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Jaguar Land Rover's Activity Key: does it work?

Published: 15 March 2019

► JLR's Activity Key tested
► Wristband locks your car
► Does it actually work?

Imagine me in cycle gear or a surfer's wetsuit. Actually, stop – don't do that, you'll give yourself nightmares. Instead, imagine driving up a glamorous hillside to train for the Tour de France or taking a trip down to Cornwall to ride the waves in the freezing cold sea.

This kind of adventurous outdoor activity is often done solo, which adds to the romance of it all but also adds a complication: there's nobody with you to look after the car while you're being heroic. French hillsides and remote West Country beaches are notoriously short on lockers and changing rooms. Your clothing might not have suitable pockets. And would you really want to leave the key to your 50 grand car under a rock? No.

So where do you leave your valuables, including your car key, that's dry and well away from thieves?

Jaguar Land Rover's Activity Key is designed to stop all of this fumbling around and risk-taking by making sure your key is kept safe and your car is locked. How? By leaving the key in the car and using a Fitbit-like wristband as your way in and out.

JLR Activity Key stretch 2

The band debuted on the Jaguar F-Pace and is now available for most JLR cars (XF Sportbrake, E-Pace, F-Pace, i-Pace and every Land Rover bar the Discovery Sport) but, oddly, the price differs depending on which model you choose. The i-Pace is the cheapest at £300, with the Land Rover Discovery being the most expensive if bought solo at £325.
It's sometimes available as part of an options pack, like the Sportbrake Convenience Pack for the XF estate we tested it on, at £980. In this case, it nets you the wristband plus keyless entry, gesture tailgate and a boot partition.

It's waterproof and shockproof and essentially just has a transponder inside linked to the car's keyless entry system. Once the last door is closed, you have 30 seconds to lock the car by holding your key-affixed wrist to the relevant sensor – in this case the 'J' in 'Jaguar' on the tailgate. Hold it very close and waggle your wrist to give the transponder a better chance of detecting it. You'll see the indicators flash and hear that familiar locking sound if it's successful. Then go off and do your lifestyle-ing without worrying that you might have locked yourself out of your own car.

When you return, you'll have to press the tailgate button to activate the in-car transponder and hold your wrist up to the 'J' again. Thunk. Flash. You're in. Easy peasy.

Get secure in three easy steps

JLR Activity Key strap

Strap it on
Treat it like a Fitbit and affix to your wrist; maybe attach to your leg for the yobbo-on-parole look.

JLR Activity Key fob

Ditch the key
Keep it in a safer place than this; glovebox or centre console probably your best bet.

JLR Activity Key action

Power pose
Hold band to ‘J’ on tailgate, wait for clunk and indicator flash; maybe hold a dumbbell, too.

JLR's Activity Key: does it work?

Yes. It’s a pretty simple bit of tech that will make a useful difference to some people (but would be of no use at all to others). As long as you read the instructions and follow the procedure to the letter, your bits and bobs will be secure and you’ll be able to get back in when you’re done. The worry you’ve locked yourself out is natural, and might take a while to overcome. It’s a piece of cake. Or not, if you’re serious about this exercise thing. 

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By Jake Groves

CAR's staff writer, office Geordie, gamer, lover of hot hatches

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