XC90 Twin Engine


Hill descent control

Hill descent control, Hill Descent Control (HDC), is a low speed function with enhanced engine braking. The function makes it possible to increase or reduce vehicle speed on steep downhill gradients using only the accelerator pedal, without using the foot brake.

The function is included in drive mode Off Road.

Hill descent control is adapted for off-road driving at low speeds and facilitates driving on steep downhill gradients with difficult surfaces. The driver does not need to use the brake pedal, but can instead focus on steering.


HDC does not work in all situations but is designed merely as a supplementary aid.

The driver always bears ultimate responsibility for ensuring that the vehicle is driven safely.


Hill descent control allows the car to roll at inching speed both forward and backward with enhanced engine braking. The speed can be increased by using the accelerator pedal. When the accelerator pedal is then released the car slows back down to crawling speed, regardless of the gradient of the hill and without the need for the foot brake to be used. The brake lights are switched on when the function is operating.

The driver can brake and reduce crawling speed, or stop the car at any time by using the foot brake.

This function is activated by Low Speed Control (LSC), which makes it easier to drive on slippery surfaces and enables a low and even speed. Which system is active depends on the road surface, gradient of the road and car speed.

Activating hill descent control, HDC

Hill descent control only works at low speeds.

  • Select the Off Road drive mode in order to activate the function.
  • Select a different drive mode in order to deactivate. If the drive mode is changed while driving on a steep downhill gradient, the braking effect will gradually decrease.


When LSC with HDC is activated by the OFF ROAD driving mode, the feel of the accelerator pedal and engine response are changed.


The driving mode is not designed to be used on public roads.


The function is deactivated when driving at higher speeds and must be reactivated at a lower speed, if required.

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