Driving can be dangerous sometimes in the best conditions and winter can make it worse, unless your prepared. Take for example, Mazda’s MX-5 roadster, widely praised for its excellent, well balanced handling, add some Bridgestone Blizzak winter tires and the result is a grin-inducing ride even though it’s a rear drive car and the snow is thick on the ground.
At an ice driving course set up in a field blanketed in several feet of snow near Crested Butte in the Colorado Rockies, the MX-5 was one of a number of new Mazda models to demonstrate that winter driving does not have to be a white-knuckle experience.
Although most MX-5 owners are unlikely to subject their cars to such extreme conditions, the point of the exercise was to show that with proper winter tires – Bridgestone Blizzaks in this case – the near impossible becomes feasible.
In the case of the CX-3 and CX-5, Mazda’s compact and mid-size crossovers, negotiating the icy course was even more straightforward, as the two models were equipped with the Japanese automaker’s sophisticated ‘predictive’ all-wheel drive system. (The same system is also fitted to Mazda’s forthcoming CX-9 large crossover). Combined with the remarkable grip provided by the Blizzak rubber, the predictive system gives the Mazda crossovers better performance in icy conditions than several competitors, including the Honda CR-V, Subaru Forester and Toyota RAV4.
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