Review

Jaguar XJ saloon

Price  £56,870 - £95,895

Jaguar XJ saloon

reviewed by Carbuyer

Pros
  • Sporty handling
  • Beautiful design
  • High-quality cabin
Cons
  • Slightly firm ride
  • Poor rear headroom
  • Expensive running costs

At a glance

The greenest
Luxury 3.0 V6 Diesel 4dr £56,870
The cheapest
Luxury 3.0 V6 Diesel 4dr £56,870
The fastest
XJR 5.0 V8 Petrol S/C (550PS) 4dr £92,395
Top of the range
Supersport 5.0 V8 Petrol S/C (510PS) LWB 4dr £95,895

"The Jaguar XJ is beautiful, great to drive and has a luxurious cabin, making it one of the best luxury limos around."

The Jaguar XJ saloon features sophisticated looks inside and out. It's Jaguar's top-of-the-range saloon and rivals models such as the BMW 7 Series and Mercedes S-Class. It has plenty of legroom in the back and a classy interior that combines traditional leather, wood and metal, with the latest clever technology.

Although you're unlikely to buy the XJ for its economy, Jaguar does offer the car with a 3.0-litre diesel engine that makes it both quick and efficient. The XJ Supersport has a supercharged 5.0-litre V8 petrol engine and is extremely quick, but also very expensive to run, whil the XJR is even faster. The 3.0-litre V6 petrol is smooth and quiet and sits between the diesel and the V8 petrol's economy.

The Jaguar offers plenty of equipment, even in the most basic model. It's stuffed with kit, including a panoramic sunroof, satellite navigation, dual-zone climate control and 18-inch alloy wheels.

MPG, running costs & CO2

2.1 / 5

Diesel engine offers decent fuel economy, but petrol engines are thirsty

Economy might not matter much to people who buy a Jaguar XJ, but decent fuel consumption is still nice to have. The 3.0-litre diesel engine is the most economical in the XJ range, but 40mpg isn't particularly impressive when you consider that the Mercedes S-Class S350 BlueTEC can achieve more than 50mpg. CO2 emissions are 184g/km, so road tax will cost £225 a year.

If you choose the top-of-the-range V8 model, prepare yourself for some big bills. It can return just 24.4mpg, while road tax will be £505 every year. The 3.0-litre V6 petrol is neither as cheap to run as the diesel or as fast as the flagship petrol. It returns 30mpg and has CO2 emissions of 224g/km for road tax of £290 a year.

Despite the premium badge, Jaguar offers fixed-price servicing for the XJ, so you shouldn't get any surprise bills. The manufacturer's standard three-year warranty can also be extended at extra cost. Insurance ratings ranges from group 48 for the 3.0-litre diesel to group 50 for the V8 petrol.

Engines, drive & performance

3.7 / 5

The XJ is powerful, agile and a joy to drive

The Jaguar XJ is the best handling car in its class thanks to hi-tech construction that makes it light and feel smaller than it actually is from behind the wheel. Add to that quick steering and very little body lean and you're unlikely to be disappointed when driving an XJ.

Backing up the fun driving experience is excellent performance. Even the diesel, which is the slowest model in the range, can get from 0-62mph in 6.4 seconds. It makes perfect sense if you want a quick car that doesn't cost a fortune to run.

If you want more speed, the 3.0-litre V6 petrol can get from 0-62mph in just 5.7 seconds, but the range-topping 5.0-litre V8 petrol is quickest of all, with 0-62mph taking just 4.4 seconds.

Interior & comfort

3.6 / 5

XJ’s sporty handling leaves it with quite a firm ride

The interior in the Jaguar XJ is arguably the nicest in its class, no matter which model you go for. That's because all get leather trim not just on the seats, but also on the dashboard and centre console. The air vents are chrome and the doors are finished with huge slabs of polished wood veneer. You also get a gear selector that rises from the centre console and a flashing starter button. A panoramic sunroof that makes the interior feel light and airy is standard on all models.

That traditional luxury combines with hi-tech kit such as a single-screen infotainment system that can display two things at once, so your passenger can watch TV while you look at sat-nav directions.

The Jaguar XJ's suspension isn't as comfortable as most cars of this type. But the interior is extremely quiet.

Practicality & boot space

3.7 / 5

Boot space is very good and there are lots of practical touches

The Jaguar XJ's 520-litre boot isn't as deep as some of its rivals', and although it's bigger than what you get in both the Audi A8 and BMW 7 Series, the Mercedes S-Class' is slightly bigger still. The Jaguar's boot also offers a large opening to make getting awkward items in easier.

Getting comfy in the back of the Jaguar is easy, although headroom might be tight for taller passengers and isn't as generous as in the Audi A8. Legroom is plentiful and Jaguar also gives you the option of a long-wheelbase version, which has just over 44 inches of legroom. You can also choose two individual electrically adjustable rear seats with massage function rather than the standard three-seater rear bench.

Storage space is also generous in the XJ and most of its cubbyholes can hold a bottle of water.

Reliability & safety

3 / 5

Owners rave about the car in customer satisfaction surveys

Not too long ago, Jaguars had a reputation for patchy build quality, but the company has done an excellent job of rectifying this. The XJ didn't feature in our most recent Driver Power customer satisfaction survey, but Jaguar finished second in the manufacturer rankings. The company came first in for ride quality and ease of driving and third for in-car tech.

Euro NCAP has never crash-tested the Jaguar XJ, but with safety kit including eight airbags, electronic stability control, traction control and a bonnet that pops up to protect pedestrians in a collision, we'd expect it to score the full five stars.

Price, value for money & options

2.5 / 5

XJ is expensive but high quality, so you get what you pay for

No matter what way you look at it, the Jaguar XJ isn't cheap, but the basic model undercuts the entry-level Mercedes S-Class by several thousand pounds. It also comes with lots of equipment as standard, including sat nav, a leather interior, a panoramic sunroof, electrically adjustable seats, dual-zone climate control and an automatic gearbox.

The options list is extensive and covers things such as massage seats, LCD screens for the rear passengers and wireless headphones. Just be bear in mind that the Jaguar will lose quite a lot of value over a three-year period, although this is normal for an expensive saloon such as this.

What the others say

4.5 / 5
based on 3 reviews
4 / 5
The cabin is stuffed full of hi-tech kit, such as an eight-inch touchscreen that lets passengers watch TV as the driver looks at the sat-nav. Behind the steering wheel, the traditional instrument panel is replaced by a digital display, while the 1,200W Bowers and Wilkins stereo offers crisp and punchy sound quality to rival any car on the market.
5 / 5
"It's a bit firm around town if we’re being brutal, but the precision the slight tautness produces down a back lane is worth it. The steering is accurate, the brakes assisted but honest. "
"Jaguar's new British-built XJ flagship saloon is a rejuvenated, worthy rival to Germany's Audi, BMW and Mercedes."
4.5 / 5
We’ve picked the XJ 5.0L V8 in £74,355 ‘Portfolio’ spec (‘well posh’ in other words) for our first drive of the new XJ on British roads, this model having come highly recommended as the pick of the bunch, dynamically speaking, by Jaguar's core development team. Their reasoning is that the normally aspirated 5-litre V8 is actually the lightest engine in the range, which results in the chassis balance being damn near perfect.
Last updated 
23 Mar 2015

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