Honda Civic in Snow: Is This Car Suited for the Winter?

Cruising a Honda Civic in snow has definitely crossed the minds of many Civic owners during winter, but not all cars are built for driving in snow.

Honda Civic in Snow

While some vehicles will have absolutely no problems in snow, others will have a harder time operating in cold weather.

Which category does the Honda Civic fall into? Well, the latter, but let’s dig in to find out more!

Can You Drive a Honda Civic in Snow?

Yes, you can drive a Honda Civic in snow. However, it is one thing to be able to drive a car in snow and another for the car to actually be good in snow. Honda Civic ticks both boxes and will give a pleasant driving experience in the snow.

With a Honda Civic, you don’t even need to tweak how you drive too much. This is because there are features installed in the car that make it suitable for driving in the snow and winter in general. 

Make no mistake, though, Honda Civic still does not compare to SUVs or trucks in terms of experience driving in snow. But the Honda Civics excel among much smaller vehicles when it comes to driving in snow. Nonetheless, drivers should be able to understand the vehicle they are driving and drive in relation to that. In other words, don’t drive a Honda Civic like you would an SUV in snow. Also, check out some nice tips on how to protect your car from the snow!

Why Is the Honda Civic Suitable for Driving in Snow?

The Honda Civic is suitable for driving in snow because of features like its traction control, vehicle stability assist, electronic brake distribution, antilock braking, and heated seats. You don’t even need to install additional snow gear for a Honda Civic drive in snow.

Let’s consider these features individually and see how they contribute to the Honda Civic being good in snow.

– Traction Control

One of the biggest issues encountered when driving in snow is loss of traction. This happens because of the reduced friction between the track and the tires, which can result in some wheels spinning faster than others. If this persists, the driver may lose control of the car.

However, with traction control, the car monitors the wheelspin of the tires and assesses if any are spinning significantly faster than others. In such scenarios, there is an automatic reduction in engine output by the traction control. This regulates the anomalous wheelspin

A road departure mitigation system is also installed in many vehicles to ensure the driver maintains their lane. This works even when the traction is not as good.

– Vehicle Stability Assist

Simply known as VSA, the vehicle stability assist is a feature that Honda states helps prevent the Civic from losing traction and skidding in snowy conditions. The car manufacturer also states that there are multiple sensors in the car that monitor different parameters in the wheels and the car in general. 

Vehicle Stability Assist

If the sensors notice an abnormal parameter that could cause skidding or plowing, it alters the throttle and braking of the vehicle, so there is more individual braking on the wheels and reduced throttle to the vehicle. This usually results in reduced output to the wheels, and ultimately, a more stable vehicle. 

While this feature helps reduce the output power to the wheels, your proficiency as a driver is still needed to get the car under control, especially when it is skidding. Slowly decelerate the vehicle and use the steering wheel to get the car on the right track

– Electronic Brake Distribution

Electronic brake distribution (EBD) is a feature that distributes the braking force to the wheels differently, depending on the load they carry. The basis for this feature is that the wheels of the vehicle do not carry the same load when driving. However, when the brake is applied, that braking force is usually split across the wheels.

In some instances, like driving in snowy conditions, some wheels receive the force normally while some stop rotating instantly (wheel lock-up) because of the load on them. The EBD corrects this by shifting weight between the wheels, ensuring no wheel locks up. Some car owners struggle with the steering wheel locked up problem but there are solutions around it!

– Antilock Braking

While this feature works hand-in-hand with the electronic brake distribution feature, they are distinct features. The antilock braking is designed specifically for detecting rear wheel lockups when driving. There are sensors that monitor the brake force each wheel receives, as well as the deceleration of the wheels. 

Using the information obtained from the wheels, the antilock brake system prevents the wheels from locking up. It does this by pulsing the brake force applied to the wheels. That is, it can momentarily stop the brake force a wheel is receiving if it is decelerating too fast. 

Also, the system ensures the car only applies this feature when necessary. If applied wrongly, the pulses in braking can cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle.

– Heated Seats

This feature makes all the sense in the world, doesn’t it? When driving your Honda Civic SI in snow, the seats heat up, providing much-needed warmth to car passengers. This is not by any means an exclusive feature, as many cars actually have seats that heat up. 

