Hyundai Tucson in Snow & Winter Driving? (Explained)

The Hyundai Tucson is a mid-sized compact SUV with a unique design, enhanced safety and hybrid options.

The new Tucson has won numerous awards and has a 5-star safety rating.

Lets find out just how well-suited this car is for snow and winter driving…

Here is the short answer about whether the Hyundai Tucson is good for snow and winter driving:

The Hyundai Tucson is great for driving in snow. It has a wide range of safety features such as ABS, Lane Keep Assist, Forward Collision Warning and Blind Spot Monitoring. Combined with a ground clearance of 6.4 inches and the HTRAC All Wheel Drive system the Tucson is an excellent winter vehicle.

Is a Hyundai Tucson Good in the Snow?

The Hyundai Tucson is excellent for winter driving.

This compact SUV is equipped with a powerful 226 horsepower engine with Hyundai’s HTRAC AWD system.

This particular model from Hyundai is equipped with some great safety features and technology which make it much safer to drive in the snow, such as:

  • Lane keep assist
  • Forward collision warning
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Hillstart assist
  • Hill descent control

On top of this, the Tucson received an impressive 5 stars in the global NCAP safety ratings.

With a 6.4 inch ground clearance this car will have no trouble navigating moderate snow conditions.

Additionally, the Tucson has a good amount of weight to it, weighing approximately 3500 lbs.

This is actually a good thing to have in the winter as it helps the car to push its tires down through the thicker snow, allowing the tires to grip onto the surface below.

RepairPal gave the Tucson 4 out of 5 stars for reliability, and this made it the fifth most reliable SUV in its segment – a reassuringly high rating, especially if the car is intended to be used in harsh winter conditions.

What Features Will Improve Winter Driving?

The Hyundai Tucson is equipped with some of the latest safety features and up-to-date technology that will greatly improve its ability to drive in colder conditions.


The Tucson comes equipped with Hyundai’s flagship HTRAC All Wheel Drive system.

All-Wheel Drive helps to increase your traction and ability to accelerate in slippery conditions. 

Snow tires on the other hand will help improve your ability to steer and stop in those same weather conditions.  Together, AWD and snow tires give you the best tools for safely navigating hostile winter driving conditions.  

Traditional 4-wheel drive systems were intended for off-road conditions and generally not renowned for there fuel efficiency. 

Hyundai’s HTRAC AWD system is designed to combine the capabilities of a 4WD system with the performance and full efficiency of front-wheel drive.

While the AWD system is always engaged, drivers have the option of selecting one of three driving modes:  

  • Comfort – Power is split approximately 70/30 between the front and rear wheels for stable control in all weather conditions.
  • Smart or Eco – Most of the power is distributed to the front wheels for improved fuel efficiency.
  • Sport – Up to 50% of the torque is sent to the rear wheels for dynamic control and greater agility.  

Anti-Lock Brakes

The Hyundai Tucson comes equipped with anti-lock brakes.

This system is put in place to help prevent the wheels from locking up under hard or fast braking.

If the wheels lock under braking they stop rotating, and when the wheels stop rotating, they are not able to grip onto the surface of the road, which means the car is not able to slow down effectively.

ABS is useful in the snow as it assists the wheels during braking even in low grip conditions. It helps the tires to grip better and slow the car down more efficiently.

This is extremely important in the snow as braking distances are significantly increased.

Related: 8 Most Common Problems With Hyundai Tucson (Solved)

Electronic Brake Distribution

The Tucson is also equipped with Electronic Brake Distribution.

This clever system sends more braking power to the wheels that have the most grip.

For example, if the front wheels are locking, more braking power is sent to the rear brakes. This is useful in the snow as it means the car is able to use all four wheels in order to effectively slow itself down.

Lane Keep Assist

The Tucson is equipped with the latest technology in the automotive market.

Lane Keep Assist is one of these safety features.

The car’s forward-facing camera is able to detect when the driver is unintentionally leaving their lane due to a lack of concentration or a mistake. The Tucson will then gently steer itself back into its lane.

This feature is great for driving in the snow as it helps the driver to stay in the correct lane even if the visibility is poor.

It also allows the driver to focus on their driving and observe the road around them without having to worry about keeping in their lane.

Forward Collision-Avoidance

The Tucson again uses its forward-facing camera in this case.

The forward collision avoidance system detects objects in the road ahead. It can also detect cars slowing down in front of it and therefore apply the brakes in order to avoid collisions or reduce the severity of them.

