Jaguar XJ – 4.5 Stars

Since its creation in 1968, the XJ has always been a car admired by all. A few years ago, Jaguar as a brand started to become dated, the cars they made were no longer impressive and all seemed to reflect upon Jaguar’s 100 year history, rather than looking to the future. Over the last few years, the brand has completely reinvented itself and revolutionised its image – a Jaguar is something to aspire to once more; at the front of this newly contrived image is the new XJ.

Jaguar XJ

XJ Interior

The exterior of the XJ has not been spared from the reinvention of the Jaguar brand. It is not often that any model of car from any manufacturer emerges so changed following a redesign. It has moved completely away from the old shape which barely changed in 40 years, and that is definitely a good thing. The front end resembles that of the XF, but is even more imposing, impressive and involves a more prominent grille. The sweeping roofline, which becomes the gradually tapered boot, breaks the convention of previous XJs, which were much more angular, and really brings this into the 21st century. In my opinion, this car is the best looking luxury car available today, and far surpasses the offerings from Mercedes and BMW. The XJ certainly isn’t discreet, but only because it looks so striking.

Rear Seats of the XJL

The interior manages to be even more extraordinary than the exterior of the Jaguar would suggest. Occupants are adorned with copious amounts of fine leather and wood burl which, literally, surround them. The wood begins on the back doors and wholly encircles the XJ’s interior, even continuing to beneath the windscreen. Everything screams luxury and decadence which is exactly what the interior of a top of the line flagship should do.

The dials and gauges one would normally see on the dashboard are gone and replaced by a screen which digitally renders them instead – as is found on the current Range Rovers.

 This is not at all necessary, but adds to the overall theme of the new XJ – a car which is now moving faster than the times. The screen also allows some extra features which one cannot have if ‘real’ dials are fitted (see above). The tachometer can be replaced by menus allowing the driver to, for example, change radio station, and all of the dials will glow red when dynamic mode is engaged. The sense of futurity extends beyond just the dashboard, but around the whole car. At night, instruments and air vents glow blue, and the XJ comes with a huge glass roof making the interior seem very spacious indeed. A front seat passenger can watch a film on the same screen as, and at the same time as, the driver is using it for navigation – whilst they’re both being given massages by the seats – and all four passengers are listening to different radio stations through wireless headphones and a 1200w sound system – and are all being heated or cooled to their own separate temperatures.

The specifications for a Jaguar XJL 3.0L V6 Diesel Portfolio, the one to go for, are as follows:

Price: £69,520

Power/Torque: 271bhp 442lb/ft

Max. Speed: 155mph (limited)

Acceleration: 0-62mph in 6 seconds

CO2 Emissions: 189g/km

Fuel Economy: 39.2mpg

Insurance Group: 49

VED Band: J (£245)

The XJ is most comparable to the Audi A8 within the luxury saloon sector, but it’s a much more flamboyant alternative. There are one or two issues though. The engine choices (either the diesel, a 5l V8 or a supercharged 5l V8) could be better. The diesel is the best of the bunch because, really, the alternative petrol engines aren’t as good as they could be. The standard petrol V8 adds a little more performance – 60mph in 0.4 seconds less – but takes away a comparatively huge amount of fuel efficiency. The supercharged engine in the XJ Supersport gives more performance, but it adds far too much to the price of the car, and the running costs after you’ve purchased it. Some also say that, although leg-room is fine, even the long wheelbase models’ headroom in the back isn’t great for those over 6′, as DB found with the XF.

The Jaguar XJ is a fantastic car, and is 100x better than the previous model. It loses out on 5 stars because of those minor flaws, but I would still have one over a 7-series or S-Class any day.

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