I have to admit that I felt some kind of a euphoric high when I got to grips with the Jaguar XJ L. We have driven a lot of German cars. As we know, Audi, Mercedes and BMW are the ones locking horns with Jaguar. They manufacture cars with almost the same DNA. But when you get to drive a Jaguar, you understand how different British engineering is and you can feel it the moment you reach out for the door handles. Ladies and Gentleman, this is the Jaguar XJ, the long wheelbase version – with a 3-litre diesel engine. We drove the flagship saloon in Mumbai to find out if it has what it takes to pip the competition.
Jaguar started assembling the XJ in their Chakan factory near Pune, and the result is, it is much more affordable now. The Jaguar XJ is all about elegance. It looks so drop-dead gorgeous that it becomes the cynosure when you drive it on road. The charismatic presence of the XJ is what makes us show galactic reverence.
How is it inside?
The XJ carries on with its really sporty looking dashboard that beautifully wraps itself around the front seats. Quality of materials is excellent, but in a few places, you’ll find the odd cheap-feeling titbits. What is an even more apparent issue, however, is the relatively low-resolution graphics for the touchscreen that controls the infotainment system. It simply looks out of place in a car of this price, and feels a bit dated now. The TFT screen that makes up for the speedo and tacho dials could do with an update.
The XJ is a fully loaded car and gets some more equipment than before.The interior is still a British feast of leather and wood. Thick carpets, leather-covered-everything and the wide strip of wood that wraps around over the top of the doors and onto the dashboard, informs you this is most definitely not a German or Japanese luxury car.
Jaguar knows most XJ owners will be seen in the back more often, and as expected, they do not fail to impress in the comfort department. With plush and individually adjustable seats combined with an inbuilt massage and cooling system, the big Jag does have a lot to offer.
How is it to drive?
The steering is accurate, if a bit light at high speeds, and on the whole, the car feels a lot more balanced than its vast size would lead you to believe. Under the hood is the 271bhp, 3.0-litre, V6 twin-turbo diesel (mated to an eight-speed torque converter auto) which is a combo that has punch. All that power and torque is enough to lug this two-tonne limo to 100kph in 6.4 seconds (claimed). It’s quick to respond to throttle inputs and the nice growl from the motor only adds to the experience. In the hectic city driving though, the engine never lets out more than a, well, purr – engine refinement is excellent.
The XJ also successfully manages to mute out a lot of noise. Most bumps are done away with quietly and it’s only the large potholes that thud through the cabin. But, the low ground clearance and massive 3.2m wheelbase do call for a little bit of caution over speed-breakers. The XJ is not just a car with a luxury statement; a car of this price must be able to protect you from collisions too. There are two front airbags, two airbags in the outer seat edges and side curtain airbags above the front and rear side windows. Plus sensors in the front seats detect the size and weight of the driver and passenger, so the seat belts mitigate contact with the airbags, activating “soft landing” technology. Meanwhile, anti-whiplash technology instantaneously follows the head restraints forward if there’s an accident. The XJ comes with Pedestrian Contact System. Jaguar isn’t just concerned about their passengers, but also the pedestrians, in case of a crash. If the XJ comes into contact with someone on foot, internal sensors instinctively raise the bonnet slightly and the airbag comes out to help prevent the pedestrian colliding with engine components under the bonnet.
I’ve now come to that chunk of the review where I believe my tummy has had butterflies flapping around for more than quite a bit, so I’m going to relieve myself of the contentment I’ve felt the moment I first saw it. This is a car with a little bit more than just purpose. Delve in a tad deeper, and you’ll find soul too. Maybe that’s just how this thing was meant to be. There you go, I feel a whole lot better now…..
Price: Rs. 9,605,139/-(Ex-showroom Mumbai)
Type: 3 L 6 Cylinder Diesel
Power: 271 bhp at 4000 rpm
Torque: 600Nm at 3500 rpm
Gearbox: Automatic 8 speed
Wheel base: 3157mm
0-100kmph: 6.4 Seconds
Fuel economy: 12kmpl (Highway)
Top speed: 250kmph
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