2015 Jaguar XJ Test Drive Review
2015 Jaguar XJ – Click above for high resolution picture gallery

Jaguar XJ Review

Car Tested: 2015 Jaguar XJ L Diesel Portfolio

Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 1.15 – 1.24 crore

The Jaguar XJ comes with an excellent blend of performance, comfort and driving fun

Among the trio of German ultra luxury sedans, there is this British limo which makes for a striking impression, only being bogged down by its high price courtesy of the expensive CBU route. But looking at the demand for the XJ, Jaguar decided to take the more affordable CKD route with its flagship sedan, resulting in a major price correction and a 300% boost in sales. The Jaguar XJ is now the most affordable car in its class. The India assembled model is completely loaded with all the bells and whistles you would expect from a car of this class and comes in two trims – Premium Luxury and Portfolio. We drive the 3.0-litre diesel engine equipped Jaguar XJ L Portfolio to judge if the downward revised prices boost the appeal of this elegant British sedan further!

Motor Quest: The Jaguar XJ nameplate dates back to 1968 when the Series 1 was launched, followed by the Series 2 and Series 3, till 1992. In 1986, Jaguar launched the XJ40 which was replaced by the X300 in 1994 and X308 in 1997. 2004 saw the launch of the X350 while in 2007, the X358 made its debut. The current generation X351 XJ was launched in 2009.

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The XJ’s striking design elements make it stand out instantly

Exteriors – There is no denying the fact that the Jaguar XJ is one of the best looking cars in its segment, being very long in length while also having a lot of elegance. The XJ proudly carries Jaguar’s current family design language and the styling does have some sportiness to it. The front has a large grille finished in chrome while the headlights are sleek units with daytime running lights. The car has just the right use of chrome, like around the window lines and the sloping roofline does give it a very sporty appeal.

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The rear-end of the Jaguar XJ is very striking indeed

The rear design is the most striking on this Jag, there are those attractive LED tail lights with the rear bumper getting a chrome line. Twin exhausts (one on each side) are placed underneath with the number plate positioned low down on the bumper. This results in a clutter free rear end as other than the XJ L badge, there is no other badging at the rear. The trunk release button is placed neatly under the right tail light and the Jaguar logo takes centre stage on the boot. The Jaguar XJ does grab a lot of attention as this car is a looker.

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The sporty dashboard has good attention to detail and excellent ergonomics

Interiors – The Jaguar XJ has a terrific looking dashboard which is both sporty and elegant. The top of the dash joins the doors to give the front seat occupants a wrap around feel, the twin needle stitching looking very nice. The colours in the cabin are also tasteful, lending both airiness and also inducing the luxury feel. The round AC vents look nice and the button touch glovebox opening is simple yet unique. A classic touch is the analogue clock between the centre AC vents while the centre console features most of the controls. The 3-spoke steering is nice to hold and gets a ton of buttons for a range of functions including multi-information display, audio, phone, cruise control, navigation and seat ventilation/massage.

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The rear seat has more than ample room for passengers, it’s an airy cabin

The interiors boast of a very luxurious feel and the car has plenty of features

The Jaguar XJ comes with a digital instrument cluster where the dials are displayed on a TFT screen. The infotainment system uses an 8-inch colour touch-screen and is the display for the AC, navigation and audio system, it does feel a bit unintuitive to use and the colours are not the best, at least not for the price of this Jaguar. There are some nice touches like the lights that just need a touch to turn on or off as they come with what the company likes to call “JaguarSense technology”. Then there are the massage seats which are available at both the front and rear, offering hot and cold ventilation too along with 5 massage options (Lumbar, Shoulder, Upward, Downward and Rolling). The rear seat which is strictly for two people due to the transmission hump has good amount of space (one can move the rear seat for the perfect position to rest) and although not as much as its German rivals, there is ample to ensure comfort. All the seats have excellent cushioning with legroom and headroom being in plenty.

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The rear seat centre armrest has a ton of buttons for seat adjustment

The Jaguar XJ gets twin panoramic sunroofs while the rear passengers get their own AC with twin vents, business tables (which are sturdy enough to hold your business laptop), twin 10.2-inch screens (one behind each front seat) and roof mounted vanity mirrors. The centre arm rest carries the buttons for various functions and there is a remote to operate the rear screen which also has a TV function with decent resolution. The Jaguar XJ comes with Meridian audio system with the Portfolio trim getting a 825W 7.1 surround sound system with 20 speakers (the Premium Luxury variant gets 380W). Sound quality is very good and with the excellent NVH levels from the engine, the cabin is quiet when you need it to be. Plenty of equipment is standard on the XJ making it a very loaded vehicle. The boot is big enough and opens electrically all the way up, one can also choose how much the boot should open. The car gets a space saver tyre with a unique orange coloured wheel.

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The 3.0-litre diesel engine in the XJ is super refined, it purrs smoothly

Performance – The Jaguar XJ diesel draws power from a 3.0-litre V6 mill which outputs 275 PS of power and 600 Nm of torque. Performance as you would expect is dolled out in a very smooth manner, the XJ boasting of super refinement levels. There is good low-end poke so driving in the city doesn’t necessitate revving the oil burner hard while out on the highway, this Jaguar pulls cleanly to high speeds with the utmost of ease. 0-100 km/hr comes up in a claimed 6.4 seconds while top speed is limited to 250 km/hr, it does pull quickly to high speeds with the engine not feeling stressed at all.

