Toyota Corolla for Snow and Winter Driving (Explained)

The Toyota Corolla is a car that many people really like. You can tell because a lot of people buy it, making it one of the best-selling cars worldwide.

The Corolla is well-built, versatile, comfy, has excellent fuel economy, and, most importantly, is affordable.

Now, let’s talk about how the Toyota Corolla handles winter. Will it struggle when there’s snow and the roads are icy? In this article, I’ll discuss how well the Corolla can drive in winter.

Disclaimer: I will focus on the Toyota Corolla Sedan and Corolla Hatchback; I am leaving out the Corolla Cross and GR Corolla, as they are quite different species in some ways.

Is the Toyota Corolla good in the Snow?

Toyota Corolla Drive on The Snowy Mountain

The Toyota Corolla is a reliable option for winter driving, even with its front-wheel drive. However, equipping the Corolla with a good pair of winter tires is essential to ensure optimal performance in snowy conditions.

Toyota Corolla also has many features that enhance safety and comfort during winter driving. These features include advanced stability control systems, anti-lock brakes, and traction control. These technologies improve the vehicle’s stability and handling on slippery surfaces.

Furthermore, the Corolla’s interior offers amenities that contribute to a comfortable winter driving experience. Heated seats, for example, provide warmth and comfort during cold winter commutes.

Which Toyota Corolla Features Will Improve Winter Driving?

Concerning winter driving, the Toyota Corolla offers a range of features that enhance safety and performance on snowy roads. These features work together to provide better traction, stability, and visibility, making your winter driving experience more secure and comfortable.

Vehicle Stability Control

One key feature that contributes to improved winter driving in the Toyota Corolla is the Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) system.

VSC helps to prevent skidding and loss of control by automatically adjusting engine power and applying individual brakes to specific wheels when it detects a loss of traction.

This feature ensures the Corolla maintains stability on slippery surfaces, giving you peace of mind during winter commutes.

Traction Control (TRAC)

Another important feature is the Traction Control (TRAC) system.

TRAC works in conjunction with VSC to optimize traction on slippery roads. It reduces wheel spin by automatically applying brake force to the spinning wheel, redirecting power to the wheels with better traction.

This feature enhances the Corolla’s ability to navigate snow-covered roads, providing better control and grip.

Anti-lock Brake System

The Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) is another crucial feature for winter driving.

ABS prevents the wheels from locking up during sudden braking, allowing you to maintain steering control while coming to a stop.

This feature is particularly useful on icy or snowy roads, where sudden stops can be challenging.

Electronic Brake-force Distribution

The Toyota Corolla is equipped with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) to enhance braking performance further.

EBD automatically adjusts the distribution of braking force between the front and rear wheels based on the vehicle’s load.

This feature ensures the Corolla maintains optimal braking performance, even in slippery conditions.

Heated Side Mirrors & Heated Seat

In addition to these safety features, the Toyota Corolla offers amenities that improve comfort during winter driving.

Heated side mirrors help to prevent ice and snow buildup, ensuring clear visibility at all times. Heated seats provide warmth and comfort, making your winter commute more enjoyable.

And with good LED headlights, you’ll have enhanced visibility on dark winter nights, improving safety on the road.

Does the Toyota Corolla Have Snow Mode?

While the Toyota Corolla has no dedicated snow mode, it can still handle snowy conditions with the right preparation.

Equipping the Corolla with high-quality winter tires is essential for improved traction and control on snow-covered roads.

However, it’s important to note that the Corolla’s capabilities in snow are limited compared to SUV models specifically designed for winter driving. If you encounter extremely slippery or thick snow conditions, it’s advisable to reconsider driving and prioritize safety.

How Much Snow Can A Toyota Corolla Handle?

The Toyota Corolla’s ability to handle snow is limited due to its low ground clearance.

With only about 5.1 inches of ground clearance, the Corolla sedan and Corolla hatchback are not designed for heavy snow conditions. However, they can still navigate roads with light to medium snow.

To ensure a smooth and safe winter driving experience in a Toyota Corolla, it is recommended to choose roads that have been plowed. This will help prevent the vehicle from getting stuck in the snow.

While the Toyota Corolla can handle some snow, it is important to note its limitations. If you live in an area with heavy snowfall or frequently encounter challenging winter driving conditions, it is advisable to consider alternative options, such as vehicles with higher ground clearance.

Do You Need Winter Tires for Toyota Corolla?

Short answer: Absolutely YES!

Snow tires are essential for the Toyota Corolla in winter driving. While all-season tires may be sufficient for city driving on cleared roads, winter tires take your vehicle’s performance to another level.

Designed specifically for snowy and icy conditions, snow tires have a unique tread pattern and rubber compound that provide better traction and control in cold temperatures.

Although the Toyota Corolla may have traction control features like stability control and anti-lock brakes, these systems can only do so much without the right tires.

Snow tires greatly enhance the Corolla’s ability to navigate through snow-covered roads, reducing the risk of skidding or getting stuck.

Investing in snow tires for your Toyota Corolla is a wise decision, especially if you live in an area with harsh winter weather. They significantly improve your vehicle’s performance and safety during the winter months.

Remember to install the snow tires before the first snowfall and remove them once winter is over. This ensures that your Corolla has the right tires for the conditions, maximizing its winter driving capabilities. Don’t compromise on safety – give your Toyota Corolla the advantage it needs with snow tires.


To conclude, while the Toyota Corolla can handle light to medium snow conditions, its low ground clearance limits its ability in heavy snow. It is recommended to choose plowed roads to prevent getting stuck.

However, if you live in an area with frequent heavy snowfall, it may be wise to consider a vehicle with higher ground clearance.

Overall, the Toyota Corolla is a reliable option for winter driving, but it’s important to be aware of its limitations. Stay safe and enjoy your winter driving experience in the Toyota Corolla.