2018 XJ New Car Test Drive
The Jaguar XJ, the renowned British automaker's flagship model, stands out among full-size luxury sedans for its sporty character and road manners, benefits partly attributable to lightweight aluminum construction.
For the 2018 model year a new high-output V8-powered XJR575 takes the place of the XJR. Modifications to engine calibration have raised output from Jaguar's supercharged 5.0-liter V8 from 550 to 575 horsepower. Torque output totals 517 pound-feet.
Other XJ versions get some aerodynamic tweaks outside, complemented by some styling touches within the cabin. Touch Pro infotainment, with 4G Wi-Fi, gets a new, larger (10-inch) central touchscreen. Rear-drive XJ models gain lane-keep assist and driver drowsiness monitoring, to complement their intelligent automatic. Jaguar's All-Surface Progress Control system works like low-speed cruise control, to get the XJ moving on low-grip surfaces.
The new XJR575 boasts unique interior touches and aerodynamic exterior upgrades. Side sills, the rear spoiler, front bumper and lower air intakes feature gloss black surrounds. Twin louvers identify the hood, and 20-inch black wheels are joined by red brake calipers. Inside is diamond-quilted seat upholstery.
Each regular engine comes in a choice of two trim levels: V6-powered XJ R-Sport and XJL Portfolio, plus V8-powered XJ Supercharged and XJL Supercharged. The 3.0-liter V6 develops 340 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque, while the 5.0-liter V8 generates 470 horsepower and 424 pound-feet. Both engines mate with an 8-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is optional for V6 models.
Jaguar offers short- and long-wheelbase body styles. Short-wheelbase models consist of the V6-powered XJ R-Sport and V8-engine XJ Supercharged. Long-wheelbase models include the V6-powered XJL Portfolio, V8 XJL Supercharged, and new higher-output V8 XJR575.
Neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has crash-tested the Jaguar XJ. Only six airbags are installed in each model, but a number of active-safety features are available.
In addition to a rearview camera, standard safety technologies include forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning with active lane control, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, and front/rear parking sensors. Adaptive cruise control and a surround-view camera setup are optional rather than standard.
XJ R-Sport ($75,400) is powered by the 3.0-liter V6, with rear-wheel drive. Standard equipment includes heated/ventilated leather front/rear seats, power front seats, a heated steering wheel, power tilt/telescoping steering column, dual-zone automatic climate control, pushbutton start, and panoramic sunroof. Also standard are adaptive dampers, a rear air suspension, and 19-inch alloy wheels. Meridian 825-watt 20-speaker audio comes with Bluetooth. (Prices do not include $995 destination charge.)
AWD XJ R-Sport ($78,300) adds all-wheel drive to the V6 sedan.
XJL Portfolio ($84,500) comes with the V6 engine and rear-drive, on a longer wheelbase.
AWD XJL Portfolio ($87,400) adds all-wheel drive to the long-wheelbase V6 sedan.
XJ Supercharged ($93,000) contains the 5.0-liter V8 with rear-drive, along with 14-way power massaging front seats, navigation, adaptive headlights, softer leather, four-zone climate control, an active rear differential, and 20-inch wheels.
XJL Supercharged ($96,300) has the 5.0-liter V8, on a long-wheelbase chassis.
XJR575 ($122,400) includes high-performance 5.0-liter V8 with rear-drive. Standard equipment includes a sport-tuned suspension, performance tires, red brake calipers, metal pedals, a suede headliner, gloss black trim, and rear spoiler.
Long-wheelbase models can get the Premium Rear Seat package with two individual seats.