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When you get your Mazda CX-3, it will come with one of three combinations of tires and wheels. There may be 16-inch steel wheels featuring covers or 16-inch alloy wheels, either of which would come with 215/60R16 all-season tires. If you get the GT trim, you will get 18-inch gunmetal-finish alloy wheels featuring 215/50R18 all-season tires. In either case, these tires are high-quality and should do well for the majority of the year. During the winter, however, you will want to switch to winter tires.

 

Why You Need Mazda CX-3 Winter Tires

 

Many people think that you don’t need to switch out your all-season tires for winter ones, particularly because all CX-3’s come with ABS. This is an especially common misconception among those who drive a CX-3 with AWD. No matter the drivetrain or type of vehicle, however, winter tires will dramatically boost your traction and safety. You also need to keep in mind that even all-season tires aren’t designed to function in cold temperatures. That means that as soon as it gets below 7 degrees Celsius or 45 degrees Fahrenheit, you will want to swap out your all-season tires for winter ones. This is the temperature at which normal tires start to lose their elasticity, putting you at risk of reduced traction or other issues.

 

If you are wondering why your CX-3 with AWD and ABS needs winter tires, consider this information. All-wheel drive simply helps put power to the ground; it doesn’t improve cornering grip or braking. When you are on an icy road, snow tires will boost stopping power and cornering traction, neither of which AWD does. ABS works in a similar way; while it prevents your brakes from locking up, it doesn’t help with your SUV’s stopping power. Winter tires help with cornering, braking, and accelerating even on vehicles with ABS like the CX-3.

 

Ideal Sizing of Mazda CX-3 Winter Tires

 

The biggest question when it comes to Mazda CX-3 winter tires is what size you should get. The easiest method is to simply by the same size tires that come standard on your CX-3. This means that if you drive a GX or GS, you would pick 16-inch ones and while those with a GT would choose 18-inch ones. You can also opt for the tire size found on the base model, such as 16-inch tires for the GT trim. A final option is known as downsizing and involves picking winter tires with a slightly smaller diameter but a taller profile.

 

Number of Winter Tires to Buy

 

Buying Mazda CX-3 winter tires concerns some people if they are on a budget. This is where the myth that you only need two snow tires comes into play. Some people think you only need to put them on the drive axle, but no reputable mechanic will encourage this. If you combine snow tires with summer or all-season tires on a single vehicle, you will notice unsafe, unpredictable handling. If you have a front-wheel-drive CX-3, the front axle brakes, turns, and steers, but the rear tires have to stay in line and apply the brakes. If you only put Mazda CX-3 winter tires on the front, the back of your SUV will have less grip, leading to a high risk of spinning. Be safe and change all four tires at the beginning and end of the winter.

 

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