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2019 Jaguar XJ Review

Editor’s note: 2019 will be the last production year of the Jaguar XJ. As of October 2019, no replacement model has been announced.

 

The 2019 Jaguar XJ large luxury sedan has a lot going for it. Having been introduced in 2011, it still has an excellent ride quality, a cosseting cabin and arguably good looks. The thing is, the competition is much fresher. The Mercedes-Benz S-Class, perennial best-seller among luxury sedans, introduced its current generation in 2014 and has since enjoyed a revamp. The Audi A8 is all-new for this year, the Lexus LS was all-new last year. The latest BMW 7 Series, meanwhile, debuted in 2016 and receives a freshening-up for 2020.

Which leaves the XJ as an old-school choice and hardly in a good way. Surely not want Jaguar wants, even though the company has managed to incorporate things like driver-assistance features and smartphone integration. At some point soon, however, there’s going to have to be a new generation of XJ.

In the meantime, the current model performs its duties to the best of its still considerable abilities. For the luxury car buyer who enjoys being behind the wheel, the Jaguar XJ is still absolutely worth considering. It’s wonderful to drive. A lot of aluminum is used in its construction, and even though the car is not super-light, its weight is distributed well.

What’s New for 2019?

A new XJ50 edition joins the lineup, commemorating the XJ badge’s 50th anniversary. It’s a long-wheelbase version with either a 340-hp supercharged V6 or a 470-hp supercharged V8. Rear-wheel-drive models gain automatic emergency braking. A new smartphone package brings Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. And the infotainment system has been updated, now adding voice commands for the navigation. See the 2019 Jaguar XJ models for sale near you

What We Like

Distinct styling; fabulous V8 engines; engaging handling; premium interiors.

What We Don’t

Below-average V8 fuel economy; advanced years.

How Much?

$76,395 to $123,395

Fuel Economy

The base engine is a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 producing 340 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates this engine at 18 miles per gallon in the city, 27 mpg on the highway and 21 mpg in combined driving (rear-wheel drive). All-wheel drive is available, but drops those fuel figures to 17mpg city/26 mpg hwy/20 mpg combined. The combination of AWD and a long wheelbase results in 17 mpg city/25 mpg hwy/20 mpg combined.

Higher trims enjoy a supercharged 5.0-liter V8 generating 470 hp and 424 lb-ft of torque. Fuel economy is 15 mpg city/23 mpg hwy/18 mpg combined, regardless of wheelbase.

The XJR575 deploys a more powerful version of that V8 for a tremendous 575 hp and 517 lb-ft of torque. It also manages 15 mpg city/23 mpg hwy/18 mpg combined.

RWD is the only configuration available with V8 engines. All models employ an 8-speed automatic transmission.

Standard Features & Options

The regular-wheelbase 2019 Jaguar XJ comes in R-Sport and Supercharged trim levels. The long-wheelbase XJL is available in Portfolio, XJ50, Supercharged and XJR575 versions.

In the R-Sport ($76,395), standard features include the supercharged V6, 19-in alloy wheels, LED lighting with automatic high beam function, adaptive/self-leveling suspension, user-selectable driving modes, a panoramic sunroof, burled walnut veneers, power-closing doors and trunk, keyless entry/ignition, dual-zone automatic climate control, a power-adjustable tilt-and-telescope steering wheel, heated/ventilated front seats with 8-way power adjustment, heated/ventilated rear seats, leather upholstery, self-dimming mirrors, a rearview camera, parking sensors front and rear, forward-collision warning, lane-keeping assist, blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, driver drowsiness monitor, rain-sensing wipers, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, a 10.2-in touchscreen and a 20-speaker/825-watt Meridian audio system with iPod/USB connectivity, and HD/satellite radio.

The long-wheelbase Portfolio ($85,495) adds 5.1 inches of extra rear legroom, massaging front seats with 14-way power adjustability, softer leather upholstery, suede headliner, manual rear sunshades (power sunshades are optional), ebony veneer, quad-zone automatic climate control, rear LED reading lights and various interior trim additions.

