Hyundai Elantra In Snow & Winter Driving? (Explained)

The Hyundai Elantra is a sporty looking sedan that is known for its reliability and modest price tag.

Offering ample room for five passengers, base models come equipped with an abundance of safety features and smart technology.

But how well does the Elantra perform in snow and winter driving?

Read on to find out…

Here is the short answer to whether the Hyundai Elantra is good for snow and winter driving:

The Hyundai Elantra can drive in snow just fine. Fitted with ABS, Stability Control, and Traction Control the Elantra is a safe option for winter travel. Its front wheel drivetrain provides plenty of grip however the Elantra will perform much better in the winter when equipped with snow tires.

Is a Hyundai Elantra good in the Snow?

The Elantra is a solid choice for winter driving, when equipped with the right tires and driven carefully – this sporty sedan offers a stable ride on snow covered roads. and is limited only by its 5.3-inch ground clearance.

The Hyundai Elantra comes with a front-wheel-drive (FWD) drivetrain, which simply means the engine powers the wheels at the front.

The engine is where most of the weight is located, making this a good option for cruising through the snow, as the weight of the engine over the tires offers better traction.

The Elantra has a 147 hp engine, delivering an output of 132 lb-ft of torque, giving it plenty of power needed for driving on snowy roads.

For more extreme winter conditions you might want to consider a vehicle with greater ground clearance, such as a pickup or SUV.

We strongly recommend fitting your Elantra with snow tires for the best possible handling and performance during the winter.

Features For Improved Winter Driving

The Hyundai Elantra is kitted out with a number of features that make winter driving less problematic, a few of which are detailed below:

Anti-Lock Braking System

Snow, ice, and reduced visibility can make any driver anxious.

With the anti-lock braking system, drivers can be assured that their brakes won’t lock when applying.

Hyundai has gone a step further in providing safety by installing electronic braking distribution (EBD).

Because not every tire carries the same amount of weight, the braking pressure will vary.

The electronic braking distribution corrects the uneven pressure and applies force to each tire where needed.

This technology can prevent loss of control – which is needed more than ever on slippery roads.

Remote Start

Although a remote start has nothing to do with driving performance, it can be extremely useful in winter.

Having the ability to start your vehicle from inside the comfort of your home makes it that much easier to leave and brave the outdoors.

Not to mention, the heated front seats which come standard in the Hyundai Elantra will be nice and toasty.

Stability Control

Just about everyone has or will, at some point, encounter nasty road conditions.

Having faith in your vehicle to perform well in hazardous conditions shouldn’t be something to worry about.

Hyundai has taken away some of that concern by equipping the Elantra with an electronic stability control system.

The control system can sense when the vehicle is sliding and brings it back to a straight position by applying the brakes and reducing engine speed.

This improves the driver’s chance of regaining control of the vehicle and avoiding an accident.

Traction Control

Black ice can appear out of nowhere, and sometimes a driver doesn’t realize they’ve hit a patch until they lose control.

When this occurs, traction control kicks in and reduces the power supplied to the tires and helps prevent wheel spin.

When a vehicles wheel spins without any grip on the roads surface, this can lead to a loss of control, especially in slick conditions.

If the traction control system detects one wheel is spinning faster than the other it will automatically reduce the amount of power sent to that wheel or it will apply the ABS.

Traction control is highly recommended and comes standard in the Hyundai Elantra.

Related: 4 Most Common Problems With Hyundai Elantra (Explained)

Elantra Safety Features For Ease Of Winter Driving

Hyundai offers many safety options on the Elantra. The base model has added features, making driving through winter months more comfortable and safe.

We list some of these safety features below:

High Beam Assist

HBA is a courteous feature that spares oncoming motorists from becoming blinded by your high beams.

The high beam assist technology on the Hyundai Elantra allows the beams to switch from high to low upon detecting oncoming traffic. 

Lane Departure Warning Assist

Reduced visibility from drifting and blowing snow can make it difficult to stay within the lines on the roads.

If a vehicle drifts outside the lane, a sensor will inform the driver.

If the drifting is not corrected, steering assistance applies itself to keep the vehicle within the proper lanes. 

Blind Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist

Hyundai uses radar detection in the Elantra to inform a driver when a vehicle is in their blind spot.

This assist technology allows the brake to apply power to the opposite tire (if a vehicle is detected your blind spot and your turning signal is on), thus avoiding a collision. 

Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist

Backing out of parking spots can be a nightmare on a good day and Winters can make the experience even more frustrating.

With the rear cross-traffic collision avoidance assist, backing up is made simpler.

This technology warns drivers of oncoming traffic to either side of the vehicle and will apply the brakes if needed.

Additional Snow Gear For The Elantra

Here are some additional winter accessories that are available for the Hyundai Elantra:

Engine Block Heater

Depending on which location you live in, will determine whether the Hyundai Elantra comes equipped with a block heater.

