Can Mercedes drive in snow?


This article will answer the question Can you drive a Mercedes in the snow? What are advanced vehicle systems which help to drive in snow? And some general information for operating vehicles in winter.

Can Mercedes drive in snow?

Yes, Mercedes can drive in snow provided the vehicle is fitted with M+S tyres. M+S are mud and snow tyres specially designed for use below 7 degrees celsius. During winter the temperature can fall below 0 degrees, normal summer tyres lose their elasticity and the vehicle can lose all traction. The permitted tire and wheel combination is available in the owner’s manual and on the fuel filler flap.

Naturally, Mercedes Benz cars with (4MATIC) all-wheel-drive system can be driven on snow more easily compared to two-wheel drive cars. However, driving modes like snow, rain and sand are available in the cars as standard. Selecting driving mode snow will reduce engine power and smooth changes to driver inputs so the vehicle can remain stable in snow conditions.

Mercedes-Benz also has an electronic stability program with brake drying function, airmatic suspension to increase the ride height, ABS, PTC heater boosters etc which make them one of the best cars to drive in snow.

What are the advanced vehicle features to improve driving in snow?

Mercedes Benz cars are loaded with advanced features and driver assistance systems as a part of standard equipment. Following are the important systems that are helpful while driving in snow.

  • 4MATIC- This is an all-wheel-drive system available in Mercedes Benz cars. Transfer case connected to the gearbox splits power between the front and rear differential. The slip ratio varies according to the models, usually 50:50 or 60:40. Cars with DCT transmission use power take-off units instead of the transfer case. Differential locks are available in SUV models like the G wagon, GLS.
  • ESP- electronic stability program monitors wheel speeds and can brake individual wheels. Electronic traction control brakes the wheel which is spinning and sends power to the other wheel with grip. An electronic stability programme intervenes by cutting power if the oversteer is detected and helps to stabilize the car.
  • ABS with DRY braking function- Anti-lock braking system prevents locking of wheels under heavy braking and by briefly applying the brake pads,  brake discs are cleaned in snowy conditions. If the driver suddenly releases the accelerator pedal the brake pressure is increased in the system, greatly shortening the stopping distance.
  • AIRMATIC – AIRmatic suspension system has air bellows which can be filled with air to increase the ride height of the vehicle. This is very beneficial to drive in deep snow. Use of snow chains is also possible as ride height can be increased to accommodate the snow chain on tires.
  • PTC Heater boosters- Positive temperature coefficient (PTC) heater boosters can heat the interior of a vehicle more quickly without depending on the coolant temperature. This also helps to melt the snow on the windows and windshield. Vehicles with Mercedes ME connect can activate pre-entry climate control to heat the car.

 General notes for operating Mercedes in winter

  • Exchange the summer tires to mud and winter tires for better grip on roads. Studded tyres can also be used to increase the grip. Set the tire pressure correctly and restart the tire pressure monitoring system.
  • The maximum permitted speed of a vehicle is reduced when M+S tyres are fitted.
  • Always use Mercedes Benz recommended snow chains with the correct wheel and tyre combination.
  • Only use snow chains on snow-covered roads. Remove the chains if the road surface has no snow. In some situations, ESP can be switched off to allow more wheel spin to generate more forward motion.
  • Winterise the vehicle before winter by visiting the workshop and checking coolant and battery condition. Do not use lithium ion batteries in winter and there is no cold cranking current to start the engine.
  • Do not use active parking assist and remote parking pilot in snow.

Vehicle behaves differently when driven in snow, accounting for increased braking distance while applying brakes. Do not panic and try sudden steering correction if the vehicle loses grip, be smooth with steering and accelerator inputs.

Other articles about Mercedes Benz you may be interested in

What can a Mercedes E class tow?

Can the Mercedes driver assistance package be retrofitted?

How many miles can a Mercedes do?


Mercedes Benz cars are equipped with a wide range of safety and assistance systems which make them a good choice to drive in snow. 4MATIC drivetrains are available in all models. Multiple zone climate control with a PTC heater booster provides comfort during driving in winter.

FAQs: Can a Mercedes Drive in the snow?

Are Mercedes good to drive in snow?

Yes, Mercedes Benz with 4MATIC all-wheel-drive systems provides excellent grip in snow. Additional snow gear can be fitted to prepare the vehicle to drive in snow.

Is it safe to drive in snow?

Driving in snow is not an easy task, always follow the speed limit of 50km/hr and use M+S tyres in winter.

What are snow socks? 

Snow socks are fabric covers used on tyres to offer better traction in snow, they are not a replacement for snow chains.

Is C  class good for driving in snow?

With a ground clearance of about 4 inches, the C class can be a good car to drive in snow. The 4MATIC version is also available in the C class model series.

Is the Mercedes 4MATIC full-time AWD?

Yes, the Mercedes Benz 4MATIC is a full-time all-wheel-drive system with 50:50 power distribution between the front and rear axle.