2015 Jaguar XJL Portfolio AWD review: Jaguar's biggest cat is a comfortable cruiser and old-school cool
Largely unchanged since its debut in 2010, this generation of XJ and XJL is starting to feel a bit dated, particularly where tech is concerned. However, its flowing design has stood the test of time and "old luxury" never really goes out of style.
Editor's note:The 2015 Jaguar XJL Portfolio AWD persists largely unchanged since we last looked at the model in2014. As a result, this new review retains portions of our previous evaluation along with new insights and observations.
The second-best seats in the house
The primary difference between the model we're looking at today and the Jaguar XJ has everything to do with that extra letter "L," which indicates a long wheelbase. The XJL adds 4.9 extra inches to its wheelbase, which translates directly into the same amount of extra legroom for back-seat passengers.
By itself, that's a huge step up in rear-seat comfort and luxury, but our example doesn't stop there. We've also got the Premium Rear Seat Package: a $7,750 option that overhauls the second row. The rear outboard seats gain motorized reclining and upper-back articulation. A multimode massage function with heated and ventilated surfaces pamper passengers while seat memory keeps them from having to futz around too much with getting just the right seating position.
The package also adds electric side window shades that give rear passengers a bit of privacy and reduce glare on the dual 10.2-inch screens of the Rear Seat Entertainment System. From their positions on the back of the front seats, these non-touch-sensitive displays can be controlled via an included IR remote control to display infotainment, navigation data with ETA for the current trip, and video sources. Audio for this system is either piped through the main stereo or via a pair of wireless headphones, allowing up to three different A/V sources throughout the car (front, right-rear, and left-rear). Just below the displays, completing the first-row-airline-seat illusion, are dual "business tables" that can be folded out to hold a laptop or, as I learned, a messy barbecue lunch.
Between the upgraded outboard seats is a wide center armrest console that folds up, allowing the XJL to seat up to five people. However, that center seat isn't really a pleasant one for anyone but a small child thanks to the transmission tunnel hump and shoulder room that's generous for two, but a tight squeeze for three passengers.
Up front, our XJL was equipped with the optional $800 front-seat massage system, which is even more customizable than the rear's, thanks to its touch integration with Jaguar's infotainment system. That's on top of the 18-way power adjustment, heated and cooled ventilated seating surfaces, and memory functions for the driver and front-passenger seats, features that are standard on the XJL but optional on the shorter XJ.
The XJL's cabin uses a visually interesting variety of high-quality materials, ranging from pleasant-to-the-touch leather trim for most of the dashboard and doors to shiny chrome trim and glossy wood. Though I'm not a fan of the fingerprint-magnet black gloss trim that makes up most of the XJL's center stack and console, it is also nice to look at when it's clean (and not reflecting errant sunlight directly into the driver's eyes).
However, here and there, it's possible to see hints of cheapness that stand out starkly in the XJL's otherwise immaculate cabin. The most heinous examples are the paddle shifters located on the steering wheel, which are made of dull, hollow plastic that you'd expect to find on an economy car, not one bearing an as-tested price approaching $100K. Usually, automakers spend more materials budget on these "touch points" where the driver comes into regular and direct contact with the vehicle, but Jag seems to have overlooked this issue. I'd expect metal shifters on a car in this price class or -- when you consider that the XJL isn't really a "performance car" anyway -- no paddles at all. As is, they feel like an afterthought.
The tech: What's here, what's missing
This generation of the Jaguar XJ has been around since 2010 -- and its dashboard infotainment system for nearly as long -- but the tech has aged gracefully and seems to fit well with the XJL's "old luxury" feel.
Based around an 8-inch color touchscreen, the system puts navigation, Bluetooth telephony and an ever-broadening range of digital and analog audio sources at the driver's fingertips in a well-organized way. The navigation system uses 2D maps and doesn't feature any of the connected technologies or 3D-rendered graphics that you'd find on the car's competitors from BMW or Audi, but the maps are crisply rendered, featuring traffic data and smooth animations.
However, the standard voice command system requires the driver to slog through too many tedious prompts for address input and needs too much confirmation. Seriously, after half a dozen prompts for city, street, number, and the like, the system asks you if you want to input the address and then asks again if you want to begin navigation. Why do you think I went through the trouble of inputting, Jaguar, if I didn't want to go there?! Let's go! It's just faster to have a passenger key the address in, which thankfully is possible.