Some drivers may not realize the intent of a block heater. In colder climates, drivers can simply plug their vehicles into a standard outlet using an extension cord to keep their engines warm.

Although colder climate areas offer the block heater as a standard option, it’s always best to check with the dealership.

You may also be interested in our article: how long do Kia Forte Last?

Battery Booster

Many drivers store emergency equipment in their vehicles throughout the winter months.

Included in this is usually a battery booster, put simply – batteries do not perform as well in colder temperatures.

It’s best to opt for a battery booster rather than the typical jumper cables. That way you don’t have to wait for passerby’s if you become stranded.  

Tire Inflator

Another significant item to store in your roadside emergency kit is a tire inflator.

Tire pressure can become low in the winter months, and it’s important to check your tires periodically.

The Hyundai Elantra comes with a standard tire pressure monitoring system, which alerts you when the tire pressure becomes low.

The tire inflator is an ideal item to have on hand in case you get a flat in the middle of nowhere.

Other Items You Should Have On Hand For Winter Driving:

  • Shovel
  • De-icer
  • Flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Safety triangles
  • Matches
  • Blanket

Does the Elantra have 4WD?

The Elantra does not have four-wheel drive (4WD) or all-wheel-drive (AWD).

All trims – the SE, SEL, N-Line and Limited come with front-wheel drive and there are no other drivetrains available.

This shouldn’t put you off though, front wheel drive vehicles are more than capable in the winter.

Does the Elantra need Snow Tires?

Most vehicles come equipped with all-season tires. These are not always the best choice for driving on snow and ice. Winter tires may be more costly than the average all season, but they offer far more advantages. 

  • Rubber is more flexible, providing better grip 
  • Provides greater traction 
  • Have a shorter braking distance
  • Offer a greater ability of driving from a starting position on slippery roads

Snow tires are proven to significantly improve handling and stopping distances in winter driving conditions.

How Does the Elantra Handle Low Winter Temperatures?

As with most fuel-injected engines, starting the Hyundai Elantra will be a breeze. However, extreme cold conditions could cause potential difficulties. If it doesn’t start on the first try, it could be due to:

  • Battery problems – If your vehicle struggles to start in the cold, in most instances it is a battery related issue. Cold weather is particularly hard on batteries, it’s a good idea to have a battery health check before the winter sets in.
  • Tire pressure dropping – Check pressure every two weeks, as cold weather sets in tire pressure can drop. Check your tire tread depth is adequate also.
  • Freezing fluids – make sure both screenwash and antifreeze are topped up with a solution that will stay in liquid form, even in sub-zero temperatures.
  • Failed spark plugs – Any old or damaged spark plugs should be replaced, when the temperature dips spark plugs can fail due to their susceptibility to corrosion.
  • Frozen windshield wiper – Wiper blades can become particularly vulnerable in the cold, if they are frozen to the glass, when activated they can tear off. Consider investing in winter wiper blades.

You may also be interested in our article: how long do Hyundai Elantra last?

Can the Elantra Drive on Ice?

The Elantra is capable of driving on ice however it should be done so with extreme caution, speeds should be lowered and corners should be taken with much greater care and you should ask yourself if your journey is really necessary.

Features such as the Traction Control System will help aid driving on icy roads however when driving on ice grip is hugely reduced and braking distances are significantly longer.

If you intend on doing a lot of driving on ice we strongly suggest investing in a good set of studded ice tires.

How Much Snow Can A Hyundai Elantra Handle?

There are 5.3 inches of ground clearance on each model of the Hyundai Elantra.

Unless you are driving on unplowed roads, then there should be no problem navigating through it.

The right winter tires will improve the ability to drive through deeper snow. 

We would not recommend driving through snow any deeper than 4 inches.

What About Older Hyundai Elantra Models And Winter Driving?

Models dating back as far as 1994 were first equipped with anti-lock braking systems, making them suitable for winter road conditions. 

Are Tire Chains Recommended?

It’s best to check with the tire manufacturer or dealership regarding the use and proper fit of chains. You will also need to check the area in which you live, as not all locations allow the use of tire chains. 

Does the Elantra Have Snow Mode?

The Hyundai Elantra does not have a snow mode, however this vehicle can handle snow just fine without it.

Snow mode’s limit throttle sensitivity and the amount of power that is used so wheel spin is minimized or eliminated.

These are useful features but they are by no means essential.

Please also read our article: 11 Hyundai Elantra facts and statistics

Can You Mount A Snow Plow On The Hyundai Elantra?

I’m sure, somewhere, somehow, someone has tried to, but the answer is no.

The Elantra would not have enough torque or traction to move the snow, and there is nothing to attach it to, not to mention the damage one would do trying to mount it to the vehicle. 

This would also most likely invalidate your vehicle warranty.

Final Thoughts

Most of us can’t avoid winter driving. As with any vehicle, it’s important to research before purchasing.

The Hyundai Elantra ticks a lot of boxes for safety features, enabling any driver to feel confident behind the wheel, especially in the winter.



  • 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...