When you buy an SUV or a crossover to transport your family, friends and assorted paraphernalia and cargo for various lifestyle pursuits, you want to be sure that it won’t roll backwards on a sloping incline. You also want to feel confident about being able to start it up without having to keep one foot jammed on the brakes and one on the gas pedal.
If you have hill-start assist on your SUV or crossover, that won’t be a concern. Here we take a look at some 2012 family SUVs and crossovers that do have the feature. And the good news is that it’s standard on the ones we’ve selected.
2012 Lexus RX, GX, LX
Whether you opt for the compact Lexus RX luxury crossover, the mid-size GX, or the full-size LX SUV, hill-start assist control (HAC) is standard. This safety and security feature helps make the vehicle more manageable during hill climbing or stopping and starting off on surfaces that may be slippery. When stopped on an incline, a vehicle may roll back as soon as the driver steps off the brake. HAC helps prevent this rollback by gently applying the brakes and slowing down the vehicle’s slipping speed. The system does not wait to detect rollback, however. The driver can control it, and the system works in both forward and reverse. When the vehicle is stopped and the driver depresses the brake pedal, pushing it further activates the HAC feature. Brake pressure is maintained for approximately two seconds after the driver releases the brake pedal and switches to the accelerator.
2012 Honda PilotEnlarge Photo
2012 Honda Pilot
The redesigned 2012 Honda Pilot eight-passenger mid-size SUV features hill-start assist as standard equipment on all models. When stopped on a steep grade, hill-start assist prevents the Pilot from rolling forward or backward. Activated by sensors when the driver’s foot moves from the brake pedal to the accelerator, hill-start assist maintains brake-line pressure for a brief moment while the brake pedal is released, giving the driver time to push on the accelerator and resume motion.
2012 Ford ExplorerEnlarge Photo
2012 Ford Explorer
Hill-start assist is standard on all 2012 Ford Explorer SUVs. The system automatically prevents the Explorer from rolling back or forward (when the SUV is in reverse) on a slope by momentarily holding brake pressure when the brake pedal is released. The system assists the driver in slope maneuvers such as parking a vehicle or driving without rolling back.
2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee
2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee
Hill-start assist is standard on all 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee models, in both two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. Hill-start assist helps drivers when starting from a stop on a hill, while hill descent control with grade sensing (standard on most 4x4 models) allows a smooth and controlled hill descent on rough or slippery terrain.
Note that hill-start assist is also standard on the 2012 Dodge Durango, mechanically similar to the system used on the 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee.
2011 Kia SorentoEnlarge Photo
2012 Kia Sorento
Whether you choose the 2012 Kia Sorento in LX, EX or SX trim, with four-cylinder or V-6 engines, you get hill assist control (HAC) as standard equipment. Kia describes HAC this way: When stopped on a steep hill, a vehicle may roll once the driver releases the brake. Hill assist control helps by gently applying the brakes for two seconds while you move your foot from the brake pedal to the accelerator.
2011 Chevrolet Equinox LTZEnlarge Photo
2012 Chevrolet Equinox
Looking for front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive in an affordable compact crossover SUV, one that seats up to five passengers and has standard hill start assist? The 2012 Chevrolet Equinox has what it takes to prevent roll-back on an incline until the vehicle begins moving forward, with hill start assist standard across the lineup of LS, LT and LTZ models, and in both FWD and AWD configurations.