Nissan 350Z in Snow & Winter Driving? (Explained)

The Nissan 350z is a fast, sporty two-seater car and has been extremely popular since its release in the early 2000’s.

This particular model was built by Nissan for style and speed and production came to an end in 2008 when the 350Z was replaced by the 370Z.

In this article we will see just how well the 350Z handles snow and winter conditions…

Here is the short answer about whether the Nissan 350z is good for snow and winter driving:

The Nissan 350z is competent in the snow but features such as the rear-wheel-drive, low ground clearance and its inability to function in cold conditions make it less suitable. However, the car can handle well in snow and ice which makes it driveable in slippery winter conditions.

Is a Nissan 350z Good in the Snow?

For winter driving the Nissan 350z has its pros and cons, and overall its not too bad.

This particular model was built by Nissan to be a performance car, and as such, it is lightweight and handles extremely well. Its main disadvantage is that the car is rear-wheel drive, this can make the car difficult to control under acceleration.

Fortunately the 350z is equipped with traction control which will help to limit the wheel spin on the rear-wheel-drive sports car. It is also equipped with powerful brakes which can really help its stopping power in the snow.

With a ground clearance of 108mm, deep snow will certainly cause some issues for the 350Z.

However, the low ground clearance can work to the car’s advantage when snow is not too deep as this allows the car to ‘hug’ the road and is at less risk of rolling.

The Nissan 350Z is an extremely lightweight vehicle that will help it to glide over the snow much smoother.

This factor can really be assisted by the powerful engine that can push the car over the slippery conditions.

The 350z, unfortunately, does not come equipped with four-wheel-drive which does put it at a disadvantage to other cars when it comes to driving in the snow. This makes snow and studded tires an essential in the wintertime.

The fact that the 350z has stopped manufacturing in 2008 means that it is outdated in terms of safety features and technology. The 350z also struggles to function in colder weather conditions, such as temperatures below 46 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you’re likely to encounter deep snow we would not recommend this car, however it is suitable for light – low levels of snow.

What Features Will Improve Winter Driving?

Cold weather driving is completely different to warm weather driving.

In winter, roads can become slippery, wet and icy – this presents a multitude of risks and a higher danger of hydroplaning

To tackle winter roads, you need a car that provides control and stability on the slickest surfaces.

Here are some of the features that give the 350Z an advantage when driving in the snow.

Powerful Brakes

The Nissan 350Z is equipped with powerful carbon-ceramic brakes.

Carbon-ceramic brakes are essentially powerful brakes that you can find on some lower-end race cars. This helps to increase the stopping power and responsiveness of the car.

This feature is great in the snow as it helps the car to slow down quicker.

The sharpness and responsiveness of the brakes mean that the car is able to significantly reduce its stopping distance.

This means slowing down and even emergency stops will be easier in the snow.

Traction Control

Traction control is a performance feature that helps the car to control its wheelspin by limiting the amount of torque that is sent from the engine to the driven wheels, in this case, the rear wheels.

This means that no matter how hard the driver accelerates, the car will limit the power sent to the wheels to prevent them from spinning.

This feature is extremely useful for the 350Z in the snow as it helps to keep the vehicle under control.

It is particularly important for this specific model as it is a rear-wheel-drive car with a powerful engine.

This can result in the wheels spinning much easier and the car being more difficult to drive.

This feature will come in handy when cornering or pulling away from a static position.

Related: 12 Best & Worst Nissan 370Z Years (Pictures & Stats)

Powerful Engine

The Nissan 350z has a powerful engine that can produce 287 horsepower.

This particular engine was built by Nissan as part of a performance package and equipping it to the lightweight body of the 350z means that it can produce a lot of power for its size.

Having a powerful engine in snowy conditions is important as it will help the car to propel itself through thicker snow.

It might however mean that it will struggle with slippery conditions.

Power can be useful in snow as it will hep the car to gain momentum faster.

Lightweight Body

The Nissan 350z is a sporty two-seater car, and as such it has been built with a lightweight body.