Also missing from the feature set is Bluetooth MAP support, which would augment the hands-free calling functionality with the options to have incoming text messages read aloud and to auto-reply, reducing driver distraction by removing the temptation to reach for the phone for every notification. However, I doubt the XJL's prospective clientele will miss it.
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Standard audio sources include USB with iPod/iPhone connectivity, Bluetooth audio streaming, HD Radio and satellite radio, CD/DVD playback and auxiliary audio and video inputs. Our Premium Rear Seat-equipped example also featured a dedicated rear USB port and auxiliary video input, as well.
Audio reproduction duties are handled by the Meridian Audio system: a 380-watt, 14-speaker setup that most would describe as audiophile quality. This system handled almost every genre of music that I threw at it and did a particularly good job with reproducing and staging human voices. However, it's not the apex of audio available on the XJL.
For a mere $2,300, you can upgrade to an 825-watt, 20-speaker Meridian Surround system or, for $4,180, there's the top-tier 1,300-watt, 26-speaker, brilliant Meridian Reference sound system. The Reference system's dual subwoofers account for two of those drivers and three speakers located in the rear of the front seats beneath the monitors provide dedicated audio for the already pampered passengers.
The top-tier Reference Audio system has a unique feature called Conversation Assist, which places microphones above each seating position that picks up the occupant's voice and amplifies it slightly via the audio system. This means that the folks up front don't have to shout to speak to those behind them and vice versa. In the already quiet cabin, the subtle effect was transparent; you probably wouldn't notice it had I not pointed it out.
Personally, I think the Meridian Reference system is worth the extra money, but only for true audiophiles with cash to burn. Most, including myself, will find the standard or midtier system more than up to the task of filling the Jag's quiet cabin with crisp, clean sound.
Standard safety tech includes blind-spot monitoring and a rear camera with front and rear proximity sensors at this trim level. Adaptive cruise control is available as an option for $2,300 but wasn't equipped on our test vehicle. Our example was equipped with a Visibility package, which adds Adaptive Front Lighting that steers with the front wheels, automatic "Intelligent" high beams that deactivate when oncoming traffic is detected, and cornering lights. For $850, this Visibility package is worth every penny, especially if you're one of those drivers who never thinks to manually activate your high beams on a dark night. The automated difference in illumination will be a revelation.
On the other hand, the available $1,700 Illumination package feels like a bit of a rip-off. The option adds illuminated "Jaguar" doorsills and cool blue LEDs to the air vents and around the cabin. The result certainly looks cool, but not $1,700 worth of cool.
While I'm nitpicking, there's a confusing relationship between the front and rear infotainment systems and I had a hard time figuring out how to send a front source (say a DVD) to the rear displays and how to relinquish control of the rear source to allow back-seat passengers control over their own audio sources. I was also disappointed to see a rear-seat entertainment system that lacked an HDMI input, which would allow for better video quality and a wider range of sources, such as video stored on a smartphone.
Powerful, stable, but not sporty
We've already discussed the last XJ's performance during our last stint behind the wheel. It was no corner carver and this long-wheelbase XJL is even less so. The 4.9 inches of additional length increases the turning radius slightly, but it also helps to stabilize the vehicle. All-wheel drive helps even more with stability, but doesn't seem to help with dynamics (although without a back-to-back drive in an RWD variant, it's difficult to tell). What I can tell you is that the XJL grips like the big cat that she is and can surprise you with her tenacity in hanging in on fast sweepers. Tighter turns, on the other hand, are a challenge for the long, black beast, thanks to its about two-foot wider turning radius.
The additional length comes with a complementary increase in mass, and the XJL is 88 pounds heavier than the standard model. That reduces the zero-to-60 time to a still respectable 6.1 seconds.
Output from the 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 is stated at 340 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque, which is pretty good for a car of this size. The standard eight-speed automatic is a great box of gears as well. However, an apparent lack of rev-matched downshifts means that you can't really rush the Jag to change attitudes. Transitioning from a cruise to a sprint takes a few seconds if you don't give advanced notice with the paddle shifters or the Sport and Dynamic transmission and engine programs. Sure, the Jag'll hustle if you ask it to, but it'll do it in its own time.
Overall, it's not that the XJL isn't willing. The steering, the throttle, and transmission generally all feel responsive and immediately acted on my inputs, but the laws of inertia can't be bent, and the Jaguar is a lot of vehicle to get moving in any direction.
