2016 Jaguar XJ – Sophisticated, Dynamic and Luxurious

As we all know, Jaguar is one of the most luxurious and prestige car manufacturers out there, only second to the likes of Rolls-Royce, Bentley, and Aston Martin. The cars they produce however are more comparable to something from Audi or BMW, if you can compare them, that is. The level of detail that a Jaguar has is something that arguably no other “ordinary” car can ever match.
When Jaguar XJ was launched back in 2011, it simply blew everyone away. Enthusiasts, car reviewers, professional drivers and even critics, everyone, was simply in awe of the XJ. Jaguar’s flagship model has then grown a bit stale due to the lack of significant updates, but that all just changed. Jaguar recently announced full details on the new XJ, with accompanying refreshed exterior, technology upgrades and even new models in the line-up. Consider us officially excited.

The new XJ can be had in 8 different flavors, including a few different long-wheelbase models. These cars add more luxury as well as legroom. The big question here is the following, however: how will the new XJ be able to stack up to the likes of BMW and Mercedes, especially now with the recent upgrades those have received and are about to receive.


Exterior Design

Let’s start with the exterior. It’s certainly not a major deviation from the original XJ’s styling, but it does differ in noticeable ways. It is little tweaks here and there, just enough to make it recognizable as the new model. It’s certainly more than just a carryover like most companies decided to do when doing a small upgrade. The tweaks include a new front fascia, a larger central grille with a mesh pattern and a restyled front bumper with different chrome surrounds at the lower air intakes.

Source: jaguarusa.com

Source: jaguarusa.com

The headlights now have full adaptive LED system with automatic high beams, something that’s standard across the line-up of the XJ. You can tell it’s an XJ thanks to the new “Double J” running lamps at the front and new LED taillights complete with new oval exhaust tips at the back. Jaguar, thank you for keeping the same handsome looks of the old one and rather than completely changing them, adding just a few improvements. The XJ’s strong side has always been the way it looks and this new one is no exception to that rule.

Source: jaguarusa.com

Source: jaguarusa.com

It’s still got an all-aluminum construction just like the previous year XJ as the company is adamant that the XJ remains as one of the best handling luxury sedans. Just like we mentioned the basic XJ can be split into two categories: the standard XJ and the long wheelbase model. Furthermore, the standard XJ divides into XJ R-Sport, XJ R-Sport AWD, XJR and XJ Supercharged. The LWD models are as follows: XJL Portfolio, XJL Portfolio AWD, XJR LWB and XJL Supercharged. It’s essentially the same models plus the letter “L”, indicating that it’s a long wheelbase XJ, not your regular version.

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To be able to tell them further apart the standard XJ gets a few exterior upgrades, mostly in the form of new aero bits and pieces. The LWD editions get a different interior trim which brings changes based on the XJ. If it’s a sportier XJ, the interior will be more sport-focused as well. Otherwise, it’s your standard Jaguar luxury we know and loves so much.

XJ Interior Design

The XJ’s interior is perhaps expected to come in a shape that we are getting. There’s nothing out of the ordinary or out of place. We can’t say we’re surprised quite honestly. The materials are high-quality, and there are no cheap plastics no matter how hard you look. Believe us, we tried. It’s not the materials and their soft feel that amaze, however, but rather the upmarket feel that we are getting from fit and finish of everything in the cabin. There’s so much attention to detail it’s easy to get lost in the most simple of things, such as the stitching. It’s done so beautiful that it’s simply mesmerizing because it’s perfect.

Source: jaguarusa.com

Source: jaguarusa.com

Obviously, even the base XJ comes pretty much loaded with all the things you’ll ever need. If you’re planning on doing a lot of miles in this thing, want more luxury or are intending to get chauffeured around you ought to go for an LWB model. It’s that much better. What do we think? We’ll stick with the slightly more nimble standard version as the LWB is more than enough for most users.

Source: jaguarusa.com

Source: jaguarusa.com

The infotainment side of things sees Jag’s InControl Touch Pro system. It’s incredibly powerful. Powered by a four-quad Intel processor, a smart Ethernet network and 60GB of storage it’s more similar to a PC rather than to a car computer. As such, it’s smooth and fast in the same way a PC is. We have no issues or complaints with this whatsoever.

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Engines

The engines are a carryover, but that’s not a bad thing you’ll all agree. All of them boast aluminum construction, variable valve timing, stop-start systems and direct injection. Top-level technology no doubt about it. The first one is the well-known 3.0-liter V6 with a turbocharger developing 340 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque. You can have it as a rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive car. Thanks to a specially tuned intake and exhaust, like the one on the F-type V6, the XJ delivers an amazing soundtrack very few of its competitors can match.

Source: jaguarusa.com

Source: jaguarusa.com

The next engine on the list is the 5.0-liter supercharged V8 we’ve seen in a whole lot of applications, from the F-type V8 S to the Range Rover SVR. In the XJ it produces 470 hp and 424 lb-ft of torque in “standard” form and 550 hp and 680 lb-ft of torque when properly tuned. If you didn’t read that, let’s just write it again, 680 lb-ft of torque. Forget sedans; there are very few trucks, pickups and even supercars with that much torque. All engines are mated to a ZF eight-speed automatic that allows optimal revs to be maintained under all drive conditions.

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The XJ is still one of the best handling large luxury sedans. The all-aluminum construction and choice of powerful engines certainly help it achieve that. This side of a BMW or a Mercedes, nothing comes even close to it driving wise. Luxury wise, it’s in a class of its own.

Prices for 2016 Jaguar XJ

Prices for the XJ begin at $74,400. It is a bit pricey but then again you’re paying for top of the line luxury and the badge with huge heritage. Trust us, take one drive at it and you’ll be instantly in love if you haven’t already fallen for those looks.

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