2015 Jaguar XJ Reviews and Ratings

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2015 Jaguar XJ
New Car Test Drive

Introduction

The Jaguar XJ balances spirited performance with smooth operation and poise. A full-size luxury sedan, the XJ is available in both regular and long-wheelbase variants. Rear-wheel drive is standard, all-wheel drive is available.

Little has changed for the 2015 model year. The 2015 Jaguar XJ lineup has been streamlined, as the Supersport and Ultimate models have been discontinued and engine choices drop from five to three. All 2015 XJ engines are supercharged.

A supercharged V6 comes on Jaguar XJ and Portfolio models. Rated at 340 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque, the V6 gets an EPA fuel economy rating of 18/27 mpg City/Highway with rear-wheel drive, 16/24 mpg with all-wheel drive.

A 5.0-liter supercharged V8 comes on Jaguar XJ Supercharged models that makes 470 horsepower and 424 pound-feet of torque, and launches from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.9 seconds. Fuel economy is EPA-estimated at 15/23 mpg City/Highway for standard and long-wheelbase lengths.

The Jaguar XJR, which joined the lineup for 2014, is powered by a 5.0-liter supercharged V8 rated at 550 horsepower and 502 pound-feet of torque. The XJR will rocket from 0-60 mph in just 4.4 seconds, according to Jaguar. XJR models are available in standard and long-wheelbase variants. Fuel economy for the 2015 XJR is rated by the EPA at 15/23 mpg City/Highway, the same rating as some of the XJ’s less powerful models.

An 8-speed automatic transmission comes on all 2015 Jaguar XJ models.

All XJ models boast an exquisite cabin, with rich leather upholstery and a variety of luxury trims.

Jaguar XJ competes with Audi A8, BMW 7 Series, Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Jaguar XJR competes with Audi S8, less expensive and less powerful, and the BMW 760Li, which offers plenty of power with its twin-turbocharged V12 but is more expensive than the long-wheelbase XJR.

Model Lineup

The 2015 Jaguar XJ is available in a choice of standard or long-wheelbase (XJL) variants. All come with an 8-speed automatic transmission.

Jaguar XJ ($74,200) is powered by the 340-hp supercharged 3.0-liter V6. The XJ comes standard with dual-zone automatic climate control with air filtration and humidity control, leather upholstery, 12-way power adjustable front seats with driver memory function, heated front and rear seats, a heated leather-wrapped steering wheel with multifunction controls, power tilt-and-telescoping steering column, cruise control, keyless ignition/entry, burl walnut veneer trim, soft-close doors, 8-inch color touch-screen with navigation and voice recognition, Bluetooth, a 380-watt 14-speaker Meridian audio system with single CD/DVD player, HD radio, satellite radio capability (with three-month subscription), USB port and auxiliary audio jack, panoramic power moonroof, power trunk lid, rain-sensing wipers, automatic stop/start, automatic xenon HID headlamps, heated and auto-dimming sideview mirrors, front and rear parking sensors with rearview camera, blind spot monitor, and 19-inch alloy wheels.

XJ AWD ($77,700) adds all-wheel drive.

XJL Portfolio ($81,200) also uses the 340-hp 3.0-liter V6, but features the longer wheelbase with more rear legroom. Portfolio upgrades to four-zone climate control, stitched and piped leather interior, 14-way heated and ventilated front and rear seats, suede cloth headliner, manual rear side window sunshades, and different 19-inch alloy wheels. XJL Portfolio AWD ($84,700) comes with all-wheel drive and the Portfolio upgrades.

XJ Supercharged ($90,600) and XJL Supercharged ($93,600) are powered by a 470-hp supercharged 5.0-liter V8. Supercharged models also come with an 825-watt 20-speaker Meridian Surround Sound audio system, active noise cancellation, power rear sunshade, and adaptive headlights with automatic high beams.

XJR ($116,000) and XJR LWB ($119,000) use a 550-hp supercharged 5.0-liter V8. XJR models include 14-way power front sport seats with leather upholstery, heating and ventilation; unique R interior trim including black suede cloth headliner; metal pedals; unique exterior trim including a front-bumper splitter; gloss black grille with chrome surround; hood louvers; unique side sills; additional rear spoiler; quad tailpipes; a sports exhaust; upgraded brakes with red calipers; active head restraints; electronic active differential; and unique 20-inch forged alloy wheels.

