2014 Jaguar XJ 3.0 Diesel Review: The Aristocrat
Daniel Craig and Pierce Brosnan have both essayed the role of James Bond, the fictional British Secret Service agent in many movies. Pierce Brosnan had his suave persona that wooed many. He was a poster boy for all James Bond fans until Daniel stepped in. Initially, he had a tough time convincing true blue fans about his potential to act as a secret agent.
It did not take long for the English actor to finally make way as he had more to offer than just suave nature. He brought realism in this fictional character. It is not a biased opinion to say that the English have more style, flamboyance and taste than anyone else.
Jaguar, who have rather enjoyed being the symbol of ultimate British engineering, have the XJ as their flagship luxury automobile. The XJ has always been a car which has raised standards. Jaguar took an active and well thought decision of localizing its production and the new XJ was launched with a substantial price drop keeping all the trademark characters and traits intact. We decided to get one and take it for a really long drive.
Wind your clock back to 1968; it is the year when the XJ made it in to the world. The first XJ happened to be the last Jag to have inputs of Sir William Lyons, founder of the company. CarTrade.com is the first online auto portal in India to review the new XJ L and thus we wanted to shoot it in a unique manner. While the magnificent XJ looked all ready to pose for our lenses, rains decided to interrupt and play it hard on us. Thankfully, they left us soon after we started clicking.
Inch by glossy inch, this Jaguar enters the world of real with its classic past inspired design. The new car does not get modern add-ons like its German pals as its timeless design doesn’t feel the need to be tampered with. Roaring logo of a wild cat with a red surround and one knows the brand. They have aggression in the form of sharp headlights and a meaty chrome coated radiator grille.
In spite of its generous coating, it looks more steel than bling. Low slung lights contrast well with the higher temple on top of the grille. It has an elegant jaw line with contours and subtle vents for the air to flow inside. The XJ chooses to portray a strong and muscular being instead of the pompous macho and the power lines flowing on the hood are a testimony to it.
Those 10 spoke alloys look retro classic and remind me of the old school XJS which was a piece of amazing athletic built produced by the English. They are at their visual best at low speeds in a slow blur where the glossy brake discs are visible.It is greater in length than its popular rival and has more to offer in terms of design than being a mere vanilla flavoured. The rising arch which originates from the front fender flows straight as a firm shoulder line all the way to the rear. Notable is a small chrome strip with Jaguar etched on the side panel.
Designed in a sloping way is its roofline which tastefully hides the C Pillar giving it coupe manners with a grand sloping quarter glass panel. It also gets dark tinted panoramic roof which is heat reflective and helps the cabin feel airy. See it from rear quarter and the large proportions of the XJ get highlighted. The mix match of different profile lines make it look interesting.
Super slanted rear windshield accentuates the strong tail. It feels a lot more sophisticated with bare minimum lettering and that is how it should be. Someone buying a close to Rs.1Cr car would not really care about displaying everything from the model name to the brand name to the engine type written on the tail gate which makes it look crowded. Thankfully, this one gets simple details. Twin chrome exhaust pipes and a mild strip with flowing tail lamps complete the rear look in style.
Simple is Classy and the XJ makes you feel that with its engaging interiors. Love the wood and beige interior trims on the premium luxury. Instead of filling the cabin with multiple options, they have chosen the select few necessarily important ones. Unlike others and thankfully so, Jaguars come equipped with the finest without an option of a discounted version which is an insult to a car of this calibre.
It might not pamper the matured in you with lavish qualities of trim as seen on the S Class instead the XJ has more engaging bits than any other premium limousine. In their pursuit of perfection, they have spent a great deal of time on making sure the interiors suit the taste and class of the one owning it. The matured would like it for but the young and dynamic would love it as the intricate detailing is too good to not be considered.
We had driven the XF so the territory looked familiar. Before the information gets displayed on the instrumental panel, it is the silhouette of the Jag greeting the screen. It is a completely virtual screen with clear numbers and information on display. The panel also changes to red once the dynamic mode is activated which gives it a performance touch. Its ease of operation makes it convenient. The tachometer also doubles up as an information section to control various parameters like vehicle setup, display intensity, service intervals, trip computer details and also warnings for low fuel and also displays the list of tracks being played or phone numbers to dial.
Central panel gets an 8 inch touch screen colour display screen. Functional?... Yes! and the touch interface makes it convenient too. Something that doesn’t work for it is the presence of a similar arrangement in the more affordable XF. The S Class earns great points here for offering a visual treat with its larger infotainment screen and elaborative user interface. This might pinch someone who is particular about functions and options.
The leather quality in seats and other places is impeccable. The whole layout of trims is very vintage-meets-modern which makes it interesting. There is an ultra rich Gloss Burr Walnut Veneer which flows all around the cabin. It wraps around the front windshield with a subtle Jaguar tag buckled on it at the centre.
Space is abundant inside and one can tuck himself in generous dollop of premium experience. I being the red blooded enthusiast have often found myself in the front but this time, I made an exception and chose to be chauffeured for a good time. Headrest mounted TV screens, controls on the central armrest and seats which massaged my ego. Not that the chauffer has anything to complain about as Jaguar offers as much comfort for the front occupants.
Move your finger over the glove box button and the cover descends peacefully. Get your fingers near the cabin lights, they glow instantly. Position the air conditioning vents and you see glossy cups with chrome diffusers. A small push on the chrome pocket and it opens softly. Pull the table mounted behind front seats and it is ready to hold anything even a laptop. The list of such details is endless and a Jag customer will definitely appreciate it.
