Gear positions for automatic gearbox

With an automatic gearbox, the system chooses the gear so that driving is optimal. The gearbox also has a manual gearshift mode.
P5-1507-gear shifter with gear shift modes

The driver display shows the gear position selected:

P, R, N, D or M.

In manual gearshift mode, the gear being used is also shown.

Gear positions

Park position - P

The gearbox is mechanically blocked when the P position is engaged.

Select the P position when the car is parked or when starting the engine. The car must be stationary when the park position is selected.

To be able to move the gear selector from the park position, the brake pedal must be depressed and the ignition position must be II.

To park - first apply the parking bake and then select park position.


Always use the parking brake when parking on an inclined surface. Engaging a gear or the automatic transmission's P position is not sufficient to hold the car stationary in all situations.


The gear selector must be in P position to allow the car to be locked and alarmed.

Reverse position - R

Select position R to reverse. The car must be stationary when reverse position is selected.

Neutral position - N

No gear is engaged and the engine can be started. Apply the parking brake if the car is stationary with the gear selector in N position.

To be able to change from the neutral position to another gear position, the brake pedal must be depressed and the ignition position must be II.

Drive position - D

D is the normal driving position. Shifting up and down takes place automatically based on the level of acceleration and speed. The car must be stationary when changing gear from R position to D position.

Manual gearshift mode - M

The manual gearshift mode can be selected at any time while driving. The car engine-brakes when the accelerator pedal is released.

Select manual gearshift mode by moving the gear selector sideways from position D to the end position at "±". The driver display shows which gear is engaged at the time.

  • Press the gear selector forwards to "+" (plus) to change up one step and release it.
  • Press the gear selector backwards to "" (minus) to change down one step and release it.
P5-1507-XC90- manual gear ind driver display
manual gearshift mode in the driver display1.

The gearbox automatically shifts down if the speed decreases to a level lower than appropriate for the selected gear, in order to avoid jerking and stalling.

To return to automatic gear changing, press the gear selector sideways to the end position at D.

  1. 1 The figure is schematic - parts may vary depending on car model.