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The instrument cluster changes colour to red in Dynamic mode, becomes red

The V6 motor shows urgency and pulls to its redline in a linear manner

The Jaguar XJ comes with an 8-speed automatic gearbox which is super quick with shifts and doesn’t hesitate one bit to downshift when you need it. So when you are in eighth gear, a double tap on the big pedal is enough to signal a downshift and it comes right down to third in a split second. There are two driving modes on the rotary gearbox, D and S while there are steering mounted paddles too. Then there is the Dynamic mode as well, which when selected turns the instrument cluster to red and also displays a gear position indicator. In regular driving and even in Sport mode, the motor redlines at 4500 RPM but in Dynamic mode, the 3.0-litre mill of the XJ spins all the way to 5000 RPM. The big difference between regular and Sport mode is the quicker shifts from the gearbox.

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The XJ’s 8-speed gearbox is a gem and is very responsive in shifting cogs

The Jaguar XJ doesn’t upshift in Sport mode and let’s the driver have complete control of things. The rear-wheel drive limo reaches the ton in third gear while at the same speed in top gear, it ticks the tacho at just 1400 RPM, a small nudge of the pedal is enough to overtake everyone in sight. The mid-range is easily the strongest part of the motor and the turbocharged mill has all the lag very well contained. It’s only when you throttle hard that you do hear the motor and it is a smooth and refined sound. Jaguar claims a fuel efficiency of 12.9 km/l while we managed 8 km/l in the city and 10 km/l on the highway.

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In spite of the length and weight, the Jaguar XJ has very good handling

Driving Dynamics – The Jaguar XJ is a big car and it is very long indeed. Despite its dimensions, it’s a very fun car to drive with the steering being high on feedback, although a bit light at speed. The balance is good and one can push it around corners with the chassis instilling confidence. The XJ also has Adaptive Dynamics which ensures it remains balanced at high speed and stays glued to the tarmac while wind and tyre noise (the rear gets bigger tyres) is kept out of bay thanks to fabulous insulation. Once in dynamic mode, the steering does weigh up more and with the chequered flag on the console, you know it’s time to attack the corners in the XJ. There is also a Winter mode for slippery conditions.

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The ride quality is good while the high speed stability and brakes are excellent

The XJ’s steering wheel is quite responsive, making it a very fun car to drive

What is crucial for prospective owners of the Jaguar XJ is the ride quality. With a silent suspension, the cabin is devoid of noise from anywhere while the XJ glides over a majority of our roads with ease. Bigger bumps do make themselves felt through the cabin because this isn’t a softly sprung car. The ground clearance is low but we had no problems over speed-breakers although the long wheelbase does make you more alert over large speed-breakers. Braking performance is excellent with the XJ stopping right in its track when you pull the anchors.

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The Jaguar XJ is loaded with a lot of safety tech, the body is riveted

Safety and After Sales Service – The Jaguar XJ hasn’t been crash tested by Euro NCAP with the current gen model unlikely to be rated by the safety organisation. However, the XJ is loaded with a lot of safety tech, both active and passive. The vehicle uses an aluminium body shell and comes equipped with safety systems like front, side curtain and rear airbags, anti-whiplash, pop-up bonnet (to prevent pedestrain injury), ABS, DSC, rear parking camera with sensors and guide lines, blindspot warning and lane change indicator. Jaguar currently has the second smallest dealership network (ahead of Volvo) in the luxury car space.

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Jaguar’s flagship sedan makes for a very desirable package indeed

Verdict – The Jaguar XJ is a stunning looking car and scores very high on the desirability front. In spite of being loaded with a ton of features, the list of which is very long indeed, Jaguar has managed to price the XJ very attractively in front of its German rivals. The XJ might not be a master in many areas but blends everything quite well, being a fun car to drive, comfortable to sit in while also pampering its occupants with luxury and a lot of equipment. At Jaguar’s aggressive price in CKD form, the XJ makes for a fantastic package in the ultra luxury car segment.

The Jaguar XJ is an attractive looking car and manages to offer a lot of everything at a lesser price than its competitors. Where the XJ excels is desirability and Jaguar has made it more irresistible with the downward price revision.

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The unique gear selector is cool, rises up on starting the car

What’s Cool

* Elegant looking limousine, proves ultra luxury cars don’t have to look bland
* Massage seat for even the front seats prove this car isn’t just focussed at rear benchers
* Loads of equipment on offer and that too standard
* Fun to drive car, is eager to take to the twisties despite its size
* Reduced price tag makes it go from the most expensive to the most affordable in the segment

What’s Not So Cool

* Lacks rear seat legroom when compared to its German rivals
* Infotainment system feels a bit dated
* Next generation model due in the near future

Alternatives: Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7-Series, Audi A8

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The drop in price of the XJ has boosted the proposition of this Jaguar drastically

Jaguar XJ Specifications

* Engine: 2993cc, twin-turbocharged, V6
* Power: 275 PS @ 4000 RPM
* Torque: 600 Nm @ 2000 RPM
* Transmission: 8-speed automatic
* 0-100 km/hr: 6.4 seconds
* Fuel Consumption: 8 km/l (City), 10 km/l (Highway)
* Fuel Type: Diesel
* Suspension: Adaptive Suspension
* Tyres: 225/45/19 (Front) 245/40/19 (Rear)
* Brakes: Ventilated Disc (Front), Ventilated Disc (Rear), ABS
* Safety: Front, Side Curtain, Rear Airbags, Reverse Camera With Sensors, ABS, DSC

Jaguar XJ Dimensions

* Overall length x width x height: 5252 mm X 2105 mm X 1457 mm
* Wheelbase: 3157 mm
* Front/Rear Track: 1626 mm/1604 mm
* Turning Radius: 6.15 metres
* Ground clearance: 100 mm
* Boot Volume: 520 liters
* Fuel Tank Capacity: 82 litres
* Kerb Weight: 2450 kgs

Picture Editing – Sri Manikanta Achanta

Further Reading

Jaguar XJ Petrol Review