Audi A4 in Snow & Winter Driving (Solved & Explained)

The Audi A4 is a stylish and sophisticated compact luxury sedan, renowned for its blend of performance, comfort, and advanced tech.

If you’re considering one as your next purchase, you might want to find out more about its winter abilities.

We’ll cover that in depth, in this article…

Here is the short answer to whether the Audi A4 is good for snow and winter driving:

The Audi A4 is excellent in snow thanks to Quattro AWD, ABS, traction control, and stability control. Drive Select allows customized adjustments for varied conditions. However, its winter performance is constrained by limited ground clearance, even when equipped with snow tires.

Is the Audi A4 Good in the Snow?

The Audi A4 earns acclaim for winter driving, supported by owner testimonials and based on its technical features. With a 6.3-inch ground clearance, it handles light to moderate snow; however, deeper snow may require an SUV like the Q5 or Q7.

The A4’s Quattro all-wheel drive (fitted as standard on newer models) provides a significant winter advantage, ensuring improved traction in slippery conditions. However, skillful driving techniques, gentle acceleration, light braking, and subtle steering are crucial for success in snowy terrain, complemented by quality snow or winter tires.

Older models equipped with front-wheel drive can still perform well in snow although it’s less optimal. With the weight of the engine over the driven wheels, traction on snow-covered surfaces is enhanced. This added weight pressing down on the front wheels improves grip and stability, aiding in better control and maneuverability.

While the A4 cabin may lack spaciousness for family getaways, it accommodates roof racks for convenient attachment of gear like skis and snowboards.

The A4 also has a low center of gravity, providing enhanced stability and reduced risk of tipping in snowy conditions, ensuring better traction and control on slippery surfaces.

Recognized for safety, the A4 boasts top honors, including a 5-Star Overall Safety Rating from the NHTSA. Similarly, the A4 has received the highest rating of “Good” in all six crashworthiness tests conducted by the IIHS. As a result, it was awarded a TOP SAFETY PICK rating.

It also has lots of state-of-the-art features that contribute to a safer and more comfortable driving experience such as Audi Pre Sense, Drive Select, heated front seats and ABS.

Tip: In snowy conditions, consider turning off lane assist to avoid a sense of instability, and activating ‘Comfort’ mode is recommended for added control.

What Do Owners Say?

Audi A4 owners on praise its winter performance, noting it handles well in the snow. While some express concern about ground clearance, others emphasize the driver’s role, with positive experiences in snowy conditions.

Took mine [Audi A4] out for the first time in the snow (South Carolina) and I thought it performed quite well.” –

“Trust me when I tell you, it’s the driver that makes all the difference, not the vehicle. That being said, the A4 is more than sufficient for most winter tasks.” –

“I hear you about the ground clearance. Love the A4, but it’s low in the snow.” – AudiWorld

“I can’t speak for Subaru or BMW for winter driving but Quattro hasn’t ever let me down when it comes to snow driving. Happy Winter!” –

“This was my first time driving in the snow also and I am amazed at how well the car [Audi A4] handles” –

“I was surprised at how well my car [Audi A4] with all seasons handled my steep snow-covered driveway yesterday.” –

“All the systems have there strengths and weaknesses, but they seem to be pretty comparable. I have blizzaks on my BMW X3 and my Audi A4. They both handle really well and I’d say they feel about the same in most snow and Ice conditions. If we 8 inches or more on the road before the plow comes through then the X3 does a little better because of the extra ground clearance.” –

Related: 12 Best & Worst Audi A4 Years (With Facts & Stats)

What Features Improve Winter Driving?

Quattro All-Wheel-Drive

The Audi A4 has Quattro All-Wheel-Drive fitted as standard, which greatly improves its winter performance.

