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Thread: Optionlist for the XE: which are really worth it?

  1. #11
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    Feb 2014
    South Bucks
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    When I had an XF it had the blind spot radar, I found it detected all sorts of things, hedges as already mentioned, motorway crash barriers, bridges even, occasionally, cars in the blind spot. The XF (2012) had big mirrors but to meet US legislative requirements they couldn't incorporate a curved outer portion to widen the field of view, which is a shame because I prefer to be able to see what is there rather than know that something I can't see is there. The later system may be better but I wouldn't let its absence put me off buying a car and I would probably pull the fuses if I bought one that had it.

    Keyless entry is not so easy, it worked well enough but apparently there are now methods to grab the data making cars less secure. I liked it but not so much that I can't live without it.

  2. #12
    Junior Member NewLester de Rocin's Avatar
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    Dec 2016
    Eastern US
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    This is a good topic, but what we're trying to do here is VERY difficult.

    We here are from so many different countries.
    Unfortunately this means "your" fittings are going to behave substantially different from "mine", critically because each country/market/vehicular-regulations will make Jaguar have to tailor its layout to behave differently. This is true, even if BOTH our vehicles may be shipped with things like "the Keyless Entry option" or Daytime Running Lights.

    I'd like to contribute what I know about my US model XE options... but already I can tell you that TWO of the four options you listed differ considerably in their behavior between US and UK market.

    I've been a driver for over 25 years, and it's been 4% open highway driving, and 96% city driving in menacing regions like NYC, and New Jersey.
    Unlike most car owners I know, my temperament is very calm, but my interest in protecting the car's cosmetic condition is very high (difficult to do in my cities), so my alertness on the road is very high.

    The cars I drove did not have any of the new electronic/radar driver's aids of today. So I've prided myself on anticipating dangers, being assertive and not timid with other drivers---but cruising straight, not being a frantic lane-changer. Every time I drive, park, shop, and return home without a single nick on the car is 'job done expertly'. Every dent or shopping mall scratch feels like a moment when I failed to protect my valued car.

    THAT mindset is what drove the options I picked for my vehicle.
    So keep in mind, Wout, your mindset might be very different, and your driving environment may certainly be different from my (regularly-hazardous) eastern US roads.

    Auto Dimming Mirrors
    Note: In the US market, auto dimming on inside and exterior mirrors IS standard in everything except the stripped-down bare base version of the XE.

    In the US, the electrochromic technology for these mirrors had been seriously criticized by drivers for years, because they honestly did not dim when you needed them to, dimmed when you saw no reason for them to, or inside mirror dimmed when outside didn't---whaa!
    Only in the most recent years, the 2017 Jags included, most US drivers finally appear to feel that manufacturers finally got the dimming mirrors to operate reliably.
    My XE has the dimming, of course. Apparently dimming mirrors create a subtle color shift to your eyes, different color shades from different car brands. The dimming on the US XE mirror is an amazingly pleasing greenish-tint.
    The dimming is too quick for me to actually see it happen. The degree of tint is the same to your eye, as you glance from outside mirror to inside mirror (surprisingly important, when you need to make a decision about what you're seeing back there). The rear-view interior mirror dims in unison with the door mirrors--there has not been a moment when one was dimming and others were not.
    In NY/ NJ, where far too many car companies pandered to the drivers with those harsh blue-tint headlights and after-market custom kits, night-glare is a constant on our roads, and I'm afraid our electrochromic mirrors spend most of their time "dimmed". I like the shape of the XE's door mirrors, and when the mirrors are un-dimmed, the view of the road back there is like a classy tv commercial---I really didn't expect the mirrors would have to dim so often. But I don't regret having them AT ALL.
    Bottom line is that these mirrors have been superb for my driving from the very first night-trip. I recommend getting them if you are a mostly city/town driver.
    And also, find out if auto-dimming mirrors are also linked with "auto-heated door mirror" function (also a feature that proved super for me on the first night of snow).

