The luxury car market is growing rapidly in India and while it’s been the playing ground of the German big three for long, Britain’s Jaguar Land Rover is slowly building into the minds of Indians. The fact that JLR is now owned by India’s Tata Motors makes these cars connect emotionally to us as we are the patriotic lot. The first generation XF never had what it took to steal thunder from the good folks at Stuttgart (the E-Class has long been the segment leader) but the second generation model promises a whole lot more as it’s not only larger and more luxurious but also lighter by up to 190 kgs (thank you aluminium). How good is the improvements to what was once and for a long time, the baby Jag (until the XE came along)?
DESIGN AND STYLE
Jag has historically created some very good-looking cars, and the new XJ continues that tradition with an updated exterior. The new look isn’t a revolution from the old, but rather tweaks a few details to render a fresh appearance. This includes a revised front fascia with a larger central grille that uses a new mesh pattern, plus a redesigned front bumper sporting new chrome surrounds in the lower air intakes.
The headlights incorporate full adaptive LED technology with automatic high beams, a standard feature across the 2016 XJ lineup. The headlights are distinguished by XJ-exclusive “Double J” daytime running lamps, while new LED taillights and oval exhaust tips can be found in the rear.
Jag is intent on providing performance via a reduced curb weight, and thus the new XJ continues to feature an all-aluminum construction. There are both standard and long wheelbase editions available, with the standard range including the XJ R-Sport, XJ R-Sport AWD, XJ Supercharged, and the XJR. Long wheelbase models include the XJL Portfolio, XJL Portfolio AWD, XJL Supercharged, and XJR LWB.
To help differentiate between the standard and long wheelbase models, all standard wheelbase models receive exterior enhancements in the form of new aero, while long wheelbase models get new interior trim, underlining either the sporting- or luxury-oriented intentions of each.
COMFORT AND SPACE
Just like the outside, the interior of the Jaguar XJ is like nothing else on the market. Its flowing surfaces and surfeit of curves is the complete antithesis of the comparatively straight-laced German interior design. We still love the bulbous AC vents, the thick slabs of wood on the doors and the ‘Riva Loop’ trim that runs along the back of the dashboard, and a lovely new addition is quilted leather upholstery on the Portfolio trim. Fit and finish, as before, is perhaps not at the ridiculously high benchmark set by the German sedans, but it’s close enough to not matter.
The seats, as before, are huge, plush and generously cushioned – more luxurious than sporty in design. All four seats are electrically adjustable, and can be reclined, heated, cooled and provide a massage to their occupants, and as before, legroom and headroom are not the best in class, but still more than sufficient. The rear seat is a bench, but you have to fold away the central arm-rest (which also houses several control switches) to find the fifth seat; as with any of these cars, the back seat is designed primarily for two. The only change is that the rear screens are new and can be folded shut when you don’t need them.
A huge update on the tech front is the addition of JLR’s new InControl Touch Pro infotainment system. That last word ‘Pro’ makes all the difference, because although it looks almost identical to the smaller XE’s InControl Touch unit, this one is a lot smoother, quicker to respond and has more features. Flicking through it feels no different than a modern smartphone or tablet. You can even control each of the four seats’ position, heating, cooling and massage functions from the touchscreen. The instrument cluster is all-digital as before, but it’s a new, smoother, sharper looking screen with much better graphics. It can also be customised with a few different dial patterns, and the whole screen can even be turned into a sat-nav map.
ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE
The XJ’s enthusiasm is powered by a 3.0L V6 diesel engine. The throttle whips 275 PS and pushes the torque to peak at 600Nm. These figures are discouraging for one seating in the rear as the one behind that racy steering wheel gets to enjoy the action of a large limousine going corners and lapping straights like a performance coupe.Did I exaggerate it? Get inside the XJ and you would nod in acceptance. I have spoken about it before but even then I shall repeat it, the super finished and knurled gear selector which rises to one’s palm is a super cool feature and I always adore it. Also, you cannot possibly ignore the blinking Start/Stop backlight which glows for few seconds before going off.Now that we have spoken about almost each and every feature, it was time for us to drive it. With great levels of enthusiasm and amazing spirit, we drove it off Jaguar’s plush showroom only to be blocked by a sea of traffic. Thankfully, Lana Del Rey came to the rescue and her crooning on the XJ’s Meridian 825W Surround Audio System with 20 speakers was magical.
