Ford Fiesta In Snow & Winter Driving? (Explained)

Cheap, practical, and lightweight, the Ford Fiesta has all you’ll ever need in a subcompact.

The Fiesta offers both sedan and hatchback styles, allowing you to decide what suits you.

Can the Fiesta drive in snow with its small size? Read on to find out.

Here is the short answer about whether the Ford Fiesta good for snow and winter driving:

Despite weighing 2,037 lbs., the Fiesta is decent in snow because of its driver assistance features. The vehicle has Electronic Stability Control, Traction Control, ABS, and Brake Assist, which improve its winter driving credentials. Plus, the car’s low profile makes it nimble and easy to control.

Is a Ford Fiesta Good in the Snow?

The Ford Fiesta may be small-sized, but it has enormous potential for snow driving. To start with, the Fiesta’s lightweight design makes it easier to control in snowy conditions.

Asides being easy to control, the Fiesta has advanced vehicle technology that allows it to navigate snow safely.

Some of these features include:

  • Traction Control System,
  • Electronic
  • Stability Control,
  • etc.

We’ll discuss these features later in the article and explain their role in improving the Fiesta’s snow driving ability.

The Fiesta benefits from superior engineering and tuning that makes it balanced and communicative when driving in different conditions. Many drivers have commented on this quality, saying it enhances control and stability in snow.

What Features Will Improve Winter Driving?

The Ford Fiesta drives decently in winter. Given that it’s a front-wheel drive model, this may surprise some people. However, as you will see, the Fiesta is chock-full with features designed to improve winter driving. Here are features responsible for the Fiesta’s winter driving prowess:

Electronic Stability Control

The condition of roads in winter differs greatly from those of summer. Water (from melted snow/ice) on roads makes it difficult for vehicles to find traction. In fact, your chances of losing control are higher when you drive in winter.

To prevent loss of control, the Fiesta uses an Electronic Stability Control system that enhances stability on wet surfaces.

The ESC feature uses different sensors to monitor wheel speed, steering angle, and yaw rate. Collectively, those things can indicate when the car is about to lose stability.

If the ESC thinks your car is about to lose control, it will work to:

a) slow it down

b) correct its course.

First, it will decrease the vehicle’s speed so you can get the car under control. Second, it will activate the brakes on either side of the car to correct its course.

Traction Control System

All Fiestas come standard with Ford’s advanced Traction Control System. It aids winter driving by making your tires have acceptable levels of road grip.

Without the TCS, your tires would spin and won’t grip the road properly. This would significantly increase the chances of your vehicle becoming unstable while driving.

On Fiestas, the TCS consistently measures the acceleration of the tires. If a tire is accelerating rapidly (indicating low road grip), the TCS kicks in to restore the tire’s road grip. 

It will slow down your vehicle and maximize contact between the tires and the pavement. Consequently, the tire’s spinning decreases and the car regains stability.

Antilock Brake System

The Antilock Braking System ensures your wheels don’t lock up when you brake hard on wet surfaces. Wheel lockup is common in wintry conditions and is caused by the application of excess brake force.

ABS forestalls wheel lockup by regulating the application of brake force on the wheels. Should you apply too much brake force, ABS will reduce the impact of the force on the wheels. This allows you to brake safely without your wheels locking mid-transit.

Electronic Brake force Distribution

The Electronic Brake force Distribution is closely related to the ABS on your Fiesta. Like the latter, EBD works to prevent wheel lockup—the only difference is how it functions.

While ABS reduces the impact of brake force on wheels, EBD distributes brake force proportionally between front and rear wheels. Wheels with minimal loads, which are more prone to locking, get lesser brake force than those with higher loads.

Brake Assist

Brake Assist maximizes brake force generated when you slam your brakes. This is helpful in winter conditions where halting requires more brake force than normal.

With Brake Assist, you get more brake force, which translates to quicker stopping times. Thus, you can brake quickly if you detect that your car is losing control and may crash.

