KBB Editors' Overview
By Joe Tralongo, Contributing Editor - Updated Date: 3/14/2014
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.
You'll Like This Car If...
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.
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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.
What's New for 2014
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.
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.
In the standard XJ, the steering feel is a bit on the light side, which is nice for around-town driving but less appreciated on twisting country roads.
Acceleration, even with the V6, is a thoroughly satisfying event, and the ZF 8-speed transmission makes the journey all that much more enjoyable. However, if you want to be immersed in the total Jaguar experience, having one of the V8 engines beneath the bonnet is still the best choice.
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.
For vehicle details and pricing notes…