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Parkers overall rating: 4.1 out of 5 4.1

Jaguar’s luxury saloon puts the driver first


  • Long-distance refinement
  • Muscular performance
  • Agile handling
  • Soundtrack from petrol engine


  • German rivals offer more up-to-date tech
  • Not the most commodious cabin or boot
  • Rivals ride better
  • Would you rather be the driver or passenger?
  • Some interior plastics feel low-rent


The XJ is the pinnacle of Jaguar’s ethos of building cars that offer high performance and comfort in equal measure. It’s a world away from its predecessor, both in terms of appearance, cabin space and the driving experience, yet this is still very much a Jaguar with a coupe-like look.

Like most cars of this size, it’s expensive new, but the Jaguar offers an alternative take on the likes of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and BMW 7 Series. In the absence of a gadget-laden interior compared with its German rivals, the simpler cabin feels less intimidating, whether you’re in the back or behind the wheel.

An all-aluminium body ensures a low kerb weight, which, combined with a powerful range of engines, means the XJ delivers strong performance and agility with pleasing economy.

The cosseting cabin is a wonderful piece of design too with unique touches over its luxury alternatives. There’s a neat touch-sensitive release for the glovebox and overhead light controls, while the ambient lighting is something that rivals had to catch up on – but have since surpassed.

Rather than facing a slew of buttons covering up the dash or vast swathes of glaring touchscreens, the XJ feels luxurious in a more uncomplicated manner; serving as a place to relax and switch off, rather than one of constant distraction.

There’s a huge amount of leather inside the cabin and it can be specified in a range of colours, although the choice of plastics used on the centre console feel decidedly inexpensive.

Those wanting maximum rear seat space can opt for the long-wheelbase XJ, increasing rear legroom by 121mm over the standard length saloon.

Jaguar XJ engines and gearbox

Buyers get a choice of three supercharged petrol engines and one turbocharged diesel; all are mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox and, bar the XJR575, have a top speed of 155mph.

The best seller is the 3.0-litre V6 diesel, offered on the more popular trim levels in the range. Producing 300hp and 700Nm torque, the 0-62mph dash requires 6.2 seconds.

The 3.0-litre V6 serves as the entry-level petrol engine, producing 340hp and 450Nm of torque and achieving the 0-62mph sprint in 5.9 seconds.

There are two versions of the 5.0-litre V8 available, each limited to a specific trim level. The 510hp version produces 625Nm and cuts the 0-62mph time down to 4.9 seconds. This is solely available on the most luxurious, long-wheelbase-only Autobiography model.

The top halo model is the XJR575, with the 5.0-litre V8 producing 575hp and 700Nm of torque. This standard-wheelbase-only model completes the 0-62mph in 4.4 seconds and reaches a top speed of 186mph.

Jaguar XJ trim levels

The XJ is available in six trim levels: Luxury, Premium Luxury, Portfolio, Autobiography, R-Sport and XJR575.

The Autobiography is available in long-wheelbase form only, while the R-Sport and XJR575 are limited to standard-wheelbase.

The Parkers Verdict

The Jaguar XJ is by no means a class leader but there’s something oddly charming about it. By being one of the best in class to drive, it presents something of a dilemma: are you better served sat in the back seats, or by taking the helm up front? It’s a nice problem to have, but perhaps a bigger issue is whether buyers find the lack of up-to-date tech refreshing or disconcerting.

Read the full Parkers Jaguar XJ saloon review to find out if this limo should be considered over its premium rivals

What owners say about this car

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