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Nissan Versa Cold Weather & Snow Driving

How do we get world wide information on how well the Versa or Tiida handles in snow? Some small station wagons like the Toyota Matrix are reported to be horrible in the snow, with owners having to change to the absolute best winter tires for adequate traction.


  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,407
    I find it hard to believe the Matrix is horrible in snow. My much lighter Corolla wagon was amazing in the snow.
  • I know! This is what many Matrix owners reported on the Yahoo groups message board. I also have heard that Corollas are pretty good in the snow. It's scary to think that a seemingly minor change to the Corolla to turn it into a Matrix would mess up the traction so badly.
  • mschmalmschmal Posts: 1,757
    The stock tires might have something to do with lousey snow performance.

  • I'll be getting my Versa SL in the Dealer's next shipment. I will have to wait at least 3, 4, or more weeks. This is my first Nissan product and I am starting to think about winter. I had looked at the Matrix and liked the idea of the additional rear heat vents but kept being drawn back to the Versa. Just thought the Versa looked like a more comfortable ride and loved the steering wheel audio controls and intelli key features. I'm live in ND and winters can be brutal. Does anyone have any idea how the Versa will handle the cold? I drive a Grand Prix. On colder winter days I can start the engine, leave it running for 1/2 hour and it still takes 5 or more miles of driving before I get real heat from the engine. I also would have like ABS brakes but my dealer told me that if I wanted to order a Versa, it could take 3-4 months before I would receive it.
  • Winter will make a difference but so far the heater begins to blow warm air before the blue light to indicate the motor temp. Afterward it blows extremely hot air. I have a thermometer in one vent and the air was at 145 degrees. I think you will find that the temp will rise faster than the vehicle you mentioned above. Will have to wait until the really cold day to verify that.

    I'm guessing that 5 minutes of running will have very hot air blowing. Hope so as you will be more satisfied with it.
  • I'd like to know the answer to that question also.
  • I live in Minnesota and had a Versa SL with ABS brakes on order for two months. Last week I was told by my dealer that Nissan isn't building the SL right now - with or w/o ABS brakes. They refunded my deposit and pulled my order out of their system. After checking with the Nissan hotline, I was told the same thing. I'm curious as to whether you will really get yours or not. In what state do you live?
  • I've had my Versa for about a month now. I hate the tires. It seems as if they don't stick to the road and they have a tendency to slide. I had Coopers on my Altima and I never worried about driving in the snow. Now that I have the Versa and I'm reading it may be bad in the snow, I'm a bit worried. So I'm going to spend the extra money and get Blizzaks (sp?). Any input??
  • I was very interested to read your post, 74apollo, because I ordered my Versa SL manual with ABS here in Illinois in mid-August and got a confirmation e-mail from my dealer earlier this month saying that it'll be in at the beginning of Nov. After hearing what you had to say, though, I'm starting to worry. Did you order a manual or CVT? Also, did you try to get the convenience pkg. with ABS? I'd be interested to hear.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,915
    What OEM tires do you have on the Versa?
  • flightnurseflightnurse at 35K feetPosts: 1,524
    Currently all Versa have Continental tires on them.

  • I have no idea what tires are one there now. I do know I don't like them at all. Is anyone else having this problem?
  • flightnurseflightnurse at 35K feetPosts: 1,524
    Why not tell us what problems you are having with them to make you not like them?

    The stock tirs are excellent tires, I don't understand why Nissan choose a narrow tire, my replacements well be 195-60-15s not the 185's that are on there now...
  • w9cww9cw Posts: 888
    Narrower tires are actually generally better in the wet and in snow. Of course, this statement depends on the type of tire and tread pattern.
  • I've had my Versa for about a month now. I hate the tires. It seems as if they don't stick to the road and they have a tendency to slide. I had Coopers on my Altima and I never worried about driving in the snow. Now that I have the Versa and I'm reading it may be bad in the snow, I'm a bit worried. So I'm going to spend the extra money and get Blizzaks (sp?). Any input??
    Most OEM tires are designed to be cheap, have low rolling resistance, and ride quietly. You'll find most OEM tires have poor customer ratings compared to aftermarket tires - even those from the same manufacturer.

