Off-roading doesn’t just mean mountain passes and river crossings. We look at how to handle your 4x4 confidently in five of the most common everyday off-road driving situations.
POTHOLES: TAKE IT SLOW
Punctures, suspension damage, dented wheel arches: potholes cost billions in vehicle damage every year.
If you encounter a bad stretch of road with multiple large potholes, slow down and engage Rock Crawl on Terrain Response. (If your vehicle has Auto Terrain Response, it will change settings for you.)
Land Rover is currently developing Pothole Alert Technology, which will be able to identify the location and severity of potholes, broken drains and manhole covers, and share this data in real-time to warn other drivers and help prioritise repairs.
GRAVEL: KEEP IT STEADY
When driving off-road on gravel tracks or driveways, select Grass/Gravel/Snow on Terrain Response. (If your 4x4 has Auto Terrain Response, it will change settings for you.)
Gravel is a constantly changing, low-grip surface, so always drive smoothly and at a slow speed. This reduces the risk of losing traction when you stop, accelerate or take a corner.
GRASS: GO GENTLY
Planning a day at the rugby or a trip to the countryside? When driving on grass and soft land, it’s important to be mindful of environmental impact, as well as vehicle safety.
Select Grass/Gravel/Snow on Terrain Response and stick to a low-range gear. Stay on the surface by avoiding any unnecessary churn or breakthrough. If there are cars in front of you, don’t follow their exact paths as this will create a track.
If the grass is wet or waterlogged, take extra care. Vehicles respond more acutely on slippery surfaces, so avoid sudden changes in momentum and direction.
STEEP HILLS: STAY IN CONTROL
Land Rovers are built to take tricky ascents and descents in their stride. Here’s how you can work with your 4x4 to stay surefooted at any height.
Use the highest gear in which the vehicle will ‘pull’ comfortably, and never attempt to turn the vehicle on a steep slope.
On a sudden sharp ascent, remember your approach angle: is the wheel or nose going to hit the ground?
STEEP HILLS: STAY IN CONTROL
Engage Hill Descent Control (HDC) if available. HDC takes the guesswork out of steep or slippery slopes by automatically braking to maintain a steady speed.
As a rule of thumb, use 1st gear low-range and brake sparingly. Never roll or reverse downhill in neutral or with the clutch depressed.
If there’s a sudden return to the flat, remember your departure angle: is the back of your vehicle going to hit the ground?
COUNTRY LANES: BE ALERT
Winding, rural country roads can make for a beautiful drive, though they often present unexpected off-road challenges. Even driving one of the world’s safest SUVs doesn’t make you invincible.
Remember that in wet or icy conditions, you’ll need increased stopping distance. So drive slowly and give other vehicles plenty of room.