The new Jaguar XJ saloon looks the part, and it also benefits from some intelligent lightweight aluminium construction. As such, it represents a very viable option in the luxury sector for anyone who wants an alternative to what the German’s are offering.
Jaguar was certainly flagging as we entered the millennium, but in the last 5 years it’s picked up a lot. Still as suave as ever, the brand is now cool. More importantly of all, it’s relevant once more.
The XJ faces some stiff competition from the likes of the the Mercedes S-Class, the Audi A8 and the BMW 7 Series, but thanks to some major revisions it looks as though it’s got enough to lay down a gauntlet. Let’s take a closer look at what it has to offer with our review.
Jaguar XJ Test Drive
The engine line-up has been revised so that it now includes a 3.0-litre V6 diesel and a 3.0-litre V6 petrol. For more power, there is also the option of a beastly V8 5.0-litre petrol unit that is offered in 510PS of 550PS guises. Whichever variant you choose, straight-line performance will be exemplary, with even the baseline V6 3.0-litre 300PS engine sprinting from rest to 62mph in just 5.9 seconds before maxing out at 155mph. The meatier 5.0-litre V8 can cover the same distance in 4.4 seconds before maxing out at 174mph.
Ride enjoyment has been improved this time around, largely thanks to the introduction of an electric power steering system that is much more feel some. The car is meanwhile just as refined as last time around, while the cabin is nicely protected from exterior noise, such as that produced by a hefty V8 engine.
The Jaguar XJ also comes with a fully indie suspension set-up that is similar but not the same as the one found in the XF. Drivers can switch between 3 different settings using the neat rotary knob:
These 3 modes help you to customise your stability control settings, throttle response, suspension and gearshift speeds so that you only produce the results you actually want. The transmission is a six speed auto that is electronically controlled, and which comes with paddle shifters that allows the car to shift drive to the back two wheels. It’s clear that Jaguar has made a big attempt at coming up with a proper rival to the so-called ultimate driving machine.
Interior, Design And Build Of The Jaguar XJ
The XJ saloon looks sporty no matter which wheelbase guise you opt for (long or short). The front end looks similar to the one found on the XF, while the bonnet adds a real sense of presence to the proceedings. Indeed, the styling overall has been given a makeover, and the introduction of LED headlights serves to give the car more than a hint of class.
Whichever model you plump for, you’ll be stepping into one of the nicest interiors in this sector. All variants come with a good amount of luxurious standard equipment and high-tech, with a cool leather trim adorning the seats, the dash, and the centre console. Driving this car is a very pleasant experience indeed. The seating position is low and envelops you nicely, while the digital dash ensures that Jaguar are very firmly moving forward with the times. Overall interior storage is good, though the 479-litre boot isn’t as big as this car’s major rivals, and it moreover comes with some rather awkward intrusions.
Jaguar XJ Price And Running Costs
Prices for the new Jag XJ start out from around £59,000 and rise to £99,000, which makes it competitive with the German’s in this class. It’s also worth bearing in min that the Jaguar XJ is better equipped than its rivals. Indeed, standard equipment is very good across the range, so even if you opt for the entry-level variant you can still be pretty chuffed with what you’ve got. Standard equipment includes a Duel View infotainment system, a panoramic sunroof, sat nav and keyless entry.
Go for the Portfolio variant and you’ll also get a DAB radio and a Meridian stereo, while the XJR range offers adaptive suspension and a styling kit. Further up in the range, the R-Sport Model comes with 20” alloys, sports seats and a stylish piano-black trim. Lastly, the range-topping Autobiography trim spoils you with 20” alloys, quilted leather seats and stainless-steel tread plates that are luminous.
In terms of running costs, few luxury saloons are going to be what you’d call cheap to run, but this one doesn’t fare too badly. The 3.0-litre diesel returns 49.6mpg while emitting 149g/km of CO2. The range-topping V8 550PS plant, meanwhile, manages to return 25.5mpg and emits a colossal 264g/km of CO2. Not great.
Our Favourite: Jaguar XJ S-Line
If we’re talking pure engineering, the XJ is a fantastic achievement. But then again, so are all of its rivals. So where does this saloon stand out in an already pristine sector? It’s got character. Rather than being a meatier version of another model, the Jaguar XJ saloon is its own man. This sense of individualism helps to set it apart from its German rivals, and it may just tempt the punters to take a closer look.
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