Kia Sportage: For safe All Wheel Drive (AWD) operation

Kia Sportage - Fifth generation (NQ5) - (2022-2024) - Owner's Manual / Driving your vehicle / All Wheel Drive (AWD) system / For safe All Wheel Drive (AWD) operation


All Wheel Drive

The conditions of on-road or off-road that demand All Wheel Drive mean all functions of your vehicle are exposed to extreme stress than under normal road conditions. Slow down and be ready for changes in the composition and traction of the surface under your tires. If you have any doubt about the safety of the conditions you are facing, stop and consider the best way to proceed.

  • Do not try to drive in deep standing water or mud since such conditions can stall your engine and clog your exhaust pipes. Do not drive down steep hills since it requires extreme skill to maintain control of the vehicle.

For safe All Wheel Drive (AWD) operation

  • When you are driving up or down hills drive as straight as possible. Use extreme caution in going up or down steep hills, since you may flip your vehicle over depending on the grade, terrain and water/mud conditions.

For safe All Wheel Drive (AWD) operation



Driving across the contour of steep hills can be extremely dangerous. This danger can come f r om slight changes in the wheel angle which can destabilize the vehicle or, even if the vehicle is maintaining stability under power, it can lose that stability if the vehicle stops its forward motion. Your vehicle may roll over without warning and without time for you to correct a mistake that could cause serious injury or death.

  • You must learn how to corner in a AWD vehicle. Do not rely on your experience in conventional FWD vehicles when cornering the vehicle in AWD mode. For starters, you must drive slower in AWD.


All Wheel Drive (AWD)

Reduce speed when you turn corners.

The center of gravity of AWD vehicles is higher than that of conventional FWD vehicles, making t h em more likely to roll over when you turn corners too fast.


Steering wheel

Do not grab the inside of the steering wheel when you are driving on unpaved roads. You may hurt your arm by a sudden steering maneuver or f r om steering wheel rebound due to impact with objects on the ground. You could lose control of the steering wheel.

  • Always hold the steering wheel firmly when you are driving on unpaved roads.
  • Make sure all passengers are wearing seat belts.


Wind danger

If you are driving in heavy wind, the vehicle's higher center of gravity decreases your steering control capacity and requires you to drive more slowly.


Driving through water

Drive slowly. If you are driving too fast in water, the water can get into the engine compartment and wet the ignition system, causing your vehicle to suddenly stop. If this happens and your vehicle is in a tilted position, your vehicle may roll over.


  • Do not drive in water if the level is higher than the bottom of the vehicle.
  • Check your brake condition once you are out of mud or water. Press the brake pedal several times as you move slowly until you feel normal braking forces return.
  • Shorten your scheduled maintenance interval if you drive in off road conditions such as sand, mud or water (refer to "Normal maintenance schedule" and "Maintenance under severe usage conditions". Always wash your vehicle thoroughly after off-road use, especially cleaning the bottom of the vehicle.
  • Since the driving torque is always applied to the 4 wheels the performance of the AWD vehicle is greatly affected by the condition of the tires.

Be sure to equip the vehicle with four tires of the same size and type.

  • A full time All Wheel Drive vehicle cannot be towed by an ordinary tow truck. Make sure that the vehicle is placed on a flat bed truck for moving.


All Wheel Drive (AWD) driving

  • Avoid high cornering speed.
  • Do not make quick steering wheel movements, such as sharp lane changes or fast, sharp turns.
  • The risk of rollover is greatly increased if you lose control of your vehicle at high speed.
  • In a collision, an unbelted person is significantly more likely to die compared to a person wearing a seat belt.
  • Loss of control often occurs if two or more wheels drop off the roadway and the driver over-steers to re-enter the roadway. In the event your vehicle leaves the roadway, do not steer sharply. Instead, slow down before pulling back into the travel lanes.


Mud or snow

If one of the front or rear wheels begins to spin in mud, snow, etc. the vehicle can sometimes be driven out by engaging the accelerator pedal further; however avoid running the engine continuously at high rpm because doing so could damage the AWD system.

Driving in sand or mud

  • Maintain slow and constant speed.

    Operate the accelerator pedal slowly to ensure safe driving (wheel-slip prevention).

  • 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.
  • When the vehicle is stuck in snow, sand or mud, the tires may not operate.
  • This is to protect the transmission and not a malfunction.


Moving the vehicle forcibly to get out of mud or sand can cause damage/overheat of the engine or damage/breakdown of the transmission, differential or AWD system as well as damage to tires.

If excessive wheel slip occurs after entering a sandy/muddy road, the vehicle may fall into the sand/mud. When it happens, put a stone or a tree branch under the tire, and then try to pull out the vehicle, or try to get it unstuck by repeatedly moving forwards and backwards.


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