Several option packages are available for XJ models. The Rear Seat Package ($4,000) for Portfolio and XJL Supercharged sedans includes two individual rear seats, three massage functions, and a folding rear center armrest. A Premium Rear Executive Package ($7,750) for those models includes the two individual seats, rear-seat memory, business trays with leather inserts, rear-seat entertainment with two 10.2-inch LCD screens and two wireless headphones. Visibility Package ($850) for XJ and Portfolio includes adaptive front lighting, cornering lamps, and Intelligent High Beams. Front Seat Comfort Package ($1,400) for XJ includes active-ventilated seat cooling, front passenger-seat memory, 14-way power front seats, and massage function. Portfolio Pack ($4,000) for XJ includes heated/cooled 14-way power front seats, 4-way lumbar support, massage, front-passenger seat memory, heated/cooled rear seats, and four-zone climate control. Sport and Speed Pack ($7,800) for XJ/XJL Supercharged models boosts top track speed to 174 mph, adding 20-inch Venom alloy wheels, red brake calipers, aero front splitter and rear-deck spoiler, and 18-way power front seats with adjustable bolsters. Illumination Package ($1,700) offers blue accent lighting. Also available is a Semi-Aniline Trim Package ($1,775).

Safety features standard on all models include six airbags, front and rear parking sensors, rearview camera, blind-spot monitor, antilock brakes, stability control, traction control, brake assist, electronic brake-force distribution, cornering brake control, engine drag torque control. All-wheel drive is optional.

Walkaround

The Jaguar XJ is a beautiful car. Park it next to a BMW 7 Series, a Lexus LS or a Mercedes makes them look like blocks of cheese. Pull up to a fine hotel or restaurant in a Jaguar XJ and you are arriving in style.

Riding on two lengthy wheelbases of 119.4 inches for the XJ and 124.3 inches for the XJL, with overall lengths of 201.9 inches and 206.8 inches respectively, this large touring sedan out-spans its competitors, while out-styling them in the same swift gesture. It has a sleek shape, with muscular faux-coupe modeling that cunningly understates its size.

The XJ is larger than it looks. With its nose-down, haunches-up lunging stance, it appears at a distance to be a smaller sport coupe. On closer examination, it’s a shock that this is a full-size grand-touring vessel of style, power and great speed.

XJR models are set apart with a special front fascia with R-signature black-mesh grilles, wide chrome-edged air intakes, rocker-panel extensions, a rear lip spoiler, and 20-inch forged-aluminum wheels.

Interior

Jaguar XJ cabins are richly supplied with fragrant leather and handsome inlaid wood trim. They look distinctly upscale.

A 12.3-inch high-definition screen in front of the driver projects a virtual analog speedometer, tachometer and related data in three dial faces. When fuel is low or the car needs to communicate other important information, a bulletin is communicated in the space occupied by the temporarily dimmed tachometer. The font for these central dials, while small, is businesslike and properly legible.

Traditional Jaguar aero-like blower ducts above the center stack flank a handsome analog clock. Beneath these, an 8-inch touchscreen display provides access to navigation, climate control and audio features. There are two USB ports, as well as an auxiliary audio jack, for phones and music players.

The standard audio system on lower trim models is a 380-watt Meridian setup; an upgraded 825-watt system includes a feature called Conversation Assist. It uses microphones in the headliner to pick up occupants’ voices and pipes them through the speakers, making it easier for people to hear one another in the cabin.

Seating and visibility are excellent. The front seats have vast adjustability, and their firmness and side-bolster fit are a model of one-size-fits-nearly-all common sense. Though the beltline of the XJ is relatively high around its occupants, thanks, in part, to generously sized side-view mirrors, outward visibility from the driving position never feels restricted. Long drives in an XJ are an experience to be anticipated with pleasure.

XJR models have sport-style seats, which hug even better around corners.

Rear-seat dwellers ride in the lap of luxury with 39 inches of rear legroom in the standard-wheelbase car, and a vast 44.1 inches in the XJL. Rear seats in the 2015 LWB sedan have individual airline-style seats, which recline and feature three massage programs. Cargo space measures 15.2 cubic feet, enough for plenty of luggage.

Driving Impressions

The Jaguar XJ is a grand touring sedan carefully tailored to make rapid travel effortless, comfortable and pleasing to both driver and passengers. While many large cars make long drives dull, drowsy, and fatiguing, an XJ’s alert and alive character keeps the driver fully engaged in the joy of driving.

The supercharged V6 is a thoroughly qualified full-time, all-season engine that delivers splendid performance. We found throttle response linear and enthusiastic.

All-wheel drive makes the Jaguar XJ AWD a compelling choice for winter driving in the Snow Belt. Our test drives in both dry conditions and Canadian ice and snow found Jaguar’s all-wheel-drive arrangement fully a match for its German competitors.

