Imagine this. It’s a wet day. You’re on your local 4×4 track with your trusty Freelander. Suddenly you find yourself perched on the top of what feels like a sheer, muddy drop that appears to go straight into a lake! Oops! Your heart is pounding. When you looked at this from the other side you could see that what was needed was a sharp left turn at the bottom of the hill to keep you from drowning in the depths of the lake. It looked much easier from that angle, looking up; not this one, looking down!

OK, you think, what is needed here to avoid drowning upside down in what may be monster infested waters, is a slow, controlled descent. But if you keep your foot on the brake you’re just going to skid – well, that may not be so bad, perhaps you’ll do a 360 turn as you go down the hill then at least you won’t see the imminent drowning coming!

So, perhaps you can just let the gears take the strain. But this hill is STEEP! Will the gears really keep you slow enough to get round that corner at the bottom? Oh, the monsters are waiting, are you sure that wasn’t one that just popped its head out of the water?

Then you remember the magic yellow button on your gear lever. Excitement, rather than fear, takes over as you press the button and the green light of a descending vehicle shows up on your dashboard. You engage in first gear and accelerate just enough for the nose of your Freelander to tip over the ridge. Then you remove your feet from all pedals. Wow! Slowly and gently, with perfect control, your Freelander makes its way down the slope. Uh uh, was that a slight skid? Well if it was your Freelander has it all under control now. Here comes the bottom of the hill and that tight left turn – ahh, child’s play – no dinner for you today monsters of the lake!

So that’s what your Hill Descent Control (HDC) is for. The magic button that will control your descent down a hill, in either first or reverse gear (perhaps I should go back and try it in reverse you think to yourself, or perhaps you’ll save that for another day!). When the Hill Descent Control button (HDC) is on in either of these gears then your Freelander as good as takes over. It operates with the traction control and ABS system to give you a controlled descent down that muddy, steep hill – all you have to do is steer!

After that successful descent why not try a trip across the wart hog mud bath? Ummm, Hill Descent Control (HDC) doesn’t work on the flat in four feet of sinking mud – now where was the number for that tractor recovery?

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