Jaguar XJ Review
Jaguar refresh their XJ luxury saloon for 2016, but how does it fare against its German rivals?
- Luxurious saloon that is very comfortable
- New, intuitive in-car system
- Running costs aren’t high
- Some interior trim choice designs look dated
Jaguar launched their XJ model way back in 1968; who remembers seeing its different generations in the television comedy Minder driven by Arthur Daley? But it wasn’t until 2009 that it shed its old look with Jaguar designer Ian Callum completely overhauling the model. It was longer, wider and much more aggressive looking and has since had a few facelifts, including one for 2016.
We tested the R-Sport model.
On the Road
The XJ is a large car with an engine to match. A 3.0-litre V6 diesel lump is under the bonnet and does it go. Jaguar have managed to extract even more power from the turbocharged engine with it producing 300PS and a whopping 700Nm of torque, so it really isn’t for the fainthearted. This powerful acceleration gets it from 0-62mph in just 5.9 seconds and has a limited top speed of 155 mph that you won’t need.... Emissions have also been reduced by 10g/km to a competitive 149g/km of CO2.
There is a petrol equivalent and if you’re looking for even more power then there’s a 5.0-litre V8 which comes with 510PS or 550PS.
To really push the car through the rev range all engine variants come with an eight-speed automatic transmission and it really uses all the power available in seamless shift changes.
Jaguar have added their electric power-assisted steering technology to the XJ model so you’re assured of light, yet precise steering giving the driver plenty of feedback in a car that handles well regardless of its size.
The XJ is also now fitted with All-Surface Progress Control, which if you happen to be driving it on ice or snow, or even wet grass, then the system will make it easier to control the car at low speeds - ideal when you have that amount of torque underfoot.
The all-aluminium chassis makes the XJ the lightest in its class, yet the car offers a solid, agile, comfortable ride, and has been well engineered so that it absorbs any UK road surfaces.
If you’re looking for a really well engineered car then look no further than the Jaguar XJ. It offers extremely high levels of comfort, the full leather seats are extremely soft, well-made, comfortable and fully adjustable.
Road and engine noise is totally unobtrusive so makes for a very quiet and pleasant drive in a saloon that offers exceptional levels of quality and worksmanship.
In the car
The Jaguar XJ oozes premium luxury and the cabin is very driver focussed. Sports seats in the R-Sport model are very comfortable and touches like the red stitching give it that sportier look.
With the long boat-like curve at the front of the cabin, the interior is sleek with gloss black and chrome finishes adding luxury to a model that can take on rivals such as the BMW 7 Series and the Audi A8.
The 12.3-inch TFT digital instrument cluster is very clear and offers an alternative to the usual analogue dials. Team it with a new in car system, the InControl Touch Pro and technologically, the XJ is quite superior.
This new system is operated on an eight-inch touchscreen and with the inbuilt wifi hotspot makes it as easy to use as a smartphone while Apple and Android phones can be connected via USB. With navigation options that can remember your commuting route, this is now displayed visually full-screen on the instrument cluster.
We liked the live flight information available on the system, ideal if you’re picking up somebody from the airport and want to keep in the know about arrival time without having to pick up your phone.
There is plenty of space in the XJ, both in the front and rear with ample leg and headroom for rear seat passengers. There is also storage dotted around the cabin, in the armrest, doors and various options for holding drinks and bottles.
The boot is of a decent size at 520-litres, which is just a tad larger than the Mercedes-Benz S-Class so a lot can be packed in.
The panoramic sunroof makes a great addition to the cabin giving it a light and airy feel for a saloon.
The Jaguar XJ is priced from £58,690 for the 3.0-litre diesel in Luxury trim, the R-Sport we drove was over £12,000 more with the new top of the range long wheelbase 5.0-litre petrol Autobiography coming in at £100,000. The XJ is cheaper than its German rivals, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class starts at £67,995 and the Audi A8 is £60,235, but what will running costs work out at?
With CO2 emissions as low as 149g/km for the 3.0-litre diesel it will fall into VED band F so will cost £145 per year. Jaguar reckon that fuel economy will be around the 49mpg mark so running costs may not be as high as you think.
Jaguar have produced the XJ with very high quality in mind, the interior is well-built but some of the veneer inlays do give it a dated look.
Jaguar has been one the best-performing manufacturers in the JD Power Survey in recent years and it’s the XF model that seems to have taken all the accolades in terms of reliability, but expect the XJ to perform just as well as it took the Best Luxury Car in the What Car? Used Car awards in 2014.
The Jaguar XJ comes with plenty of advanced driver assistance technologies such as the savvy parking assist that slots the car into position using five cameras around the car displaying images on the centre screen so....there’s no excuse for bad parking.
Blind spot monitoring and lane-keep assist also feature on the XJ with the nifty adaptive cruise control with queue assist which will bring the car to complete stop when you arrive up to a line of traffic.
The XJ comes with plenty of airbags as standard and also a system that recognises if the car is colliding with a pedestrian thus raising the bonnet slightly. Ever walked off thinking, ‘Have I locked the car?’ Yes, we all have, but through a smartphone app, owners can check if the car is locked.