The lack of "dynamism" doesn't mean that the XJL is a disappointing performer -- far from it, actually -- but backroad blitzes and corner carving seem beside the point of a vehicle like this. What's most important is comfort for the four or five souls onboard, and the XJL delivers comfort in spades -- even more so than the standard XJ, thanks to its heftier, more planted ride.
To help save fuel, the supercharged 3.0 is fitted with a stop-start anti-idling system that didn't bother me when it shut down the engine at stop signs and traffic lights and restarted the power plant ultrasmoothly when I lifted from the brake pedal to resume. However, passengers asked why the car kept turning itself off, and stop-and-go traffic could confuse the system, triggering sporadic coughs as the engine shut down and restarted almost instantaneously. Fortunately, the system can be disabled in these situations with the touch of a single button, so I'm not holding it against the Jag.
The EPA reckons the all-wheel-drive XJL is good for 16 mpg city, 24 mpg highway, and 19 combined mpg. My testing (completed mostly sans passengers and over mostly smooth highway miles) landed me in line with that estimate at about 22 mpg.
An expensive status symbol
Head-to-head, I'd say that the Jag is nowhere near as high-tech as a similarly priced Audi or Lexus; it's not as dynamic round a bend as a Bimmer; and some of the options are priced rather bizarrely. It's not the best choice for this class or segment, but the Jaguar XJL is still something special. It's a gorgeous vehicle with a private jet's interior that doesn't really set out to be a rolling gadget or a bullet on wheels. Still, I'm looking forward to the inevitable redesign that will bring it truly into the 21st century.
$84,700 with an $895 destination charge is the starting point for the 2015 XJL Portfolio AWD, which is nicely appointed with many standard features that are optional on the shorter XJ. We've also got the Visibility ($850) and Premium Rear Seat ($7,750) packages, as well as $138 for wheel locks for the 19-inch rollers and $800 for the privilege of having your bottom rubbed by the front buckets. Oddly, one of the most expensive line items on our list of options was the $1,500 British Racing Green exterior color which is a premium paint option alongside Italian Racing Red Metallic.
That brings us to the $96,663 as-tested price, which is a bit much. The prospective XJL driver could easily crest the six-figure mark with a stereo upgrade. Were it a wristwatch, the XJL wouldn't be a tech-forward Android Wear or Apple Watch nor would it be a rugged, GPS-enabled Garmin Fenix. The XJL would be an expensive status symbol like feature-simple gold Rolex -- albeit a gold Rolex with plastic paddle shifters.
|Model||2015 Jaguar XJL sedan|
|Power train||3.0-liter supercharged V-6 engine, eight-speed automatic transmission, all-wheel drive|
|EPA fuel economy||16 city mpg, 24 highway mpg, 19 combined mpg|
|Observed fuel economy||19.9 mpg|
|Navigation||Standard Jaguar navigation with traffic and voice command|
|Bluetooth phone support||Yes|
|Digital audio sources||HD Radio, satellite radio, DVD/CD, USB, Bluetooth audio streaming|
|Audio system||Meridian audio system, 380 watts, 14 speakers|
|Driver aids||Standard blind-spot monitoring and rear camera, optional Visibility package|
|Price as tested||$96,663|
Clean Retail Price
The MT clean retail price reflects a reasonable asking price by a dealership for a fully reconditioned vehicle (clean title history, no defects, minimal wear) with average mileage.
|5-Year Cost to Own / Rating|
|$74,200||N.A.||N.A. / N.A.|
|$74,200||N.A.||N.A. / N.A.|
|$77,700||N.A.||N.A. / N.A.|
|$81,200||N.A.||N.A. / N.A.|
|$84,700||N.A.||N.A. / N.A.|
|$90,600||N.A.||N.A. / N.A.|
|$93,600||N.A.||N.A. / N.A.|
|$116,000||N.A.||N.A. / N.A.|
|$119,000||N.A.||N.A. / N.A.|
Jaguar XJ-Series Expert Review
- Excellent handling without compromising ride quality
- Luxurious and stylish cabin
- Attractive exterior styling
- Infotainment system lags behind competitors
- Tight rear seat headroom due to panoramic sunroof
- Audi A8
- BMW 7 Series
- Mercedes-Benz S-Class
- Lexus LS
- Maserati Quattroporte
The 2015 Jaguar XJ is unchanged.
