Jaguar XJ Saloon full 9 point review

  • Performance

    4 out of 5 stars

    Review-OnRoad Every version of the XJ is rapid. The diesel engine option is a 3.0-litre V6 that has serious low-down muscle and is very flexible. There’s also a 3.0-litre V6 petrol – it’s turbocharged and has plenty of mid-range urge, but it’s not as flexible as the diesel. At the top of the range there are two 5.0-litre V8s. The standard version gives blistering pace, the XJR model has slightly more power and is even quicker. All versions have a slick-shifting automatic gearbox.

  • Ride & Handling

    4 out of 5 stars

    Review-OnRoad The XJ is more enjoyable to drive than most of its rivals, helped by its comparatively light weight. It’s remarkably agile, even in long-wheelbase guise, and changes direction effortlessly. Well-weighted, responsive steering adds to the fun. The firm suspension that helps to give such impressive control means the ride is less forgiving than you’d expect of a luxury saloon, however. It’s exacerbated by the larger alloy wheel options, and many rivals are more comfortable.

  • Refinement

    3 out of 5 stars

    Review-OnRoad There’s some noise from the diesel engine at idle, but even when you accelerate hard, there’s barely more than a low grumble from the twin exhaust pipes. Once up to cruising speed it’s hard to tell apart from the petrol-engined cars, which are also smooth and quiet. The XJ does kick up more road noise than a Mercedes S-Class on the motorway, however, and the automatic gearbox can be a little jerky at low revs.

  • Buying & Owning

    3 out of 5 stars

    Review-Ownership It’s easy to get comfortable in the XJ, thanks to a fundamentally good driving position and supportive, accommodating seats. There’s a huge range of (electric) adjustment for the seats and steering wheel, too. Forward visibility is good, but the standard reversing sensors and rear-view camera are welcome due to the thick rear pillars. The dash layout is intuitive but the XJ’s infotainment system isn’t as sophisticated as that of many rivals and it can be rather fiddly and slow to respond.

  • Quality & Reliability

    2 out of 5 stars

    Review-Ownership The XJ’s cabin is awash with wood, leather and shiny trim, like most rivals. Unfortunately, too much of what you can see isn’t as classy as what you get in the XJ’s German rivals, with cheap-looking bits of plastic and switchgear that feels rather lightweight and dated. As a brand, Jaguar finished a lowly 30th out of 37 manufacturers in our latest What Car? Reliability survey. At least the XJ comes with a three-year/unlimited mileage warranty as standard.

  • Safety & Security

    4 out of 5 stars

    Review-Ownership The Jaguar XJ hasn’t been tested by Euro NCAP, but it comes with lots of kit to protect those on board. Every model has emergency brake assist, a lane-departure warning system, a pedestrian-friendly pop-up bonnet and six airbags. The optional Highway Pack adds blind spot monitoring, traffic sign recognition and a system that warns you if another vehicle is crossing your path while you’re reversing. An alarm is standard and the doors can be set to lock automatically as you pull away.

  • Behind The Wheel

    3 out of 5 stars

    Review-Cabin It’s easy to get comfortable in the XJ, thanks to a fundamentally good driving position and supportive, accommodating seats. There’s a huge range of (electric) adjustment for the seats and steering wheel, too. Forward visibility is good, but the standard reversing sensors and rear-view camera are welcome due to the thick rear pillars. The dash layout is intuitive but the XJ’s infotainment system isn’t as sophisticated as that of many rivals and it can be rather fiddly and slow to respond.

  • Space & Practicality

    4 out of 5 stars

    Review-Cabin The XJ is a big car and you sit low, so it’s no surprise that there’s ample head and leg room in the front. It’s a similar story in the rear seats, although the sloping roofline means that head room isn’t especially generous. Long-wheelbase versions have even more leg room. The boot is shallower and slightly smaller than that of some rivals, but it’s capacious nonetheless. There are some useful cabin storage areas, while some versions have folding rear seats to boost versatility.

  • Equipment

    4 out of 5 stars

    Review-Cabin All XJs are lavishly equipped. Even the cheapest version comes with full LED headlights, leather upholstery, electric front seats, four-zone climate control, a panoramic roof, keyless entry and a touch-screen infotainment system. As you move up the range things get increasingly opulent. Even then, there’s plenty of scope for owners to personalise their car with a range of high-tech options and bespoke interior trim.

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