• Apr 10, 2008

Close your eyes, sit back and imagine you're being chauffeured around town. Now open your eyes, and say what luxury conveyance you pictured your ride to be. The editors of The Chauffeur magazine – who we'd all imagine are named Jeeves or Somethingsworth – have made their selections, naming the Jaguar XJ long wheelbase and Lexus LS600hL as their top picks for Chauffeur Car of the Year 2008.

The Jaguar beat out the Volvo S80, Mercedes E, Chrysler 300C and VW Phaeton, which were nominated alongside it in the £25-£50k category. Up one class in the £50-100k segment, the Lexus beat out a selection of Europe's finest in the Mercedes S-Class, BMW 7-Series and Audi A8. No word yet on the final choice for the top category, but with the Rolls-Royce Phantom, Bentley Continental Flying Spur and Maybach 62 all nominated, we'd be hard pressed to pick one ourselves (hint: it wouldn't be the Maybach). Chauffeur mag was quick to point out that the dedicated chauffeur programs offered by both Jaguar and Lexus scored both the long-wheelbase luxury sedans extra points in their deliberations. Follow the jump to read the press releases from Jaguar and Lexus.

[Sources: Jaguar and Lexus]

PRESS RELEASE: JAGUAR

Jaguar's XJ long wheelbase has been acclaimed 'Chauffeur Car of the Year 2008' in the under £50,000 category by The Chauffeur magazine. Judging the awards were members of the motoring media and key industry opinion formers.

David Spencer, Head of Corporate Sales at Jaguar said: "I am thrilled the XJ long wheelbase has won this award. We are very proud of our lightweight, luxury vehicle, particularly the more-recently introduced 2.7-litre diesel version which has been a big hit in the chauffeur market since its launch. With better economy and lower CO2 emissions, coupled with the benefits of our dedicated chauffeur programme, the XJ long wheelbase is an increasingly attractive proposition."

Paul Gibson, Editor of The Chauffeur magazine commented: "I am delighted to present this prestigious award to Jaguar for its XJ long wheelbase diesel, which has been welcomed by the chauffeuring industry. The vehicle represents real value for money, true luxury and gives the chauffeur everything he needs to carry out his job successfully."

Jaguar recently announced a new dedicated programme for the chauffeur market, offering an attractive package for chauffeurs who make the XJ long wheelbase their vehicle of choice. The Jaguar Chauffeur Programme* is designed to ensure buying, owning and maintaining a new Jaguar is an effortless experience.

Building on the success of the XJ diesel since its introduction in September 2005, Jaguar announced the XJ long wheelbase diesel at the British International Motor Show the following year. This car combines all the excellent attributes of the long wheelbase car with the refinement of the 2.7 twin-turbo diesel engine.

Jaguar will be attending Chauffeur Drive 08** in April to showcase both the XJ long wheelbase and the new Jaguar XF diesel. The first event of its kind, Chauffeur Drive 08 will allow those from Europe's chauffeur, private hire and limousine industry to test drive the world's most luxurious cars in one area.

PRESS RELEASE: LEXUS

Already a favourite among CEOs in the city, the top of the range Lexus LS 600h L has been awarded chauffeur car of the year, by The Chauffeur magazine in the highly competitive £50,000 to £100,000 category.

Judged closely against the German flagship saloons from Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi, Lexus won the top spot in the toughest category for the most popular vehicles chosen by the chauffeuring industry. Key factors behind the judges' decision included the Lexus hybrid system which allowed for lower emission and competitive fuel economy, build quality, and the reclining and massaging rear seats which can adapt for shiatsu back and shoulder massages with varying intensity.

Also contributing to the award was the Lexus Chauffeur programme which offers unique finance packages, designated staff within the Lexus Centre network for sales and service, plus access to the loan of a PCO (Public Carriage Office) licenced Lexus enabling chauffeurs to continue working in the event of their own vehicle being off the road for any reason.

Paul Gibson, Editor of The Chauffeur magazine commented: "I am delighted to present this prestigious award to Lexus for its excellent LS 600h L, which easily fought off its rivals in this sector of the competition. The vehicle represents true luxury and gives the chauffeur everything he needs to carry out his job successfully."

Andy Simpson, Lexus Manager for National, Corporate and Remarketing said, "We are delighted to win this award in such a competitive category. This helps to reinforce the significant benefits of Lexus hybrid drive for the business user whether as an individual car or vehicle fleet."

A selection of Lexus cars including the LS 600h L will be on display at Chauffeur Drive 08 which takes place on 20 and 21 April at the Farnborough Five exhibition centre. For more information visit www.drive08.co.uk.

The 'L' signifies long wheel base over the standard LS 600h saloon and provides extra rear legroom and can also be specified with the rear seat relaxation package. This includes the massage functions mentioned above, independent rear DVD player, fixed centre console with removable table and body temperature sensing climate control.