The 2015 Jaguar XJ is a full-size luxury sedan available in standard or long wheelbases, and in rear- or all-wheel-drive configurations. The car comes with a long list of standard features including a navigation system and premium audio by Meridian, which can be upgraded to an 825- or 1300-watt unit with conversation assist.
The 2015 Jaguar XJ is available with two engines in various levels of power: a supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 with 340 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque in the base model, and a supercharged 5.0-liter V-8 rated at 470 hp and 424 lb-ft in the XJ Supercharged or 550 hp and 502 lb-ft in the XJR. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard on all models and is the only gearbox available. Performance is a strong point despite the XJ's size with excellent handling and strong acceleration particularly in the XJR. Handling is impressive thanks to the car's revised chassis, which allows to belie its two-ton curb weight and move with great agility without compromising ride quality. The car's eight-speed automatic allows it to have a great balance of power and fuel economy even in V-8 powered models with a gas mileage rating of 15/23 mpg city/highway. V-6-powered XJs achieve 18/27 mpg in variants with the standard wheelbase, 17/27 mpg in long wheelbase models, and 16/24 mph when equipped with all-wheel-drive.
Interior quality in the 2015 XJ is top-notch with high-quality materials used throughout the cabin, and is styled attractively with real wood veneer trim and available two-ton leather upholstery with contrast stitching. The XJ's infotainment system was updated during the 2013 model year, adding two new sound systems from Meridian and an enhanced navigation system. However, the touchscreen requires the driver to take his or her eyes off of the road to operate, making it less intuitive than units found in competing vehicles.
The NHTSA and IIHS have not crash tested the 2015 Jaguar XJ.
While the Jaguar XJ doesn't offer as much cutting edge technology as its German competitors, it offers performance, style, and luxury in spades. In a 2014 First Test review, we said that the car provides an excellent balance between luxury and performance particularly the XJR, which offers impressive driving dynamics that belie its two-ton curb weight without sacrificing ride comfort. The car's exterior styling is also another one of its strong suits, with a sexy coupe-like profile that "drew stares and comments from a wide demographic."
In a 2013 First Test, we said that the car is a "trendsetter" when it comes to style due to its attractive exterior and interior. Using the car's infotainment system, however, forces the driver to take his or her attention away from the road while the standard panoramic sunroof cuts into rear seat headroom.
XJL Portfolio 4dr All-wheel Drive Sedan
2015 Jaguar XJ Specs
|Front leg room||41.5 "|
|Rear leg room||44.1 "|
|Luggage capacity||15.2 cu.ft.|
|Maximum cargo capacity||15.2 cu.ft.|
|Body width||74.6 "|
|Body height||57.4 "|
|Fuel tank capacity||21.7 gal.|
|EPA mileage estimates||16 City / 24 Hwy|
|Base engine size||3.0 liters|
|Base engine type||V-6|
|Drive type||all-wheel drive|
|Turning radius||21.2 ''|
Fees & Taxes
Total Cost to Own
See the cheapest Luxury Vehicles to Own
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Be Smart, Check in Advance. CARFAX — Your Vehicle History.
CARFAX — Your Vehicle History Expert
Sometimes what you don't know can't hurt you, but that's not the case when buying a used car. As an independent vehicle history provider, at CARFAX we've made it our mission to tell you everything you need to know by uncovering as many events as possible from the previous life of a used car. Our primary goal is to help you get to know your next car from the inside out before deciding to make an investment that will be part of you and your family's everyday life. We believe your next car shouldn't be hiding anything from you.
CARFAX Vehicle History Reports contain over 28 billion historical records from 20 European countries, the US and Canada, which are updated daily with new information.
Even if you live in a country we don't collect vehicle data from, it's still always worth checking the Vehicle Identification Number without obligation. The used car import and export market is booming and many owners would be surprised to find out exactly what happened to their vehicle during its previous life abroad.
Privacy for Customers — Transparency over Vehicles
Let's be clear: Although we strive to find every detail of a vehicle's life so far, we are focused only on the vehicle's history, and do not collect any information on previous owners. The information we provide relates solely to the vehicle, its odometer reading, any accidents that have been covered up, where the vehicle comes from and much more — it never gets personal. We've uncovered irreparable damage several times in the past, but other times our vehicle history checks draw a blank — and sometimes that's actually a good thing.
