Driving in winter presents a set of challenges. It’s hard enough to navigate extremely dangerous road conditions due to snow, sleet or ice, but if your car doesn’t handle well in the winter, you’re already putting yourself in a dangerous situation before you even turn the ignition key.
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Some cars do better in winter conditions than others. It’s not unusual for SUV owners to store their vehicles for the winter – snow, ice and road salt can corrode a car’s body and undercarriage quite quickly – but there are many vehicles that should be avoided when the mercury starts to drop .
Winter safety features your car must have
The most reliable cars to drive in winter will be the ones with the best safety features: blind spot monitoring, emergency braking systems and non-essential but good to have headlight wipers and heated side mirrors.
Some vehicles may be more susceptible to problems in winter conditions based on their design, features or performance. While advances in automotive technology have generally improved the winter driving capabilities of most modern vehicles, there are a number of important vehicle features that will help keep you and your loved ones safe while driving in inclement winter weather, such as:
Anti-lock brakes (ABS): Anti-lock braking systems keep your wheels from locking up, so you can keep driving when you need to hit the brakes. According to Progressive, antilock brakes are mandatory for all vehicles manufactured in 2012 or later, so older models may not have them.
Stability Control: In the event of a skid or loss of road control, this system, also known as Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) or Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), will automatically keep you on the road by adjusting the brakes and acceleration.
All Wheel Drive (AWD): All-wheel drive vehicles are somewhat safer than two-wheel drive vehicles in terms of winter driving, largely because they deliver power to all four wheels at the same time or automatically engage torque to all four wheels when needed.
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The most unreliable cars for winter driving
Cars that are best equipped to withstand the winter elements have the safety features mentioned above. Those with advanced off-road systems, heavy-duty construction and turbocharged engines allow drivers to tackle winter conditions with complete confidence. Think Range Rovers, Jeep Cherokees, Subarus, and all kinds of off-road SUVs.
If a car has handling and performance issues when conditions are optimal, chances are they won’t improve come winter. While some car types are ineffective in colder, harsher weather (SUVs, cute compacts), some models in particular won’t handle it when the roads turn icy.
Here are three models that have problems when put to the winter driving test, according to the car protectors at Endurance.
Iconic, sure, but with its super-wide high-performance rear tires, rear engine and low ground clearance, the Porsche 911 is definitely not ideal for driving in snow. In fact, high-end sports cars are few and far between.
While the German luxury manufacturer has made some classic cars and motorcycles, Endurance has separated or quadrupled the 1, 3, 5 and 7 Series specifically because of their low ground clearance, which can be as little as four inches. Higher ground clearance is always better in winter conditions—or if you’re unexpectedly in a difficult off-road situation. Many later BMW models are rear-wheel drive, which is less useful in deep snow and ice.
You’ll be fine driving the Corvette in moderate snowfall, but again, its ultra-low ground clearance will have you shoveling more often than you’d like. The rear-wheel drive Corvette has questionable braking abilities, making it a car you want to store until summer.
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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: 3 Most Unreliable Cars for Winter Driving