    Blind Spot Monitoring
    This was also an Option Package for our US XE's, NOT a feature I could buy on its own. I have never had radar aids in my driving history (I literally twist my head manually over the shoulder to do the blind spot check with every lane change---that's how I was taught by my instructors). I first presumed the Blind spot monitor would be completely unhelpful for me.
    BUT I WOULD HAVE BEEN WRONG. The XE is tightly formed on the inside, with very little visibility in the rear windscreen. Secondly, once you set your seat the way you like it, the seatbelt pillar on each side of the car can block your sight, even if you are a diligent manual blind spot checker. Thirdly, at night with the mirrors "auto-dim", it's now harder for me to see any idiot who didn't put his headlights on (...which may be a case of one high-tech feature accidentally creating the need to add the other high-tech feature. Hmmm.)

    In the US models, Blind Spot sensors disable themselves at speeds slower than 10 mph, and it doesn't falsely detect buildings or road dividers. I have even had moments when I could physically see the vehicle in my blind spot, but it was apparently not far enough BACK to trigger the blind-spot sensor (meaning there are times when the sensor didn't flash an alert enough, rather than times when the sensor flashed for false reasons)
    I also feared the twinkling icons in the mirrors would be a bad distraction for me, but thankfully its shape and positioning in mirror is very well-done, and you actually need to train yourself to keep paying attention to them after a week of driving (which to me is a benefit, since you're now forcing yourself to pay attention to a wider field of view as you drive).
    Bottom line is the (US version) Blind Spot monitors are worth it if your in the cities/villages and traffic gets busy.
    Note: If you do get false readings in those countryside hamlets, or in hedgerow country, the Blind Spot system is completely switchable, meaning you can turn the whole system OFF via your instrument panel menu, if it becomes an annoyance.

    Keyless Entry
    Best as I have been able to find out, the "keyless" still needs the key fob to be on your person in order to work. As long as you are carrying/wearing the key fob (called a SmartKey), you don't need to to put a hand on the fob and push any buttons. You simply put a hand on the door handle---and the fob's signature is read by the car, unlocking that door for you as you pull on it. YOU are the Key.
    This works for any door you grasp---YOU cause that door to open.
    The Keyless Entry option is also something that differs in different sales markets. As you'd imagine, freely opening doors via your Key fob signature now complicates the way the security alarm is armed or disarmed. In US models, the Keyless entry is given a supplemental feature to let you choose how many "levels" of security you want to put on the car as you keylessly "lock" it. It also gives the supplemental feature of globally closing all windows & moonroof by touching the door handle (which is something I hear European XE's do from the Key fob, never the door handle). Finally, there is a choice in the US instrument panel menu, to "unlock ONE door" when you touch just one handle, or "unlock ALL doors" when you touch just one handle. (Here in NYC, I set the Keyless feature to unlock ONLY the driver's door when I touch the driver's door).
    The pleasure for me having Keyless Entry is great, because it saves me the job of pulling the key fob from my pocket (or wife's purse, if she's driving alone). You simply pull the door handle with an "Open up, It's me" confidence, and get in, with no pocket-poking or show-off procedures.
    Keep in mind, the Keyless Entry function never replaces the Smart Key that's still being carried in your pocket-- you are always free to use your key fob the conventional way as you approach your car.
    Bottom line, this is a pleasing option you very much appreciate when you have it, but it does get complicated from one marketing region to the next. Of all the options I've listed so far, this is the one I (don't regret having in the package, but) would probably have declined if I had the choice to save some money.

    I can't speak for the Adaptive Cruise Control.
    It's a luxury to me, more than a safety option.
    However, in the US Adaptive Cruise is packaged with two other features that i do think are worth pricing out. Lane-Departure Monitor, and...

    Autonomous Braking system.
    I have seen Regulatory Agency's crash test videos of the Autonomous Braking system in the Jag XF and XE. Note that, autonomous braking is intended to prevent you from hitting the car ahead of you, as long as it's a simple approach speed somewhere under 50 mph. At higher approach speeds, or complex movements from both cars, it's intended to allow your two cars to hit--but with a much, much softer collision. While the XF seems clearly better at preventing a hit, the XE performed superbly in "cushioning" the hit at high speeds.
    I drooled when I saw this filmed in the tests. I'm hoping this feature is the future of all cars soon. I couldn't purchase Autonomous Braking or Lane-departure in the US, because their packaging gimmick made it absurd to pay for. But if it were offered as a stand alone here in the US, I would have bought it. Great looking feature in the tests.

