When it comes to executive limousines, there are few that exude as much class as the Jaguar XJ. If you buy it to drive yourself, then the short wheel base version provides a pure driving experience too.
Whether you choose the standard or long wheel base Jaguar XJ, you get the same single high powered diesel option which is a 3.0 litre V6 with 300bhp. There is also the highest performance XJR model which packs 500 plus horsepower and is only available as a special order. The 3.0 litre V6 however is well matched to the XJ’s bulk that provides great low end grunt. It will also get you from 0-100kmh in 6.4 seconds, so it is no slouch. The equivalent Porsche Panamera diesel can only achieve it in 6.0 flat.
Thanks to the Jaguar’s lightweight construction, it actually feels more compact than it is on the road. The steering is as precise as you get the XF and XE and its suspension setup means there is barely any evidence of body roll, which is quite incredible considering the sheer mass of the XJ. The Jaguar XJ goes up against rivals like the Mercedes S-Class and BMW 7 Series which both provide excellent driving pleasure. The XJ provides just as good of an experience if not better.
The trim levels vary slightly depending on whether you opt for the short or long wheel base model. The SWB has five trim levels, Luxury, Premium Luxury, Portfolio, R-Sport and the ultimate XJR, while tThe LWB is aimed purely at those high flying executives that will only be driven. This comes in Premium Luxury, Portfolio and Autobiography. Because the SWB is so involving to drive for such a large car, the pay-off can sometimes result in a firmer ride depending on the road surface. That said, it provides a luxurious drive combined with probably the best interior in its class.
When you purchase a top of the range premium executive saloon, quality is what you expect and quality is what you get. The Jaguar XJ probably provides the most amount of kit and technology as standard. Leather is everywhere from the seats, to the dashboard to the centre console, everything you touch feels and looks expensive. It feels ultra modern too with a seamless blend of digital dials, aluminium and a 9 inch touch screen while the air vents are made from solid metals. There is polished wood veneer on the doors with contrast leather and a gear selector that rises elegantly from the centre console.
The Jaguar XJ has never undergone the Euro NCAP crash test, but with that said and considering the sheer size and build quality from the British giant, it’s likely to be rather safe. It comes with a full host of eight airbags, electronic stability control and a clever bonnet mechanism that pops the bonnet up to protect pedestrians in a collision. Being the flagship of the Jaguar range, there is also a range of additional safety tech that you can specify like blind spot monitor, adaptive headlights and radar guided cruise control to name a few.
The XJ is a big car and naturally there is oceans of space, particularly if you go for the long wheel base model which provides a considerable one metre of legroom. Even the short wheel base has limousine type qualities to it. Rather than having a normal bench style seat in the rear, you can choose the optional armchair style seats instead, for that true executive feel. Boot space is a good as the Mercedes S-Class, BMW 7-Series or Audi A8 but if you keep the rear bench, they can be folded too to open up the cabin for storage of longer items.