The long-wheelbase-only XJ50 ($88,495 with the V6; $100,295 with the V8) has its own design of 20-in alloy wheels along with various dedicated cosmetic touches inside and out. Versions of the XJ50 powered by the V6 also have the option of AWD.

XJ Supercharged ($93,995) means the supercharged 470-hp V8, electronic rear differential, 20-in alloy wheels, sportier suspension tune and bigger brakes, oak trim, 14-way power-adjustable front seats with massage function and navigation.

XJL Supercharged ($97,295) brings the rear-seat luxuries found in the Portfolio.

XJR575 ($123,395) runs with the 575-hp supercharged V8, exclusive 20-in wheels, performance-tuned stability control, model-specific suspension setup with sportier steering calibrations, uprated brakes, active exhaust system, sport seats front and rear, plus various sport-themed exterior and interior styling flourishes.

Depending on trim and configuration, options include semi-aniline leather trim, rear-seat entertainment with dual 10.2-in screens, and individual reclining rear seats with massage/lumbar functions and memory settings. As mentioned above, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto integration is available, but many other manufacturers are including this feature as standard.

Offered exclusively in long-wheelbase models is a 26-speaker/1,300-watt Meridian audio system. The long-wheelbase version may also come with parking assistance for parallel and perpendicular spaces, along with a 360-degree camera system.

Cargo capacity of the XJ’s trunk is 15.2 cu ft., about average for the class.

Safety

The XJ comes with 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes (the V8 models get bigger discs), stability control and six airbags (front, front side and full-length side curtain). A blind spot monitoring system with rear cross-traffic alert is also standard, plus front and rear parking sensors, and a rearview camera. Opting for adaptive cruise control also brings a forward-collision warning and preparation system.

The XJ has not been crash tested in the United States.

Behind the Wheel

Interior design is a strong suit for all XJ models. Housing jet-like air vents and a 12.3-in thin film transistor (TFT) instrument panel, the low-set dashboard is a refreshing departure from those of other luxury sedans. Jaguar’s distinctive rotary gearshift knob looks slick as it rises out of the center console when the driver fires up the ignition.

Comfort up front is fine, although the seats don’t have the same kind of adjustability and support BMW and Mercedes-Benz can offer. In the back, passengers will have to cope with a bottom cushion that is unusually low by class standards, but legroom is more than adequate in the short-wheelbase version, extending to more generous dimensions in the XJL.

In the full-size luxury sedan world, the XJ is one of the most engaging. These cars are often piloted by chauffeurs, but the XJ is a natural choice for moguls who like motoring. However, the short wheelbase makes a perceptible difference from the driver’s seat — the long-wheelbase XJL is less agile.

Under normal commuting conditions, the XJ has a tauter ride than some in this class, but it does a satisfactory job of filtering out harsh impacts. Similarly, while road and wind noise at speed aren’t whisper-quiet, few will object, especially considering the sweet sounds from either of the V8 engines. The supercharged V6 is nice enough and gets better fuel economy (with RWD), but those V8s are hard to resist. The forces and immediacy of acceleration in the XJ Supercharged and XJR575 are astounding.

Other Cars to Consider

2019 Audi A8 — A technological powerhouse wrapped in a sophisticated skin.

2019 BMW 7 Series — Remarkable for its tech content, luxury appointments and driving talents.

2019 Lexus LS — In the second year of its current generation, packing much more technology than its predecessor.

2019 Mercedes-Benz S-Class — Traditionally the absolute ruler of this class. The attention to detail is incredible, the levels of engineering are exemplary.

Used Bentley Flying Spur — For something more luxurious than an XJ while still flying the Union Jack, the Flying Spur blends a twin-turbo 12-cylinder engine with a hand-crafted cabin.

Autotrader’s Advice

If a buyer chooses an XJ over the newer competition, it’s because they really, really want an XJ. And that’s fine. In which case, get a version with the V8 for the full Jaguar experience of luxury surroundings and authoritative power. Find a Jaguar XJ for sale

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