Winter driving on HILLS???? Steep ones? - Smart Car Forums
User Tag List

 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-02-2017, 02:22 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Northern Minnesota
Posts: 1
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Winter driving on HILLS???? Steep ones?

I'm getting ready to trade out my current car, and I've been looking at a gently-used (under 10K miles) 2013 Fortwo Pure Coupe. Everything I've read so far suggests it should be OK with our delightful Minnesota snows (especially if I spring for snow tires) in the general course of things. Living in Duluth, my concern is how well it handles hills. All my possible routes between home and work really ARE uphill both ways, and include delightful add-ons like mid-hill stop signs/traffic lights, turning corners uphill, and a few spots with some SERIOUS grade (think sledding/skiing hills). Getting home absolutely requires a tight corner into a slightly narrowed street, then immediately going slightly uphill through an s-curve, on a street that is not very high on the priority list for the snow plows. This lovely corner-plus-s-curve also sits at the top of one of the scary-steep avenues (though not the steepest), right where it goes from "level with lots of turns" to "I'm looking down from the top of the big yellow slide at the state fair".

I'm confident that the Fortwo could breeze through any part of Duluth with no trouble from spring to fall. Can it handle winter in Duluth? Or is the mere idea completely crazypants?
MadTatter is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-02-2017, 09:57 AM
Super Moderator
SCOA Club
 
jimvw57's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: southern Minnesota
Posts: 11,077
Thanks: 302
Thanked 1,961 Times in 1,343 Posts
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 787 Post(s)
Garage
You might run into problems with the traction control on ice it shuts down the power sometimes, and you are talking a short wheel based car. I have been driving my smarts for around 8 years and I drive every day from Red Wing to Rochester. There have only been about 3 or 4 days when I turned around and called it quits. I don't have any huge hills like Duluth, but live on a good slanted street and I usually make it unless there is a foot of snow. adding good snows on all 4 corners is a big difference and for you, probably a needed item.Last 3 or 4 years we haven't gotten enough snow to worry about. Only you can answer if the car will male it or not. It isn't a 4wd...
jimvw57 is offline  
post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-02-2017, 07:05 PM
 
Godfather's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Summerville
Posts: 1,938
Thanks: 3
Thanked 202 Times in 113 Posts
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
More than about 5 inches of snow the belly pan will become a skate......jus' sayin'.
Godfather is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-02-2017, 09:41 PM
Super Moderator
SCOA Club
 
jimvw57's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: southern Minnesota
Posts: 11,077
Thanks: 302
Thanked 1,961 Times in 1,343 Posts
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 787 Post(s)
Garage
sounds about right. You don't get too far pushing snow with the front end.
jimvw57 is offline  
post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-02-2017, 10:24 PM
 
Huronlad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 2,536
Thanks: 7
Thanked 628 Times in 403 Posts
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 329 Post(s)
What is your current car?

I disable traction control if I have to go through heavy or deep snow. If you are patient it will plow through a fair amount of snow for a little car.

Huronlad is offline  
post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-03-2017, 05:00 AM
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Boston
Posts: 832
Thanks: 34
Thanked 109 Times in 88 Posts
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 279 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by MadTatter View Post
if I spring for snow tires
I'd say that's a must. But then I would say that about any car.
I find the smart claws it's way up hills past cars stuck on the side quite nicely. Others have pointed out the key issues:
-ground clearance: yes you can push through a bit of snow at the end of the drive, but not drive an unplowed street with 5" of snow on it. Also watch out for clumps of ice or hard-packed snow left in the travel lane by trucks or plows. If they are >5" you end up dragging them along...
-learn how to disable the EPS.
SuperSmartie is offline  
post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-03-2017, 12:25 PM
Mod ♥ 450/451/453 + Motos
 
Miss Mercedes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: IL-WI Border
Posts: 17,178
Thanks: 5,600
Thanked 2,336 Times in 1,636 Posts
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 164 Post(s)
Garage
With good tyres, the smart is a bit of a snowmobile. When I had Blizzaks there wasn't a thing that could stop it. If there was deep snow, my car plowed it. If there was ice, my smart gripped it. While the trucks spun their tyres and the Jeeps rolled off the highways, my smart surged forward.

But...on cheap tyres *cough* Kumho Ecsta AST *cough*, the smart's comparatively awful in snow. That said, I've only gotten stuck a few times since I know how to keep momentum and I'm okay with drifting. I think you'll be fine!
Miss Mercedes is offline  
post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-04-2017, 06:21 AM
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Arcadia, CA
Posts: 2,719
Thanks: 512
Thanked 283 Times in 250 Posts
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 557 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Miss Mercedes View Post
But...on cheap tyres *cough* Kumho Ecsta AST *cough*, the smart's comparatively awful in snow. That said, I've only gotten stuck a few times since I know how to keep momentum and I'm okay with drifting. I think you'll be fine!
"Keep momentum and drifting."

I understand you are specifically referring to the Kumhos you mention?, because the thought of this and the road the OP described, sounds like suicide.....
jzchen is online now  
post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-04-2017, 07:06 AM
Super Moderator
SCOA Club
 
jimvw57's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: southern Minnesota
Posts: 11,077
Thanks: 302
Thanked 1,961 Times in 1,343 Posts
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 787 Post(s)
Garage
If you have a brand new set of tires, they might work OK for the first year, but they lose their bite after wearing a bit, and snow tires are designed to work better in colder temps, better bite. Running snows in the summer will wear them down much faster because of the warmer temps. I would get an extra set of rims and change them with the season. Has always worked for me!
jimvw57 is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Smart Car Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Winter driving? reckcreate smart General Discussion 48 11-12-2011 07:20 PM
Winter Driving DFDureiko smart General Discussion 15 10-24-2011 10:54 PM
Winter driving MALLEN211 smart General Discussion 18 09-11-2011 10:35 PM
Trans in "D" on steep hills - downshift? jwight smart General Discussion 24 10-04-2009 10:34 PM
need info on driving the smart fortwo in the mountain and hills johnnn New Members Area 3 05-22-2008 07:55 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome
 

Clubs, Garage Plus vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.