This feature is useful in snowy conditions as it can help the driver to quickly detect any obstacles in front of them.

It is also useful when the car in front of the Tucson suddenly starts braking without the driver noticing.

The Tucson will assist the driver in slowing the car down in the slippery conditions.

Blind Spot Monitoring

Blind spot monitoring is a safety feature that is available on the Hyundai Tucson.

It gives a visual and auditory warning to the driver if there is a vehicle in their blind spot when they are changing lanes. The alarm will activate if the vehicle’s indicator is turned on.

This is an excellent feature however its important to always visually check your blind spots and not rely solely on technology.

Hill Descent Control

The Hyundai Tucson is able to control its hill descent very carefully.

When the Tucson detects that it is going down a hill it will use engine braking and application of the brakes to ensure that it is not descending the hill too fast.

This feature makes driving in the snow much safer as it means that the car is more in control when going down a hill.

Hill Start Assist

The Hyundai Tucson is equipped with hill start assist.

This means that the Tucson will control the car when pulling away at an angle.

Hill starts can be much more difficult in the snow, and having assistance can certainly come in handy.

Traction and Stability Control

The Hyundai Tucson is equipped with Electronic Traction and Stability control.

This system controls the amount of torque that is sent to the wheels to prevent them from spinning.

In addition, the system will also monitor the traction of the wheels when the car is at cruising speed. If one of the wheels loses traction, the Tucson will react to stabilize itself again.

This feature is great for driving in the snow as it helps the Tucson to control its wheelspin.

In the snow, it can be extremely easy to spin the wheels as they struggle to find traction.

It’s also possible to lose traction at cruising speed if the car hits a slippery patch of tarmac, in this scenario the stability control will help to keep the Tucson move in the right direction.

Does a Hyundai Tucson Have a Snow Mode?

The Hyundai Tucson does not have a snow mode, it does however have a sport mode as part of the HTRAC AWD system.

Sport mode sends up to 50 percent torque to the rear wheels for even greater agility and dynamic control.

Please also see our article: how long do Hyundai Tucson last

Can You Install Additional Snow Gear on a Hyundai Tucson?

Additional snow gear can be installed on the Hyundai Tucson. It’s recommended that the Tucson is used with snow tires when driving in the winter. This will give the car much more grip in the slippery conditions. The snow gear that can be fitted to the Hyundai Tucson is:

  • Snow tires
  • Studded ice tires
  • Snow socks
  • Snow chains
  • Snow plow

How Much Snow Can a Hyundai Tucson Handle?

The Tucson can handle between 5-6 inches of snow. Our estimate is based on an assessment of the car’s ride height, which is 6.4 inches.

The Tucson should comfortably handle low to moderate levels of snow with such a ground clearance, however, in very heavy snow, it may begin to struggle.

How Does the Hyundai Tucson Handle Low Winter Temperatures?

The Hyundai Tucson can comfortably handle colder temperatures.

The Tucson has great reliability and having the latest technology implemented into the engine means that it does not require a lot of time to warm up before driving in colder conditions.

Can a Hyundai Tucson Drive on Ice?

It is not recommended to drive the Tucson on ice.

The slippery conditions can easily cause the car to spin, and being extremely heavy can be a disadvantage here.

When driving on ice in the Tucson it is highly recommended to use snow mode and studded ice tires.

Does the Hyundai Tucson Have 4WD?

Some models of the Hyundai Tucson do have a four-wheel-drive system although this does not come as standard.

More commonly used in newer models of the Tucson is the HTRAC AWD system.

This system has different driving modes depending on the conditions that the car needs to perform in.

What About Older Hyundai Tucson Models and Winter Driving?

Older Hyundai Tucson models are not great at winter driving.

The quality of cars produced by Hyundai has certainly become much better over the years, older models are outdated in technology and safety features compared to the latest Tucson model.

That being said, some of the older models of the Tucson are still equipped with four-wheel drive and traction control.

Does the Hyundai Tucson Need Snow Tires?

Snow tires are not essential for the Hyundai Tucson, however they will greatly benefit the vehicle in terms of grip and traction in slippery conditions.

As such, it is highly recommended to use snow tires with the Tucson in the winter.

Can You Mount a Snow Plow on a Hyundai Tucson?

The Hyundai Tucson can fit a snow plow.

If plowing with your Tucson is necessary, consult your mechanic for guidance on what snowplow to buy and how to install it.

Related: 8 Best & Worst Hyundai Tucson Years (With Pictures) 


  • 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...