Jaguar XJ - Used Car

Review

Jaguar XJ, Portfolio, 2016, front
Jaguar XJ, Portfolio, 2016, nose
Jaguar XJ, Portfolio, 2016, side
Jaguar XJ, Portfolio, 2016, rear
Jaguar XJ, 2016, interior
Jaguar XJ, 2016, rear seats

THE luxury saloon market is dominated by the Germans but none of them can match the superlative bespoke ambiance and cabin simplicity of the wonderful Jaguar XJ.

Nor can they match such large car agility, which comes thanks to a lightweight aluminium body and excellent suspension system.

The interior electronic gadgetry of the opposition can be really intimidating, and many owners will tell you they never use half of it.

But the simpler and driver-focussed cabin of the luxurious XJ is much more relaxing - and just sitting into the sumptuous interior is a delight.

The most recent model, built from 2010, only went out of production in 2019, and that was because of fairly small sales and that the development of a pure electric successor is well forward.

The XJ can be a real bargain secondhand so if you have always hankered after one, get out there and haggle! Early diesel models from 2010 are down to less than the price of a supermini, with the Luxury spec available privately for under £6,000 with only 80,000 miles on the clock and full service history.

Never buy any car without service history - especially at this level! You need to know that all the scheduled work has been carried out at the right time.

Of course, performance is absolutely superb - just as you would expect from a Jaguar - with the most powerful 5.0 litre V8 Supercharged models covering the 0 to 60 sprint in well under 5 seconds. These produce a whopping 502bhp and yet can still manage economy in the low 20s.

Other petrol engines incllude a normally aspirated V8 with 379bhp and a supercharged V6 with 335, but by far the lagest seller was the 3 litre diesel turbo.

The 379bhp V8 covers the 60 sprint in 5.5 seconds and will do 24mpg at best, while the V6 could manage 31mpg and does the benchmark sprint in 5.7.

With around 300 horses under that sleek bonnet, the turbodiesels can achieve 36mpg and yet can still get to 60 in 6 seconds and have far lower emissions.

All have the most marvellous if subdued soundtrack - even the silky smooth diesel - just as any truly sporting saloon should, but at cruising speeds, the interior is as quiet as a library reading room.

The cabin is a wonderful piece of design, with unique touches over its luxury rivals and as I said above, the kind of ambiance they can only dream of.

The all-leather upholstery was available in a wide range of colours, but for me, this is a car that looks its best in tan or light brown.

And anyone who would like maximum rear seat legroom should be able to find a long-wheelbase model, which gives an extra 12 cm over the standard car.

There are five main trim levels: Luxury, Premium Luxury, Portfolio, Autobiography and R-Sport. And at the very pinnacle of XJ ownership comes the XJR575, which is about as rare as Boris Johnson having a good day.

The Autobiography comes in long-wheelbase only, and the R-Sport and XJR are all standard length.

As well as the wonderful leather with electric seat adjustment, all have climate control, cruise, sat nav, loads of airbags and electronic safety devices, CD and DVD player, audio remote and a sunroof.

They also have headlight washers, heated seats, lumbar support, parking sensors and of course, traction control to help keep all those horses in check.

Pay about £17,500 for a '15 15-reg 3.0d V6 Portfolio, or £25,700 for a '16 16-reg V8 Supercharged Autobiography.

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