Does the usual cruise control feature include braking on most cars? I mean, if the car goes down the hill and braking by engine is not enough, are the brakes initiated so that the car does not exceed the set speed?

This forum post mentions the BMW X3 having the braking functionality for CC, but I just wonder what the norm is in the industry, whether most cars come with that braking or not.

A further search reveals that BMW calls this feature Dynamic Cruise Control like this video explains.

  • The BMW you describe is the first time I've ever heard of this feature. I've driven several vehicles with cruise control, and none of them controlled the braking. Commented Mar 9, 2016 at 4:13
  • 1
    Yeah, usually the braking is done with the engine, not actual brakes. Commented Mar 9, 2016 at 8:54

5 Answers 5


Not normal for cruise control.

My Land Rover Discovery has "Hill Decent" mode which allows you to take your foot off the brake while going down steep hills. The computer then takes over controlling the speed of the vehicle using the brakes. This function is mainly for off-roading.

  • Agreed, all of the cars I've had, the CC is throttle only. Newest car is an 02 though.
    – rpmerf
    Commented Mar 9, 2016 at 13:57
  • A Toyota Prius (and presumably other hybrid cars) will slow the car down using regenerative braking, but will not apply the conventional brakes.
    – Mark
    Commented Mar 9, 2016 at 17:42

There are two type of cruise control, passive (normal) and adaptive (has other names)

Passive cruise control targets a speed, it reduces throttle position to slow down, but if engine braking is less than the effect of a steep downhill, the car will gain speed. This type of cruise control is not integrated with the braking system.

Adaptive cruise control uses sensor(s) on the front of the car to determine the distance to the next car, generally you set a target speed (and sometimes following distance), and the car will do this speed if there is space ahead, in traffic it will reduce the speed to maintain the gap from the car ahead, and can brake if required.


Subaru Forrester Touring 2018 does break going down hill to keep up with the set speed on its cruise control. An option that I love to utilize.


I have a 2017 Prius with adaptive cruise control. I can set it at 70mph and if a car I am following comes to a dead stop my car will stop automatically, without me touching the brakes. It will also maintain speed down hill. It will slow down and speed up to the limit I set adjusting for me without any input for cars going slower in front of me, if the car speeds up mine will match it up to whatever speed I set the cruise control to. In Jaguars it's called adaptive cruise control,. Most high end brands have versions if it, but it's finally available on higher trim levels of many more brands. It's so great to not have to constantly brake manually on the highway and constantly adjust your speed as too many drivers constantly vary their speed on the highway.


My 2007 rav4 4wd will slow the car down using brakes when holding the set switch down until 25kph as stated in the operation manual page 166. It will also use brakes if exceeding set speed going downhill to maintain the set speed. Same when using ''help switch'' going down a steep hill at low speed.

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