The 350Z weighs 3602 lb. This lightweight body is meant to aid the overall speed and performance of the vehicle.

In addition, it helps to make the car more agile and improves its overall handling ability.

Having such a lightweight body on a car is hugely beneficial in the snow – it means that the car is more agile and easier to control in slippery conditions.

The lightweight body will improve the handling of the 350Z in the snow and on ice.

Anti-Lock Brakes

The Nissan 350z is equipped with anti-lock brakes which is a safety feature that has saved many lives.

ABS is a system that prevents the brakes from locking when the driver applies the brakes too hard or too quickly.

When the car’s brakes lock, the wheels stop rotating and therefore do not grip onto the surface of the road, meaning they lose their ability to slow the car down.

This feature is extremely useful in the snow as it helps the car to keep the wheels rotating on the slippery surface.

This feature, coupled with the powerful brakes on the 350Z means that the Nissan is fantastic in slowing itself down in the slippery conditions.

Does a Nissan 350z Have a Snow Mode?

The Nissan 350z is not equipped with a snow mode.

It does not have the technology to select various different driving modes, however, the traction control and anti-lock brake systems will be beneficial to the 350z in the snow.

Can You Install Additional Snow Gear on a Nissan 350z?

The 350z is able to take additional snow gear. It is highly recommended to use snow tires when driving in the winter, and if the conditions are particularly slippery and treacherous opt for the studded ice tires. The additional pieces of snow gear that can be fitted onto the 350z are:

  • Snow tires
  • Snow chains
  • Snow socks

How Much Snow Can a Nissan 350z Handle?

The Nissan 350z has an extremely low ground clearance of 108mm.

This means that the 350z can handle light to moderate snow conditions.

The deepest snow that the 350z can trudge through is 4 inches. Even in 4 inches of snow, the car may bog down, or it may suffer from more severe wheelspin.

How Does the Nissan 350z Handle Low Winter Temperatures?

The Nissan 350z is not great in cold temperatures.

It has been reported that the vehicle struggles in temperatures lower than 46 degrees Fahrenheit, certainly not ideal for snow.

The solution though is to start the car and allow it to warm up for at least ten minutes before driving.

Can a Nissan 350z Drive on Ice?

The Nissan 350z can drive on ice only with studded ice tires.

The powerful engine and rear wheel drive make the car unstable on ice.

It takes an extremely skilled driver with a confident and patient right foot to safely navigate ice with this car.

Does the Nissan 350z Have 4WD?

The Nissan 350z is not available with four-wheel drive. During the production of the 350z it was uncommon to put four-wheel drive on light sports cars.

Four-wheel drive systems significantly increase the weight of the car, however, in more recent times it has been found that the level of grip the four-wheel-drive system brings to a sports car is more beneficial than saving weight.

The lack of a four-wheel-drive system is definitely a disadvantage to the 350z when it comes to driving on snow and ice.

The four-wheel-drive system would provide the 350z with some much-needed extra grip in slippery conditions.

What About Older Nissan 350z Models and Winter Driving?

Older models of the Nissan 350z are worse in the snowy conditions. For the most part, the 350z has significantly improved year on year.

Older models struggle in cold temperatures and they also have less powerful engines and brakes.

In addition, older models also lack some of the safety features and technologies that have been implemented into the newer models of the 350Z.

Does the Nissan 350z Need Snow Tires?

It is essential that the Nissan 350z is fitted with snow tires in the winter months.

The car can be difficult to control in snow, especially with an inexperienced driver.

The powerful engine and rear-wheel drive element of the car mean that it can be easy to lose control of it (coincidentally also making it a popular drift car for street racers).

Please also read our article: is the Nissan 350z a good first car?

Can You Mount a Snow Plow on a Nissan 350z?

A snow plow cannot be mounted onto a Nissan 350z.

The 350Z is a small sports car that is not large enough to have a snow plow attached to the front of it.

In addition, the 350Z will struggle for traction in slippery conditions when extra weight is added.



  • 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...