The 2015 Jaguar XJ offers a unique alternative to full-sized luxury sedans from BMW, Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Lexus. This thoroughly modern luxury sedan has gone a long way toward erasing the lingering specters of Jaguar's admittedly checkered past. The design trades traditional styling for a futuristic look, showcasing the brand's modern sensibilities while still offering traditional high-end luxury.
You'll Like The 2015 Jaguar XJ If...
A leather-wrapped interior, an array of powerful engines, available all-wheel drive, and even a long-wheelbase model with executive rear seating are all available in this uniquely styled big Jaguar. If standing out for all the right reasons is what you're looking for, it's hard to find a better solution.
You May Not Like The 2015 Jaguar XJ If...
While Jaguar has narrowed the gap between itself and its rivals, it still lags, and quality and reliability issues contribute to the XJ's lower resale value. Additionally, some of its features have a distinctly last-generation feel, and its small dealer network means just finding one can be a hassle.
After revisions last year that included a new XJR model and the elimination of the naturally-aspirated V8, there's not a lot of change for the 2015 Jaguar XJ, and the model carries over virtually unchanged.
With many functions controlled through the touch-screen infotainment system, the 2015 Jaguar XJ features a clean and uncluttered interior design. High-quality materials and very good fit and finish are standard across the board, with the XJR upping the ante with leather on the dash, door panels, and even the headliner. Long-wheelbase XJL models coddle the rear-seat passengers, offering an executive seating package that includes reclining seats and tray tables that fold out from the front seatbacks. The only real downside is the touch-screen infotainment system, which feels dated compared to the knob-based system in many of its rivals.
A controversial break from the past when first introduced, today the Jaguar XJ sedan's sloping rear roofline and 4-door coupe appearance is a new standard for the brand, and one that's particularly easy on the eyes. The classy and elegant combination of tasteful chrome, narrow headlights, a low roofline with a full-length glass roof, and vertical taillights conveys a sense of modern style without heavy-handedness. Luckily, long-wheelbase models add five inches to the overall length without marring the profile. Downsides include a trunk that's on the small size, and the low roofline means tall passenger have to watch their heads getting in.
The 2015 Jaguar XJ offers a driving experience that ranges from British country-club lounge to the harder-edged personality of a sports sedan. The standard supercharged V6 offers up satisfying acceleration, due in no small part to quick and smooth shifts from the 8-speed automatic transmission. However, if luxury means power, you'll want to step up to one of the supercharged V8 engines – the 550-horsepower version in the XJR is particularly intoxicating. Jaguar's well-earned reputation for a comfortable ride is supplemented by surprisingly adept handling in the XJ. The overtly sporty XJR has a firmer ride, of course, but thanks to the standard active damping suspension it's never uncomfortable, and enthusiasts will find the XJR's handling payoff worth the extra bite. About the only dynamic drawback is steering that's on the light side, which is fine when parking, but we wish for more feedback on a twisting road.
The 2015 Jaguar XJ with the short-wheelbase and standard V6 engine starts at about $75,200 including the destination charge. The XJL Portfolio offers more rear-seat room and more equipment for about $82,200. If you want all-wheel drive on either the regular- or long-wheelbase models you'll add $3,500 to the price. We think the V8 engine in either the XJ Supercharged ($91,600) or XJL Supercharged ($94,600) is worth the investment. On the high end of the price spectrum is the long-wheelbase XJR, which starts at about $120,000. If you start checking option boxes, you'll find yourself paying more than $130,000 for a fully loaded XJR long-wheelbase. Before buying, check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what buyers are paying in your area. While the 2015 Jaguar XJ meets or beats its German or Japanese rivals on price, those cars generally offer better resale value.
Flagship luxury sedans like the 2015 Jaguar XJ should come loaded, and this one does. A leather-wrapped dash, digital LCD gauge cluster, dynamic suspension damping, blind-spot monitoring, and an extra-long panoramic moonroof are all a part of the standard package. The so-called "base" audio system is a great-sounding 14-speaker, 380-watt setup with hard-disk music storage. The standard safety setup reads like a bowl of alphabet soup – ABS, DSC, CBC, EBD, ETC. – and includes a full complement of airbags.
Aside from engine choices, all-wheel drive, and long-wheelbase bodies, the Jaguar offers a wide variety of options to upgrade its flagship luxury sedan. Examples include adaptive cruise control, a heated windshield, retractable rear-window shades and several seating options that range from massaging front seats to heated and cooled rear seats. If you choose a Jaguar XJ with a supercharged V8 engine, you also get an active differential control that puts the power to the ground better. High-performance XJR models get upgraded sport seats in a variety of color choices, lightweight 20-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, and a standard 825-watt Meridian audio system.
MERIDIAN AUDIO SYSTEMS
We've all seen marketing that touts a concert-hall experience, but with the Meridian sound systems available in the Jaguar XJ luxury sedan, it's more than just words. The standard 380-watt 14-speaker system is nice, but the 1,300-watt 26-speaker monster in the long-wheelbase model will blow you away.
DIGITAL INSTRUMENT CLUSTER
The 2015 Jaguar XJ doesn't have physical gauges. Instead, it uses a high-resolution 12.3-inch LCD screen to display the tachometer, speedometer and a configurable information data screen in front of the driver.
Under the Hood
The 2015 Jaguar XJ comes standard with a 3.0-liter supercharged V6 engine that delivers a stout 340 horsepower and admirable low-end torque. Note that if you live in a foul-weather climate and want the security of all-wheel drive (AWD), the V6 is your only choice. The 5.0-liter supercharged V8 comes in two flavors, with either 480 horsepower or 550 horsepower in the XJR. Regardless of engine choice, power is delivered through an 8-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters on the steering wheel offering manual control when you want it. Fuel economy, especially with the V6 engine, is pretty good, even if it's not class-leading.
3.0-liter supercharged V6 (XJ, XJ AWD, XJL, Portfolio)
340 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
332 lb-ft of torque @ 1,750-4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/27 mpg (standard-wheelbase models), 17/27 (long-wheelbase models) 16/24 mpg (AWD)
5.0-liter supercharged V8 (XJ Supercharged)
470 horsepower @ 6,000-6,500 rpm
424 lb-ft of torque @ 2,500-5,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/23 mpg
5.0-liter supercharged V8 (XJR)
550 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
502 lb-ft of torque @ 2,500-5,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/23 mpg
Jaguar's distinctiveness in a market dominated by German brands has always been one of its strongest selling points. After all, there's nothing on the road that looks like the 2015 Jaguar XJ, not the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7 Series, Audi A8 or Lexus LS. That exclusivity continues inside, with an interior that equals its German and Japanese rivals in comfort, features and convenience, but without copying any of them. It used to be that Jaguar's style and luxury came with the bitter pill of poor reliability and quality. However, in recent years Jaguar has narrowed the gap with its rivals, even if it hasn't closed it completely. With short- and long-wheelbase models, and even a high-performance XJR model, this big Jag is a contender.