A car of this dimension is ideally not fit for city traffic but not the Jagur XJ as it patiently manoeuvred through without any stress. The steering felt light supported with sufficient low end torque. The V6 displays its comfort zone only on open stretches where all the 6 cylinders begin firing in tandem. As soon as the Dynamic Mode is activated, the XJ sheds its matured image for a sport athlete. The instrumental cluster gets a red hue and to add to the drama, the gear engaged gets active on the left side of the cluster. Acceleration response in this mode is super quick.The 8-speed automatic transmission controlled by JaguarDrive Selector is unmistakably precise and shifts as soon as the pedal is clicked. The rev counter travels all the way to the peak in this mode squeezing the last possible drop of power and torque. This mode is super quick and doesn’t take much time to activate and get in action. There is no diesel clattering instead a nice performance exhaust note greets the occupants.
RIDE AND HANDLING
The 3.0 litre diesel engine attached to an 8-speed automatic transmission gearbox allows this car to reach a maximum speed of 250kmph. Moreover, it can breach the 100kmph speed mark in approximately 6.2 seconds. The petrol model on the other hand can reach the maximum speed of 241kmph and can zoom from zero to 100kmph in just 7.9 seconds. For allowing this sedan to handle effortlessly, it is provided with an electric power steering wheel. In addition, it has a coil spring type of system attached to its front axle and an air spring suspension mechanism is provided for its rear axle.
SAFETY AND SECURITY
The car manufacturer has given this luxurious saloon a lot of protective aspects, which gives the occupants a stress free driving experience. It has a reinforced body shell, which is designed to protect the passengers at all times. Its aluminum body panels and monocoque chassis are chemically bounded and engrossed together that gives a strong body structure for protecting the occupants. It is also blessed with parking aid system, which has audible warnings and visual images on touchscreen display. The pedestrian contact sensor reduces the pedestrian injuries in a collision with energy absorbing bumpers and sensors. It instinctively raises the bonnet slightly and create space between the bonnet and engine components. The front seats are equipped with plus sensors that detect the size and weight of the driver and passenger to activate soft landing technology. Meanwhile, its anti whiplash function instantaneously follows the head restraints forward, if there is an accident. It also has dual front front airbags along with side curtain airbags for extra safety. Apart from these, it is integrated with some advanced features like electric parking brake along with drive away release, adaptive dynamics, automatic speed limiter, track dynamic stability control, an advanced engine immobilizer with security alarm system, three flash lane change indicators, rain sensing wipers, defogger with timers, rear doors with child safety locks and many other such aspects.
There is no doubt in our minds that the Jaguar XJ is an excellent car. It is really pretty, has an excellent interior, is quite spacious and drives well. Essentially it ticks off all the boxes. Of course, it does have rivals like the Mercedes S Class, the current generation of which has really taken things up a notch when it comes to automotive design and technology but the XJ appeals to us on a more emotional level the way nothing else does. Is it the best car is its class, no. But, would I buy one if I had just about a crore to spend and was looking for a luxurious limousine? Absolutely.
Jaguar XJ Ex Showroom Price in New Delhi ranges from 97,39,000/- (XJ 2.0L Portfolio LWB) to 97,39,000/- (XJ 2.0L Portfolio LWB) .Jaguar XJ has 1 Variants of Petrol are available in India. Jaguar XJ comes in 5 colours, namely Ultimate Black Metallic,Polaris White,Indigo,Stratus Grey,Rhodium Silver.