2013 XJ New Car Test Drive
The Jaguar XJ arrives in style everywhere it goes. Its sleek design presents a statement of true luxury. Underway, it coddles passengers yet provides thrilling performance for the driver. We found the Jaguar XJ a harmonious balance of spirited performance, smooth operation, and poise.
New for the 2013 Jaguar XJ lineup is Jaguar's Instinctive All-Wheel Drive along with a new supercharged 3-liter V6.
A choice of 5-liter V8 engines remains available. The 2013 Jaguar XJL Portfolio comes with a powerful, velvety-smooth 5-liter V8 rated at 385 horsepower. The Jaguar XJ Supercharged and XJL Supercharged are powered by a supercharged 5-liter V8 of 470 horsepower. And for those who simply don't have time, there are the ICBMs of the line, the Jaguar XJ Supersport, XJL Supersport, and XJL Ultimate, all powered by a 5-liter supercharged V8 generating a full-speed, no-excuses 510 horsepower.
All-wheel drive makes the 2013 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. (All-wheel drive is only available with the new V6.)
The V6 is a thoroughly qualified full-time, all-season engine that delivers splendid performance, while cruising at a salutary EPA-estimated 25 mpg Highway. We found throttle response linear and enthusiastic.
The normally aspirated 5-liter V8 in the XJL Portfolio is smooth and powerful, a superb powerplant, capable of thrusting the XJL to 60 mph in a very quick 5.4 seconds. It also delivers an EPA-rated 25 mpg Highway. All-wheel drive is not available with the V8-powered XJs, which remain the classic Jaguar rear-wheel-drive muscle-car sedan.
The Supercharged models launch from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.9 seconds and deliver an EPA-estimated 23 mpg Highway. The top-of-the-line Supersport models catapult to 60 in a scant 4.7 seconds, still rating 23 mpg Highway.
Arriving in style, perhaps with a hint of majesty, is the XJ's greatest strength, but the big Jaguar is nowhere more in its element than on the highway at speed. This is a grand touring sedan carefully tailored to make no-nonsense rapid travel effortless, comfortable and pleasing to both driver and passengers. There is an almost old-fashioned finesse to the XJ, yet nothing is old-fashioned about the technological means by which it is achieved. Jaguars have always been road cars, with a distinctly sporting character, intensely focused ride quality and willing agility. While many large cars make long drives dull, drowsy, and fatiguing, an XJ's alert and alive character, with its live-wire feedback, act as a strong safety element, keeping the driver fully engaged in the act of driving.
Steering effort and live feel is finely calibrated to deliver an excellent combination of road information and firm controllability. The car's chassis dynamics are similarly alive, whether driving on snow with all-wheel drive or pressing hard in high summer. And 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.
The current-generation Jaguar XJ was launched as a 2011 model.
The 2013 Jaguar XJ line comprises nine models. The Jaguar XJ ($73,200), XJ AWD ($76,700), and XJL Portfolio AWD ($83,700) are powered by a 3-liter supercharged 340-hp V6. The XJL Portfolio ($81,200) uses a 5-liter naturally aspirated 385-hp V8. The XJ Supercharged ($89,600) and XJL Supercharged ($92,600) are powered by a 5-liter supercharged 470-hp V8, the XJ Supersport ($112,600), XJL Supersport ($119,100), and the XJL Ultimate ($55,000) employ a 5-liter supercharged 510-hp V8. All come with an 8-speed ZF automatic transmission with paddle shifters.
The 2013 Jaguar XJ comes standard with 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 high-definition instrument 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 xenon headlamps, sunroof with sun blinds, power trunk lid, rain-sensing wipers, automatic window demisting, blue mood lighting, electronic parking brake, front and rear parking aid with touchscreen visual aid, remote central locking, valet function, drive-away door locking, engine stop/start, drive control with dynamic and winter mode, adaptive dynamics, self-leveling rear suspension, 19-inch alloy wheels.
XJ AWD adds all-wheel drive.
XJL Portfolio features a longer wheelbase with 5 inches extra rear legroom, four-zone climate control, stitched and piped leather interior, 18-way active-ventilated heated and cooled front and rear seats, suede cloth headliner, three-way memory front and front passenger seats, manual rear-window sun blinds, ebony wood veneer trim, illuminated rear vanity mirrors, 19-inch five double-spoke alloy wheels.
XJL Portfolio AWD comes with all-wheel drive and the V6 engine. The optional Rear Seat Comfort Pack for Portfolio models ($5,000) includes rear seat 40/20/40 recline, massage and four-way lumbar adjustment, winged headrests front and rear, front passenger seat-away for extended legroom, rear seat business trays finished in hand-crafter veneer, premium floor mats, manual rear seat footrests, power rear sun blind, chrome exterior mirror covers and a Union Jack intaglio.
XJ Supercharged and XJL Supercharged come with 20-inch 10-spoke alloy wheels, active differential control, 825-watt surround-sound audio with 15 amp channels and 20 speakers, oak veneer trim, power rear window sun blinds, adaptive headlight and intelligent high beams, Supercharged script in side vent; XJL also has rear business trays. Sport And Speed Pack for Supercharged models ($7,800) includes Speed Pack (described below) plus bright-metal accelerator and brake pedals, 18/18 heated and cooled front sport seats with adjustable bolsters, Piano Black veneer interior trim and choice of two unique color schemes. The Rear Seat Comfort Package for XJL Supercharged ($3,500) adds rear seat 40/20/40 recline, massage and four-way lumbar adjustment, winged headrests front and rear, front passenger seat-away for extended legroom and manual footrests.
XJ Supersport and XJL Supersport have 20-inch five-tri-spoke alloy wheels, semi-aniline leather seats with front seat massage, rear seats with recline, massage, adjustable lumbar, winged headrests front and rear (XJL only), contrast stitching and piping, embossed leaper (XJ only), soft-grain leather headliner, heated wood/leather steering wheel, six unique interior trim choices, inlaid oak veneer steering wheel with five unique veneer choices, illuminated air vents, doorsills and trunk finisher, rear-seat entertainment center with dual 8-inch LCD screens, touchscreen, remote control, dual headsets, Supersport script in side vent. The optional Speed Pack for Supersport models ($4,000) includes maximum speed increase from 155 mph to 174 mph, 20-inch alloy wheels, red brake calipers with Jaguar script, front aero splitter, rear spoiler, gloss-black grilles and side power vents.
XJL Ultimate gets 20-inch forged alloy wheels, two individual rear seats (for four-passenger seating), semi-aniline leather, heated, cooled, reclining, massage, four-way lumbar, rear console, power passenger table, toughened smoked glass, full partition center console with blue accent lighting, illuminated center beverage chiller, rear-seat entertainment center with dual 8-inch LCD screens, touchscreen, remote control, dual headsets.
Safety features standard on all models include all mandated airbags, reverse camera with parking guidance, tire-pressure monitor, blind-spot monitor, remote central locking, valet function, drive-away door locking, rear child restraints, perimeter-sensing vehicle immobilizer, antilock brakes, DSC electronic stability control, traction control, brake assist, electronic brake-force distribution, cornering brake control, engine drag torque control. Optional all-wheel drive can improve handling stability in slippery conditions.