Jaguar XJ: driven - Introduction

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  • Brilliant drive with luxury
  • Rear feels too dark, though
  • On sale now, from £53,775
The recession’s over and we’re all going to be fine, apparently. So what better time for Jaguar to launch its all new XJ into the savagely contested luxury car sector.

This is the area of the market where ‘halo’ models complete with sci-fi technology and ocean-liner luxury compete for business money – and the king of the class at the moment is the all-conquering Mercedes S-class, replete with immaculate cabin appointment, flawless build quality and phenomenal refinement. The new Jag will have to be outstanding to even get close.

Most people will experience the Jag from the rear seat, and there’s no doubt it’s a stunning luxurious place to be. There are swathes of leather, wood panelling, gleaming chrome and oceans of legroom – long wheelbase cars add and an extra 125mm – but you do seem to sit pretty low down in the car. It’s actually bit of an optical illusion, brought about by a design team that deemed a rising waistline and tapering rear windows essential to emphasise the XJ rakish lines.

Nonetheless, you can find yourself peering over the high windowline like a child looking over a wall – and your kids won’t be able to see much at all. Still, specify top of the range Supersport trim and they’ll be entertained by a rear-seat multimedia package that features two 8-inch LCD screens and touch screen remote control.

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Jaguar XJ: driven - Give the chauffeur the day off

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