If you buy a limousine, there are chances you might have a chauffeur to ferry around. This is true when it comes to Mercedes Benz S Class and Audi A8L. The validity of this statement goes for a toss when it comes to the Jaguar XJ.
The S Class surely pampers you in luxury but also cuts in features inside the S350. It is not spacious and when it comes to driving dynamics, the S350 will leave you yawning on the driver’s seat. The XJ is totally opposite and breaks the clichéd boring-to- drive image of a limousine by offering an engaging drive.
The XJ’s enthusiasm is powered by a 3.0L V6 diesel engine. The throttle whips 275 PS and pushes the torque to peak at 600Nm. These figures are discouraging for one seating in the rear as the one behind that racy steering wheel gets to enjoy the action of a large limousine going corners and lapping straights like a performance coupe.
Did I exaggerate it? Get inside the XJ and you would nod in acceptance. I have spoken about it before but even then I shall repeat it, the super finished and knurled gear selector which rises to one’s palm is a super cool feature and I always adore it. Also, you cannot possibly ignore the blinking Start/Stop backlight which glows for few seconds before going off.
Now that we have spoken about almost each and every feature, it was time for us to drive it. With great levels of enthusiasm and amazing spirit, we drove it off Jaguar’s plush showroom only to be blocked by a sea of traffic. Thankfully, Lana Del Rey came to the rescue and her crooning on the XJ’s Meridian 825W Surround Audio System with 20 speakers was magical.
A car of this dimension is ideally not fit for city traffic but not the XJ as it patiently manoeuvred through without any stress. The steering felt light supported with sufficient low end torque. The V6 displays its comfort zone only on open stretches where all the 6 cylinders begin firing in tandem. As soon as the Dynamic Mode is activated, the XJ sheds its matured image for a sport athlete. The instrumental cluster gets a red hue and to add to the drama, the gear engaged gets active on the left side of the cluster. Acceleration response in this mode is super quick.
The 8-speed automatic transmission controlled by JaguarDrive Selector is unmistakably precise and shifts as soon as the pedal is clicked. The rev counter travels all the way to the peak in this mode squeezing the last possible drop of power and torque. This mode is super quick and doesn’t take much time to activate and get in action. There is no diesel clattering instead a nice performance exhaust note greets the occupants.
The ride quality too is impressive. Suspensions took rough roads and uneven undulations with great ease. The XJ offers a planted and firm drive unlike the S Class which does not engage with the. The XJ on the other hand offers comfort and control but feels tempted to behave like a sport limousine.
|Power in PS / RPM||335 / 6500|
|Torque in Nm / RPM||450 / 3500|
|Gears||8 Speed Auto|
|Wheel base mm||3157|
|Fuel tank capacity L||83|
|Features||3.0 L V6 Premium Luxury|
|Four Zone Climate Control - Automatic with Air Filtration, Humidity Sensing||Yes|
|Air Quality Sensing with Auto Recirculation||Yes|
|Jaguar Smart Key SystemTM with Keyless Entry & Keyless Start||Yes|
|JaguarSenseTM - Glove Box Opening, Overhead Light Console Operation||Yes|
|Panoramic Glass Roof - Tilt/Slide Front Section with Electric Blinds||Yes|
|JaguarDrive ControlTM (Normal/Winter/Dynamic Modes)||Yes|
|Electric Parking Brake (EPB) - Drive-away Release||Yes|
|Automatic Speed Limiter (ASL); Track DSC (Dynamic Stability Control)||Yes|
|45.72 cm (18) Meru Alloy Wheels||Yes|
|Meridian Audio System (380W)||Yes|
|20.32 cm (8) Full Colour, Touch-screen Display||Yes|
|Bluetooth® Connectivity, Including Audio & Video Streaming||Yes|
|Rear Seat Entertainment – Dual 20.32 cm (8) LCD Screens||Yes|
|Pedestrian Contact SensingTM||Yes|
|3-ﬂash Lane Change Indicators||Yes|
|Security System (Alarm and Engine Immobiliser)||Yes|
|Airbags Front and Side (Driver & Front Passenger) with Side Curtain||Yes|
Competition All Specs
|Variant||3.0 V6||3.0 TDI quattro||S350 CDI|
|Price||Rs. 92,62,567||Rs. 114,08,000||Rs. 107,00,000|
|Power in PS/RPM||275 / 4000||247 / 4000||258 / 3600|
|Torque in Nm/RPM||600 / 2000||550 / 1750||620 / 1600-2400|
|Gears||8 Speed Auto||8 Speed Auto||7G Tronic|
|Wheel base mm||3157||3122||3165|
|Fuel tank capacity L||83||90||70|
|Tyre Spec (F)||NA||235 / 55 R18||275 / 45 R18|
|Tyre Spec (R)||NA||235 / 55 R18||245 / 40 R18|
Taking advantage of localized production, Jaguar has made the XJ more accessible for consumers. It has a younger approach towards a clichéd segment. Even though the XJ competes directly against the new S-Class, it should not be forgotten that the latter is a completely new car. It comes loaded with multiple options but still finds it difficult to match up with the large prowling cat in terms of appeal. The XJ will also get its share of update which will surface by early 2015.
The very fact that Jaguar competes with the Big Three is a massive compliment for the British car maker considering their humble line-up of models. Continuing its aggressive momentum in India, it won’t be too long before the Jaguar XE is launched and challenges the erstwhile offerings like the C-Class, 3 Series and A4.
The brand connects effortlessly with the affluent and influential because of their rich legacy and culture. The maturely grey would go for others while the restlessly red blooded choose to Jag in style.