We had little doubt what the wavy button inside the Land Rover Range Rover HSE and Jaguar XF Portfolio actually does. It had to be a play-it-now, one-touch button that pipes REM’s “What’s the Frequency, Kenneth?” through the stereo. OK, maybe not.
The button turns on the heated windshield. Much like a rear defroster, the front windshield uses heating elements to melt ice and snow. Although the heating element lines are not as pronounced as rear defroster lines, drivers are forced to look through the thin lines running up and down the windshield.
The lines aren’t too noticeable in daylight until you focus on the glass. After you focus on the little lines, it’s hard to resist going cross-eyed, forcing your eyes to see past the glass. At night, some editors noticed a halo effect in the glass around bright lights. The lines are distracting enough that we’d settle for using the regular front defroster and give up the heated windshield.
Unfortunately, a heated windshield is a standard feature on the Range Rover HSE, so giving up the feature is not an option. The glass is so thick that the remote sensor in our garage parking pass does not work through it. We have to roll down the window, lean out and wave the pass in front of the windshield.
The XF Portfolio includes a heated windshield with the $700 Cold Weather Package, which also includes a heated steering wheel. At least Jaguar doesn’t include heated seats with the package (they’re standard) because we would much rather live without a heated steering wheel than heated seats. Luckily, though, the parking pass worked just fine in the Jag.