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  • 13 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Farnsworth!!!
      • 6 Years Ago
      When I closed my eyes I pictured a Lincoln Town Car
        • 6 Years Ago
        I pictured being in the back of a Crown Vic, with no interior door handles.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Chauffeur : Car of the Year, as voted upon by chauffeurs (the drivers) or passengers of the vehicles? If the passengers, shouldn't it be Limo of the Year because you wouldn't be driving from the back seat, unless you're a mother-in-law. And if voted by chauffeurs, then they wouldn't be sitting in the back anyway. Just seems like weird terminology.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I still can't get past Lexus. I find the brand and designs utterly tacky and distasteful and would never be caught dead in one.

      Maybe that's just me, but they *scream* boorish and new money.
        • 6 Years Ago
        1. There's nothing wrong with new money
        2. Lexuses are the furthest you can get from boorish and new money. It's the east flashy of any of the luxury brands, barring Volvo which is "really" luxury. It tends to show as much if not more restraint than Audi in it's designs and slips under the radar like a Jaguar. Lexuses are more for the established like the government of Hong Kong. You'll rarely see a Lexus on 26" rims in a rap video but BMWs and Mercedes all the time because those that tend to own a Lexus aren't "boorish" and distasteful.

        BMW tends to be the epitome of boorish and distasteful, flame surfacing, bangle butts and all. That and I can't go a day without seeing a 18-25 year old driving the BMW 328 daddy bought for them, doing 90 in a 35.
      • 6 Years Ago
      By almost every quantifiable measure the XJ is as good a luxobarge as any of its competitors, it's just such a shame that it's all let down by exterior and interior design that's just painfully dated.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The Lexus LS460 has the nicest backseat when compared to the 750li and the S550, but, I actually leased an S550 on a 4 year after testing the other two because the driver position is considerably better.

      The Lexus has reclining back seats but it only does this (with massage) for the backseat right passenger. I am 6'7 and I sit in the back of the lexus comfortably.

      The Lexus H models are like adding hybrid systems to a Hummer. You don't really save much on fuel costs and since the damn thing cost so much, you pay for the 2 ~3 mpg you save UP FRONT. The S550 is actually the "greener" car. Even Jeremy Clarkson made notation of that when he showed the S class on Top Gear.

      The way I see it, the Lexus, BMW and Benz should ALL have massage seats for ALL passengers. If you spend $90,000 on a car, you expect the best.
        • 6 Years Ago
        +1 for truth. I'd take the LS for riding in the back and any of the competition for the driver's seat.
      • 6 Years Ago
      after owning a livery (car service) company for ten years, it's rather comical to imagine one of these in livery service in the US.

      when you get past the fact you're driving a nice car, the cold reality of what you're doing emerges. our cars, even though they didn't have a scratch on them, would have over 350,000 miles on them in two years or less. commercial insurance (required when you are carrying passengers for hire) can run from $600-$1,200 per month per vehicle; bear in mind, you still need to add fuel costs, and the monthly vehicle payment and maintenence costs to that. just think about an oil change every six days; long-wearing tires replaced every four months. those tires for a Lincoln or Cadillac (225/60-16 Michelin Symmetry) are about $100 each; how about the tires for any of the other cars?

      the commercial lease payment (zero residual lease, 48 months) for a Lincoln or Cadillac is around $950 per month, plus insurance, plus fuel and maintenence. this can easily put your base monthly expenses at about $4,000 per month, plus putting money aside for your next car, as the market for a two year old, 350,000 mile car is not really too good...and in many states, your car can't be over three years old to be in livery service and pick up airport passengers.

      thankfully here in the US, about 98% of the livery vehicles are either Lincoln Town Cars or Cadillac deVilles (now DTS). I've seen a few companies who have deviated from these two makes, always with disastrous results, with BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi. Volvos are popular in the Boston area.

      you could now take the costs above for a Lincoln or Cadillac and essentially double them for many of these premium makes, as service will most likely be from a dealer only, with any needed parts being much more expensive that domestic makes.

      the imports (no matter where they are from) essentially don't hold up to the rigors of livery service like the domestics do. over half of the livery vehicles are essentially on the road twenty-four hours per day (no choice with the expenses being what they are), with any unscheduled down time severly cutting into income and customer scheduling.
        • 6 Years Ago
        You are right about the costs. My S550 costs me about $1000 a mon and $500 for insurance/month.

        But keep in mind, Corporations are raking in so much money that a $100,000 limo is peanuts to them. In Manhattan, all you see is Black S550's - its gotten so bad that people think I'm a limo - therefore I added 22 inch wheels and some custom paint.
      • 6 Years Ago
      the only thing jaguar has won in a while..
        • 6 Years Ago
        Still an amazing car packing amazing technology.

        What other sedan of its size can come close to its weight - 3957lbs for regular and 4050lbs for the L ? To put that into perspective - a lengthened executive chauffer sedan weighting only 200 lbs more than a GTR - a world class sports/super car!!!

        Put some good tires and this big sedan can tackle mountain roads like - uh, a jaguar mountain cat. Thanks to active suspension, light weight, and good weight distribution.

        Put a twin screw blower on it and it can make over 600hp at the crank. Even on the stock blower you can get high 400's hp.
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