Stylish, comfortable, and packed with innovative features, it is no wonder that Audi has ranked as the third most popular luxury car brand in the world, but anyone who lives in an area that gets a lot of winter weather knows that style means nothing on a snowy road.
If you live in an area that sees a lot of snow and ice and you are thinking about buying a luxury car, you may have found yourself wondering, are Audis good in the snow?
Audi models rank very well in terms of winter performance thanks to their innovative design and impressive technology. The Audi patented all-wheel-drive Quattro system is especially well adapted for winter driving conditions.
Continue reading to learn more about Audis and winter driving, including what determines if a car is good in the snow, which features help Audis perform better on winter roads, and how to stay safe in all winter weather conditions.
What Makes a Car Good in the Snow?
When it comes to winter driving, there are several factors that determine whether a vehicle will be good or useless in the snow. However, most vehicles will perform well in the snow if they are outfitted with a good set of winter tires.
Since tires are the only thing keeping you in contact with the asphalt, it makes sense that they would be one of the most important facets of safe winter driving. All-season tires are good for areas that do not see snow and ice but should not be used in places where temperatures drop below 45 degrees. This is because the rubber hardens and lowers their performance. Winter tires grip the road much better in snowy conditions, and studded tires are ideal for areas that see a lot of ice.
Tires make an enormous difference in how a vehicle performs on winter roads, but how those tires are used might be the most important factor of all. Front-wheel drive (FWD) vehicles pull the car rather than push it, which makes it easier to predict and control where the vehicle is sliding. However, FWD vehicles can be a bit tricky to corner and brake with on icy streets.
Rear-wheel-drive vehicles may offer a little more control to experienced drivers, but inexperienced drivers may find them tricky to navigate on winter roads. Since the vehicle is pushing rather than pulling, it can be hard to correct if the vehicle begins to slide.
All-wheel drive and four-wheel drive vehicles are ideal in winter conditions because they utilize all four tires. However, because 4WD should only be used in slick conditions, drivers often find themselves having to switch in and out of 4WD.
Clerance and Weight
Ground clearance becomes important when you are faced with a lot of snow, especially when caught in a blizzard. A vehicle that sits extremely close to the ground will have a tough time plowing through even a few inches of snow.
Weight is also important because the more the vehicle weighs, the better it will grip the road. Lighter cars tend to slide around more than heavier vehicles and people will often put weight in their vehicles to counteract this. This is why you will often see people put weight in the back of a pickup truck because the bed weighs less than the engine/cab area.
Features That Help Audis Perform Better on Winter Roads
Unlike some luxury vehicles that would become a death trap in severe winter conditions, Audis tend to perform well on snowy roads, and this is in large part because of their technology.
Quattro is a Four-Wheel drive system designed by Audi almost 35 years ago. The Quattro system provides superior handling and performance by delivering power to each of the vehicle’s four wheels when it is needed, increasing the car’s traction and handling power. Because Audi has developed three unique Quattro systems, all Audi vehicles can be equipped with Quattro technology.
Although not a feature of the vehicle itself, Audi Care and Audi After Care can help keep your vehicle in tip-top shape, which is important when driving on slippery roads. For example, if your car is out of alignment, it will pull hard to one side, and this could make it harder to keep the vehicle from sliding on icy roads.
Audi Care is a prepaid scheduled maintenance plan designed to help owners keep up with the maintenance of their vehicles. In addition to locking in a prepaid cost, buyers can enjoy the convenience of using the plan at any authorized dealer across the United States and the confidence of knowing that their vehicle is being worked on by a trained Audi technician.
While Audi Care is covering your scheduled maintenance, Audi After Care could be covering any cosmetic or mechanical damage sustained during winter driving. With this extended warranty, drivers will never again have to worry about salt rusting their undercarriages or potholes destroying their rims.
Audi Connect Features
Avoiding an accident is always the goal, but even the best winter drivers find themselves in a snowbank from time to time. With Audi Connect, winter driving may be a bit less dangerous.
There are three packages that buyers can choose from—Connect CARE, Connect PRIME, and Connect PLUS. Below you can find a quick list of the features available with each package as well as the cost to drivers.
|CARE||Cost No subscription needed. Description Connect CARE links, drivers, with several features that can give them peace of mind while driving on winter roads.||Remote Lock/UnlockVehicle Status ReportAudi Service Request Emergency Support Emergency CallingCar FinderOnline Roadside Assistance|
|PRIME||Cost $36 per Month $365 per Year Description PRIME helps drivers make informed decisions which can be crucial when driving in the winter.||Include all the CARE features plus: – Google Earth Traffic Information Basic Wi-Fi Information Music Services|
|PLUS||Cost $49 per Month $499 per Year Description PLUS comes will all the features included in both CARE and PRIME while also turning your Audi into a Full-Speed Wi-Fi Hotspot.||Includes everything listed in both above packages plus it turns your vehicle into a Wi-Fi hotspot.|
With the Audi Connect packages, drivers can rest easy knowing that they have access to roadside assistance and emergency calls, which could prove instrumental when broken down in freezing weather.
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John Cunningham is an Automotive Technician and writer on Rustyautos.com. He’s been a mechanic for over twenty-five years and has worked for GM, Volvo, Volkswagen, Land Rover, and Jaguar dealerships.
John uses his know-how and experience to write fluff-free articles that help fellow gearheads with all aspects of vehicle ownership, including maintenance, repair, and troubleshooting.