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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?
 

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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...
 

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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.

 

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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.
 

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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! :)
 

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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.....
 

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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!
 
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