Search by Title only
Home > Driving your vehicle > All wheel drive (AWD) > For safe AWD operation

For safe AWD operation

Before driving

  • Make sure all passengers are wearing seat belts.

  • Sit upright and closer to the steering wheel than usual. Adjust the steering wheel to a position comfortable for you to drive.

Driving on snow-covered or icy roads

  • Start off slowly by applying the accelerator pedal gently.

  • Use snow tires or tire chains.

  • Keep sufficient distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you.

  • Using the regenerative braking helps the steering on the downhill. However it is difficult to adjust the vehicle while coasting, so avoid using the third level of regenerative braking as much as possible.

  • Avoid speeding, rapid acceleration, sudden brake applications, and sharp turns to prevent skids.

  • It is difficult to start again if the vehicle stops on an uphill road. Keep your distance from other vehicles and drive slowly.

Driving in sand or mud

  • Maintain a slow, constant speed.

  • Use tire chains driving in mud if necessary.

  • Keep sufficient distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you.

  • Reduce vehicle speed and always check the road condition.

  • Avoid speeding, rapid acceleration, sudden brake applications, and sharp turns to prevent getting stuck.

Driving up or down hills

  • Driving uphill

    • Before starting off, check if it is possible to drive uphill.

    • Drive as straight as possible.

  • Driving downhill

    • Do not change gear while driving downhill. Select gear before driving downhill.

    • Drive straight as possible.

Driving through water

  • Try to avoid driving in deep standing water.

  • If you need to drive in water, stop your vehicle, set the vehicle in Multi Terrain mode and drive under 5 mph (8 km/h).

  • Do not change gear while driving in water.

Additional driving conditions

  • Become familiar with the off-road conditions before driving.

  • Always pay attention when driving off-road and avoid dangerous areas.

  • Drive slowly when driving in heavy wind.

  • Reduce vehicle speed when cornering. The center of gravity of AWD vehicles is higher than conventional 2WD vehicles, making them more likely to roll over when you rapidly turn corners.

  • Always hold the steering wheel firmly when you are driving off-road.

  • If the AWD warning light () stays on the instrument cluster, your vehicle may have a malfunction with the AWD system. When the AWD warning light () appears, have your vehicle checked by an authorized Kia dealer.

  • Do not drive in conditions that exceed the vehicles intended design such as challenging off-road conditions.

  • Avoid high speeds when cornering or turning.

  • Do not make quick steering wheel movements, such as sharp lane changes or fast, sharp turns.

  • The risk of a rollover is greatly increased if you lose control of your vehicle at highway speeds.

  • Loss of control often occurs if two or more wheels drop off the roadway and the driver over steers to reenter the roadway.

  • In the event your vehicle leaves the roadway, do not steer sharply. Instead, slow down before pulling back into the travel lanes.

  • Exercise extreme caution driving up or down steep hills. The vehicle may flip depending on the grade, terrain and water/mud conditions.

  • Do not grab the inside of the steering wheel when you are driving off-road. You may hurt your arm by a sudden steering maneuver or from steering wheel rebound due to an impact with objects on the ground. You could lose control of the steering wheel which may lead to serious injury or death.


Always drive slowly in water. If you drive too fast, water may get into the motor compartment, causing your vehicle to suddenly stop.

  • Do not drive in water if the level is higher than the center of the wheel.

  • Check your brake condition once you are out of mud or water. Depress the brake pedal several times as you move slowly until you feel normal braking return.

  • Shorten your scheduled maintenance interval if you drive in off-road conditions such as sand, mud or water (refer to More Details.)

  • Make sure that AWD vehicle is towed by a flatbed tow truck.

  • AWD vehicles could change the engagement status of the motor according to the situation required. Auto changing the driving mode (2WD/AWD) helps improve energy efficiency and driving stability.

  • When the vehicle is stuck in snow, sand or mud, place a non-slip material under the drive wheels to provide traction OR slowly spin the wheels in forward and reverse directions which causes a rocking motion that may free the vehicle.

  • When putting the tire chains to the tire, be sure to attach the chain to the two rear wheels. In this case, drive below 20 mph (30 km/h) and minimize the driving distance. High-speed or long-term driving with putting the tire chains may cause malfunction or damage to the all-wheel drive.

  • If tire chains must be used, use fabric snow chain and install the tire chain after reviewing the instructions provided with the tire chains. For more information on Snow Tires and Tire Chains, refer to More Details.