It’s been two long months since I’ve sat in the driver’s seat of our long-term 2020 Mazda3, and unfortunately it was stuck in a body shop for almost half that time.
It all started when another editor went for a drive on Angeles Crest Highway. This beloved stretch of windy road is usually a fantastic place to stretch out a car’s legs, but a recent dump of springtime snow made it less than ideal. Although this editor was cautious, a patch of ice on the road (and midcorner just to make things more interesting) caught him off guard. The tires lost traction, countersteering measures were futile, and within a few seconds our Mazda3 was parked in a mound of packed snow on the side of the road. Thankfully a good Samaritan assisted with pulling our stuck Mazda3 out of the snow.
The damage was relatively minor—the glossy black trim piece on the bottom edge of the grille cracked, along with the fasteners for the lower bumper piece. And after more than three weeks in the body shop, our Mazda3 was finally back in our possession.
Prior to this incident, I hadn’t given much thought to the tires. Our car came fitted with Toyo Proxes A40s, an all-season tire that likely performed somewhat better than a set of summer performance rubber. We’ve had no complaints with the Toyos. On dry pavement they provide adequate grip and are relatively quiet. But if you’re going to drive in snow, obviously a set of winter tires would be ideal.
Had we still been in the winter season, I may have reached out to our partners at Tire Rack for recommendations on a good set of snow-appropriate tires to test out. The website offers two options: Michelin X-Ice Xi3 and Vredestein Wintrac Pro. The Michelins appear to be the more popular and highly rated of the two. And for those of you seeking another layer of winter grip, the Mazda3 is one of the few compacts in its segment available with AWD.
So with the extended time away from our Mazda3, that’s all I have to report. With summer just around the corner, perhaps I’ll look into acquiring a set of sticky rubbers and see how this handsome hatch performs.
Read more about our long-term 2020 Mazda3:
- Update 1: Sights and Sounds
- Update 2: Takes From Tahoe
The post 2020 Mazda3 Long-Term Update 3: Snow Encounter appeared first on MotorTrend.