Does a Ford Fiesta Have Snow Mode?

You may have seen some newer cars advertise a feature called “Snow Mode”. This feature assists driving in snow by reducing wheel slippage and increasing traction.

No Ford Fiesta has Snow Mode, but neither do most subcompacts. The Fiesta can drive well in snow even without Snow Mode, thanks to Traction Control and Electronic Stability Control.  

For instance, Traction Control controls excess wheelspin and ensures your tires don’t slip on wet surfaces. Likewise, Electronic Stability Control forestalls wheel slippage and keeps you in control while you drive on snow.

Please also read our article on how long Ford Fiestas last.

Can You Install Additional Snow Gear on Fiesta?

It’s very much possible to install snow gear on any Fiesta model. Snow gear, also called winter driving accessories/gear, enhances your vehicle’s ability to drive in snow. A good example are snow chains that increase the amount of traction available on snowy terrain.

The first thing you should do before fitting snow gear on your Fiesta is check local transport regulation. Some regions have laws concerning snow-driving equipment and using them on your Fiesta may or may not be legal.

The second thing you should do is take important measurements, especially the size of your tire and wheel before shopping. Installing ill-fitting snow gear on your vehicle may cause problems later.

We advise getting a technician to do the installation. Wrong installation of snow gear (such as snow tires) can cause extensive damage to your car.

How Much Snow Can a Fiesta Handle?

The Fiesta offers users a little above six inches of ground clearance. Based on that, the Fiesta should be comfortable in snow up to four inches.

How Do Fiesta Handle Low Winter Temperatures?

Older Ford models were carbureted, and their engines warmed up slowly. This meant they were difficult to start in winter. As they are fuel-injected, Fiestas have shorter warm-ups. Thus, Fiestas are easy to start in winter, even when temperatures reach subzero levels.

Even so, you may encounter certain problems that could stop your Fiesta from properly operating in low winter temperatures.

Can a Ford Fiesta Drive on Ice?

Thanks to Traction Control and Electronic Stability Control, Fiestas are safe to drive on ice. These features combine to mitigate loss of traction and loss of control—two common occurrences on icy roads.

Besides, the Fiesta’s low center of gravity decreases its chances of rolling over on ice-covered terrain. There are higher chances of you finding a big SUV like the Explorer on its side in ice than a Fiesta.

If you love small cars, make sure to also read our article on how long Toyota Yaris last.

Does the Fiesta Have 4WD?

The Ford Fiesta is a front-wheel drive model, and offers neither 4WD nor AWD. Despite that, the Fiesta is still great for driving in winter.

Yes, 4WD/AWD increase traction on slick roads, but the Fiesta has a handful of features that offer similar benefits. For instance, Traction Control can detect potential loss of traction and prevent it. Electronic Stability Control also does something similar.

What About Older Fiesta Models And Winter Driving?

The older Ford Fiesta models can travel in snow with minimal problems. Older Fiestas had antilock brakes, stability control, traction control, and brake assist–the same features that aid winter driving on newer models.

If you prefer a smallish SUV, check out our article on 11 Ford EcoSport statistics.

Do Fiestas Need Snow Tires?

Your Fiesta needs snow tires for winter driving. Unlike all-season tires, snow tires have features such as deeply cut grooves that expel water from the tread. This prevents situations where your tires slip on water-covered surfaces (hydroplaning).

Snow tires also provide better traction in wintry conditions compared to all-season tires. This increases your vehicle’s stability and ensures that you stay in control while driving.

Can You Mount A Snow Plow On A Fiesta?

You can’t mount a snow plow on a Ford Fiesta. For a car to plow snow safely, it must have a powerful engine, 4WD capability, and sizable mass.

The Fiesta has none of this, making it the last vehicle to outfit with a snow plow. If you want to preserve your Fiesta’s lifespan, we will encourage you to avoid mounting a snow on it.

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