Help! New 2006 Jetta GTI is terrible in the snow!

Help! My new 2006 Jetta GTI is so bad in the snow that in our first storm I was stuck on the side of the road for four hours waiting for help. It won’t drive even in 1 inch and this is New England. I went to the tire dealer to get snow tires and the guy told me that it wouldn’t help, the car will always be bad in the snow. Is there any hope? I’m going to have to get rid of it. Maybe this is why there was a new 2006 Jetta available in June, 2007. Shouldn’t the dealer have told me the car would be bad in the snow? This is my fifth VW and they have always been great snow cars.


I don’t know why the tire dealer told you snow tires wouldn’t help. These are essential if you want traction in snow with a vehicle. Find another tire dealer who knows what they’re talking about when it comes to snow tires. And when you get them, have them installed on all four corners. This will provide balanced traction in snow.


the GTI’s tend to come with higher performance tires - - which translates to butkus performance in the snow. Get a good set of snow tires. You’ll be fine. Friend of mine has an 04 GTI. Nice little car, and once the snow melts you’ll have a blast with it :slight_smile:

Agree. My neighbor got one of the first Passats for his wife and it came with German high speed tires which were useless is even one inch of snow. He bought a good set of all season tires and the problem was solved. A good set of winter tires will do wonders for your handling and traction. Just take it easy on the throttle, since this is a high performance car.

Buy a good set of four snow tires on separate wheels and install them every fall. This car will probably never be great in the snow, but good snow tires will make it adequate.

Snow tires work very well and your car will be superior in it. Your dealer is clueless.

Try for wheels/winter tires delivered to your door mounted/balanced. I believe you can downsize the tires to 16" and get 4 steel rims likely making the whole deal <$700 installed.

Your car just has wider low profile high performance tires on it that are poor in snow.

Snow tires and maybe some weight in the back. You will be good to go. Just take it easy as other posters mentioned this vehicle is styled for agressive driving, so it will be easier to make it misbehave. If you think you got it bad, I got a Mustang GT and in the winter the way I have to drive it has led my coworkers to translate GT= Geezer Transportation.
Drive it with care and you will be fine. After you get the snow tires, take it to an empty iced up deserted parking lot and get a feel of the handling.

Very good advice. If my Tbird can get around in the snow, a FWD Volkswagen should be able to do the same.

Most likely this car came from the factory with summer tires. quick look through for your car, I’d suggest Michelin Exalto a/s, Goodyear ResponseEdge, or Bridgestone Potenza RE960AS Pole Position. I have the Exalto on my Civic and they’ve been really good

Sometimes, you walk into a place with a simple question and they have other priorities in their heads. Maybe the “technician” wanted less work for some reason. It might have been closing time in a half hour. A guy comes in with a dead battery and gets told that the battery man isn’t in right now. You get that. The guys who say that performance tires aren’t any good in snow are right. I was looking at a B F Goodrich tread pattern that would be perfect in snow. I know that they are better than what is on the car now.

Your unhappy surprise is the same I had with my 99 Honda Civic. Compared to my previous car (a very humdrum Chevy Cavalier wagon that I took to 207,000 miles) the Honda was very insecure handling and had poor starting traction in snow. But I soon decided I liked the car and was going to keep it - so spent the money it took to buy 4 winter tires on steel wheels. I had made a big diff. Nowadays there are better snow tires than what were around in 2000. One thing I’d add to all the above advice is: get the narrowest rims and tires that are suitable for your car. Narrower is better for snow and ice traction. Save the wide footprint tires for summer.

No no no! No weight in the back. Weight in the back is bad, especially on a FWD car. If you start to slide, the weight in the back will, thanks to inertia, make it harder to keep the tail from kicking out. It will also take some weight off of the front wheels, so you’ll lose steering and starting traction.

I had the great, great grandfather of your Jetta - the Rabbit. It handled beautifully in the snow. You might get winter tires, but you also might try driving more gently. I don’t know you at all, so please don’t take offense. But altering the way we drive when it snows is the best way to avoid problems. Heck, I’ve never had a car that couldn’t handle a foot or more of snow in 30 years of driving.

The tires on a rabbit were very high profile and very narrow making them quite good in the snow.

The GLI has wide low profile high performance tires that are wider.

I had the 1988 GLI and was able to equip it with rabbit rims(13") that worked incredibly well with the cheapest size tire winter tires. I think the modern one comes with 17" or 18" rims but hopefully can be downsized to 16" possibly 15" rims. My Jetta GLI 16V was not very good in the snow with stock size rims/tires either.

ok my scion had 17 inch low profile tires I went to tire rack .com and order reg metal rims regular tires and hub caps and lug nuts. perelli
tires monted and balanced on new rims for $430. all I did was put them on. you can also have tire send to a shop and get a good price from t/r for installing them you can reviews from other people about their tires and make choice from that.

I didn’t get charged for instalation when I bought my new rims and tires from them. They shipped my set already mounted and balanced to NTB in Marion, after about an hour wait(other customers and I don’t really blame them for putting a free job on the back end of their waiting list) I was sent on my way with them telling me to come back after 100 miles for retightening of the lugnuts, even that was free and done in the parking lot of the place and not the service bay.

I had the same situation when I bought my RX-8. Like Bambi on ice. The car is basically balanced, but still was terrible in the snow. I got 4 Blizzaks with cool rims from Tire Rack and the problem was solved. Now it drives pretty well in snow, actually feels more safe than my Honda with FWD. I’ll betcha a good set of snow tires will make this GTI great in the snow. Rocketman

Hey All – This was so helpful. I got four new snow tires and rims (16 ") and in this first crazy month of Massachusetts winter, they are working great. Then, the wipers went, then, the unlock feature on the key went. Oh well…the car IS 6 months old…

I bought my RX-8. Like Bambi on ice. The car is basically balanced, but still was terrible in the snow.

I had an RX-7. The balance made it fantastic on snow and ice (with good tyres). You could drive it and maintain control even in a skid. Unlike any other car I ever had on ice or snow. It would not plow though deep snow, but you could control where it was aimed.

I am glad it worked out for you and reported back.

I am loving my winter tires too in Seacoast NH with the close to 40" for the month of Dec.