CX-5 Hill Descent Control?

How does the CX-5 handle steep hill descent in snow? I was a little disappointed that new CX-5's don't seem to have a specific mode for hill descent, although it looks like maybe some Mazdas in AU have this?

I live on a steep hill with a one-lane paved road going down to the field below. It can be a challenge keeping a car straight and under control when going down in snow and ice, so it would be great if the CX-5 could adjust braking and AWD to each wheel to assist. Even though there doesn't appear to be a button for this, will the AWD system work this way?

Thanks,

Mark
 

yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg
Contributor
:
Plano, Texas, USA
How does the CX-5 handle steep hill descent in snow? I was a little disappointed that new CX-5's don't seem to have a specific mode for hill descent, although it looks like maybe some Mazdas in AU have this?

I live on a steep hill with a one-lane paved road going down to the field below. It can be a challenge keeping a car straight and under control when going down in snow and ice, so it would be great if the CX-5 could adjust braking and AWD to each wheel to assist. Even though there doesn't appear to be a button for this, will the AWD system work this way?

Thanks,

Mark
No there’s no driving mode selection on CX-5 such as for hill descent. You can try to use manual gear selection with low gear to utilize engine brake, along with foot brake which should cooperate with traction control system to help you going downhill on slippery road.
 
Thanks, that's what I was thinking, pretty much what I do now with the RAV4. I've been managing fine, even all those years I had a 2WD F150. But my wife panics.

Mark
 
:
Southwest Ohio
:
'19 CX-5 diesel
... I live on a steep hill with a one-lane paved road going down to the field below. It can be a challenge keeping a car straight and under control when going down in snow and ice, so it would be great if the CX-5 could adjust braking and AWD to each wheel to assist. Even though there doesn't appear to be a button for this, will the AWD system work this way? ...

Yes, it's the ABS system that will brake each wheel individually (not the AWD system). I don't believe the AWD system is gonna help in this slippery downgrade situation.

... You can try to use manual gear selection with low gear to utilize engine brake, along with foot brake which should cooperate with traction control system to help you going downhill on slippery road.

In my opinion, selecting a low gear on a slippery downgrade is NOT a good thing to do and will make it MORE difficult to control the vehicle's descent ...

Thinking of vehicle systems and how they work, IMHO manually selecting a lower gear would be counter intuitive to what you're trying to accomplish. The issue at hand is maximizing traction and directional control / vehicle stability on a slippery downgrade. To do that, just let the vehicle use the ABS system as designed (that's why there is no "downgrade" switch, ABS is always doing that job anyway). The ABS system can quickly make adjustments to keep each individual wheel from locking. Engine compression braking cannot. Using engine braking on a slippery downgrade, the car's only option (should the engine braking effect be more than the available traction) to keep tires from skidding would be to unlock the torque converter and/or upshift to a higher gear. I don't even know if it could/would sense it or do it.

The advantages of using a lower gear (engine compression braking) on downgrades (or even just reducing speed on a level surface) is to reduce brake heat buildup and brake wear and even increase total braking power. None of which apply to what you want.

The solution to your situation is to increase available traction by either removing contaminates (snow and ice) from the surface or use a winter tire that bites into it better. I think I remember an earlier post from you somewhere that indicated your in MA? I would 100% invest in a set of dedicated winter tires in that climate for the added safety margin that the superior traction of winter tires provide in cold climates.
 
Thanks for the detailed response. Yes, in MA. Maybe true winter tires like Blizzaks would help, but we are talking very steep and very slippery. It's actually a situation where I'm not fond of ABS, as I think I would be better off with locked wheels (to allow snow to pile up in front of them), along with some kind of stability control. In the early days of ABS, Audis actually had a switch to turn it off in snow.

As it is now, the brakes don't do anything to slow me because of the ABS and no grip. So I do usually use engine braking to help slow a bit. And I pump the ABS, which is usually not recommended. I think it helps, but things happen quickly so it's kind of hard to experiment. :) Luckily there is usually nothing to hit at the bottom and I just slide into the field.

And with WFH, it's rare that I'm in a situation where I have to go out, so the best thing to do is just wait for the plow and sanders.

Thanks again,

Mark
 
:
Occupied Calif.
:
2019 CX 5 GT-R
I live in the SouCal mountains at 6000 ft. elevation. We get snow several times a year ranging from 5" or 6" to 2 feet. It melts fairly quickly except in areas of deep shade and the city does a pretty good job of plowing right away and dropping sand on the roads.

The street from the main highway to my house is quite steep in places so I really, really have to keep my speed down. I use the manual mode for the transmission and keep it mostly in 2nd gear.
But it doesn't take much for the ABS to engage and one time on the final approach to my house on a steep decline with about 2" of fresh snow and going a little too fast I thought I was going to end up in the trees at the end of the street when it finally stopped.

I think it's because the standard tires are just crap in the snow. It isn't practical for me to buy dedicated snow tires and wheels for the occasional snow that we receive. And Mazda supplied a warning with my instruction packet not to use chains. There is apparently some kind of design fluke where chains would rub on some suspension component. Nice.

So I just try to curtail my driving when the roads are slippery and literally don't exceed walking speed on any steep downhill sections of road.
 
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