2011 Jaguar XJ Review
This review was written when the 2011 Jaguar XJ was new.
The 2011 Jaguar XJ impresses reviewers with its stunning design and impressive performance. “The thing I like about this sedan is how well it lives in both the performance and the luxury realm at the same time,” writes Cars.com. “It uses technology to enhance the driving experience without ever feeling over the top.” Still, the XJ stumbles with interior features that get mixed reviews.
The automotive press loves driving the 2011 Jaguar XJ. Its lightweight aluminum body, powerful engines and road-holding adaptive suspension impress nearly all that drive it. Even the base XJ is no slouch. Its 385-horsepower base V8 makes it just as quick as a V8-equipped BMW 7-Series, while more powerful, Supercharged- and Supersport-trimmed XJs can keep up with nearly anything on the road.
The XJ is nimble for such a large car, but not all reviewers think that its suspension is the most composed. And while the automotive press likes the steering, not all are impressed with the XJ’s brakes. One test driver thought they had a grabby feel. Still, most agree that thanks to its light weight, the XJ drives like a much smaller car – and that’s a good thing.
Inside, some reviewers love the opulent surroundings, while others see room for improvement. Materials are mostly high-quality; some reviewers even call the interior stunning. But, one test driver commented that some small trim pieces looked a little cheap and out of place. The XJ’s seats are comfortable, but backseat leg room isn’t the best in regular wheelbase models. Additionally, some taller passengers might want a little extra head room – a common reviewer complaint about super luxury cars.
The automotive press says the XJ’s biggest problem involves its tech features. The XJ is loaded with them, but reviewers say the central touch screen – which controls all entertainment, navigation and ventilation settings – operates slowly. One reviewer notes that the user interfaces in rivals like the Audi A8, BMW 7-Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class are easier to use.
Still there is one area where the 2011 XJ beats all super luxury cars – trunk space. At 18.4 cubic feet, the XJ’s trunk is huge, and while the Lexus LS comes close with 18 cubes of cargo space, it can’t match the XJ when it comes to performance.
Other Cars to Consider
If you like the XJ’s performance but want a car with a more useable backseat, the Audi A8 and the BMW 7-Series might be worth checking out. Starting at about $78,000, the A8 costs around $5,000 more, but trumps the XJ with better cabin electronics and standard all-wheel drive. It also has impressive fuel economy compared to other super luxury cars. Still, the A8 isn’t all aces. While Audi’s flagship is almost as nimble as the XJ, it’s not as quick; and if you like the XJ’s enormous 18.4 cubic-foot trunk, the 13.2 cubes in the A8 may be a bit of a letdown. However, rear seat room is more impressive in the regular A8, and even more so in the long-wheelbase A8 L.
If you don’t like the A8 because it’s down on power and trunk space, the BMW 7-Series might be a contender. The 750i has 14 cubic feet of trunk space, which is still not as good as the XJ, but better than the A8. It starts at about $84,000, which is more than the Jag, but it also has a more usable backseat and better interior tech. Reviewers say the 750i also matches the XJ in terms of performance and is available with an extended wheelbase and all-wheel drive.
Jaguar XJ: The Details
Starting just under $73,000, the 2011 Jaguar XJ comes in two wheelbases and three trim levels which are largely based on performance. The base XJ comes with a 385-horsepower, 5.0-liter V8 and includes standard features such as navigation, front and rear parking sensors with backup camera, dual-zone climate control, heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, a 14-speaker stereo with Bluetooth and iPod connectivity and push button start. The long-wheelbase XJL adds 4.9 inches to the XJ’s length, and about $7,000 to the price tag. Like stretched versions of the BMW 7-Series and Audi A8, the XJL offers improved space in the backseat over the standard XJ -- as well as more standard features. The Jaguar XJL comes with all the equipment listed above, but also adds four-zone climate control, upgraded front seats with massage and rear seats that are heated and cooled.
If you need more power, Jaguar also offers the car in Supercharged and Supersport trims, which are available on both XJ and XJL models.
Supercharged XJ and XJL models start at just under $88,000 and $91,000, respectively. These cars feature all of the equipment listed above, but also include a supercharged, 470-horsepower V8, a 20-speaker Bowers & Wilkins Surround Sound stereo and adaptive headlights.
Supersport models offer even more power and standard equipment. XJ and XJL Supersport-trimmed cars come with a 510-horsepower V8, adaptive cruise control and a backseat DVD system. Supersport models start at about $110,000 for the XJ and about $113,000 for the XJL.
- "Above all things, Jaguar desires to be different. That’s why the new 2011 XJ flagship has the flamboyant lines of an Italian torpedo and the driving manners of a German autobahn cruiser and is tuned for Buckingham Palace fleet duty. Cultures collide in spectacular ways in this luxury limo." -- Car and Driver
- "So there you have it: style, dynamic substance and value. The 2011 Jaguar XJ has not only transformed itself visually, but it's also now a serious contender to join the luxury flagship hierarchy of Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7 Series, Audi A8 and Porsche Panamera. All are worth a look, but after such a dramatic makeover, one look at the Jag XJ may be the only one you make." -- Edmunds
- "The dramatic new shape speaks of a shift in direction for the XJ nameplate; the driving experience follows up on the promise." -- Motor Trend
- "The new XJ certainly can't be described as cheap. But it's reasonably priced compared to its German rivals. " -- Popular Mechanics
- "It's a more visually appealing alternative to the rather staid German sedans from Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz, and a far more engaging car than the Lexus LS. Plus, it has a price advantage over most competitors." -- MSN
- "With a V-8 engine, leather interior and lots of luxurious features, the 2011 Jaguar XJ is a car that will make parents volunteer to drive carpool." -- Mother Proof