Get Muddy at an Off-road Driving School

Physician's Money Digest, July31 2004, Volume 11, Issue 14

Most people rarely take their SUVs offroadingfor fear of damaging a prettyexpensive ride. Land Rover (800-637-6837; www.landrover.com) brags thehighest percentage of owners who off-road. This is notall that surprising because Land Rover builds the mostcapable off-road vehicles in the world.

Well-taught Off-roading

While we've had some awesome off-roading teachersin the past, nothing compared to the teaching and drivingwe experienced at Land Rover's off-road drivingschool at the Greenbrier (800-453-4858; www.greenbrier.com) in White Sulpher Springs, WVa. What turnedout to be most surprising was not the driving (althoughit was fun), but how well the course was taught, howexperienced the teacher was, and how well he knew hismachine and its capabilities.

We had a great day in the mud and highly recommendit, especially if you want to test drive or even buyone of these machines, including the new LR3,Discovery, Freelander, or Range Rover. One of the vehicleswe used was the top-of-the-line Range Rover HSE.If you want to learn about your adventurous nature,challenge yourself to an off-road course—it's a great skillto learn. I suggest that women especially try the courseto help build their confidence level.

More Than Mud

If you wind up staying at the historic Greenbrier,spend a few days and bring the family. There is a lot todo in the area, including a topnotch spa, swimming,skeet shooting, great food, and excellent golfing. Alongwith off-road driving, you can go off-road horsebackriding in the hills of West Virginia.

Our off-road instructor was kind and intelligent,helpful, and totally fluent with the product. We managedsome pretty rough terrain without any mishaps, mainlybecause we were able to follow some very excellentdirections. We ended up wearing plenty of mud, butwith a higher off-road confidence level. What's more, welearned skills we can apply to our daily driving.

Jean Swenson and Ashly Knapp are independent research reportersand the founders of AutoAdvisor.com.