  • Power Distribution: Quattro AWD systems distribute power to all four wheels, enhancing traction and stability for improved control in snowy conditions.
  • Instant Response: Rapid response to changes in driving conditions, transferring power almost instantaneously to wheels with better traction, minimizing the risk of getting stuck in the snow.
  • Enhanced Stability: Balanced power distribution prevents oversteering and understeering, crucial for stability on slippery surfaces like snow.
  • Adaptive Systems: Modern Quattro systems feature adaptability, adjusting power distribution based on factors such as wheel slip, throttle input, and road conditions for optimal performance in various snowy environments.
  • Improved Handling: Quattro AWD contributes to confident handling in snow, allowing better navigation of corners and turns by distributing power to the wheels with the most traction.
  • Safety: Increased stability and traction enhance safety in snowy conditions, providing better control over acceleration, braking, and steering, reducing the likelihood of accidents in challenging winter weather.

Electronic Stability Program (ESP)

The Electronic Stability Program (ESP) in an Audi A4 enhances safety on snow-covered roads by automatically adjusting individual wheel braking and engine power to help prevent skidding and loss of control in slippery conditions. ESP works seamlessly to provide stability and traction, offering confident handling when driving on snowy surfaces.

Heated Front Seats

Standard heated front seats in an Audi A4 enhance comfort during cold weather, providing a cozy and enjoyable driving experience by keeping occupants warm.

Three-zone Automatic Cimate Control with Digital Rear Display

The Three-zone Automatic Climate Control is advantageous in winter for an Audi A4 as it allows occupants to individually customize and maintain optimal temperature settings for the driver, front passenger, and rear passengers, ensuring a comfortable and cozy environment for everyone despite varying preferences or needs.

Audi Drive Select

The A4 is equipped with Audi Drive Select, enabling drivers to personalize suspension, steering, and throttle response based on driving conditions.

The Comfort mode is considered ideal for snow conditions because it optimizes the vehicle’s settings to prioritize a smoother and more stable driving experience.

The throttle response is typically more gradual, and the transmission shifts smoothly, helping to reduce the likelihood of wheel spin and providing better control in snowy or slippery conditions.

Available modes:

  • auto
  • comfort
  • dynamic
  • individual

Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS)

The Audi A4 is equiped with a standard Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) that prevents wheel lock-up by pulsating the brakes when it detects impending locking.

This becomes especially crucial in winter, where decreased traction on icy or snowy surfaces can lead to wheel lock-up even with moderate braking. The ABS in the Audi A4 plays a pivotal role in sustaining control and stability during braking in the face of such challenging weather conditions.

Full LED headlights & Highbeam Assist

In winter, LED headlights on the Audi A4 provide daylight-like road illumination, ensuring enhanced safety and convenience with low power consumption and extended service life.

With features like all-weather light and static cornering light, they offer versatile functionality, optimizing visibility in various weather conditions.

The high-beam assist enhances safety by automatically detecting oncoming traffic and adjusting the high beam accordingly, optimizing visibility while ensuring considerate driving in varying light conditions.

Heat-insulating glass for side and rear windows

Heat-insulating glass for side and rear windows on an Audi A4 is beneficial in winter as it helps retain interior warmth by minimizing heat loss through the windows, providing improved insulation and contributing to a more comfortable and energy-efficient cabin in cold weather.

Audi Pre Sense Basic

In snowy driving conditions, PreSense takes proactive measures to safeguard the driver and passengers by deploying protective actions when a potential collision is detected, such as

  • tightening safety belts for front seats
  • closing both front and rear side windows
  • shutting the sunroof

Power-Adjustable, Heated Exterior Side Mirrors

Power-adjustable, heated exterior side mirrors on the Audi A4 ensure rapid defrosting, promoting clear visibility in winter, enhancing safety and driver convenience.

This feature prevents ice accumulation and facilitates quick adjustments, contributing to a more comfortable and secure driving experience in cold weather.

Related: 6 Most Common Problems of the Audi A4 (Explained)

Does The Audi A4 Have a Snow Mode?

When it comes to snow mode, the Audi A4 does not explicitly include a dedicated snow mode. However, one mode within the Audi Drive Select that can be used for snow driving is the Comfort mode.

Comfort mode is optimal for snow in an Audi A4 as it adjusts throttle response and transmission settings for smoother and more controlled driving, minimizing wheel spin and enhancing stability on slippery surfaces.

Can You Install Additional Snow Gear on The Audi A4?