    Winter tires make a huger difference - I even put them on our AWD Subaru. If you drive enough in snow and ice to make two sets of wheels and tires worthwhile, you can buy dedicated Winter tires. They wear relatively fast(most don't have a UTQG wear rating) so are winter only. Popular tires include the Nokian RSI, Michelin X-Ice, Goodyear UltraGrip, and several Blizzak models.

    If you don't want to hassle with two sets of tires, the Nokian WR is a passenger all season with the Severe Duty Snow rating - the mountain/snowflake icon. BTW, Nokians are not sold mail order but you can go to to find local dealers. We have them on our Mazda MPV.
  • cathy8cathy8 Posts: 37
    I've had my Versa now for just over 2 months. I live in central Canada where there are extreme cold temps and lots of snow and ice. I have been very pleased with the tires on my Versa SL. Prior to this I had an Acura EL that slid so much on ice that I had no choice but to get new tires. in contrast this car hold the road well at speeds suitable for the conditions.
  • f111df111d Posts: 114
    Precautionary note changing tire sizes on todays cars with computers! Not only that the engineers have designed caliper clearances, fender clearances lock to lock turning, rpm per mile/overall diameter, tires weight(un-sprung weight the suspension and the rim width so closely and have done ump-teen hours of R&D. Been there done that experiences. Ie:89 Probe ATX tranny rebuild at 35K miles because one size larger.
    195/60-15 is as close you get but the tire would perform better on 6". My car for example has 205/60-15 but in winter would be 185/65-15. Of course this is summer to winter tire sizing. Living in Ohio winter specific especially studded my wife and grandson are so much safer.
    I'm might suggest a better very affordable tire I've tried and just love? (I've been buying tires for 45 years )Grand Touring category Kumho Solus (called now) quiet, awesome wet control (hydroplaning nill even above speed limit toll road OOPS) and price is hard to beat.
    What ever talk to someone ie: Tire Rack but I'd stick with 185/65-15. It's more about tire than size.
    Continentals (OEM) well I wouldn't want them if someone gave them to me.
    My son has a Versa very good bang for the buck transportation and he can't to put Kumho's on his. He the one--try'em dad!
    Impressive ergonomic interior packaging (absolute breeze to get in a out of especially for us leading edge baby boomer's and also recent crash protection results.
    And for those of us that grew up with muscle cars/etc. -- they're fun but today's economics problems we need more vehicles like this.
    Early forced retired YORF
  • flightnurseflightnurse at 35K feetPosts: 1,524
    Paul, why dont you like Contintental Tires ? I have owned MB as well other Asian cars and have always used them. Never had a problem with them, they ride nice, handle well, and have a good tread life.


    P.S. The reason why you talk about the Versa is why I bought mine, ergonomic Interior, love how the seats feel and getting in and out is breeze...
  • Well I have had a versa SL sedan with the CVT for a week now. No abs (ugh), but still love it.

    As for snow driving, well so far just a week, not a lot of experience, but it is a little worse than the old Trecel in the snow probably for several reasons. The wider tires and longer wheel base tend to make the car want to ride over slick snow rather than cut into it (and hit ground for traction).

    In addition I suspect the transmission gearing may play a role too. It seems to move best in snow with the overdrive off and it seems to do better when you don’t drive it aggressively (unlike the trecel which needed a little uph to get through). Otherwise it will tend to spin it’s tires.

    On a whole while the snow driving is a little worse, it is still very deal able and I wouldn’t call it bad. It just isn’t amazing like the trecel.
  • Hello! I own a 2005 Toyota Matrix, and it is not good in the snow. I live in Canada, where snow is a reality 6 months of the year. I ended up having to put better tires on my leased Matrix (basic model) and it still slides, while everybody passes me by! Even in smaller cars they zip past me.

    Incidentally, I've owned many cars and driven front and rear wheel drive and have never had as many problems as with this car. In other ways it's a great car, just not in snow. And I've heard all the jokes about it being my 'heavy foot' but since I've driven a ton of other cars and it's never been a problem till this one, I have to wonder if it isn't the car. At the very least, test this car in snow and ice conditions.
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