Jaguar XJ review

Category: Luxury car

Section: Performance & drive

Jaguar XJ
  • Jaguar XJ
  • Jaguar XJ
  • Jaguar XJ
  • Jaguar XJ
  • Jaguar XJ
  • Jaguar XJ
  • Jaguar XJ
  • Jaguar XJ
  • Jaguar XJ
  • Jaguar XJ
  • Jaguar XJ
  • Jaguar XJ
  • Jaguar XJ
  • Jaguar XJ
  • Jaguar XJ
  • Jaguar XJ
  • Jaguar XJ
  • Jaguar XJ
  • Jaguar XJ
  • Jaguar XJ
  • Jaguar XJ
  • Jaguar XJ
What Car?’s XJ deals
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From £21,000
In this section:
  • Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox
  • Suspension and ride comfort
  • Handling
  • Noise and vibration

Performance & drive

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox

There’s a simple engine line-up in the XJ, since there’s just one choice. The 3.0-litre V6 diesel has 296bhp and a whopping 516lb ft of torque. Throughout the XJ’s life, it’s been our pick of the range, so the fact that it is now the only option is no bad thing.

This unit offers decent performance and a lot of overtaking power, thanks to the masses of low-down torque. Acceleration is brisk rather than scintillating, though; the engine offers all the pace you’d need in everyday commuting and easily manages motorway schleps, but there is no longer a performance-focused halo model offering the kind of blistering speed that top-spec rival cars offer.

While that might be acceptable for those who drive their own cars, it’s too stiff for the long-wheelbase versions that are more likely to be chauffeur-driven.

You can help things by avoiding the larger alloy wheels that are available as an option, but even then the low-speed ride feels slightly unsettled.

Jaguar XJ

Handling

The XJ is smaller and lighter than many of its rivals. It feels remarkably agile, even in long-wheelbase guise, and changes direction effortlessly with little body roll, giving the impression of a much smaller car. The steering is precise and very sharp on turn in, weights up naturally as you start to corner harder, and also offers comparatively good feedback for this class.

You soon forget that this is a car that’s well over five metres long; you can have some genuine fun in the XJ. At low speeds around town, it is a breeze to manoeuvre, while at motorway speeds it is stable and incredibly well planted. Very few cars in this class manage to be big and fun – but the XJ is just that.