The Audi A4 can be equipped with various performance upgrades.

  • Snow Tires: Recommended for optimal grip and control in snowy conditions.
  • Studded Tires: Provide additional traction on ice, but usage may be regulated in certain regions.
  • Snow Socks: Lightweight and easily installable for a temporary traction boost on tires.
  • Snow Chains: Offer extra grip in deep snow or icy conditions, with usage guided by the vehicle’s manual and local regulations.
  • Winter Wiper Blades: Specially designed to prevent snow and ice buildup, ensuring clear visibility.
  • Roof Racks and Cargo Boxes: Expand storage capacity for winter sports gear or additional luggage.
  • Block Heater: Keeps the engine warm, aiding in easier starts in extremely cold temperatures.

Important Considerations: Always consult the Audi A4 owner’s manual for guidance on compatibility with any additional snow gear. Local regulations regarding the use of studded tires and snow chains should be adhered to for safe and legal driving.

How Much Snow Can a A4 Handle?

With a ground clearance of 6.3 inches, the Audi A4 can handle light to moderate snow conditions effectively, typically up to around 6 inches. However, in deep snow or extreme winter weather, it’s advisable to exercise caution and consider additional snow gear or alternative transportation options.

Driving in deep snow may result in reduced traction, increased risk of getting stuck, and potential challenges in maintaining control due to the vehicle’s limited ground clearance.

How Do A4’s Handle Low Winter Temperatures?

The Audi A4, featuring a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, is purposefully crafted for efficient cold-weather performance. Its well-designed attributes, such as effective cold start systems, proper engine lubrication, and advanced heating mechanisms, ensure reliable operation even in sub-zero temperatures.

For very cold weather, you may want to use an engine block heater to facilitate easier starts, reduce wear on components, and improve fuel efficiency.

Regular maintenance, along with the use of recommended fluids, becomes paramount to ensure the optimal function in chilly weather.

Can a Audi A4 Drive on Ice?

Fitted with appropriate tires, the Audi A4 showcases prowess in handling icy conditions, but caution is advised. Driving at a controlled speed, ensuring extended stopping distances, and utilizing features like traction control enhance stability.

  • The A4’s advanced systems, including Quattro all-wheel drive, further bolster control and traction, especially on icy surfaces.
  • Studded winter tires, featuring specialized ice traction technology, are recognized as top performers in such challenging conditions.

Does the A4 Have 4WD?

The Audi A4 typically features all-wheel drive (AWD) rather than traditional four-wheel drive (4WD), although on older models front-wheel drive is standard.

AWD systems in the A4 provide continuous power to all four wheels, dynamically adjusting traction to improve performance in various driving conditions, while traditional 4WD often involves manually engaging all four wheels.

Do Audi A4s Need Snow Tires?

A vehicle’s performance on snow and ice is largely determined by its tires. While the A4 can handle reasonably well with its standard all-season tires, ensuring optimal safety and handling requires a transition to dedicated snow or winter tires.

Opt for renowned brands like Michelin, Bridgestone, Continental, or Pirelli that provide excellent traction on snow and ice. Select tires explicitly designed for winter performance, characterized by a tread pattern and rubber compound tailored for cold temperatures. This ensures improved grip and control in snowy and icy conditions.

Can You Mount a Snow Plow on a A4?

Mounting a snow plow on an Audi A4 is a bad idea. The vehicle’s design and chassis are not intended for heavy-duty plowing work.

Moreover, installing a snow plow on a A4 could have negative impacts on the vehicle’s warranty, performance, and safety features. This puts unnecessary stress on components not designed for such use.

Hence, it’s advisable to seek alternatives, like professional snow removal services or appropriate snow plow vehicles if you have plowing needs.

Related: How Long Do Audi A4 Last? (Solved & Explained)



  • Ian Sawyer

    Growing up with a father who was a mechanic I had an appreciation for cars and motorcycles from an early age. I shared my first bike with my brother that had little more than a 40cc engine but it opened up a world of excitement for me, I was hooked. As I grew older I progressed onto bigger bikes and...