Each XJ is a harmonious balance of spirited performance, smooth operation, and an indefinable element of poise. XJ throttle response is linear and enthusiastic.

Steering effort and live feel are finely calibrated to deliver an excellent combination of road information and firm controllability. Chassis dynamics are similarly alive, whether driving on snow with all-wheel drive or pressing hard in high summer. Despite considerable weight, the XJ’s brakes are forceful, easily modulated for good control, and even under very hard use show no hint of brake fade.

Jaguar XJs are big cars, and you can’t fool Mother Nature; big cars feel big when you corner fast or brake hard. And when you pounce on the throttle, even with the quick supercharged 340-hp 3.0-liter V6 in our XJL Portfolio AWD, you feel the commotion as the car is pushed from zero to 60 mph in 6.1 seconds.

The XJ uses Jaguar Drive Control, a silver dial that pops up on the center console and serves as the gear shifter. You can set it in Drive and forget it, or you may choose to manually control the superb 8-speed ZF transmission with the paddle shifters. You may also select specialized driving modes that make a dramatic difference in performance. Winter Mode tailors power and traction, optimizing performance for snow and ice. It’s also good for cruising in dry weather to save on fuel.

Dynamic Mode is the other end of the spectrum, raising the threshold for the electronic steering control and allowing more wheel slip for high-performance driving. Jaguar permits switching off stability control altogether, but be careful when doing so. We only switch these systems off on racing circuits when they start slowing the car down.

The XJL Supercharged features a supercharged 5.0-liter engine that produces 470 horsepower. When we opened the throttle, it was like feeling a great ocean liner suddenly rise up. In keeping with Jaguar’s well-balanced philosophy, despite its mass, the car felt surprisingly athletic and controlled while doing so.

In addition to a blazingly fast 550-hp supercharged V8, XJR models are fitted with performance-tuned springs and variable dampers for better body control, as well as big ventilated disc brakes. Jaguar claims the XJR will leap from 0-60 mph in just 4.7 seconds.

Summary

The Jaguar XJ is an elegant full-size luxury car. A wide selection of engines is available, along with a choice of rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. Each model delivers plenty of gusto and is luxurious and spacious enough to carry even the most demanding of passengers.

Ted West filed this NewCarTestDrive.com report from Quebec, with Laura Burstein reporting from Los Angeles.

Model as tested
Jaguar XJL Portfolio AWD ($83,700)
Basic Warranty
4 years/50,000 miles
Assembled in
Castle Bromwich, England
Destination charge
925
Gas guzzler tax
N/A
Base Price
Price as tested
Options as tested
heated front windshield ($375), 19-inch Toba polished alloy wheels ($1,500)

Model Line Overview
Model lineup
Jaguar XJ ($74,200); XJ AWD ($77,700); XJL Portfolio ($81,200), XJL Portfolio AWD ($84,700); XJ Supercharged ($90,600), XJL Supercharged ($93,600); XJR ($116,000); XJR long-wheelbase ($119,000)
Safety equipment (standard)
dual-stage front airbags and seat-mounted side airbags for front and rear occupants, active front head restraints, front and rear parking sensors, rearview camera, blind-spot monitor, anti-lock brakes, DSC stability control, traction control, brake assist, electronic brake-force distribution, cornering brake control, engine drag torque control, security system
Safety equipment (optional)
N/A
Engines
3.0-liter dohc 24-valve V6
Transmissions
8-speed automatic

Specifications as Tested
dual-zone climate control with air filtration and humidity control, soft grain leather seats and interior, heated leather steering wheel with audio and cruise controls, 12/12-way power adjustable front seats, three-way memory driver's seat, burl walnut veneer, Morzine headliner, keyless entry and start, 12.3-inch display, premium analog clock, full-color 8-inch touchscreen console, GPS navigation, traffic-message channel, 380-watt 14-speaker premium audio, 300GB hard drive with music storage, media hub for iPod/MP3/USB/Bluetooth, satellite radio, automatic window demisting, blue mood lighting, electronic parking brake, front and rear parking aid with touchscreen visual aid, reverse camera with parking guidance, remote central locking, valet function, drive-away door locking, 19-inch alloy wheels, xenon headlamps, LED tail lamps, sunroof with sun blinds, power trunk, rain-sensing wipers

Engine & Transmission
Engine
3.0-liter dohc 24-valve V6
Drivetrain type
all-wheel drive
Horsepower (hp @ rpm)
340 @ 6500
Transmission
EPA fuel economy, city/hwy
16/24
Torque (lb.-ft. @ rpm)
N/A

