All-Wheel Drive and Driving Modes Give Jeep Crossovers an Edge

By Product Expert | Posted in Jeep, Technology on Friday, March 30th, 2018 at 3:28 pm
Jeep Select-Terrain driving mode selector in the central console with a caption

One of the many advantages that vehicle like the 2019 Jeep Cherokee and Jeep Grand Cherokee bring to the road is their available all-wheel/4×4 drive systems and the Jeep Selec-Terrain traction management system. The Select-Terrain System is controlled by a dial in the central console of equipped Jeep vehicles, and offers drivers a choice of five different driving modes. What are the Jeep Select-Terrain driving modes? Each one balances the steering, wheels, suspension and engine output to offer drivers the best experience in different conditions. See the breakdown below.

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What are the Jeep Select-Terrain driving modes?

Most modern 4×4 Jeeps equipped with Selec-Terrain traction management come with Auto, Snow, Sport and Sand/Mud driving modes. Some models (for example, the 2018 Jeep Compass) come standard with these four modes, and are available with a Rock setting only on the off-road optimized Trailhawk trim.


This option is perfect for the daily commute and other casual driving situations. The vehicle will determine the best way to apply torque to the tires and how to set the suspension on some models so you can just worry about driving.

central console of a 2018 Jeep vehicle with Selec-Terrain traction management


When the road is clear and the weather is dry, you may want to let your Jeep fly with the Sport setting. This option delivers smooth and athletic handling perfect for a bold drive on the road or the track.


Perfect for snow, slush, sleet, or other slippery conditions, the Snow setting in the Jeep Selec-Terrain system evenly distributes torque to all four wheels so that drivers can enjoy the best grip, and sets the suspension when possible according to off-road settings.


When you are driving through sand or mud, it’s good to maximize traction and keep moving forward. The Sand/Mud mode and 4×4 Low help drivers pass through any obstacle.


Available on the off-road optimized trims like Trailhawk models, this setting is designed to overcome the most challenging off-road conditions at low speeds. Even power and torque distribution, Hill Descent Control, and locking axles make this setting ideal when you want to go over, not around, an obstacle.

Are you interested in experimenting with the modes available with the Selec-Terrain traction management system? Visit Fury Motors South St. Paul and test drive one of the models in our new Jeep inventory.

15 Responses to “All-Wheel Drive and Driving Modes Give Jeep Crossovers an Edge”

  1. Ann shupe says:

    I have the 2017 Jeep Cherokee with Selec-terrain, it says auto, sport, sand and mud. What gear can I use to go down my steep, slick hill without breaking

  2. Ann shupe says:

    Can I use Selec terrain to go down hill without vrakes

  3. Joshua Jackson says:

    I have a 2019 Jeep Cherokee latitude plus and in sport mode it stays at high rpms is that normal?

  4. Douglas A Keesee says:

    When A Jeep Cherokee has the select terrain driving modes of Auto, Snow, Sport, Sand & Mud and is front wheel drive/4X4 how many back wheels engage for traction if the front is slipping and isn’t getting traction?

  5. Kourtenay Olson says:

    Yes That’s exactly what it does. It keeps the transmission in gear longer and provides better throttle response among other things, depending which GC you have.

  6. Bill Locke says:

    what is the 2 speed power transfer unit required for flat towing? where do you find it on the 2019 cherokee and which models have it?

  7. Heath says:

    In order to flat tow you must have the Jeep Active Drive II. You can get it on models, but its not as common as the standard Active Drive I.

  8. I like how you mentioned that most modern 4×4 Jeeps equipped with Selec-Terrain traction management come with Auto, Snow, Sport and Sand/Mud driving modes. One of my friends told me that he would like to get a new vehicle. Since I know that he likes trucks and off-road vehicles, I will share this article with him so he can take a look at Jeep cars.

  9. Pam Stephens says:

    I just purchased a 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee I have a couple questions.

    How do I put it in 4×4 mode they only button I find is sport mode and my car doesn’t have a knob you turn to for snow,etc.

    My salesman showed me how to find restaurants and hotels but I don’t remember how to find it I thought it was part of the navigation.

    Last but not least I would love to have a book that explains the car. I am not comfortable trying to find out about my car online. I think $40,000 should include this. Please send me one.
    Pam Stephens
    30808 G St
    Ocean Park, Wa 98640

    Thanks Pam

  10. David says:

    Just wondering when/if tire chains are required if using snow mode during a snow shower?

  11. Sheldon says:

    I have a 2018 Trailhawk with the stock AT tires and live at a ski resort in CO. Absolutely no problems in the snow and I just take it easy when the roads get icy. Never even thought about getting chains or other traction aids.

  12. Devon Rice says:

    Look, Latitude 2017 4×4 has features I would like to use on bad trails. How can I optimize my selector to hang with a wrangler minus rock crawling which i have no desire to do.
    I know I have the cheap version , but dang, what else can I do with my cherokee but be a mall crawler. How about terrain selector upgrades????? What does that involve?

  13. Jim says:

    How can you pay $40K for a car and get no manual??

  14. Not all Grand Cherokee or Cherokee models are 4×4, if yours is a 4×4 it will be clearly marked 4×4 on your tailgate. Did you just assume yours was a 4×4?

  15. Michael Plemons says:

    Was wondering if you could change the settings while moving I had a 95 Jeep Cherokee Sport once you could was just wondering if you could do the same with the Newer Models as well

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