Drive modes

Hill descent control

Updated 7/23/2018

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.

In a car with drive mode control*, the function is included in the Off Road drive mode.

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, assisted by the brake system. 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.

The function is activated together with Low Speed Control (LSC) which facilitates driving and improves traction for driving off-road and on slippery surfaces. The systems are designed for use at low speed, up to approx. 40 km/h (25 mph).

Activating hill descent control, HDC

Hill descent control only works at low speeds.

The function is activated in different ways depending on the car's equipment.

With drive mode control*

P5-1507-drive mode scroll wheel
  • 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.

In the centre display's function view

P5-1507-Hill descent control

A car without drive mode control has a function button for low speed control with Hill Descent Control in the centre display's function view.

Press the button in order to activate the function.

An indicator in the button illuminates when the function is activated.

Points to remember when driving with HDC

With automatic gearbox

  • HDC can be used in gear position D, R, and with 1st or 2nd gear with manual gear changing.
  • It is not possible to change to 3rd gear or higher with manual gear changing.

With manual gearbox

  • HDC only brakes in 1st gear or with reverse gear (R). There is no active braking in higher gears despite the function not being deactivated until approx. 40 km/h (25 mph).


When LSC with HDC is activated, the feel of the accelerator pedal and engine response are changed.


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

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