Heated Seats of Civic Honda

However, many of the cars with this feature only have it for the driver and front passenger seat. The Honda Civic actually has rear seats that heat up as well. This ensures that every passenger is kept warm. 

Additionally, the Honda Civic can heat up the cabin of the car too. This feature is called climate control. Together with the heated seats feature, the vehicle remains comfortable for passengers in cold weather. 

What Are the Tips on Driving the Honda Civic in Snow?

The tips for driving the Honda Civic in snow include using the right tires, driving carefully, keeping enough distance between your car and the car in front, and preparing for anything. While these tips will help your driving experience, the ultimate tip is to drive only when necessary.

– Use Honda Civic Snow Tires

They are just as they sound – tires designed for driving during the snow. These tires are specially designed to offer better traction when driving in the snow. Also, they are made with materials that allow them to remain soft in extremely cold weather conditions

Use Honda Civic Snow Tires

While normal tires will suffice for every other season of the year, when winter and snow come along, you should change to snow tires. To avoid getting caught unaware, ensure you always have snow tires around during winter. You should remember to keep a spare in your car, too. 

The laws regarding snow tires also differ from place to place. In some regions, you cannot use your snow tires beyond April. Also, the type of snow tires that are acceptable may also differ with the region. Make sure you confirm with your law enforcement agencies before breaking out the snow tires.

– Your Tires Should Be at the Right Pressure

As the temperature cools in winter, the tire also deflates. This is because the gaseous particles in the tire will lose energy and exert less pressure on the tire walls. To combat this, you need to always be mindful of the pressure of your tires.

When filling your tires, ensure you conform with the recommended specifications set by the manufacturer. Do not assume the maximum pressure the tire can allow is what you should fill the tires to.

– Keep a Healthy Distance Between Other Cars

It is generally accepted that drivers leave two car lengths between their car and the car in front of them when driving on a highway. This allows the car behind to make necessary adjustments in case the car in front of them abruptly stops or changes direction. In snow, the distance should be even longer. 

Driving in snow is unpredictable. Not only can the car in front of you lose control in an instant, but your own car may also get out of control due to wheel lock-up. To protect both you and the person in front of you, make sure the distance between the two cars is healthy. 

– Don’t Drive Too Fast

As obvious as it seems, many people are deceived into thinking the several features in their Honda Civic are enough to always protect them when driving in snow. This is false and dangerous thinking, though. If anything, it is necessary to be more cautious when driving in the snow because of the unpredictability of the weather and road.

– Be Prepared To Get Stuck in the Snow

When driving in snow, there is always a possibility that your Honda Civic will get stuck. It’s not common, but it can definitely happen. In such cases, you can spend hours in a position. Hence, it is best to always have supplies in the car to combat such occurrences. 

Be Prepared To Get Stuck in the Snow

– Drive Only if You Have To

While we can spend all day giving tips on the dos and don’ts of driving your Honda Civic in snow, the ultimate tip is to stay home if you can. Seriously, no matter how experienced you are as a driver or the features present in the car, snow, like other weather conditions, is unpredictable.

If you get in an intense snowstorm, there’s little you can do, especially in a Honda Civic. So your safest bet is always to stay home if possible.

Can the Honda Civic handle snowy conditions like the Toyota Sienna can handle opening the rear door from the inside?

The Honda Civic is known for its impressive performance on snowy roads, but when it comes to opening the Toyota Sienna rear door from the inside, the Civic falls short. While the Civic may navigate snowy conditions with ease, it lacks the convenience offered by the Sienna’s rear door opening feature. Both vehicles excel in their own unique ways, catering to different needs and preferences of drivers.


If you have ever debated whether or not you can drive your Honda Civic in snow, you will be relieved to find out that you absolutely can.

This article sheds light on that topic, and here are a few key points to note:

  • Driving your Honda Civic in snow is possible because of the multiple features the manufacturer has installed in the car.
  • Features that make the Honda Civic good in snow include traction control, vehicle stability assist, electronic brake distribution, antilock braking, and heated seats.
  • While it is possible to drive the Honda Civic in snow, take note that you need to drive at a slower pace on snow tires that have been properly filled.
  • As much as the Honda Civic is suited to driving in snow, you should drive only if you have to because of the unpredictability of the weather.

Your Honda Civic is good in the summer and can improve winter driving too. However, as with other vehicles, it is always trickier driving in snow and there is no snow mode, so always be more cautious.

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