A new supercharged V-6 and all-wheel drive join the lineup, as does an eight-speed automatic. All engines incorporate auto stop/start to save fuel in traffic. A limited-build Ultimate trim level, available only on long-wheelbase models, takes the XJ’s already premium cabin to a level of luxury that’s almost sinful...more
The XJ portfolio has been expanded this year. A supercharged 340-hp V-6, the same engine found in the XF and the F-type, joins the lineup and can be paired with all-wheel drive. That engine might sound a bit diminutive for a big English saloon, but it’s more than up to the task. It helps that the aluminum-intensive XJ is one of the lighter vehicles in its class and that the eight-speed automatic transmission—new for all XJs—shifts smoothly and quickly. The changes should enable the XJ to compete more directly against the likes of the Audi A8 and the BMW 7-series, which are both available with multiple engine choices and all-wheel drive. That said, the XJ still largely follows its own path. Its avant-garde styling, sure to turn off some customers, is a welcome breath of fresh air in a conservative segment. Inside, warm leather and generous wood trim coexist harmoniously with futuristic bits such as a rotary shifter and an LCD gauge cluster. The navigation/infotainment system includes HD Radio and satellite radio and has two USB ports. A new model, the XJL Ultimate, lives up to its name, with massaging rear seats trimmed in semi-aniline leather, glass tables, and a chilled compartment for beverages. We’d still prefer to be the chauffeur so as to enjoy the precise steering, the balanced handling, and the lust-worthy 510-hp V-8.
Front, side, and side curtain air bags; ABS; traction and stability control; and tire-pressure monitoring are standard.
Key Competitors For The 2013 Jaguar XJ
- Audi A8
- BMW 7-series
- Lexus LS
- Mercedes-Benz S-class