Did you know that some cars in the snowfall areas of Hokkaido and the Tohoku region are equipped with special equipment called cold-weather cars? We will introduce in detail what is different from the normal specification car, how to choose a cold region specification car and recommended car models for cold regions.
What is different, cold region specification car and normal specification car
A cold region specification vehicle is a vehicle that is equipped with cold region equipment as standard equipment so that the vehicle can be driven safely and comfortably even in snowy areas and severe cold regions.
By the way, Toyota, Nissan, Daihatsu, and Mitsubishi are the only domestic manufacturers that have cold region specifications, and Honda, Mazda, Subaru, and Suzuki do not have cold region specifications.
Then, I will explain in detail what is actually different from the normal specifications in the cold region specifications.
"Main equipment of cold region specification vehicles"
○ Electrical equipment related
It has a larger capacity than the battery of a normal specification car and prevents the battery from running out.
It is a machine that charges the battery, but the power generation capacity is large.
・ Starter motor
It is also called a starter motor and is used to start the engine, but it has a high voltage.
・ Front / rear defogger
Heat rays are attached to the windshield and rear glass, and by passing electricity, heat is generated and freezing can be prevented. (Front may be optional)
・ Door mirror heater
Heat rays are built into the left and right door mirrors, and electricity is applied to generate heat to prevent freezing.
・ Radiator coolant
The standard specification vehicle has a cooling water concentration of 30% LLC, while the cold region specification vehicle has an LLC 50% or higher concentration, so a coolant that does not freeze even when the temperature cools to -20 degrees or higher is used.
・ Window washer fluid
We use a solution that is close to the undiluted solution that does not freeze up to -40 degrees Celsius.
・ Ventilation openings on both sides of the windshield
Warm air comes out from the base of the windshield, and the wiper prevents snow from accumulating on both sides of the windshield.
・ Seat heater
Heaters are built into the driver's seat and passenger seat to warm the entire seat.
・ Rear heater
In the case of a 3-row seat such as a 1BOX car, the front heater alone does not warm the rear, so an additional heater is also installed at the rear.
・ Dustproof coating
In cold regions, snow-melting agents are often sprinkled on roads, and if they adhere to the body of an automobile, they can cause rust and corrosion. Therefore, even solid colors are coated with two coats to prevent rust and corrosion.
○ Other parts
It is called a snow blade, and the rubber material is soft and the degree of adhesion is high even if the glass freezes.
The rubber part between the door and the body softens the material to prevent damage in the cold season and improve the sealing rate.
The above is the equipment of the cold region specification car, which is not found in the main normal specification car.
Recent cars are equipped with a heater rear duct (improving the heating effect of the rear seats) and a sub muffler (improving the warm-up operation by warming the engine faster) as standard or optional.
Points to choose a car for cold regions
The equipment of the cold region specification car is based on the normal specification car and is additionally equipped. In addition to the equipment that is installed as standard for cold regions, there are also equipment that are installed as an option. If you try to install optional equipment later, it will be expensive.
When choosing a car with cold climate specifications, I think that a car model that is equipped with a lot of genuine cold climate specifications is a good deal. If you have a lot of equipment for cold regions from the beginning, the new car price will be a little higher, but it should be cheaper than installing it as an option.
For example, if you are planning to purchase an RV cold region specification car, it is important to find out how much cold region specification equipment is genuinely installed in the same class of each company and what is optional. I think.
Recommended cold region specification options
In addition to the standard cold region specifications, there are equipment that can be attached as an option. Here are some recommended options.
○ Rear fog
One of the scariest road conditions in snowy areas is whiteout. The snow that falls and the snow that soars in the wind will make your eyes white, making it difficult to distinguish between roads and gutters and sidewalks, and you will not be able to see the tail lights of cars running in front of you.
It is dangerous to stop suddenly, but it is also scary to continue running. Therefore, if the red fog is on the rear, you can appeal your vehicle to the car running behind, and the risk of a rear-end collision is reduced.
In addition, the rear fog will be a landmark for vehicles running behind, making it easier to follow. Also suitable for dense foggy road conditions. It is highly recommended to prevent accidents in midwinter and heavy fog.
○ PTC heater (Toyota system)
In a normal heater, the engine starts, the coolant warms up, enters the room through the heater hose, and warm air is circulated from the core into the room. In this case, warm air will not come out until the engine warms up.
However, since the PTC heater uses electricity as the heat source, the warmth of the engine is irrelevant. Warm air comes out before the engine warms up and raises the temperature inside the room. It may be a small difference, but it is an important option for those who live in cold climates.
Recommended car by vehicle type / cold region
● "Light vehicle 1: Daihatsu Cast Activa AWD"
The cast, which falls into the genre of crossover SUVs for mini vehicles, is equipped with large-diameter tires to set a high ground height and improve running performance on snowy roads and rough roads.
The most recommended point is that the downhill assist control control and grip support control fully support the acceleration and deceleration of up and down on rough roads.
The equipment for cold regions is also substantial, and it is installed in AWD from the beginning.
● "SUV1: Nissan X-Trail 4WD"
The X-TRAIL, which has the highest sales of SUV 4WD in 2017.
Regarding this car, it is a car that is perfect enough to give a perfect score in all aspects of safety performance, driving performance, fuel efficiency performance.
It is especially popular in Hokkaido, and the number of SUVs sold in Hokkaido is also No. 1.
At peak times, it seems that nearly 3,000 units were sold in five months. Isn't it the track record of this car that it is popular in extremely cold and snowy areas?
It is a safe unit as it is equipped with cold region specifications as standard equipment on all models.
● "Minivan 1: Mitsubishi / D-5 / 4WD"
It looks like a fusion of a minivan and an SUV, but its driving performance is outstanding in this class.
The height of the RV and the running performance of the AWC auto wheel control make it possible to drive safely on deep snowy roads, icy roads, and rough roads in snowy areas.
It also has excellent safety performance, so it is a recommended model in the 2000cc class. All 4WD models are standard equipment for cold regions.