Is there a significant difference in the snow/ice driving capability
between recent Accords and Civics? Is there some kind of traction
balancing mechanism beween the wheels in case one is spinning out? My
The new cars usually come with Traction Control System (TCS). There will be
a TCS light on the dashboard.
TCS applies the brakes (on the slipping wheel only) to prevent the wheel
As for the difference between Accord and Civis with TCs, I think you'll
find no practical difference.
Well, I figured that the relative weight distribution between the driven
and undriven wheels would make some difference. My '94 Accord is a
relatively long car with pretty small wheels and that could account for
not being very good on snow and ice.
I think driver competence counts for much more than any physical
differences between the Accord and the Civic.
Up here in the Great White North, I see 4WD vehicles in the ditch as often
as regular cars.
I was thinking of all other factors being equal, there might still be
some difference in winter driving a Civic or Accord just due to the
weight distribution over the axles. The higher percentage of total wait
is on the front wheels the better the grip should be in snow and ice. On
rear wheel drive cars this could be manipulated by putting extra weight
in the trunk, but this is not available with front wheel drives. So one
is left with the weight distribution designed into the car. I was hoping
to find people here who have driven both models in winter conditions and
could report back on their experiences.
I am only here because we recently bought a 2010 Honda Pilot Touring
and, yesterday, I drove it up into the Sierra Nevada, where we live.
The chain controls were at 2000 feet, and I got through, as normal,
and went up to our house, at 4000 feet. Along the way I saw a BMW
slide sideways and crash into the concrete divider. (And I want to
say this is typical BMW driver behavior) This is on US 50, between
Sacramento and South Lake Tahoe, so notorious a road that they had to
build a concrete divider between the east and west bound lanes.
It is all driver training. One has to be trained to drive in the
snow, and if you are trained to drive in the snow then there is no
problem no matter what car you are driving. The problem is always the
people who are not trained to drive in the snow. I grew up in Boston,
later drove an E-Type Jaguar in Germany, and lived in Washington, D.C,
to see the diplomats crash cars, going 60 MPH on the interstate, when
they should have been going 20MPH.
It is all driver training. I once had to drive (a military alert)
from the French border to the Czechoslovakian border in a VW (front-
wheel drive) sedan, in the snow. No problem. The Germans know how to
drive in the snow. Here, in California, the sun city residents, drive
up in shorts and tee-shirts, with their kids, to play in the snow,
without any clue. They do not know that the Sierra Nevada is not a
My son, who worked for CALTRANS, before he went to college, told
amazing tales of the most stupid people in the entire universe, who,
with their children, had no chains, no clothes, no idea, and he had to
say they could not possibly take their car to Echo Summit (7000 feet)
and they would have to turn around. So what did they do? They turned
around and got in the lane again! To show up an hour later!
We also have twin 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokees, which we have had for ten
years, and never had any problem (maybe the last of the real Jeeps.)
Anyway, the Honda worked, yesterday, in over a foot of snow, had to
push some snow, and had to push the 4WD button.
Anyway, to answer your question, it is not mostly the car, it is
mostly the driver.
Talking about driver training ... Back in the '80's and '90s I used to
travel to Europe about every other summer and typically I would rent a
car at the Frankfurt or Munich airport. As you know, over there they
take the rule of driving in the slower right lane and passing in the
faster left lanes very seriously. Passing to the right is Verboten. This
made the highways there pretty safe even at those high speeds.
Occasionally though I could see some drivers who drove like you see them
around here, so I was fairly certain that they were American tourists.
Fortunately the Autobahn Polizei picked them out pretty quickly.
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