Kim’s Honda Civic makes a great snow/ice car. It’s light and FWD, which makes traction relatively easy. It could use a little more power, but there’s enough to lose traction so I can overlook it.

What’s so great about driving on slippery surfaces? The car stops being a chronic understeerer (wants to go straight when you lose traction in a curve) and starts to exhibit moderate oversteer (rear swings out, like a RWD car). When going around a curve, you can let off the gas to let the front end “bite” and make the turn, then apply throttle to move forward and perhaps swing around the rest of the car. The rear will swing out very progressively, which makes it easy to control. When you start to slip on ice, just steer to counter and be gentle with the gas/brake. Very easy, and much more entertaining than driving on regular dry roads. 🙂

The best part? The parking brake is controlled with a lever on the console like it should be, and it’s nice and grabby. When going through a tight curve, gentle application of the brake (by holding down the release button so you can modulate the pressure easily) will bring out the rear. Again, it’s nice and predictable at moderate speeds, and 90 degree turns are suddenly a lot more itneresting. Need to park, but just missed your spot? No problem – just use the brake to get perpendicular to the curb, then apply gas and glide into your spot. The best part? No tire wear at all – we’re on ice!

By the way, I don’t recommend you try any of this unless you know what you’re doing and you’re far away from traffic. And don’t try the same techniques carelessly with a RWD car, although they’re actually MORE fun in the snow and ice…and more dangerous, by far. My M3 is going to stay parked until all of the white stuff is gone from our neighborhood roads.

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