BASIC OFF-ROAD TECHNIQUES These basic driving techniques are an introduction to the art of off-road driving and do not necessarily provide the information needed to successfully cope with every single off-road situation.
We strongly recommend that owners who intend to drive off-road frequently, should seek as much additional information and practical experience as possible.
Before driving off-road it is important that you check the condition of the wheels and tires and that the tire pressures are correct. Worn or incorrectly inflated tires will adversely affect the performance, stability and safety of the vehicle.
Gear selection On automatic models, with the main selector lever set at ‘D’, the gearbox automatically provides the correct gear for the appropriate gear range selected (HIGH or LOW). Remember that position ‘1’ will hold the gearbox in first gear to give maximum engine braking when required.
HIGH range gears should be used whenever possible - only change to LOW range when ground conditions become very difficult or gradients are steep.
‘Manual’ mode Press the mode switch whilst the automatic gearbox is in Low range to select ‘Manual’ mode; this enables the transmission to function as a manual gearbox locking the gearbox into whichever gear position has been selected (‘D’ = 4th gear), providing maximum vehicle control and engine braking - ideal for use in severe off-road conditions.
Braking As far as possible, vehicle speed should be controlled through correct gear selection and the use of Hill Descent Control (HDC). Application of the brake pedal should be kept to a minimum. In fact, if the correct gear and HDC have been selected, braking will be largely unnecessary.
If the brake pedal is depressed when HDC is active, HDC is overridden and the brakes will perform as normal. If the brake pedal is then released, HDC will recommence operating, if necessary.
Use of engine for braking Before descending steep slopes, stop the vehicle at least its length before the descent, engage the parking brake, then engage LOW range and then select first or second gear (‘1’ or ‘2’ for automatic transmission) depending on the severity of the incline.
While descending the slope, it should be remembered that the engine will provide sufficient braking effort to control the rate of descent, and that the brakes should not be applied.
Accelerating Use the accelerator with care - any sudden surge of power may induce wheel spin and, therefore, invoke unnecessary operation of traction control, or in extreme conditions could lead to loss of control of the vehicle.
NOTE: Changing from Low to High range will automatically cancel ‘Manual’ mode.