First Class travel?

* Brilliant drive with luxury * Rear feels too dark, though * On sale now, from 53,775...

First Class travel?

Refinement is first class with pleasingly low levels of road and wind noise, allowing you conduct conversations with your distant companions in the back seats without raising your voice.

This serenity is utterly enhanced by the XJs soothing ride quality. Whereas an S-Class bestrides the road like a Colossus, bullying every lump and bump into simpering submission, the XJ glides over the same would be interlopers with supreme delicacy.

Thats not entirely surprising when you consider the XJ is made almost entirely of aluminium it weighs 159kg less than an equivalent S-Class but its also because few companies know more about finessing adaptive damping than Jaguar.

Even when a few high-speed crests and dips enter the equation theres never the slightest hint that the XJs suspension is anything less than 100% in control of the situation and thats something that can embarrass many a heavyweight limo. This remarkable equilibrium is maintained regardless of passenger numbers or baggage quota too you can pack an awful lot of bulky luggage into the 520-litre boot.

When the road turns twisty the XJ just keeps on getting better. The steering is beautifully weighted and deadly accurate, displaying not so much as a hint of ambiguity, so its no surprise that its easy to place the car on the road. This precision, plus the huge grip and minimal body roll through bends, means its all too easy to forget youre driving a car that is well over five metres long.

What you wont forget in a hurry is what happens when you step on the throttle when the supercharged 5.0-litre V8 engine is at the other end of it. It puts out 502bhp and 461lb ft of torque, which gets you from here to the horizon far faster than you might expect.