Second Hand — Not Second Best
Did you know that considerably more used cars are sold than new cars? We think this second-hand system is nothing short of fantastic. However, it goes without saying that it gives rise to different methods and tactics: Some sellers will disguise a car that's been in an accident under a fresh coat of paint, tamper with the odometer or conceal theft. This is one of the less appealing aspects of buying second hand. Our goal is to establish trusting relationships between buyers and sellers, since this is the best way to help customers make the right decision. Your new car should be reliable and make you feel safe, as well as make you feel like you haven't paid too much.
But more than anything else, we don't want you or your family unknowingly sitting behind the wheel of a vehicle that isn't 100% safe. This is why we strive to take these vehicles off the road, which not only makes the used car market safer but our streets safer too.
CARFAX — 35+ Years of Experience in Vehicle Histories
CARFAX was founded in the US in 1984 and expanded into Europe in 2007. Around 100 team members spread across six European offices process vehicle information from 22 countries.
Fostering strategic partnerships with registration authorities, law enforcement agencies, government departments, insurance companies, inspection centers and numerous other leading companies around the world has enabled us to compile a unique international database for vehicle histories. We use this database to help make the used car market more transparent. We give everyone in the process of buying a used car access to what is currently the world's most comprehensive source for vehicle history reports, and is growing day by day.
We remain neutral and independent despite our partnerships — our sole purpose is help customers make an informed choice and ensure their safety and the safety of their family. This includes never collecting any personal details — we do not accept any PII from data sources amongst the information we provide about a vehicle. We ensure that data protection laws are observed at all times. Furthermore, we always collect our data in compliance with legal and regulatory frameworks — in all the countries in which we are active. We expressly distance ourselves from illegal activities such as data theft, scraping and hacking.
Jaguar xj 2015
Jaguar Land Rover North America, LLC (Jaguar) is recalling certain 2015 F-TYPE vehicles manufactured August 25, 2014, to September 12, 2014, 2015 XF vehicles manufactured September 3, 2014, to September 12, 2014, and 2015 XJ vehicles manufactured August 21, 2014, to September 11, 2014. In the affected vehicles, the Front End Accessory Drive (FEAD) belt, Power Assisted Steering (PAS) pump pulley and/or battery positive cable at the alternator may detach.
What should you do:
Jaguar has notified owners, and dealers will inspect the affected engine mounted components for the proper threading and torque, correcting them as necessary, free of charge. The recall began November 10, 2014. Owners may contact Jaguar customer service at 1-800-452-4827. Jaguar's number for this recall is J044.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 14V673000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 272
Hide Recall DetailsSours: https://www.consumerreports.org/cars/jaguar/xj/2015/reliability/
2015 Jaguar XJ
The Jaguar XJ balances spirited performance with smooth operation and poise. A full-size luxury sedan, the XJ is available in both regular and long-wheelbase variants. Rear-wheel drive is standard, all-wheel drive is available.
Little has changed for the 2015 model year. The 2015 Jaguar XJ lineup has been streamlined, as the Supersport and Ultimate models have been discontinued and engine choices drop from five to three. All 2015 XJ engines are supercharged.
A supercharged V6 comes on Jaguar XJ and Portfolio models. Rated at 340 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque, the V6 gets an EPA fuel economy rating of 18/27 mpg City/Highway with rear-wheel drive, 16/24 mpg with all-wheel drive.
A 5.0-liter supercharged V8 comes on Jaguar XJ Supercharged models that makes 470 horsepower and 424 pound-feet of torque, and launches from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.9 seconds. Fuel economy is EPA-estimated at 15/23 mpg City/Highway for standard and long-wheelbase lengths.
The Jaguar XJR, which joined the lineup for 2014, is powered by a 5.0-liter supercharged V8 rated at 550 horsepower and 502 pound-feet of torque. The XJR will rocket from 0-60 mph in just 4.4 seconds, according to Jaguar. XJR models are available in standard and long-wheelbase variants. Fuel economy for the 2015 XJR is rated by the EPA at 15/23 mpg City/Highway, the same rating as some of the XJ’s less powerful models.
An 8-speed automatic transmission comes on all 2015 Jaguar XJ models.
All XJ models boast an exquisite cabin, with rich leather upholstery and a variety of luxury trims.
Jaguar XJ competes with Audi A8, BMW 7 Series, Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Jaguar XJR competes with Audi S8, less expensive and less powerful, and the BMW 760Li, which offers plenty of power with its twin-turbocharged V12 but is more expensive than the long-wheelbase XJR.
