Mercedes C300 In Snow & Winter Driving? (Solved & Explained)

 The Mercedes Benz C300 is a top contender for those looking for a luxurious sedan.

Loaded with all the latest driving tech, luxuries, build quality, class and style that only Mercedes can provide. 

But when it comes to driving on snow and ice, can it live up to expectations?

We’ll answer that and more in this article as we take a closer look at the C300’s winter driving capabilities. 

Here is the short answer to whether the Mercedes Benz C300 is good for snow and winter driving:

The Mercedes Benz C300 is a great choice for driving in snow, particularly when fitted with 4Matic AWD. Proven in tough winter conditions, the C300 boasts a whole range of features such as Traction Control, ABS, Remote Engine Start and Heated Seats which provide safety and comfort in adverse weather.

Is the Mercedes C300 Good in the Snow?

As can be expected from a Mercedes Benz, the C300 is loaded with state-of-the-art tech, safety features and creature comforts that make driving in snow extremely safe and comfortable.

The engineers at Mercedes have ensured the C300 can perform to a high standard in even the most challenging climatic conditions with extensive simulation measures and exhaustive trial driving in some of the coldest regions in the world.

The standout feature for driving in snow is the C300’s 4Matic AWD system as it provides increased traction and superior handling by sending power to all four wheels – this is the optimal drivetrain if you live in an area that sees prolonged winters and regular snowfall.

The C300 has a reasonable ground clearance sitting at approximately 4 inches, which is more than sufficient to drive the vehicle through snow-covered roads.

Its low center of gravity means there is less risk of rollovers and recent model years including 2020 and 2021 have been awarded the Top Safety Pick by the IIHS.

Overall the C300 is a safe and reliable daily driver in the winter.

What Features Will Improve Winter Driving?

Below we’ll take a look at some of the C300’s best winter features.

4Matic All-Wheel Drive

The 4Matic AWD is a full-time system that constantly sends power to all four wheels with slightly more power being sent to the rear during normal driving.

Having 4Matic equipped significantly improves the C300s handling and traction on snow-covered roads, by intelligently sending power to any of the four wheels to combat loss of traction or slipping.

Adaptability is the main focus of the 4MATIC system as regardless of which wheel loses grip, power will be distributed to the opposite wheel.

These computerized adjustments offer drivers an enhanced level of safety and peace of mind.

Electronic Stability Program (ESP)

ESP, is the Electronic Stability Program from Mercedes Benz.

It carefully monitors your driving inputs and the vehicles motion to make sure you don’t lose control in the event of understeer or oversteer.

If it detects that the car is not heading in the intended direction, it can selectively apply the brakes to individual wheels and reduce engine power to maintain stability and correct trajectory.

ESP helps keeps you safe in the winter when the road surfaces can become extremely slippery and unpredictable. 

4-Wheel Electronic Traction Control System (4-ETS)

4-ETS uses individual sensors and brakes on every wheel and is essentially traction control.

It is designed to detect when a tire loses grip and starts spinning – it will then stop, or slow down the rate of spin.

When the roads are covered with snow, slush or ice, it’s easy to make the wheels spin, but this  won’t actually help move the car forward and can cause loss of control. 

The C300’s Traction Control System will automatically apply the brakes when it senses wheelspin so that the tires can better grip the road.

Torque Brake Vectoring

The C300 also comes with Torque Brake Vectoring which improves the vehicle’s handling characteristics by automatically sending some brake pressure to the inner wheels whenever you’re cornering. 

By adjusting the power across the axle more effectively, the car is able to corner with more grip and turn into a bend quicker.

This helps resolve sluggish and unresponsive steering which typically occurs during the winter when your tires have less grip.

Anti-Lock Braking System

Fitted as standard on all C300’s, ABS brakes prevent the car’s wheels from locking up under heavy braking, thereby maintaining more control and reducing the chance of skidding.

You may also be interested in our article: where are Mercedes C300 made?

Adaptive Braking Technology

Adaptive Braking Technology is a series of innovations that helps improve braking.

  • Predictive Brake Priming – uses special sensors that predict emergency stops. In some situations, the brake pads are brought closer to the brake rotors when you release the gas pedal and are therefore ‘pre-charged’ for a quicker response. 
  • Automatic Brake Drying – dries your brake rotors when it’s raining or snowing outside by occasionally applying light brake pressure just enough to remove water build-up. 

Airmatic Air Suspension

The C300 can also be equipped with Airmatic Air Suspension which lets you lower or increase the ride height at the push of a button.

During normal driving conditions, you can make the car’s center of gravity lower to improve handling and controllability on slippery surfaces.

If there’s deep snow on the ground, you can raise it up to increase the ground clearance.

It also allows you to easily fit snow chains on because it increases the space between the edge of the tire and the wheel well.

Heated Mirrors and Seats

The C300 comes standard with heated side mirrors and front seats, as well as a heated steering wheel. 