Suspension
Brakes, front/rear
vented disc/vented disc with ABS, EBD, Brake Assist
Suspension, front
independent double wishbone, coil springs, anti-roll bar
Tires
245/45R19 front, 275/40R19 rear
Suspension, rear
independent multi-link, air springs, anti-roll bar

Accomodations
Seating capacity
5
Head/hip/leg room, middle
N/A
Head/hip/leg room, front
39.5/na/41.5
Head/hip/leg room, rear
37.2/na/44.1

Measurements
Fuel capacity
N/A
Trunk volume
15.2
Wheelbase
124.3
Length/width/height
206.8/74.8/57.3
Turning circle
42.3
Payload
N/A
Towing capacity
N/A
Track, front/rear
64.1/63.1
Ground clearance
N/A
Curb weight
4151

2015 Jaguar XJ
NADAguides Test Drive Review

Luxury, performance, and cachet are all possible with this Leaping Cat. The only caveat: it will cost you, dearly. For those not in the know, the L in this model of Jaguar means long wheelbase. For the shorter version of this premium sedan, check out the XJ model.

Handling

This full-size car is huge at 206.8-inches bow to stern. However, it drives like a much smaller, athletic sedan. That athletic ability stems from Jaguar’s knowledge of how to build a proper suspension. The payoff is minimal body lean through corners, as well as the ability to absorb bumps without comprising performance.

Steering turn-in is fairly precise, which is probably aided by the fact this XJL is of the all-wheel-drive variety. Having four powered wheels adds even more confidence when driving through s-bends spiritedly.

Performance

Under the hood bonnet (this luxo-barge is built in the U.K., after all), the Portfolio trim level comes standard with a supercharged 340 horsepower (332 lb-ft of torque) 3.0 liter V6 mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. With a 0-60 mph time of 6.1 seconds, performance is more than sufficient for daily commuting and longer trips when driven in the standard Drive mode. For racier driving, Sport mode can be selected, which increases throttle response and shift points. For an even purer sport driving experience, Dynamic mode can be selected, giving the driver manual control of gear selection via steering wheel paddle shifters.

The slight growl that emanates from the twin exhaust harkens back to the brand's racing heritage and adds a little bit of excitement to an otherwise very quiet (dare we say tomb-like) cabin.

We haven’t had the chance to test the V8 engine available in the XJL, but the supercharged V6 is probably the power plant more practical buyers will opt for as it delivers both performance and fuel efficiency. Economy-wise, expect an Environmental Protection Agency estimated 16 mpg in the city, 24 mpg on the highway and 19 mpg combined.

Interior

Inside you are bathed in what looks like the salon of a fine yacht. Copious amounts of highly polished wood frame the dash and doors. Smooth leather is in abundance, covering everything, including the door panels, armrests, seats, steering wheel, center console, dashboard and more. An Alcantara headliner adds just the right amount of luxury and sportiness, while piano black trim with chrome accents throughout add even more opulence.

Even though the XJL has a sporty personality to it, the backseat is where all the action is in this long wheelbase model. Unfortunately, this tester did not come with all of the upgrades for the rear seats, which include things like a reclining function, massage, power sun blinds and a host of other luxuries. It did come with a bevy of luxury touches, like heated/cooled seats, illuminated vanity mirrors in the headliner and a center armrest that folds down revealing storage with a place to put two drinks. Manual side privacy shades are standard; however there is no rear privacy curtain at this price point. Rounding out a long list of thoughtful touches is the ability to close the sunshade on the rear portion of the panoramic sunroof from the rear seat (which sports 44.1-inches of legroom).

At the stern of this upscale land yacht, the power closing/opening trunk boot can hold a somewhat average (for the segment) 15.2 cubic-feet of cargo. The Mercedes S-Class holds about a foot more, with the BMW 7-Series about a foot less.

Infotainment

This 2015 Jaguar utilizes an out-going infotainment system which is slow, lacks competitive screen resolution, and misses features found in competing BMW iDrive or Mercedes-Benz COMMAND systems. While the navigation touch screen system is standard, buyers may become green with envy when the updated version is rolled out in 2016 XJL models. Luckily, the standard Meridian sound system makes up for any flaws in the infotainment category. A finer sounding audio system has not been tested to date.

Summary

With an $84,700 MSRP (plus $925 destination fee) the XJL is priced similarly to its nearest rivals (BMW 7-Series, Audi 8L, Mercedes S-Class). The 2015 Jaguar XJL delivers on the promise of sporty handling and great luxury. With a list of rear seat amenities challenging the amount of options available in the front seat of the car, the hardest decision buyers might have to make is whether they want to drive, or be driven.

 

 

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