The 2015 Jaguar XJ is available in a choice of standard or long-wheelbase (XJL) variants. All come with an 8-speed automatic transmission.
Jaguar XJ ($74,200) is powered by the 340-hp supercharged 3.0-liter V6. The XJ comes standard with dual-zone automatic climate control with air filtration and humidity control, leather upholstery, 12-way power adjustable front seats with driver memory function, heated front and rear seats, a heated leather-wrapped steering wheel with multifunction controls, power tilt-and-telescoping steering column, cruise control, keyless ignition/entry, burl walnut veneer trim, soft-close doors, 8-inch color touch-screen with navigation and voice recognition, Bluetooth, a 380-watt 14-speaker Meridian audio system with single CD/DVD player, HD radio, satellite radio capability (with three-month subscription), USB port and auxiliary audio jack, panoramic power moonroof, power trunk lid, rain-sensing wipers, automatic stop/start, automatic xenon HID headlamps, heated and auto-dimming sideview mirrors, front and rear parking sensors with rearview camera, blind spot monitor, and 19-inch alloy wheels.
XJ AWD ($77,700) adds all-wheel drive.
XJL Portfolio ($81,200) also uses the 340-hp 3.0-liter V6, but features the longer wheelbase with more rear legroom. Portfolio upgrades to four-zone climate control, stitched and piped leather interior, 14-way heated and ventilated front and rear seats, suede cloth headliner, manual rear side window sunshades, and different 19-inch alloy wheels. XJL Portfolio AWD ($84,700) comes with all-wheel drive and the Portfolio upgrades.
XJ Supercharged ($90,600) and XJL Supercharged ($93,600) are powered by a 470-hp supercharged 5.0-liter V8. Supercharged models also come with an 825-watt 20-speaker Meridian Surround Sound audio system, active noise cancellation, power rear sunshade, and adaptive headlights with automatic high beams.
XJR ($116,000) and XJR LWB ($119,000) use a 550-hp supercharged 5.0-liter V8. XJR models include 14-way power front sport seats with leather upholstery, heating and ventilation; unique R interior trim including black suede cloth headliner; metal pedals; unique exterior trim including a front-bumper splitter; gloss black grille with chrome surround; hood louvers; unique side sills; additional rear spoiler; quad tailpipes; a sports exhaust; upgraded brakes with red calipers; active head restraints; electronic active differential; and unique 20-inch forged alloy wheels.
Several option packages are available for XJ models. The Rear Seat Package ($4,000) for Portfolio and XJL Supercharged sedans includes two individual rear seats, three massage functions, and a folding rear center armrest. A Premium Rear Executive Package ($7,750) for those models includes the two individual seats, rear-seat memory, business trays with leather inserts, rear-seat entertainment with two 10.2-inch LCD screens and two wireless headphones. Visibility Package ($850) for XJ and Portfolio includes adaptive front lighting, cornering lamps, and Intelligent High Beams. Front Seat Comfort Package ($1,400) for XJ includes active-ventilated seat cooling, front passenger-seat memory, 14-way power front seats, and massage function. Portfolio Pack ($4,000) for XJ includes heated/cooled 14-way power front seats, 4-way lumbar support, massage, front-passenger seat memory, heated/cooled rear seats, and four-zone climate control. Sport and Speed Pack ($7,800) for XJ/XJL Supercharged models boosts top track speed to 174 mph, adding 20-inch Venom alloy wheels, red brake calipers, aero front splitter and rear-deck spoiler, and 18-way power front seats with adjustable bolsters. Illumination Package ($1,700) offers blue accent lighting. Also available is a Semi-Aniline Trim Package ($1,775).
Safety features standard on all models include six airbags, front and rear parking sensors, rearview camera, blind-spot monitor, antilock brakes, stability control, traction control, brake assist, electronic brake-force distribution, cornering brake control, engine drag torque control. All-wheel drive is optional.
The Jaguar XJ is a beautiful car. Park it next to a BMW 7 Series, a Lexus LS or a Mercedes makes them look like blocks of cheese. Pull up to a fine hotel or restaurant in a Jaguar XJ and you are arriving in style.
Riding on two lengthy wheelbases of 119.4 inches for the XJ and 124.3 inches for the XJL, with overall lengths of 201.9 inches and 206.8 inches respectively, this large touring sedan out-spans its competitors, while out-styling them in the same swift gesture. It has a sleek shape, with muscular faux-coupe modeling that cunningly understates its size.
