Jaguar XJ LWB review

* Long-wheelbase XJ with new comfort pack * Raises starting price to 61,279 * On sale now...

Author Avatar
Mark Pearson
7 Dec 2011 10:20 | Last updated: 14 Jun 2018 0:3

The Jaguar XJ luxury saloon can now be specced with a new Rear Seat Comfort Pack for its long-wheelbase models.

For 2750, the Comfort pack fits the XJ with electrically adjustable reclining rear seats, four-way adjustable lumbar support, a soothing massage system, angled footrests and winged headrests.

What's it like inside? The XJ has always been let down by limited rear headroom and the fact that you sit rather low in the back blame its sleek profile.

The reclining seats that you get with the new pack improve things a little. However, taller passengers' heads still brush the rooflining, and the car's shallow windows can make sitting in the back feel oddly claustrophobic. On the plus side, rear legroom is vast in this LWB model.

The armchair-like seats, folding picnic tables and various audio and video toys add to the opulent feel and help to take passengers' minds off the limited headroom.

What's more, the varnished wood trim hints at old-school British luxury, while the chrome eyeball vents, subtle blue backlighting and rising, puck-like gear selector ensure the cabin also feels crisp and modern.

What's it like to drive? Like the standard Jaguar XJ, it's remarkably good.

The refined 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine is an effortless performer, getting the car to 60mph from a standstill in six seconds flat. Meanwhile, the intelligent six-speed auto gearbox can be left to its own devices, or changed manually and quickly via paddles.

With its aluminium body and correspondingly low weight the XJ handles with the agility of a car half its size, and the steering is light and accurate. Then, when you select Dynamic mode, you get noticeably swifter responses from the steering and throttle.

If only the low-speed ride was better. Even when the suspension is in standard mode, the car feels unsettled around town, and on our test car's 20-inch alloys, bumps and road irregularities are both heard and felt.

Should I buy one? The XJ has always been the limo you buy if you drive yourself, and this remains the case; a Mercedes-Benz S-Class is a better option if you usually ride in the back, thanks to its superior ride and more spacious interior.

That said, if you prefer to be chauffeured and decide the XJ is the car for you, the new Rear Seat Comfort Pack is worth considering. It improves comfort and is reasonably priced.

Rivals
Audi A8
Mercedes S-Class

What Car? says

Mark.Pearson@whatcar.com