- What serves as a perfect wedding car?
- We put the Jaguar XJR to the test
- Does it have enough space, grace and pace?
When it comes to transportation on the big day, you might be looking for something a bit more prestigious.
Something completely different from your own car, perhaps, with a degree of wow-factor thrown in. Would you go for a classic car, a plush convertible or a tech-laden luxury saloon?
For this occasion, we’d gone for the Jaguar XJR. The Mercedes-Benz S-Class might be the default choice of luxury car, but there’s something a bit more rebellious with a Jag.
It certainly has the wow-factor, in association with the Bond film, Skyfall, while the Italian Racing Red finish is a refreshing change from the traditional white or black. Just make sure it doesn't clash with the colour of your attire.
Get the long-wheelbase option surely?
That’s probably wise. Since the XJR is only available in more-agile, standard-wheelbase size, selecting a model available in long-wheelbase form is a no-brainer.
While there’s plenty of space for a 6ft 4in-tall groom in the XJR, the long-wheelbase and its extra 125mm of space in the rear cabin better accommodates the train of the bride’s dress in the rear footwell.
Plus, being able to remotely adjust the front passenger seat with ease from the back seat would be the icing on wedding cake.
The standard-wheelbase also doesn’t come with the folding tables or sunblinds on the side windows either, so when it comes to luxury, biggest is definitely best here.
Nevertheless, the rear-seat climate control means the bride and groom can individually keep cool and the centre armrest has a pair of cupholders big enough for Champagne flutes.
It’s just a shame the Champagne holder found in the now-defunct Ultimate version isn’t available to top it off, even as an option. Although whether the driver charges for corkage is another thing.
With ribbons and bows attached, the Jaguar XJR looks completely up to the task.
Refinement did suffer slightly - not so much in the form of wind noise, but perhaps Ribbon Noise; generated by the decorations flapping around the driver’s window above 50mph.
This did disrupt the serene ambience a bit, but it does encourage the chauffeur to drive a bit more sedately.
The XJR may not be the benchmark in luxury ride quality but it’s supple enough.
Thankfully, if time is of the essence and you are running late, the XJR is one of the better-handling luxury saloons in its sector; maintaining enough composure to prevent the bride and groom from being sick.
While a 5.0-litre, supercharged V8 makes no financial sense as an everyday proposition, it makes for a greater sense of occasion and luxury here.
Not only will the diesel struggle to match the silky-smooth refinement levels of the V8, but it fails to deliver a sense of theatre in the cabin with the absence of an F-Type snarl from the engine.
The sound generated from the loud exhausts will entertain onlookers and ensure everyone will know of your arrival too.
With 550hp available, there’s plenty of reserve poke to get there just in time to be fashionably late.
The occasional lack of traction on a damp day might not be the most gracious way to move off from standstill, but momentarily switching on the Winter mode and its softer throttle setting brings a temporary solution.
Cast your eyes around the cabin and some may comment on the cheaper-looking plastics used in certain areas, while the clicking of the buttons won't impress others.
This isn’t ideal for a car that becomes the centre of attention at certain points of the day, but in reality, we found that most people won't have much experience of a £100,000 car, or know what rivals do in comparison.
It’s a pity the light up airvents are not standard on the XJR, which would further add to the interior ambience, but the on-board tech is still up to date for most people to be interested in – the digital instrument dials, adaptive cruise control and park assist being of particular interest and makes for entertaining family members later on in the day.
The infotainment system drew interest as well but more in the form of its unreliability. We completely lost all form of sound at one point, extending from the stereo right to the parking sensors. Shunting your way to a wedding won't be a particularly good way to make an entrance...
Verdict: Is the XJ a good wedding car?
Yes. With plenty of presence, performance, space and a boot big enough for 23 portions of fish and chips, the XJ served as a great wedding car.
Is the XJR the one to go for? We'd be tempted by the Autobiography in long-wheelbase format to be the ultimate wedding Jaguar. It might come with a slightly-less powerful 5.0-litre supercharged V8, but that's a worthy trade-off for the extra space and luxuries to serve as the one-size-fits-all model.
The XJR however, might serve as the ultimate bank robber’s car - or with that punchy sound system powerful enough to bring tinnitus, it could be one for Baby Driver.