The heated seats and steering wheel make the cabin a cozy place to be in even when it’s freezing outside. 

Remote Engine Start

Newer C300s come with Remote Start as standard.

This feature can also be accessed via the Mercedes mobile app on the latest models.

Remote Start lets you turn on the engine and the heater to make the car ready to go as soon as you get in.

Remote Start can also thaw out frozen doors before you even walk over to the car so you won’t have to stand outside in the cold trying to break them free.

Crosswind Assist

During heavy snowstorms the C300 has Crosswind Assist to keep the car traveling in a straight line.

It applies the brakes to the right wheels to counteract the effects of strong gusts of wind.

Advanced Driver Aids

The C300 can also be optioned with a range of modern driver aids and safety tech such as:

  • Active Lane Keeping Assist
  • Active Lane Change Assist
  • Active Brake Assist with Cross-Traffic Function
  • Congestion Emergency Braking
  • Active Emergency Stop Assist
  • Active Speed Limit Assist
  • Rear Cross-Traffic Alert

These will warn you of obstacles and help you avoid sudden steering movements and having to slam on the brakes which can quickly unsettle the car when the roads are slippery. 

Please also read our article: how long do Mercedes-Benz C300 last?

Does the Mercedes Benz C300 Have Snow Mode?

The C300 does not have a Snow Mode.

Usually, a Snow Mode helps you avoid wheelspin when driving on snow or ice by reducing throttle sensitivity.

It does have a dedicated button to turn off Traction Control and the ESP so you can force the car to spin the wheels when you’re stuck in deep snow or are trying to go up a slippery and steep hill.

Can You Install Additional Snow Gear on the C300?

The Mercedes Benz C300 can be easily fitted with extra accessories to make it more suitable for the snow. 

Some of the more common winter additions include:

  • Snow tires
  • Tire chains
  • Snow socks
  • Studded tires
  • Block heater
  • Tow hook

These accessories can make the C300 more suitable for back roads and extremely snowy drives. 

How Much Snow Can a C300 Handle?

The C300 has a ground clearance of around 4 inches, as such it won’t be able to handle really deep snow.

It should be able to safely drive through up to 6 inches of snow, but any deeper and you’ll risk getting the bottom of the vehicle stuck. 

If you don’t want to get the underside of your vehicle covered in the snow, you’ll need to keep an eye out for places with over 3 inches of snow.

How Does the Mercedes Benz C300 Handle Low Winter Temperatures?

The Mercedes Benz C300 is well-known for its build quality and robust engine, so you don’t have to worry about sub-optimal performance or essential systems breaking down in sub-zero temperatures.

If you want to make sure you don’t get caught out in the cold, it’s best to have it serviced properly just before winter comes and take care of things such as:

  • Switching to cold weather rated engine oil and fluids
  • Fitting snow tires
  • Installing an engine block heater
  • Using a battery tender when garaged
  • Keeping a jump pack, tow straps and a shovel in the car for emergencies

Can the C300 Drive on Ice?

The C300 is loaded with lots of safety features and driver aids to help you easily drive over icy roads – although you should always exercise caution when doing so. 

The 4Matic AWD system significantly improves the car’s stability when it gets really slippery.

The advanced braking technology it comes with and its lighter weight also makes braking and coming to a stop less of an issue.

A good set of winter tires will make provide the most grip on icy surfaces.

You may also be interested in our article: Infiniti Q50 in Snow & Winter Driving

Does the C300 Have 4WD?

The C300 is available with All-Wheel-Drive and has been ever since it was introduced, although it does not have 4WD in the traditional sense. 

The 4-Matic AWD is always working in the background and constantly adjusting the power sent to the front and rear wheels to compensate for changing road conditions.

What About Older C300 Models And Winter Driving?

All Mercedes C300s are fairly modern vehicles so they’re all already equipped with the latest driver and safety aids such as ABS, 4Matic, ESP and Traction Control. 

If you look back further at older C-Class models, you’ll still find ABS, as well as Stability and Traction Control fitted as standard equipment, so they should all be fairly safe to drive even in the winter.

Does the Mercedes C300 Need Snow Tires?

Snow tires will ensure you get the best possible winter performance from your C300, and are highly recommended.

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

  • The compound is made to grip the road better in lower temperatures as it remains soft and flexible in cold weather.
  • The tread pattern is designed to push the snow out from underneath the tire. 

Can You Mount A Snow Plow on a C300?

The C300 is not an ideal vehicle for plowing snow doing so will likely damage the vehicle and invalidate its warranty.

It sits low to the ground so you’ll have trouble driving it through deeper sections of snow and uses a unibody construction so there aren’t many snow plows that will fit on it.

Snow plows put a lot of strain on the chassis so it’s better to mount them on large body-on-frame trucks and SUVs.

Related: 7 Most Common Mercedes-Benz C-Class Problems (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...