2017 XJ New Car Test Drive
The Jaguar XJ has presence and exudes pure luxury, often making a more elegant entrance than one of its German competitors presents. An elegant, comfortable cabin, strong performance, responsive handling and a luxurious ride add to the appeal of this luxury sedan.
Echoing the British tradition of carrying on without complaint, stiff upper lip and all that, Jaguar's flagship sedan continues into the 2017 model year with little change apart from body color choices.
Exuding pure elegance inside as well as out, the full-size XJ is lavishly equipped even in base form. Few luxury sedans approach its comfort and posh amenities, though comparable German models offer broader customization possibilities.
Abundant use of aluminum construction translates to a more nimble driving experience. Jaguar offers the XJ in regular- and long-wheelbase configurations, with V6 or V8 power. Only V6 models can have all-wheel drive, as an alternative to the standard rear-drive.
Beneath the bonnet of XJ R-Sport models and the XJL Portfolio is a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 makes 340 horsepower, mating with an 8-speed automatic transmission.
XJ Supercharged models contain a 5.0-liter V8 that produces 470 horsepower, also driving an 8-speed automatic. Topping the performance spectrum, the XJR gets a 550-horsepower rendition of the 5.0-liter V8.
Acceleration to 60 mph takes 5.7 seconds with the V6 engine, 4.9 with the Supercharged V8, and a mere 4.4 seconds with the XJR's V8. Impressive figures indeed, for a heavy full-size four-door.
JaguarDrive Control offers winter and dynamic modes. A 12.3-inch instrument cluster is standard, while the 8.0-inch infotainment display works with an 825-watt, 20-speaker Meridian audio system.
Jaguar's touchscreen navigation system provides 60 GB of file storage, for swifter access to menus and maps. InControl Remote, a smartphone app, can preheat or cool the cabin, start the engine remotely, or alert the owner if something triggers the alarm.
Safety features include a rearview camera and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert and closing vehicle sensing. Front and rear parking assistance is included. Adaptive cruise control is optional, and a surround-view camera is available.
The Jaguar XJ R-Sport ($74,400) comes with a V6, rear-wheel drive and the regular wheelbase, along with dual-zone climate control, 19-inch wheels, LED headlights, pushbutton start, Bluetooth, panoramic sunroof, leather heated and ventilated front and rear seats, and soft-closing doors. R-Sport AWD ($77,900) has all-wheel drive. (Prices do not include $995 destination charge.)
XJL Portfolio ($83,200) is the long-wheelbase equivalent of the R-Sport, adding such features as four-zone automatic climate control, 14-way power front seats with massaging, and an electric rear-window sunblind. XJL Portfolio AWD ($86,700) is all-wheel drive.
XJ Supercharged V8 ($92,000) has the 470-horsepower V8 and rear-wheel drive. Also standard are 20-inch wheels, softer leather, an active rear differential, and a rear-window sunblind. XJ LWB Supercharged V8 ($95,000) is the long-wheelbase version.
XJR Supercharged V8 ($118,000) upgrades to the 550-horsepower V8, plus a sport-tuned suspension, a more assertive hood, and a rear spoiler. XJR LWB ($121,000) rides the longer wheelbase.