By Joe Tralongo, Contributing Editor
Jaguar cars have always stood apart from other luxury brands. Not as commonplace as the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Audi A8 or Lexus LS, the owner of a 2014 Jaguar XJ is endowed with a sense of exclusivity, a trait highly sought after by those who shell out big bucks for their wheels.
Legendary craftsmanship is married to improving quality and reliability scores, although the big XJ still lags behind most rivals in this area. Still, with high-end luxury as only the Brits can do it and a new high-performance XJR model in the lineup, 2014 promises to be a very good year for the XJ, something the competition might want to keep an eye on.
Copious luxury and formidable power combine to form a luxury sedan not easily duplicated by lesser competitors. Those seeking to drive something a bit less commonplace will enjoy the exclusivity the Jaguar XJ brings.
The Jaguar XJ is as temperamental as it is beautiful. Some quality and reliability questions still linger and are contributing factors to the XJ's lower resale values. A small dealer network means less availability for the well-to-do who live in less populated regions.
For 2014, the normally aspirated V8 is dropped from the lineup and a new high-performance XJR trim replaces last year's Supersport, offering more power and luxury features. The XJ LWB model receives the ultimate in sound systems, a 1,300-watt Meridian Reference Audio unit with no fewer than 26 speakers.
Driving Impressions A large luxury sedan should pamper its passengers without boring its driver. In the 2014 Jaguar XJ, the perfect balance between a compliant ride and adept handling has been struck....... An active dampening suspension soaks ups road imperfections, yet still manages to keep this big cat calm in the corners. Step up the new XJR, and the ride gets noticeably stiffer, but the tradeoff is well worth it once you experience the car's 550 horsepower unleashed.
MERIDIAN AUDIO SYSTEMS
There are three Meridian audio systems from which to choose – each better than the next, but all superb in their own right. The standard 380-watt 14-speaker system is nice, but it's the 1,300-watt 26-speaker monster in the LWB model that simply astounds all who hear it.
DIGITAL INSTRUMENT CLUSTER
High-tech visuals meet old world luxury in the XJ's digital instrument cluster. Analog gauges are jettisoned in favor of a high-res 12.3-inch LCD screen displaying the tachometer, speedometer and a configurable information data screen.
Thanks in part to the minimal number of center-stack controls, the 2014 Jaguar XJ's cabin features a clean, elegant design that separates itself from its rivals with superior materials and remarkable fit and finish. Soft leather trim covers not only the seating surfaces, but the upper dash, door panels and even the headliner on XJR models. The XJ's navigation system employs a touch screen rather than the button- and wheel-operated setups found on German-built luxury sedans. Recent interface enhancements have tried to address the fact that a touch-screen's functional requirements can be distracting for the driver.Exterior
The Jaguar XJ's distinctive design is dominated by a sloping rear roofline that shrouds its substantial mass while creating a stylish 4-door-coupe appearance. The 2014 XJ is available in standard and long-wheelbase versions, with the latter providing an additional five inches of rear legroom. Considering its size, trunk space is rather limited. Also the low roofline makes it tricky for taller folks to get in and out, especially entering the back seat. The almost-full-length panoramic glass moonroof is a strong styling element from both inside and out.
The 2014 Jaguar XJ features a full complement of the features you expect on a flagship luxury sedan plus a few more, including a leather-wrapped dash, a digital LCD gauge cluster, dynamic suspension damping, blind-spot monitoring and an extra-long panoramic moonroof. The "base" audio system is a 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.
In addition to longer-wheelbase bodies, wide choice of engines and all-wheel drive (AWD), the 2014 Jaguar XJ's list of upgrades includes adaptive cruise control, heated windshield, retractable rear-window shades and several seating options that range from massaging front seats to heated and cooled rear seats. Supercharged V8 models feature an active differential control to better put the increased power to the ground, while XJR models add leather sport seats in a variety of color choices, lightweight 20-inch alloy wheels, and a standard 825-watt Meridian audio system.
The standard engine for the Jaguar XJ is a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 that saves a little fuel compared to the V8s. It delivers a more-than-sufficient 340 horsepower along with decent low-speed torque. The two 5.0-liter V8s continue, making 470 horsepower or 550, both with the aid of supercharging. All XJ engines employ an 8-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters, and the V6 can also be teamed with a new AWD system that favors the rear wheels in its torque split so the car retains its rear-drive feel.
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
The 2014 Jaguar XJ, with the supercharged V6 engine, starts at a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $75,095. An additional $3,500 adds all-wheel drive (AWD). The XJL Portfolio is a longer-wheelbase, more richly equipped version for $82,095. An up-charge of $3,500 gets all-wheel drive in this car. Nearing the XJ pinnacle, an XJL Supercharged starts at $91,495, while the XJR starts at $116,895, and with every conceivable option plus the long-wheelbase platform tops out around $131,000. Check KBB.com's Fair Purchase Price to see what buyers are paying in your area. Projected resale values for the Jaguar XJ still trail those of the Audi A8 and Mercedes-Benz S-Class.
By RALPH on Friday, February 20, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15,599overall rating 6 of 10rating details
Pros: "great ride, good power,stylish look"
Cons: "not dependable to start up"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6
"Wonderful car, but has power drain. the battery will go dead any time auto not used for over 24 hours. Jaguar customer service has made effort after effort to no advail. Problem has existed for life of lease. Jaguar finally threw in towel and offered a trickle charger as answer. Wonder how that works when left in airport parking lot. I have owned or leased Jags since 1978"
4 people out of 9 found this review helpful
By CHATTGUY on Thursday, January 29, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 4,500overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "HYW fuel economy, interior design, powertrain"
Cons: "touch screen a little slow on some functions"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I recently purchased the awd XJL after driving the audi A8, bmw 750li, and Mercedes S550. I have owned all 4 luxury brands over the years. The jaguar awd version was the quietest and best driving of the 2014 XJ sedans I tested. I also had multiple drives in the competitors vehicles. The jaguar is more of a drivers car and felt like a smaller coupe. It was much more nimble and fun to drive than the competitors, which felt numb and big. The BMW and Audi were nice just uninspiring, and not fun to drive. The Mercedes was an excellent car as well but made me feel older than I am. The jaguar reliability is much improved over past generations, and the v6 is an excellent choice for a daily driver. I spoke with a trusted service advisor at the jaguar\land rover dealer and the engine and car are rock solid now. My friend told me he sees the cars when they purchased and only for the 15k routine service. I have the same v6 in my 2015 Range rover and it is just as smooth. I purchased this for a daily driver and long road trips. I recently drove 1000miles roundtrip and the car was very comfortable and returned 30.2mpg at 75. Amazing for such a big car. I love the dual pane sunroof. The 2014 car was retuned for better drive and ride, so I'd buy a 2014 forward. I looked at sales numbers and 4000 cars are sold in the US annually compared to 6000 A8, and 21000 S550. I heard the same comments about reliability from friends, but comments were based on older versions. JD Power shows they have made good improvements. I am content with my purchase and the reliability of the new v6. If you want a large road car this is fun to drive, I would give this car a try."
21 people out of 37 found this review helpful
By Shoredock on Friday, September 26, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Elegant and distinctive design"
Cons: "$95k but worth it"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Took delivery of the car during the worst snow storm of 2014 and she plowed through the elements like the Land Rover I traded in. The V-6 is amazing with immediate power and even at 70 mph, quick acceleration to 100 in a nano second. The back seat is luxurious and comfortable for 6'3" persons. No service issues what so ever - I think the historic quality issues are behind them."
28 people out of 46 found this review helpful