We Test-Drive Jaguar's New All-Wheel Drive Car In Snowy Canada [PHOTOS]

Photo: Jaguar

Last week, we took a trip to Canada to try out the 2013 XJ, only the second car Jaguar has equipped with all-wheel drive.With the increased capability, Jaguar hopes it can compete for drivers who live in regions where snow and ice make winter driving hazardous.

Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Cadillac, Lexus, Porsche, and BMW all offer cars with all-wheel drive. So Jaguar is playing catch-up.

To prove that its new ride is up to par, Jaguar brought us to snowy Canada for a day of driving at Mecaglisse, a motorsports complex north of Montreal.

With a variety of tracks to try and a team of professional drivers to guide us, we got to see just what the new XJ can do.

Read our full review of the AWD XJ, or see below for photos of our snowy drive.

Disclosure: Jaguar Land Rover paid for our travel and lodging expenses to drive the Land Rover 2 and Jaguar XJ.

The drive started at the Hotel Quintessence in Mont Tremblant, where we had spent the night.

It had snowed the day before, and the smaller roads had not been plowed.

On the way, we did some low level off-roading. This sign reminded us that we were driving on snowy roads at our own risk.

Before long, the back of the car was covered in snow. It's a good look.

Upon our arrival at Mecaglisse, Jaguar staff wiped down our cars.

There were several tracks and areas designed to show off the car's capabilities.

They included slaloms, hills, hairpin turns, and a circular track made of ice.

At each, there was a professional driver to explain what the car was doing, and to make sure we did not kill ourselves.

The XJ has all-wheel drive, and settings for snowy conditions as well as dynamic driving.

We did each station three times: with snow control, in dynamic driving mode, and then with everything turned off.

After a safe driving briefing, we hit the slalom course. The driver encouraged us to drive fast, to see how the car maneuvers. (Quite well.)

With snow control on, the XJ handles remarkably well, even on pure ice.

It managed equally well on uneven terrain and snow, distributing power to the wheels with the best traction.

With the snow on the ground, we did not get to try out the sand track at Mecaglisse.

But there were areas where dirt was exposed.

By far the most fun station was the ice circle. This is what happens when we turned all the support settings off.

Even with the advice of a pro driver riding shotgun, it was hard to keep the car on the 'road.'

When the afternoon was done, we hit the road again, for a calmer drive to the small airport where helicopters were waiting to take us back to Montreal.

Now read our full review of the AWD XJ.

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