I have kind of mixed feelings about the car in the winter. With the traction control on, sometimes it's a real handful to actually get it to go forward because the throttle keeps backing off (this is super annoying). On the other hand, when I turned the traction control off, I managed to spin it within a block of home – in the rain.
This is probably the point I should say that I don't, as a matter of principle, run any sort of winter or all-season rubber. I wear summer, "R" rubber, all year round. The reason for this is basically thus: I've always found that backing off the throttle was way easier in terms of getting better traction than buying some wonky tire that's supposed to magically work. Years ago I had a 400-ish-hp turbo Z
, and that car had ludicrous problems hooking up in snow and rain with winter tires. So I just figured it wasn't worth the hassle.
I guess what I'm getting at is you're going to have trouble with any rear-wheel-drive vehicle in the snow and rain. Having a stick helps because you can feather the clutch and start in 2 or 3 (or 4 or 5, depending on the car) if you're having trouble getting it moving.
It's probably best to just avoid driving in sub-freezing temperatures (tires do funny things when they get real cold) and excess precipitation. I live in Virginia, so we don't get all-winter snow, but we get our share, and tons of cold, miserable rain (like right now, actually :P). Luckily, I can generally work from home if I need to.
Also, this (discoduck):
SLK should be driven all year round
Awesome. My wife thinks you're nuts. I wholeheartedly approve.