Let's say you are me for just a minute. That is, you're a Miata owner. Ah yes, the spring and summer months are full of wonderful top-down drives along dry twisty backroads with the sun shining and the birds chirping. 

However, if you were me this morning you would have been yelling and cursing. A small, rear wheel drive roadster with summer tires is completely useless in four inches of unsalted, unplowed snow.

I thought everything would be alright, as I was able to get out of the driveway and down the street with no issues. I cut through a less hilly neighborhood and was having a blast driving sidew.... I mean... like a normal person. Annoyingly, as soon as I had to go up a hill I got stuck. After getting unstuck the first time, getting off the line from a dead stop took eons, and got me into some frustrating situations.

Would I have been better off if I spent some money this year on some snow tires? More importantly, will you be better off this winter if you spend some cash on some snow tires?

Well, here are two videos that attempt to prove the benefits of tires made for the wintry months. One is very boring and scientific, and maybe even slightly biased, so I included a more impromptu video from the much more neutral Autocar for fairness:

So, they definitely do help out. What would a set of snow tires cost? Well, using the good old Honda Civic as our college car benchmark, you're looking at somewhere around $250-$350 for just the tires. That doesn't include the cost of mounting them. Now, if you want to save a bit of money you can have these tires mounted onto a set of wheels from a scrapyard. Then, once the snow is gone you just take off the snow tires and bolt back on the summer tires instead of paying to have the summer tires re-mounted.

Drive safely this winter!

[Autocar, TireRack]