snow?


Finally, we look into the wheelbase, the distance between the front and rear tire. The wheelbase is partially responsible for how easily a car can slip and get out of control on snowy or icy roads.

Usually, cars with a long wheelbase tend to have more stability and control than cars with a shorter wheelbase. This is because it takes more time for a vehicle with a longer wheelbase to start sliding, giving the driver more time to correct and control it.

The 2021 Nissan Sentra has a wheelbase of 106.6 inches, making it neither too long nor too short. Sentra stands on a neutral point here. It’s just enough to give you good stability and handling on icy roads.


As one of the most popular and compact sedans, Nissan Sentra can do well in less snowy conditions. It is an FWD car with an engine of 2.0-liter Direct Injection Gasoline generates torque 149hp @ 4000rpm.

Sentra has Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), which allows you to seamlessly change the gears on the uphills or snowy tracks and makes it easier for you. It helps in improving a vehicle’s fuel economy by delivering better power efficiency.

Also read: Nissan Sentra Overview Of Transmissions And Problems.

Should You Purchase A Nissan Sentra For Snowy Regions?

Without a doubt, Nissan’s Sentra is a fantastic car for less icy areas; being a Front-Wheel-Drive car, it stands out from the competition. It may indeed make a difference and provide you a pleasant driving experience if equipped with proper winter tires and snow chains, which helps in better traction control and stability on icy roads.