The XJ is larger than it looks. With its nose-down, haunches-up lunging stance, it appears at a distance to be a smaller sport coupe. On closer examination, it’s a shock that this is a full-size grand-touring vessel of style, power and great speed.
XJR models are set apart with a special front fascia with R-signature black-mesh grilles, wide chrome-edged air intakes, rocker-panel extensions, a rear lip spoiler, and 20-inch forged-aluminum wheels.
Jaguar XJ cabins are richly supplied with fragrant leather and handsome inlaid wood trim. They look distinctly upscale.
A 12.3-inch high-definition screen in front of the driver projects a virtual analog speedometer, tachometer and related data in three dial faces. When fuel is low or the car needs to communicate other important information, a bulletin is communicated in the space occupied by the temporarily dimmed tachometer. The font for these central dials, while small, is businesslike and properly legible.
Traditional Jaguar aero-like blower ducts above the center stack flank a handsome analog clock. Beneath these, an 8-inch touchscreen display provides access to navigation, climate control and audio features. There are two USB ports, as well as an auxiliary audio jack, for phones and music players.
The standard audio system on lower trim models is a 380-watt Meridian setup; an upgraded 825-watt system includes a feature called Conversation Assist. It uses microphones in the headliner to pick up occupants’ voices and pipes them through the speakers, making it easier for people to hear one another in the cabin.
Seating and visibility are excellent. The front seats have vast adjustability, and their firmness and side-bolster fit are a model of one-size-fits-nearly-all common sense. Though the beltline of the XJ is relatively high around its occupants, thanks, in part, to generously sized side-view mirrors, outward visibility from the driving position never feels restricted. Long drives in an XJ are an experience to be anticipated with pleasure.
XJR models have sport-style seats, which hug even better around corners.
Rear-seat dwellers ride in the lap of luxury with 39 inches of rear legroom in the standard-wheelbase car, and a vast 44.1 inches in the XJL. Rear seats in the 2015 LWB sedan have individual airline-style seats, which recline and feature three massage programs. Cargo space measures 15.2 cubic feet, enough for plenty of luggage.
The Jaguar XJ is a grand touring sedan carefully tailored to make rapid travel effortless, comfortable and pleasing to both driver and passengers. While many large cars make long drives dull, drowsy, and fatiguing, an XJ’s alert and alive character keeps the driver fully engaged in the joy of driving.
The supercharged V6 is a thoroughly qualified full-time, all-season engine that delivers splendid performance. We found throttle response linear and enthusiastic.
All-wheel drive makes the Jaguar XJ AWD a compelling choice for winter driving in the Snow Belt. Our test drives in both dry conditions and Canadian ice and snow found Jaguar’s all-wheel-drive arrangement fully a match for its German competitors.
Each XJ is a harmonious balance of spirited performance, smooth operation, and an indefinable element of poise. XJ throttle response is linear and enthusiastic.
Steering effort and live feel are finely calibrated to deliver an excellent combination of road information and firm controllability. Chassis dynamics are similarly alive, whether driving on snow with all-wheel drive or pressing hard in high summer. Despite considerable weight, the XJ’s brakes are forceful, easily modulated for good control, and even under very hard use show no hint of brake fade.
Jaguar XJs are big cars, and you can’t fool Mother Nature; big cars feel big when you corner fast or brake hard. And when you pounce on the throttle, even with the quick supercharged 340-hp 3.0-liter V6 in our XJL Portfolio AWD, you feel the commotion as the car is pushed from zero to 60 mph in 6.1 seconds.
The XJ uses Jaguar Drive Control, a silver dial that pops up on the center console and serves as the gear shifter. You can set it in Drive and forget it, or you may choose to manually control the superb 8-speed ZF transmission with the paddle shifters. You may also select specialized driving modes that make a dramatic difference in performance. Winter Mode tailors power and traction, optimizing performance for snow and ice. It’s also good for cruising in dry weather to save on fuel.
Dynamic Mode is the other end of the spectrum, raising the threshold for the electronic steering control and allowing more wheel slip for high-performance driving. Jaguar permits switching off stability control altogether, but be careful when doing so. We only switch these systems off on racing circuits when they start slowing the car down.
