Watch Tesla Model 3 RWD Get Tested In Snow Without Winter Tires

DEC 9 2018 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 25

This is not the ideal winter driving setup, but does it work?

We’ve heard the Tesla Model 3 fares well in winter driving, but what about the RWD version with no snow tires. Let’s see how it performs on the slick snowy stuff.

Relying mainly on Tesla’s traction control system, the Model 3 sans winter tires seem to handle the slick stuff rather well. Despite repeated attempts to do some spins, the Model 3 resists.

Admittedly, the car doesn’t appear to accelerate all that well, likely due to poor tire traction and the traction control system stepping in quite often. Additionally, the braking performance seems to be less than desirable.

But, that could be corrected with some proper winters tires and / or by choosing the AWD variant of the Tesla Model 3.

Remember when traction control didn’t even exist or was only available on expensive foreign cars? Well, back in those days, RWD was downright scary in the slick stuff, but now, along with snow tires and traction control, winter is no match for RWD.

We already know the Model 3 fares well in the snow. This comes as no surprise since the car is heavy, has outstanding weight distribution and a very low center of gravity. But if you want the ultimate snow-going Model 3, opt for AWD and fit it with some proper winter tires.

Video description:

Mark takes the RWD Model 3 into the first snow of the year to test the all-season tires and traction control in southern Ontario.

33 photos
2. Tesla Model 3
Range: 310 miles; 136/123 mpg-e. Still maintaining a long waiting list as production ramps up slowly, the new compact Tesla Model 3 sedan is a smaller and cheaper, but no less stylish, alternative, to the fledgling automaker’s popular Model S. This estimate is for a Model 3 with the “optional” (at $9,000) long-range battery, which is as of this writing still the only configuration available. The standard battery, which is expected to become available later in 2018, is estimated to run for 220 miles on a charge. Tesla Model 3 charge port (U.S.) Tesla Model 3 front seats Tesla Model 3 at Atascadero, CA Supercharging station (via Mark F!) Tesla Model 3 Tesla Model 3 The Tesla Model 3 is not hiding anymore! Tesla Model 3 (Image Credit: Tom Moloughney/InsideEVs) Tesla Model 3 Inside the Tesla Model 3 Tesla Model 3 rear seats Tesla Model 3 Road Trip arrives in Tallahassee Tesla Model 3 charges in Tallahassee, trunk open.

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25 Comments on "Watch Tesla Model 3 RWD Get Tested In Snow Without Winter Tires"

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Any car in snow without proper tires is a big mistake.

“But, that could be corrected with some proper winters tires and / or by choosing the AWD variant of the Tesla Model 3.” -> “But, that could be corrected with some proper winter tires.” Fixed it for you except for people who need to drive up big hills in snow.

All-season tires are bad all seasons! If there’s a winter season, you should have two sets of wheels, with summer tires on one and winter tires on the other. All that understeer and aggressive stability control looks safe, but can’t it be disabled if you want to try driving yourself, such as in a big parking lot?? Back when I started driving traction control wasn’t common, certainly not on the then-old cars that I could aspire to owning. I still remember finding rear wheel drive preferable. Yes, it was much easier to fishtail, but much easier to control when it did. My front wheel drive Passat (LS 1979) was so light on the rear it would sometimes oversteer wildly if you came off the throttle while turning in, and understeer and head straight if you stepped on it too much on the exit… The rear wheel drive Volvo 740 GLE I also drove a lot was more predictable, and you could be on the throttle while fishtailing by simply applying some counter-lock. When the front wheels are only steering their available grip can’t be used up by accelerating or motor braking — only when you braked by pushing the brake… Read more »

RWD has always been better in slippery conditions, until we got AWD and traction control and stability control.
Now a FWD car can be almost as good as RWD, and AWD blows them both out of the water.

FWD will always be the least desirable simply due to physics.

Rear wheel drive is far superior to FWD in slippery conditions because you don’t have to choose between steering and traction. You just have to know how to drive. When you come into a corner fast on snow with RWD you gear down, punch the gas to break the rear end loose and power through the corner.

