By KBB.com Editors
The Jaguar XJ features one of the most iconic and enduring designs in the history of the automobile or anything else. Not unlike the poster child for evolutionary design change, the Porsche 911, the modern-day Jaguar XJ is instantly recognizable as a successor to the original. Until now. The sportier, more contemporary design direction that revealed itself in the latest Jaguar XK Coupe and Convertible, then the XF Sedan, has now been applied to Jaguar's flagship sedan. No longer old-fashioned and quirky, the Jaguar XJ is now a wholly relevant and viable option to any of today's modern flagships. There's a new cat on the block, and he moved into the house previously occupied by that eccentric, flamboyant old guy. We think he died.You'll Like This Car If...
The 2011 Jaguar XJ has the stature, sheetmetal and driving dynamics to run with big dogs like the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7 Series and Audi A8, but separates itself from the crowd with a uniquely gorgeous interior.
Jaguar is still nagged by historically sub-par resale values and spotty reliability records, so the 2011 Jaguar XJ isn't among the category's smartest buys.What's New for 2011
The 2011 Jaguar XJ is so thoroughly new that it's unrecognizable as a descendant of the previous generation - inside, outside and underneath.Driving It Driving Impressions
Relaxed road manners and a quiet cabin make the 2011 Jaguar XJ an ideal carrier of dignitaries and businesspeople, but they also make the XJ a pleasure to drive. The suspension's active damping system adjusts to varying road conditions, providing a sense of dynamism when cornering – while never forgetting its primary job is to protect occupants from road imperfections. The enthusiasts in us yearn for more steering feel, but the XJ's light steering efforts make this large sedan surprisingly easy to maneuver at lower speeds; however parking can still be a challenge due to sheer size. Our only major complaint is reserved for the brakes, which feature a light, overly-sensitive pedal that makes it difficult to stop smoothly. On the other hand, we have no complaints about acceleration. The base V8 engine offers plenty of power, but we would have a hard time not selecting one of the supercharged engine variants, which deliver an exhilarating growl and effortless acceleration when prodded.Favorite Features
Bowers & Wilkins Sound System
We love a good sound system, and the 2011 Jaguar XJ offers something special in the audio department: a 1,200-watt Bowers & Wilkins system with 7.1 surround sound and 20 speakers. Sometimes luxury is loud.
LCD Gauge Cluster
In place of mono-tasking mechanical gauges, the 2011 Jaguar XJ features a 12.3-inch high-definition screen that displays a virtual speedometer, tachometer and information window with fuel and temperature gauges. The system will display messages and menus over the tachometer, and selecting the XJ's Dynamic drive mode gives the instruments a sporty red glow.