The XJL Supercharged features a supercharged 5.0-liter engine that produces 470 horsepower. When we opened the throttle, it was like feeling a great ocean liner suddenly rise up. In keeping with Jaguar’s well-balanced philosophy, despite its mass, the car felt surprisingly athletic and controlled while doing so.
In addition to a blazingly fast 550-hp supercharged V8, XJR models are fitted with performance-tuned springs and variable dampers for better body control, as well as big ventilated disc brakes. Jaguar claims the XJR will leap from 0-60 mph in just 4.7 seconds.
Summary, Prices, Specs
The Jaguar XJ is an elegant full-size luxury car. A wide selection of engines is available, along with a choice of rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. Each model delivers plenty of gusto and is luxurious and spacious enough to carry even the most demanding of passengers.
Ted West filed this NewCarTestDrive.com report from Quebec, with Laura Burstein reporting from Los Angeles.
|Model Line Overview|
|Model lineup:||Jaguar XJ ($74,200); XJ AWD ($77,700); XJL Portfolio ($81,200), XJL Portfolio AWD ($84,700); XJ Supercharged ($90,600), XJL Supercharged ($93,600); XJR ($116,000); XJR long-wheelbase ($119,000)|
|Engines:||340-hp supercharged 3.0-liter V6; 470-hp supercharged 5.0-liter V8; 550-hp supercharged 5.0-liter V8|
|Safety equipment (standard):||dual-stage front airbags and seat-mounted side airbags for front and rear occupants, active front head restraints, front and rear parking sensors, rearview camera, blind-spot monitor, anti-lock brakes, DSC stability control, traction control, brake assist, electronic brake-force distribution, cornering brake control, engine drag torque control, security system|
|Safety equipment (optional):||adaptive headlamps, active cruise control with collision warning and braking, active differential control; all-wheel drive|
|Basic warranty:||4 years/50,000 miles|
|Assembled in:||Castle Bromwich, England|
|Specifications As Tested|
|Model tested (MSPR):||Jaguar XJL Portfolio AWD ($83,700)|
|Standard equipment:||dual-zone climate control with air filtration and humidity control, soft grain leather seats and interior, heated leather steering wheel with audio and cruise controls, 12/12-way power adjustable front seats, three-way memory driver's seat, burl walnut veneer, Morzine headliner, keyless entry and start, 12.3-inch display, premium analog clock, full-color 8-inch touchscreen console, GPS navigation, traffic-message channel, 380-watt 14-speaker premium audio, 300GB hard drive with music storage, media hub for iPod/MP3/USB/Bluetooth, satellite radio, automatic window demisting, blue mood lighting, electronic parking brake, front and rear parking aid with touchscreen visual aid, reverse camera with parking guidance, remote central locking, valet function, drive-away door locking, 19-inch alloy wheels, xenon headlamps, LED tail lamps, sunroof with sun blinds, power trunk, rain-sensing wipers|
|Options as tested (MSPR):||heated front windshield ($375), 19-inch Toba polished alloy wheels ($1,500)|
|Gas guzzler tax:||N/A|
|Price as tested (MSPR):||N/A|
|Engine:||3.0-liter dohc 24-valve V6|
|Horsepower (lb.-ft @ rpm):||340 @ 6500|
|Torque (lb.-ft @ rpm):||332 @ 3500-5000|
|EPA fuel economy, city/hwy:||16/24 mpg|
|Track, f/r:||64.1/63.1 in.|
|Turning circle:||42.3 ft.|
|Head/hip/leg room, f:||39.5/na/41.5 in.|
|Head/hip/leg room, m:||N/A|
|Head/hip/leg room, r:||37.2/na/44.1 in.|
|Cargo volume:||15.2 cu. ft.|
|Suspension, f:||independent double wishbone, coil springs, anti-roll bar|
|Suspension, r:||independent multi-link, air springs, anti-roll bar|
|Curb weigth:||4151 lbs.|
|Tires:||245/45R19 front, 275/40R19 rear|
|Brakes, f/r:||vented disc/vented disc with ABS, EBD, Brake Assist|
|Fuel capacity:||21.7 gal.|
|Unless otherwise indicated, specifications refer to test vehicle. All prices are manufacturer's suggested retail prices (MSPR) effective as of April 8, 2015.Prices do not include manufacturer's destination and delivery charges. N/A: Information not available or not applicable. Manufacturer Info Sources: 800-452-4827 - www.jaguarusa.com|
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