The new Jaguar XJ line is a radical departure from the established sedan shape that lasted several decades. Designer Ian Callum had the arduous task of making something out of the aging brand, starting with the XK, then the XF and completing the family modernization exercise with the XJ...with more to come.
Standing still, the car evokes motion. It is a quite large automobile but it does not look fat; it has sleek lines and is ultra-designed with more of an integrated sport-back rather than an extended trunk. Looking at it at a somewhat low altitude from the three-quarter front, it's simply gorgeous and broadcasts luxury. This is a car that you won't get tired of driving or being driven around in. We found our XJL tester very comfortable and easy to drive. Also, it has plenty of horsepower—385 for the normally aspirated engine and up to 410 for the supercharged version, which is still outdone by the custom-order-only Supersport, topping out at 510. It is rather agile and quite responsive due to its power and direct steering. There is a controlled purr from the motor that gives you confidence without disturbing the neighborhood.
Jaguar benefits from ten consecutive years of aluminum-built cars and has been continuously improving the process, delivering a lighter-yet-stronger car that requires a lot less parts and manufacturing resources. In fact, the new XJ is rather environmentally conscious; it is mercury free, up to 85% recyclable and made with the equivalent of 12,000 aluminum cans to begin with.
Slip into the contemporary cabin and enjoy your refined personal space where everything was thought out in an ergonomic manner, with easy-to-use buttons for no-nonsense human interaction. New generation airplanes get a glass cockpit, so Jaguar gives you a virtual instrument console for which nothing physically moves but rather is animated by endless strings of zeros and ones. Paddles are standard and you get three shifting modes: standard, dynamic and winter. Control vehicle functions via the friendly 8-inch "WVGA" touch screen, and if you want to make some noise crank up the 600-watt, 14-speaker Bowers & Wilkins audio system. Once again, you may surpercharge your musical experience with the 1,200-watt, 20-speaker option!
Overall, the XJ, in all its derivatives, is a welcome addition to the Jaguar family—perhaps for a new audience. We think the car is packed with value when compared to its rivals and worth a serious look for anyone in the market for a high-end luxury sedan.