Speaking from experience, I find it is quite capable in the snow. I've driven mine through 4 Northern Indiana winters, with the stock all season tires, and managed to get stuck once. It wasn't the car's fault. I went somewhere I shouldn't have, and the tires were getting pretty thin, so traction was marginal at best. I screwed up, only one I could be mad at was me.
I just put a set of Kumho's on, we'll see how they do this winter.
I have to admit, it's been fun the last 4 winters honking at the the SUV's buried to the axles as I putt on by in my smart.
Drive with some sense, and you will be fine.
And don't forget:I've driven my Cheewawa thru three winters (NY didn't have winter last year, so I'm not counting that). It's done amazingly well, esp'ly considering that I drive at least 800 miles a week and that I've never put on snow tires!
The worst conditions I've driven in were during a major snow storm three years ago. As I drove along the narrow, winding road, I noticed many cars (including quite a few SUVs) along the shoulder of the road, often at weird angles. I got home just fine.
I think that a lot of it has to do, as forestacademy noted, with the low weight = low inertia concept. The ABS helps a great deal, too.
I've had the identical experience (the same 4 winters )
I too got stuck only once; my fault, went into too deep snow and got stuck. I left it in D and rocked it out, then tried to catch it and jump in
Could have sold tickets for THAT old geezer show