January update on our long term Jaguar XJ. A month of snow and ice and rotten roads – but the XJ hasn’t missed a beat.
Snow. Lots of it. That will be the abiding memory of last month with our long term Jaguar XJ.
Just like every other RWD saloon car, the Jaguar XJ isn’t built for snow. Unfortunately, when Jaguar delivered it to us back in October they had no stock of winter tyres so, despite our request for the XJ to be suitably shod for winter, it didn’t happen.
Which meant we managed to slip-slide with the best of ’em through most of December. Once we finally managed to extricate the XJ from a cumulative 15″ of snow on the drive – no mean feat. Still, we were grateful for the heated seats and steering wheel afterwards. And the massage seats a day later when we felt the effects of shifting several tons of snow.
With winter tyres the XJ would have been very able in the snow. With its winter mode – which turns all the inputs to mush – it coped fine. Although we did have to dig ourselves out twice. But it did better than other RWD saloons we had through the snow.
In amongst the white-out we managed a blat to Sheffield and back – our first one-day blat of more than a couple of hundred miles. The big Jag didn’t miss a beat, despite being filled with people and ‘stuff’. The journey back ended in an M25 white-out, yet still – despite averaging 85mph until the snow hit and the crawl on the M25 – that 400 mile jaunt averaged 42.6 mpg. Which we can only describe as ridiculous.
And through it all the XJ hasn’t missed a beat. Nothing has hiccuped, nothing has broken. Although we did manage to break the Jag. Well, hardly break, but hurt. A little.
In the worst of the snow we found ourselves in the unenviable position of seeing a Range Rover towing a horsebox coming round a corner towards us – with the horsebox greedily taking up much of our side of the road.
Some swift evasion tactics were called for, which incurred a scraped alloy and a miniscule dent on the bonnet where a branch knocked off a tree by the horsbox bounced on the bonnet. Which probably suffered less damage than we’d have expected thanks to the layer of solid ice welded to the bonnet.
The joys of winter driving.
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