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BBC Autos

Driving Schools

How to ford water, the Land Rover way

About the author

Deputy editor of BBC Autos, Jonathan was formerly the editor of The New York Times' Wheels blog. His automotive writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times Magazine, Details, Surface, Intersection and Design Observer. He has an affinity for the Citroën DS and Toyota pickup trucks of the early 1990s.

On a Land Rover-designed terrain course, a “water feature” is no mere puddle.

The Range Rover Sport was plodding through two feet of murk, a little wave rolling beyond its nose toward terra firma. “Steer a little to the right. It’s deeper over there,” commanded Tim Hensley, an instructor with the Land Rover Experience Driving School. Wittingly or unwittingly, Hensley had illustrated the first principle of water-fording: know what’s under the tires – or at least travel with someone who does.

With locations around the world (often attached to luxury hotels), the Land Rover Experience Driving School teaches motorists how to get the most out of their go-anywhere machines. At the recent Kentucky Three-Day equestrian event, which Land Rover sponsored, an ad-hoc obstacle course was where passersby could sample the brand’s North America model line (read: no Defender). After the proper waivers were signed and valid licenses presented, Hensley and his instructors schooled drivers on the finer points of off-road etiquette and common sense.

Click here to find upcoming Land Rover Experience Driving School dates in your area.

(Photo: Matt Cardy/Getty)