Luxury cars, like high-end watches, are vehicles chosen to taste. Buyers at this point in the market are likely to select the brand they feel most comfortable with, and the car that suits their personal image. With so little to choose between vehicles in terms of comfort, quality and performance, the choice can be more subjective.
We bet the Jaguar XJ has made a few buyers consider switching allegiances though. By dumping the old model’s retro styling back in 2010, Jaguar has created a vehicle with much wider appeal. In the UK, that appeal continues with the diesel model tested here.
It’s the same 3.0-litre V6 diesel you’ll find in the smaller XF, producing 275PS and 600 Nm of torque at only 2,000rpm. All of that shove is filtered through a silky-smooth 8-speed automatic gearbox, controlled by Jaguar’s now-traditional rotating gear selector.
That selector is just one aspect of one of the XJ’s beautifully-crafted interior. The driving position is low - seemingly more so than in an XF - and you sit behind an immaculately-shaped and trimmed steering wheel. Behind that sits an easy-to-read virtual display. Our car had slightly sombre ‘Jet’ black trim, lifted slightly by carbon fibre accents.
It’s a wonderfully quiet, comfortable place from which to command your vessel, but the XJ is no boat to drive. In fact, we’ve a nagging feeling that it feels more nimble than the smaller XF, helped in part by the relatively lightweight aluminium body. It steers and grips with alacrity, and the V6 diesel growls quietly away as you sink the throttle.
The ride isn’t quite as soft as you’d expect, but it’s a vast distance away from discomfort, so long journeys would be effortless. They might also be cheaper than you’d expect - combined economy is 40.1mpg, and the display showed 37mpg during our brief test.
Price as tested: £72,680 (approx.)
Combined mpg: 40.1
CO2: 184 g/km
You’ll already know whether you’d buy this car or not. If Jaguar-style luxury appeals, then the XJ shouldn’t disappoint as an ownership proposition, and can be had a little cheaper than our test car if you don’t need the long-wheelbase model.
We’d save a few thousand by not choosing the sport pack too. The car is still striking without it, and the ride may improve on 19-inch rather than 20-inch wheels. Then, simply pick a suitable exterior colour, and enjoy owning one of the best vehicles Jaguar has ever made.