Jaguar’s futuristic range-topping saloon remains a striking car, even three years after launch. For 2014 it was tweaked, with subtly honed suspension settings, better sat nav, a standard eight-speed auto with stop-start plus big improvements in diesel efficiency. Now it’s been facelifted again, with revised engines and interior tech, full-LED headlights and more distinctive ‘J-blade’ daytime running lights.
The XJR is still around, with its 550bhp supercharged 5.0-litre V8 and Merc-AMG-like attitude. But now there’s a R-Sport model for those who want the looks but not the fuel bills. There’s a new top-of-the-line Autobiography trim too, for those who like to spend no less than six figures.
EXTERIORS AND STYLE ;
This is perhaps the most stylish saloon developed by JLR with sleek and lustrous body structure. It is fitted with quite a lot striking features for attracting the buyers. Its front facade has a signature perforated radiator grille that is done up with a lot of chrome. It is embedded with a prominent company insignia, which highlights the front facade. Surrounding this is the aggressive headlight cluster that is equipped with high intensity bi-xenon lamps along with LED DRLs and turn indicators. Its body colored bumper houses a large air intake section for cooling the powerful engine. This air dam is flanked by a pair of bright LED fog lamps that adds to the visibility. The bonnet is quite long and it comes with four expressive lines that compliments the design of grille. It has a large windscreen, which gives good visibility ahead. It is accompanied by a pair of rain sensing wipers. This saloon has a classy side profile featuring elegantly sculptured cosmetics. Its window frames along with door handles are treated in chrome while the B and C pillars have high gloss black finish. Its Premium Luxury trim is blessed with a set of 18-inch ‘Meru’ alloy wheels while the top end Portfolio variant is being offered with a stylish set of 19-inch ‘Toba’ alloy wheels. Its rear profile has a distinct design featuring a smiley tailgate, which is further decorated with company’s logo and a thick chrome strip. It is accompanied by a slanting backward windscreen, which gives it a look of a coupe. It has a defogger along with wash and wipe function and a LED high mounted stop lamp. The taillight cluster looks thin with sweptback design but it is powered by LED brake light along with turn indicator and a courtesy lamp. Its rear bumper has a decent design featuring a horizontal chrome strip and it is further fitted with two exhaust pipes.
INTERIORS AND COMFORT ;
Settling into the elegant interior of the Jaguar XJ makes you realize just how austere and clinical other high-profile luxury sedans have become. This Jaguar is impressive thanks to high-quality leather surfaces set off with brilliant chrome and exquisite ambient lighting, but the parts selection and overall build integrity doesn’t fulfill the promise of a flagship quality that competitors’ similar sedans offer. Liberal use of plastic and many parts clearly shared with other Jaguar cars takes away some of the exclusivity of the top-tier XJ.
Old World luxury meets contemporary aesthetics with a digital instrument panel replicating mechanical dial indicators in a variety of user-configurable layouts and bathed in soothing ice blue and alternatively racy-red hues. The XJ’s touchscreen interface commands most of the sound, navigation and phone controls. We’ve complained about the interface in the past; Jaguar has updated it for 2016, but we still find competitors’ systems (typically manipulated via one large control dial and adjacent menu buttons) easier and quicker to use.
Although its vast exterior profile suggests otherwise, the XJ’s sloping roof line sacrifices both front- and rear-seat headroom for style. In the short-wheelbase models, there’s also not as much legroom in the rear as you’d expect. If you need a roomy backseat, consider the long-wheelbase L models, but no XJ will feel as limolike as some of its competitors do. Similarly, the XJ’s 15.2-cubic-foot trunk is average in size for the segment and has a few awkward protrusions as well as a shallow profile that limits your loading options.
ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE ;
The Jaguar XJ comes with a supercharged 340-horsepower V6 engine that puts down authoritative power and provides quick acceleration. While the base engine is no slouch, if you want to ramp up the XJ’s power, go for the available 470- or 550-horsepower supercharged V8. Either will rocket the XJ down the highway. A smooth-shifting eight-speed automatic transmission is standard in all models.
The Mercedes-Benz S-Class’ base twin-turbocharged 449-horsepower V8 delivers more power than the XJ’s base V6. There are multiple engines available in the S-Class, which tops out with the AMG S65’s 621-horsepower, twin-turbocharged V12. The BMW 7 Series’ 320-horsepower base six-cylinder engine has plenty of power, but it’s one of the least powerful engines in the class. The 7 Series’ top engine is a twin-turbocharged 601-horsepower V12 in the M760i.
With its base supercharged V6 engine, the XJ’s fuel economy estimates are about average for the segment, at 18 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway.Super luxury car shoppers may not be too concerned about frequent fill-ups at the pump, but there are a few competitors that burn through less fuel than the XJ. The BMW 7 Series’ base engine earns 21 mpg in the city and 29 on the highway. The Mercedes-Benz S-Class gets 1 fewer mpg on the highway than the XJ.
RIDE AND HANDLING ;
As expected, the Jaguar’s ride quality can be much likened to that expected out of Alladin’s magic carpet. Although there is a sense of stiffness inbuilt into the XJ’s chassis it still manages to ride extremely well. The XJ also handles speed bumps and potholes with surprising ease. Even with such a long wheelbase, the large luxo barge does not bottom out making it easier to use in cities like Mumbai. The ride comfort in the back in particular is extraordinary with an almost pin drop quiet cabin and the large comfy seats encouraging you to fall asleep.
That said, the Jaguar is a slightly tricky car to look out of as it does have quite a few blind spots. The rear windscreen too is quite heavily raked and thus almost impossible to look out of which makes parking almost impossible without relying heavily on the park assist systems and the reverse camera.Like all jaguars, the XJ is a really balanced handler. In fact, the XJ is one of the best combinations of smooth and comfortable ride quality and sharp pinpoint steering and handling feel all enveloped into such a large car. We particularly like the way the steering weighs up as the speed builds up offering the best combination of a light and nimble steering feel in traffic conditions to a heavier and more precise feel while at higher speeds. Chuck the car into a corner and you cant believe how nimble 1800 kilos can get. In fact, the XJ is most certainly the best handling luxury barge between its fierce competitors.
The XJ gets all round disc brakes with multi piston calipers that offers a great response at all speeds.
SAFETY AND SECURITY ;
For passenger safety, Jaguar XJ has a wide gamut of features these including, disc brakes for the front wheels and drum brakes for the rear wheels. In addition, it also ABS, EBD, Brake assist, airbags for all the riders, central locking, child lock, night rear view mirror, door ajar warning, front and side impact beam and anti theft device and few more
Taking advantage of localized production, Jaguar has made the XJ more accessible for consumers. It has a younger approach towards a clichéd segment. Even though the XJ competes directly against the new S-Class, it should not be forgotten that the latter is a completely new car. It comes loaded with multiple options but still finds it difficult to match up with the large prowling cat in terms of appeal. The XJ will also get its share of update which will surface by early 2015.
The very fact that Jaguar competes with the Big Three is a massive compliment for the British car maker considering their humble line-up of models. Continuing its aggressive momentum in India, it won’t be too long before the Jaguar XE is launched and challenges the erstwhile offerings like the C-Class, 3 Series and A4.The brand connects effortlessly with the affluent and influential because of their rich legacy and culture. The maturely grey would go for others while the restlessly red blooded choose to Jag in style.Exchange your car for Jaguar Xj