Hyundai Sonata in Snow and Ice

asdf9asdf9 Member Posts: 26
Winter driving is a major choice in determining what car I should buy. So I would like to hear about your stories driving the 2006 and newer Sonata's in the snow. And not just 4 inches of snow that fell. I want to hear about bad snow fall and how the car handled with those stock tires. Thanks!


  • sharksoupsharksoup Member Posts: 26
    I live in Northern Maine, where average snowfall in our location exceeds 100" annually, and have been driving in harsh winter conditions for over 20 years.

    Number one thing you can do to improve the way the car handles in to buy 4 good snow tires. I have a set of directional snow tires on my 2009 and have not had any trouble getting around.

    I have found that with Electronic Stability Control and the anti-skid technology found standard on the Sonata, that the car has thus far handled everything thrown at it. I'm able to take corners at faster speed with no loss of control than I can in my wife's older Civic. Got the Sonata after driving a Subaru Forester for 6 years, and it does nearly as well as the Forester.
  • bhmr59bhmr59 Member Posts: 1,601
    Are 4 snow tires, rather than 2, really necessary?

    My Sonata is an '05 and does reasonably well in CT with the all season tires. However, I have one SOB of a hill (steep incline) and 3 sharp curves over .4 miles to get home. When it's bad, I often go an couple miles out of the way (not a joy on bad roads) to avoid this hill. I've seen 4X4's stuck on this hill.

    I guess my questinon is, how much do snow tires on the rear wheels help traction? I may have to get new tires before next winter and am curious about snow tires.

  • sharksoupsharksoup Member Posts: 26
    4 snow tires necessary for traction? I suppose not, but the car will handle better. In my experience in driving front wheel drive cars, when snow tires are mounted only on the front, the rear tires tends to lose contact as they don't have the same grip and the car can fishtail, or at the very least, get a bit "squirrelly". This is especially true if you're considering studded tires. In Maine, it is illegal to mount studded tires only on the front of front wheel drive cars; must be on all four.
  • concordenerdconcordenerd Member Posts: 1
    Living in PA we can get a lot of snow. Owning an 06 Sonata, I have had no problem in the snow. My house is up a hill and there are other vehicles that can not make it, but I have had no problem. The ESC light will illuminate when needed, but when you turn it off the vehicle just spins the tires even more. Press the ESC off to turn it back on and it points you straight every time. I love doing that. Probably not good, but oh well. Winter is only here for a couple months and even though I hate the cold the Sonata does well in it. I feel very confindent when driving in the snow snow also. Now in really deep snow I do not drive because a front drive car can only do so much.
  • blondo36blondo36 Member Posts: 4
    I was wondering if anyone is having problems getting around in a Limited 09 Sonata. I am having lots of trouble in the snow. Has anyone gotten all weather tires put on to replace the factory ones and if so, have you had better luck? I noticed there isn't much tread on the factory tires. Too bad I wasn't told this before I bought the car because living in NE, you need a good car. I love the car in the dry weather but snow is another story. Please help!
  • sharksoupsharksoup Member Posts: 26
    Snow tires, snow tires, snow tires! See my earlier posts. :)
  • jayessjayess Member Posts: 59
    I've always lived in 'snow country' and have been driving in it for almost 40 years.Long believed that it matters not whether there are 2 inches, 6 or a foot - either you can drive in snow or you can't! As far as I'm concerned I can. Of course some vehicles do better in it than others, but it's mostly a factor of how you handle the my opinion. Have done it in rear and front wheel vehicles, a Chevy Vega and a VW bus - currently we have an 07 and 08 Sonata certainly the ESC and ABS are nice but...
  • newowner10newowner10 Member Posts: 227
    The tires are as important as the drivers ability. Traction is the key to driving in the snow. I do not care if you are the best driver you are not going to get up a long hill if the traction is not available.
    I have never met anyone how believes they are a bad driver it is always the other guy.
  • grimmstergrimmster Member Posts: 2
    I just got a 2009 limited and this thing is terrible in the snow. I definitely see new all season tires if not actual snow tires before next winter. the Hankook tires, blah.

