Fall is a time of preparation for Michiganders. It's when we steel ourselves for another winter, hoping for the best while bracing for the worst. With this in mind, we immediately set about winterizing our 2013 Jaguar XJL for the harshest of its four seasons in Ann Arbor.
We dialed up Tire Rack to secure a set of snow tires, as even though our Jaguar has all-wheel drive, we still firmly believe in the merits of winter rubber. They recommended a set of Bridgestone Blizzak LM-32 tires ($1271.78) measuring 245/45R19 front and 275/40R19 rear. Tire Rack says these tires are designed for performance cars (we're also using a set on our Four Seasons Cadillac ATS), maximizing traction on the snow and ice, while still providing a degree of athleticism when the roads are clear.
We also added some interior defense against the snow, which inevitably will get tracked into the XJL's elegant cabin. We purchased a set of WeatherTech FloorLiner Digital mats for both the front and back ($267.90). They're extremely functional and they even look sharp. It's a win-win.
November was an uneventful month for the Jaguar. No accidents, or even any real memorable trips were recorded. Associate editor David Zenlea spent time in the XJL, and his key takeaway was regarding the steering, which he found to be "just right for this sort of car -- delightfully light yet quick and accurate," though he did complain about a soft brake pedal.
The steering is quite good in this car, allowing it to be imminently drivable despite its mammoth size. Ironically, this caused problems for Zenlea, who would occasionally overestimate the amount of space needed for parking.
"The 'problem' is that the car feels so nimble, even small, while you're in motion," he said. "It's only when you attempt to turn into a spot that you remember this is a gigantic car with a 43-foot turning circle."
We'll be careful with all of our maneuvers -- parking and driving -- in the coming months as we roll into the teeth of winter. With short days and slick roads, it can be difficult to see what's head, but after our thorough winterization, we think we're ready for anything.