If you live in Arizona, you don’t have worry about how your Mercedes handles in a winter wonderland. Some aren’t so blessed, and that means they’ll have to consider the weather when they buy their Mercedes car and when they drive it.
Mercedes Benz cars are generally a rear-wheel drive outfit, and that sends chills down the spines of people who have to drive in snow and ice. Fortunately, there’s nothing to fear if equip your Mercedes car correctly when your buy it.
Buying right is pretty easy. If you need serious snow and ice handling for a good part of the year, you might consider a 4MATIC all wheel drive model. You’ll find these in several body styles, like sedans (C-Class, E-Class and S-Class), light trucks and SUVs (G-Class, GL-Class and M-Class) and the R-Class and E-Class crossovers and wagons. By most accounts from owners living in heavy winter areas like Alaska, the roadsters are poor winter cars, but that’s probably obvious to most prospective buyers.
But an all wheel drive model isn’t the only option. You can do just fine with a two wheel drive model, despite the rear wheel drive design. All you need to do is winterize your Mercedes car appropriately.
You could probably spend thousands of dollars to winterize your Mercedes, but there’s really no need to do that. The Benz engineers have helped you by building in traction control on many models. That helps with acceleration and deceleration.
Other than taking such commonsense measures like trying not to drive in the early morning hours (when it’s coldest) and keeping to main roads (which either get plowed better or get more use and, thus, better snow melt), the single biggest step you can take to winterize your Mercedes car is to fit it with good winter or all-weather tires.
Buying winter tires is much like picking out shoes-there are so many options to choose from that it can be bewildering. But two tires seem to stand out.
The first is Goodyear’s Eagle Ultra Grip line. These tires were designed with sport coupes and sedans in mind, specifically to improve road traction in wet or snowy conditions. But they’re probably fine for a more modest C-Class sedan as well. Sylvie Rainville tried some out on a C-Class for a GuideAuto review, and said it the car performed better than a four wheel drive vehicle with all weather tires.
The second tire you might want to look at is the Bridgestone Blizzak. This is an extensively tested tire designed for winter weather. Their Multicell compound looks like Swiss cheese under a microscope, with uniformly distributed pores to wick away water on the surface of ice and snow and grip the surface better. Mercedes Benz forums are full of recommendations for them as winter tires.
As you might imagine, winter tires are for winter. You’ll want to swap them out for summer or all weather tires from roughly mid-April to mid-November in most parts of the United States. You’ll have to spend some extra money on tires to have sets for two seasons, but the upgrade in safety is worth the expense.