    Heated Steering Wheel and Heated Seats
    Once again, in the US market these could not be purchased as separate options---they were "packaged" into a specific version of the car. I have never had these features in any other car than this XE, but I approve of both features. The heat is immediately felt, without any delay or slow "warm-up" period. I also like the way the heat seems to be applied locally at the small of the passenger's back, instead of heating up the entire chair and cooking you (constantly too much heat in a leather interior would feel a wasted purchase that you keep switching off right away). I could see drivers in the Netherlands and Germany benefiting greatly from this option. Jaguar seemed to handle both heating features nicely.

    A "Meridian" Sound System.
    I am sure the standard 8 speaker system is quite adequate if you listen to your radio and an MP3 collection (ipod, smartphone cable, etc). Use your money on that autonomous-braking system listed above.
    However, if you are a person who likes the sound of his songs on higher formats than MP3", or buys 200 gram vinyl records, or visits concert halls or live-performance clubs incessantly, you have a strong interest in hearing music a certain way, and should buy at least the 380W Meridian package. Its sound is tight, clear, and well-praised by sound reviewers.
    It is NOT perfect. An XE has a lean, compact cabin, so even though it's the famous "Meridian", there's no room to create grand spacious stereo with the 380W 11-speaker version (even reviewers criticized this about the sound). That is the core difference between the two Meridian versions you can buy. The upper tier Meridian for the XE includes a necessary "center speaker" and processing to make a fully-perfect stereo effect that demanding drivers may insist on.
    I do have 200 gram vinyl records, but in a car, the basic Meridian (not the upper Meridian) is enough perfection for me.
    Bottom line, this is a personal choice, about how much you pursue your music while you're driving.

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited by NewLester de Rocin; 10-01-17 at 22:45.
    1990 Corolla DX in Regata Blue; 1996 Corolla DX in Satin Black Granite;
    2017 (X760) XE Prestige in British Racing Green.

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  4. #13
    Senior Member x-dave's Avatar
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    Mar 2007
    Devon, England
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    At least in the UK markets, the BSM offered with the XE includes the reverse traffic detection. The RTC is worth having for the option cost if you ever need to reverse out of a blind spot as it will look side wards up the road/footpath and alert you to closing objects by flashing the mirror warning lamp and sounding warning beeps. My F-Type has the RTC option and it can even pick up people pushing trolleys towards the car in a supermarket carpark. People walking on their own are not detected, but incoming cars are from about 100 yards away so you get a good warning they are coming. It even works when crossing parked cars at the kerbside. I have no idea how that is possible given the location of the sensors but it does.

    The BSM on its own I could easily live without. In my X351 the rear corner visibility is terrible (large car with high rear and a useless rear window). The first few times I drove it I was paranoid about missing cars in my blind spots but very quickly you get used to the mirror-shoulder-mirror sequence and it becomes like any other car. In the XEs I have driven I didn't feel anywhere near as restricted as the XJ. It is helpful as an extra check when overtaking, but it does not replace looking over your shoulder because it does not always work. The RTC is the most useful feature because it warns you of things you cannot otherwise see.

    If you are unsure if you need the BSM then ask for an extended test drive for a day or two and take the car on a familiar route and see how you feel about it afterwards. If you've not driven with BSM before it may be helpful to choose a test car with that feature and see if it detects anything before you do.
    2015 F-Type R 5.0, White, full spec with CF pack, Mods: 360 camera
    2010 XJ LWB 3.0D, Grey, Mods: BSM, 2013 RSE, DAB, LED headlamps, Faster touch screen, Illuminated vents
    2004 XJR 4.2, Silver, Mods: 2008 facelift inside & out, RSE, BT, SC pulley
    2004 XJ 3.0, Grey, Mods: RSE, BT
    2004 X-Type 2.0D, Mods: full spec infotainment, RSE

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