    I came from a 2000 sonata that was a lot better in the snow.
  • billwardbillward Member Posts: 154
    I found the 2009 Sonata GLS we own to have performed well in very bad conditions a week ago, when we were in Baltimore. I was especially impressed by how well the ESC system worked on the car to insure I had traction and control; vehicles around me were sliding all over the place, but while the car wasn't as firm as on dry pavement, the Sonata stayed straight, true, and had traction.
  • terrymsuterrymsu Member Posts: 9
    I have a 2008 limited V6. No problems to speak off in the snow and ice. I did put new tires on it a couple of weeks ago, but that was because the Hankooks were about wore out. You do need to know how to drive in the slippery stuff. Keep your foot out of the carburetor (oops, no carb in this vehicle, but you get the point). Give yourself plenty of stopping distance. My recommendation is to take it out on an empty snowy parking lot and play around until you know how the vehicle handles. That is true for any vehicle. Do a few donuts. Learn how the vehicle handles in snow and ice.

    Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • newowner10newowner10 Member Posts: 227
    I bet you have wide high performance tires not the "run of the mill" all season tires that the GLS comes with
  • toojoitoojoi Member Posts: 1
    Thank you jayess. I agree. I just bought a 2011 SE and I love this car. But driving on snow is a new experience. Living in Ohio, Ive been driving in snow for over 35 years. I know when a car has good traction and this is questionable. Im looking into different tires. But I hate to replace tires on a brand new car!!!! Ideas anybody? :confuse:
  • backybacky Twin CitiesMember Posts: 18,946
    We have a blizzard today in the Twin Cities--about a foot of snow already on the ground, more coming down, strong winds. But my 2007 Sonata GLS I4 4AT handled it just fine. I am sure one thing that helped is that the Kumho M+S tires have only 8k on them. Also, I noticed that I could avoid spinning the wheels (or even engaging the traction control) with a light foot when starting up. Maybe that's one benefit of having "only" 162 hp on tap vs. 198 as on the new Sonata, or having a more powerful V6.

    BTW, these Kumho Solus tires are not high-enders. I'm sure they were one of the cheapest around, which is why the dealer I bought the car from a year ago put them on. But they've done a great job for me so far.
  • bhmr59bhmr59 Member Posts: 1,601
    You may already know, but you can also start up in 2nd gear (by using shiftronic). Normally, the car won't let the driver up-shift until a certain speed is reached, but it does allow to up-shift from "1" to "2" while stopped--at least it does in my '05.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesMember Posts: 18,946
    Yep... didn't need it though. But I could have used that feature a little while ago when I was helping a woman in a Focus get unstuck (people, don't drive on unplowed streets in the middle of a blizzard, unless your car is equipped for that kind of thing--and if you do, don't stop in an unplowed intersection or the end of an unplowed driveway!). Several of us were trying to push her out and she didn't have the rocking technique down. Finally she said, "Would you like to do it?" So I hopped in, and finally got out of it. Worst storm here since the infamous Halloween Blizzard of 1991.
  • bhmr59bhmr59 Member Posts: 1,601
    edited December 2010
    must be bad storm. NFL postponing 12/12/10 game. sorry for off topic.
  • lynsalzlynsalz Member Posts: 1
    edited January 2014

    I have a 2012 Sonata with 24k miles on it. I had the 2 front tires replaced last Sept., and have since found the snow handling pretty poor with all season tires.

    In a recent snow storm, I had to stay about 10mpg below most other vehicles to maintain control. Oddly, my car handled more like a RWD, as I had much better torque and traction in reverse.

    I'll take to a tire expert to see if the problem is having different tires between the front and back, though I believe the speed rating between the 2 is the same.

  • swapzswapz Member Posts: 1

    Hi guys, I am from a place where the winter temperature goes to -35 degrees cel. Does anyone of you have similar weather conditions? I would like to know if ther is any starting problem in Sonata 2006.

  • manhatnsmanhatns Member Posts: 1
    I bought my 2013 Sonata a few months back and I absolutely love the car. I'll admit I never thought of how it would drive in the snow. I live in Wisconsin and I thought any front wheel drive car would be ok. Boy was I wrong, the Sonata is the worst car I've ever owned for winter driving. I am getting rid of this car because of it. I wouldn't recommend this car to any one that has to drive in the snow.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Have you tried 4 dedicated snow tires on the car? Cheaper than buying a new one.
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