It’s FWD that is scary on snow, even more so if you have a cheap ABS system like on my Sonata that releases all four brakes if one wheel starts to skid.

I will take front wheel drive in the snow any day over rear wheel drive.

Its much easier for it to pull a car, then to push it in slippery conditions!

That was weak, if he was trying to get it to fishtail, he should go faster, turn sharper, and stop hitting the breaks so much. (Although I’m guessing the tail lights turn on when he takes it foot off the accelerator pedal and the regen is on and so it turns on the break lights…but he shouldn’t be letting off the accelerator pedal.
I’ll try it on my own model 3…in 3-5 years when I have the funds. lol

It may not fishtail, but obviously if you drive fast enough, it will slide and hit something. I don’t think he wanted to risk damaging his car, I wouldn’t either.

I love Tesla owners😂 referring to other cars that will go sideways in the snow as “old” when what he really means is “fun.” You people are so unknowledgeable it’s hilarious. And in your post where it says old cars with rwd and no traction control were downright scary to drive in winter, dude I drove a 93 Miata with snow tires through the winter last year and there was nothing more fun.

I know, 99% come from front drive Priuses, they never owned modern rear drive sport sedans.

People that want their car safe for them and their children will want safety as the default behavior. I you want to slip around like “old” cars then take the performance model on the track and turn “track mode” on. You don’t need to be unsafe by default just to have fun.

No, we just like people who know how to drive, in all conditions.

It’s because to Tesla is designed for non drivers. But wearing psudo men who don’t venture out in the drifts, off-road or where serious hear and time may be needed. Best they stick to Uber

Hey 4inches of snow. I’m all wet. Let me take my car with no winter tires and drive around to test how stupid I am. That’s why there are so many accidents here in Ontario, winter tires not mandatory, too many idiots.

Try being nice.

Oh that’s fun to spin it around in the snow.. gotta turn off the tracttion control.. darn I miss my Cadillac ats AWD

I’m assuming you cannot completely sure off Stability control, so he could have used track mode to let it get loose in the snow. It’s no surprise it’s a boring controlled ride in most any modern car in the snow unless you do something really out outrageous

No track mode in a 2WD Model 3. While squirreling around in snow can be fun, many of us with the funds to buy a Tesla have gotten those ya yas out of our systems at an earlier age. I admit I learned a lot about car control messing around in vacant parking lots in everything from Fiat 124s, 1960s VW Beetles, Honda CRXs and four wheel drive trucks. That said, I didn’t buy my Tesla to beat up doing figure 8s in a parking lot. There’s enough videos out there circa 2012 of 2WD Model S in all sorts if snowy conditions including wagging the tail out in snow. Obviously a heavy car like any Tesla will be on the safer side of the vehicle spectrum with all that weight located just above the pavement. I never will beat the sh*t out of my Tesla on a skidpad or doing donuts in the mall parking lot. Traction control is your friend. I bought AWD for Seattle’s wet roads and 2 days of snow per winter. I have pushed my 3 to 80% on some pretty wet windey roads and can say the grip is impressive. I want grip, not… Read more »

All these driver aids are nice for a commuter, but the real question is: Can they be all turned off, and how good is the handbrake? The only thing keeping me sane during winter north of the 45th parallel is the prospect of driving a car sideways after a heavy snowfall.

No one in their right mind drives in snow with summer tires. Even ” all season” is illigal in Sweden.

Im waiting for a test in snow with autopilot!

I have a RWD Model 3 with all seasons. Has really good traction to climb hills in snow. Better than a front wheel drive car. I think it is more weight distribution than the traction control as the motor is right over the rear wheels.

Do Not Read Between The Lines

Probably waiting for Tesla to fix their software before they put snow tires on.

It’s just a parlour trick. Those four contact patches against the ice are what matters. Weight can hello and Huey. AWD obviously will help accelerate. Just more rabid no thinking supporters trying to gin up reasons for someone to buy one. Meanwhile crank up the heat inside and see what happens to your range.

My RWD M3 with snow tires has no regen at highway speeds.
Regen kicks in at about 20 MPH.
Wish that Tesla would make this known to everyone.
Any other RWD M3 owners with snow tires having same experience?