Used Jaguar XJ 2010-present review

Category: Luxury car

Section: What is it like?

Jaguar XJ front - bright blue
  • Jaguar XJ front - bright blue
  • Jaguar XJ
  • Jaguar XJ
  • Jaguar XJ
  • Jaguar XJ
  • Jaguar XJ front - bright blue
  • Jaguar XJ
  • Jaguar XJ
  • Jaguar XJ
  • Jaguar XJ

What's the used Jaguar XJ saloon like?

After years of steady styling evolution based on its original 1960s design, the XJ catapulted like a rocket into the 21st Century with this 2010 version. To some, it was a step too far, but most were agreed that at last the XJ seemed to have the modern bodyshell it needed to promote the very up-to-date technology that lay underneath its skin.

Despite such sleek and sporting lines, and such confident modernity, the XJ has had two minor facelifts, one in 2014 and another in 2015, in an effort to keep pace with its newer rivals, cars such as the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, the BMW 7 Series, and even the all-electric Tesla Model S.

On the road, the 3.0 diesel V6 offers decent performance and a lot of overtaking power, thanks to masses of low-down torque. Acceleration is brisk rather than scintillating, although the XJ offers all the pace you’d need in everyday commuting and easily manages motorway journeys.

You’d expect a big Jag to ride well, too, and to a certain degree it does. You’d never call the ride uncomfortable, but you do feel the road’s surface much more than in its rivals, even in the adaptive suspension’s softest setting. The payback for this is truly sharp handling. The XJ is smaller and lighter than many of its rivals, and it feels remarkably agile, even in long-wheelbase guise. It changes direction effortlessly with little body roll, giving the impression of being a much smaller car. The steering is precise and very sharp, 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. Indeed very few cars in this class manage to be both big and fun, but the XJ is just that.

The driving position’s great, too, with 14-way electrically adjustable seats, and visibility forwards and to the sides is good, even if it is a little limited to the rear, thanks to the car’s swooping profile. A rear-view camera is available in every XJ, luckily. It all looks very modern inside, too, and the XJ has a 10.0in touchscreen infotainment system as standard, complete with sat-nav, Bluetooth connectivity and a DAB radio. The system is not as polished or sophisticated as those fitted to some of its rivals, though, as some of the graphics look a little dated, especially on the 12.3in fully digital instrument panel. Some of the icons are too small to hit on the move, too, and the system can be slow to respond.