Jaguar XJ

The Essentials

  • Price from £56,260
  • What Car? says: 4 star rating
  • Fuel economy: up to 47.0mpg
  • What is it? Luxurious executive saloon that's so good to drive you'll be able to let the chauffeur go.

Great

  • Driving agility belies its size
  • Cabin design features neat modern touches
  • Standard kit is lavish

Gripes

  • Standard kit is lavish
  • Petrol engines will guzzle fuel
  • Low-speed ride is a touch too firm for a luxury car
  • Drive

    Accurate steering and nimble body control makes the XJ a joy to drive

  • Inside

    Design is gentlemens club with a modern twist and it's very comfortable

  • Safety

    Plenty of kit to keep you safe

  • Reliability

    Should be excellent based on Jaguar's current performance

  • Space

    Great up front; rear headroom is compromised by the sloping roof

  • Standard and extras

    Luxury is standard, lavishness costs a little more

  • What's it like to drive?

    Forget catching up on the FT in the back, there's only one place to be the boss in this car and it's behind the wheel. Despite its imperious looks, no other luxury car is as light on its feet and enjoyable to drive.
    With the V6 diesel you get plenty of refined power without an insatiable thirst for fuel; real thrill-seekers should look to the supercharged V6 for walloping performance. An eight-speed gearbox is standard and stop-start technology goes some way to reducing emissions and fuel bills.
    At low speeds the ride is a little firm, so if you're being driven, a Mercedes S-Class might be more comfortable.

  • What's it like inside?

    Quality exudes from every pore of the leather covered seats. Sleek modern touches like the touch-screen infotainment systems and rotary gear selector that rises from the console stop things feeling entirely like a gentleman's club, thankfully.
    Rear passengers may complain about a shortage of headroom but legroom is good, and theres a long wheelbase version available too. The boot is vast.
    Five-star equipment includes electric leather front seats, dual-zone climate control, two glass sunroofs and sat-nav.

  • How reliable is it?

    It shouldn't - not only does it feel well built, but Jaguar was rated top manufacturer in the latest JD Power customer satisfaction survey, with the XF, which is mechanically similar to the XJ, in second place overall.
    Safety kit is excellent with all-round airbags and stability control as standard. The bonnet is even designed to pop up if it hits a pedestrian, to soften the impact.

  • Should I buy one?

    The XJ is not a cheap way to travel but the 3.0-litre diesel engine is relatively frugal and resale values are a match for the rival Mercedes S-Class and Audi A8.
    If you go for the supercharged petrol engine, you'll soon be the garage's best customer, with fuel consumption likely to hover around the 20mpg mark.
    The options list offers many tempting ways to part you from your pounds: we like the remote-opening tailgate (keeps hands clean) and rear-seat multimedia screens (which keep the kids quiet).