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        Jaguar XJ 3.0-litre diesel review

        Santosh Nair

        Santosh Nair


         What you see in the picture is one of the most charismatic luxury saloons that one can buy today. It exhales a sense of royalty that sums up its character, and exhibits the sort of opulence that can only come off the Jaguar marque.


        The latest Jaguar XJ looks like no other car in the segment, and strays away from the conventional looking Germans. With the arrival of the latest 7 Series earlier this year at the Auto Expo, Jaguar chose to launch this updated version of the XJ to keep things as fresh as possible in the current life cycle. We drive the mechanically tweaked XJ 3.0-litre diesel to fill you in on what you need to know.  

        Appearance Exterior

         We shall cut the chase short for you, as you would obviously be glancing to catch the styling changes made to the XJ. This iteration gets a redesigned grille mesh, dual ‘J’ DRLs with all-LED headlamps, revised tail-lamp internals and mildly reworked bumpers. In case you didn’t know, unlike in the UK where the SWB (standard wheelbase) is also offered, Jag’s Indian XJ that rolls out of the JLR plant in Pune, is only available in the LWB form (long wheelbase). Engineers have fed in an extra 125mm over the standard length of the XJ to derive the XJ-L.


        Jaguar proudly admits that regardless of the elongation, the LWB version matches the dynamics of the SWB model. In a nutshell, the weight difference between the LWB and SWB lingers around 25kg, even with the 125mm increase the wheelbase factors in! You will also notice the neatly executed blacked out C-pillars that blend the sheet metal seamlessly with the rear windscreen to create a floating roofline effect. In a deliberate attempt to highlight the length of the XJ, the waist line prominently begins at the front fender and disappears over the middle of the car before resurfacing at the end of the car.


        Appearance Interior


        The XJ is all about feeling special and once again reminds one of the deviation from other mainstream rivals. There’s a plush surround of pleasing curves with a splash of dual tone colours that liven up the cabin aura. Your attention is instantly lured by the wooden inserts on the huge cat-badged steering, and the chunks of wood used with matching leather running across under the windscreen over both the door pads. Perforated leather can be seen on the seat design that’s reminiscent of certain duvets used in other applications. Instrumentation is now taken care of by a new fully digital cluster that uses new graphics. We noticed that the overall finish and build quality is just shy of the German rivals.


        Once seated, you begin to understand the sheer size of this saloon, and visibility over the hood could have been better. However, things take a different turn altogether, especially when the style quotient sinks in. After which, your being able to witness the frequent head turns is all that seems to matter. In the meantime one begins to appreciate the large and liberally contoured seats that offer humongous support. Though the rear arm rest can be reclined, this is strictly a four seater with ample legroom all around. And that said, all seats can be electrically operated, have the cooling function and the rear portion also throws in two foldable 26cm HD screens for entertainment. To top it all, all seats offer non-exquisite massages to keep that freshness alive during the journey (including the driver!). Add to this a boot that’s good enough to swallow 520 litres of luggage whenever the need arises.


        What has now made it to the ‘Portfolio’ features list is JLR’s InControl Touch Pro unit. This system now benefits from a quicker interface when compared to the older unit and also packs in more features. While the rear seats can be reclined in an aeroplane style, there’s a panoramic sunroof to give one the extra thrills. There’s four zone climate control, front passenger seat away function (to liberate more rear legroom) and an extravagant 825 Watt digital surround sound system that releases decibels through the 20 speakers on-board.   


        Performance Drive


        Jag’s current XJ continues to be equipped with a 2.0-litre petrol (that remains unchanged) along with the tweaked 3.0-litre diesel motor. This upgraded diesel V6 now packs in 300bhp, a 30bhp step up from the outgoing version, and makes it at 4000rpm. Torque has also seen a dramatic rise from 600Nm to 700Nm in light of the revisions made to this engine. Once off the mark one needs to filter pedal inputs carefully to prevent any unnecessary show off of wheel spin. There’s spades of torque throughout the power band, and the eight-speed ZF automatic transmission does a great job of shifting appropriately to keep the driver riding the waves of torque for any driving duty as shown by our Vbox figures. 20-80kmph took 4.81secs and 40-100kmph was accomplished in 5.61secs. Outright performance can be gauged by the 0-100kmph sprint that was despatched in 7.69secs, which is not bad at all considering this is a two-tonne oil-burning limousine. Top speed is an electronically limited 250kmph, and Jaguar claims this mill can take the XJ-L 14.47km on a single litre of diesel.


        Surprisingly, one would attribute the huge exteriors of the XJ to be a handful while driving but that’s just not the case. The reason behind this is the new electric power steering that weighs up extremely well. Engineers have made it precise and there’s enough feedback to let you understand what’s happening at the wheels. This translates into the sort of poise that lets one tackle even the tightest of urban routes. Add to this the air suspension that kept itself busy by soaking up all road imperfections in a bid to keep the cabin stress free. Even though there is a hint of acceptable roll when you push this Jaguar more than needed, it feels comfortable, all along. The XJ’s all-aluminium body architecture is strong and very light. Riveted, and without a single welded joint, the 100 per cent aluminium monocoque chassis is claimed to offer increased rigidity.


        Tech Specs

        Make Jaguar
        Model XJ
        Fuel Diesel
        Variant 3.0-litre Portfolio
        Engine Capacity 2993
        Max. Power (bhp@rpm) 300 @ 4000
        Max. torque (Nm@rpm) 700 @ 2000
        Gears Eight-speed automatic
        Length mm 5255
        Width mm 2105
        Height mm 1460
        Wheelbase mm 3157
        Fuel Capacity (in litres) 77
        Tyre size Front 245/50ZR18 Rear 275/45ZR18


        InControl Touch Pro Yes
        Aeroplane style reclinable rear seats Yes
        Panorama sunroof Yes
        Four zone climate control Yes
        Seat back folding tables Yes
        Folding rear screens Yes
        All seats are powered and have the massage function Yes
        Front passenger seat away function Yes
        825 Watt surround sound system with 20 speakers Yes

        Competition All Specs

        Specifications Jaguar
        7 Series
        Variant 3.0-litre Portfolio 730Ld M Sport
        Fuel Diesel Diesel
        Engine Capacity 2993 2993
        Max. Power (bhp@rpm) 300 @ 4000 262 @ 4000
        Max. torque (Nm@rpm) 700 @ 2000 620 @ 2000
        Gears Eight-speed automatic Eight-speed automatic
        Length mm 5255 5219
        Width mm 2105 1902
        Height mm 1460 1481
        Wheelbase mm 3157 3210
        Fuel Capacity (in litres) 77 78
        Tyre size Front 245/50ZR18 Rear 275/45ZR18 Front 245 / 45 R19 Rear 275 / 40 R19


         Jaguar’s XJ makes everything else in this segment look spartan. It’s evident that fit and finish are slightly off the mark when compared to other German counterparts like the Mercedes S-Class, BMW 7 Series and the Audi A8. However, the XJ demonstrates a degree of affluence and dignity like none other. The 3.0-litre Portfolio version tested here currently costs Rs 1.08 crore (ex-showroom Delhi). Today, car buyers have come to ask for even more, and while the aura around the XJ ticks off the emotional quotient of the buyer in you, we think it’s exactly this phenomenon that makes it a hell of a segment contender.


        Photo Courtesy by : Kapil Angane

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