New 2018 Jaguar XJ Sedan New 2018
Jaguar XJ Sedan

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KBB Editor's Overview

By KBB.com Editorial Staff

The 2018 Jaguar XJ is a large and luxurious sedan in the twilight years of this current generation. As such, it cannot offer some of the semi-autonomous technologies that newer rivals come with almost as a matter of course. Instead, the XJ provides a singular driving experience, one that combines all the comfort worthy of a flagship sedan with a sinewy control. Put one of Jaguar’s mighty supercharged V8 engines into the mix and the thrill of the thrust becomes intoxicating. Ease off the throttle though, and there’s still much to enjoy, from the quality of the leather to the burled walnut trim to the excellent Meridian sound system.

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You'll Like This Car If...

Rivals like the BMW 7 Series, Mercedes-Benz S-Class and Lexus LS seem a) too common and b) a tad sterile. The 2018 XJ has plenty of character to accompany its space and plushness, and, in V8 form, more than enough acceleration. The V6 is pretty punchy too.

You May Not Like This Car If...

…you’re looking for cutting-edge car tech. In which case, check out the all-new 2019 Audi A8. Also, as great as Jaguars are, and even though they often score above average in customer satisfaction surveys, their resale values aren’t as strong as Lexus or the German marques.

What's New for 2018

An 825-watt/20-speaker Meridian audio system, Wi-Fi, and a 10.2-inch infotainment screen are now all standard, along with some advanced driver aids, including All-Surface Progress Control. A new performance model is the XJR575, taking over from the 550-horsepower XJR with 25 more horses.

Driving It

Driving Impressions

The XJ uses a lot of aluminum in its construction, which doesn’t necessarily make the car light, but allows Jaguar better scope for an even weight distribution. It’s this fine balance that’s at the core of the XJ’s driving appeal. It’s also adept at highway cruising. The only dynamic drawback is light steering. That's fine when parking, but we would prefer more feedback on twisting roads. Every version has an 8-speed automatic transmission with manual-shifting control, and the standard 340-horsepower XJ R-Sport is sufficiently lively. The V8-powered models are quicker, of course. The new-for-2018 XJR575 is particularly formidable. It sprints from a standstill to 60 mph in just 4.2 seconds and hits a top speed of 186 mph, which is phenomenal for a long-wheelbase luxury car. However, it still delivers on Jaguar's reputation for a comfortable ride, thanks to the standard active-damping suspension.

Favorite Features

SUPERCHARGED ENGINES
In the quest for power and efficiency, most makers are turning to turbochargers. But superchargers have their own attributes. They enhance acceleration right from the lowest engine speed. Listen carefully (the XJ is a super-silent high-class conveyance, after all) and there’s also a subtly thrilling whoosh that turbochargers don’t have.

INCONTROL INFOTAINMENT SYSTEM
Jaguar’s InControl infotainment system includes features like swipe and pinch-to-zoom controls, the kind of gestures we use daily with smartphones. Dual-view technology allows the driver to monitor the audio setup on the new 10.2-inch screen, while navigation information can be shown on the 12.3-inch configurable instrument display.

Vehicle Details

Interior

Spacious and inviting, the interior of the 2018 Jaguar XJ is awash in soft hides, real woods and chrome trim. Its leather-covered dash and door panels exude old-world luxury and craftsmanship with a classy analog clock and double stitching. Yet the modern shapes and switchgear are pure 21st century. It’s a wonderful and dynamic blend that never feels old-fashioned or stuffy. The seats are exceedingly comfortable, and the quilted upholstery imparts a look and feel of fine furniture. The Jag’s rotary shift knob rises theatrically when the engine is fired up.

Exterior

It seems like Jaguars have always been beautiful and the 2018 Jag XJ is arguably one of the marque’s most agreeable designs. A long, flowing shape is accentuated by athletic curves and an understated elegance. The XJR575 heightens the drama with hood vents and black 20-inch wheels that strike a contrast with the red-painted brake calipers. The long-wheelbase models manage to add five inches to the overall length without spoiling the profile. Downsides are a trunk that's small for the class (15.2 cubic feet) and the low roofline, which means tall passengers have to watch their heads climbing into the back.

Notable Standard Equipment

Call it “entry level” instead of “base” because standard equipment in the least expensive 2018 XJ is far from basic. This includes a panoramic moonroof, 19-inch alloy wheels, leather upholstery (even the dashboard), navigation, digital LCD gauge cluster, adaptive suspension, power-closing doors, rain-sensing wipers, parking sensors at both ends, and satellite radio. Plus forward-collision mitigation and blind-spot monitoring. Versions with a V8 have an active differential for superior traction. The XJL Portfolio enjoys quad-zone climate control, along with heated/cooled seats front and rear. The high-performance XJR575 has sport seats, sport exhaust and a sport-tuned suspension.

Notable Optional Equipment

Regular length or long wheelbase, rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, V6 or V8 engine -- these are the first decisions to make when buying the 2018 XJ. After that, it’s down to tastes and budget. Adaptive cruise control is available, so are massaging seats and a heated windshield. Long-wheelbase models offer a 1,300-watt/26-speaker Meridian audio upgrade, reclining rear seats, self-parking feature for parallel and perpendicular spaces, 360-degree camera system, and a powered rear sunshade.

Under the Hood

A supercharged 3.0-liter V6 brings a respectable 340 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque to the 2018 R-Sport and XJL Portfolio, which can be fitted with either rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive (RWD, AWD). The XJ/XJL Supercharged versions are rear-drive only and propelled by 470 horsepower and 424 lb-ft from a supercharged 5.0-liter V8. A boosted version of this engine endows the rear-drive XJR575 with 575 horsepower and 517 lb-ft of torque. Bear in mind that 500 horsepower is generally considered to be a lot of muscle. All versions have an 8-speed automatic transmission with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters.

3.0-liter supercharged V6 (XJ R-Sport, XJ R-Sport AWD, XJL Portfolio, XJL Portfolio AWD)
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), 17/26 mpg (long-wheelbase models), 17/25 mpg (AWD)

5.0-liter supercharged V8 (XJ Supercharged, XJL 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 (XJR575 LWB)
575 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
517 lb-ft of torque @ 2,500-5,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/23 mpg

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Pricing Notes

The flagship 2018 Jaguar XJ lineup has flagship pricing to match. The entry-level XJ R-Sport has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $76,400 including the $995 destination charge, while the lowest-priced XJL Portfolio long-wheelbase model starts at about $84,500. Keep climbing that ladder, and we’re looking at nearly $125,000 for the XJR575 before options push the price beyond $130,000. While the V6 is fine, the V8 engine is worth the step up to the mid-$90,000 range for either the short- or long-wheelbase models. Before buying, check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what buyers are paying in your area. While the 2018 Jaguar XJ meets or beats its German and Japanese competition on price, those cars generally have better resale values.

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