By on August 16, 2012

Jaguar will finally offer all-wheel drive on their XF and XJ sedans – but only in one configuration, and where demand is highest.

To get an AWD Jag, one must order an XF or XJ with the new 3.0L supercharged V6. With 340 horsepower, buyers won’t be giving up that much power versus the naturally aspirated 5.0L V8, which makes 380 horsepower. The United States, Russia, China and Europe are said to be the primary markets for the AWD models (what, it won’t sell in Dubai either?). Interestingly, AWD won’t be offered in the UK, due to low demand in the luxury market.


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26 Comments on “Jaguar XF, XJ Finally Getting All-Wheel Drive...”

  • avatar

    Let’s pay more upfront, pay more at the pump, and pay more to fix for something that is only really useful about twice a year. If you live in a cold climate. Yeah marketing!

    • 0 avatar

      This also applies to RWD as opposed to FWD, the difference being that most people never use the advantage of RWD and spend their entire ownership missing out on the advantages of FWD.

    • 0 avatar

      I guess you’ve never driven on a gravel road or in a rainstorm. This isn’t the heavy duty 4WD that you find in pick-up trucks either.

    • 0 avatar
      Sam P

      From this statement, I’m guessing you haven’t lived in the Pacific Northwest or any state with chain requirements over mountain passes that AWD vehicles are largely exempt from.

      • 0 avatar
        Vance Torino

        Yup. You wouldn’t believe how many AWD cars are sold in the San Francisco bay area for this reason alone. Utterly useless in that divine climate, but needed for a Tahoe getaway. Cupertino Googlites putting on chains for the Donner Pass? That won’t happen.

    • 0 avatar

      I live in MAINE. I know a thing or two about driving in all sorts of slippery conditions. AWD is a waste for 90+% of the people who buy cars so equipped. If you actually NEED it, fine. But the number of people who need it at all is vanishingly small, and even then, you only NEED it a tiny percentage of the time. The rest of the time you might as well be burning dollar bills.

      What I find amusing is that the overwhelming majority of the vehicles I see in the ditch every winter are AWD. It gives you that nice feeling of invincibility when it is slippery. Oops.

  • avatar

    Okay. Maybe someone can answer this for me. Is it naturally or normally aspirated? I’ve read both.

  • avatar

    I don’t get it – BMW finally broke through with AWD on the 7’s in the US 2-3 years ago, and now it’s not available on a Jag in the UK? What next, is Audi going to offer their next cool diesel as a US exclusive? What madness is this?

  • avatar

    It’s interesting that Ford found a way to let its former luxury brands keep using its technology after the sale (the 2.0T motor in the Volvos, and Land Rovers and now Jags comes to mind) while GM refused to do the same for Saab…

  • avatar

    I’m willing to bet that the UK doesn’t get AWD because of technical issues with the RHD version.

    RHD countries get the short end of the stick every now and again when it comes to certain features and/or whole models.

  • avatar

    I just picked up a Jaguar XJ-L with executive package. Hear in NYC, we have relatively mild winters, but AWD seems to be what the market wants. Every S/E-class has it and Audi is a big seller because of it.

    The Jaguar weighs less than the Lincoln MKS. I’d like to see how well it handles with a Twin Turbo V6 with the same (or more) power than the EcoboostV6. No one wants a guzzling V8 anymore – the fact E350 is the best selling luxury car shows that.

    A lower price wouldn’t be bad either.

    • 0 avatar

      The MPG penalty for an AWD sedan isn’t as bad as it seems (in the case of the Fusion it was less than 5% as I remember it) however I wonder how many we will see south of the mason dixon? Where our version of a terrible winter is 32.9 degrees and very cold rain.

    • 0 avatar

      I once considered buying an XF very strongly, the 5.0L V8 was a huge selling point, the lack of AWD is what drove me away.

      • 0 avatar

        It’s an overdue item to be added to the line and I’m glad they’re finally doing it. Most full size lux cars are available with AWD now. I live in Maine, a big RWD vehicle would be tough to have for the long winters we have up here.

        Might seriously consider getting a AWD XF in a few years. Perfect for where I live.

    • 0 avatar

      Big Truck,

      You are right about the perception of need with AWD, as opposed to the reality of that need.
      Most people continue to leave their “all-season” tires on and depend on AWD to get them through the winter. But AWD is over-rated and rarely as needed as people might think,—unless you live up a 3000-ft snowy mountain driveway in New Hampshire, or a mud-laden sloppy road in Georgia.

      Mike Miller reports in “Roundel” that a 2WD BMW with actual winter tires (and traction control) will have about the same overall “get-around” ability as its AWD x-version counterpart., — without all the disadvantages of an AWD system.

      But ya gotta put 4 (not just 2) winters tires with steel wheels on every fall, and take them off in Spring. And we lazy Americans are getting too fat for that little effort. (^_^)…


      • 0 avatar

        “But ya gotta put 4 (not just 2) winters tires with steel wheels on every fall, and take them off in Spring. And we lazy Americans are getting too fat for that little effort. (^_^)…”

        I bet the cost of having and maintaining another set of wheels/tires is higher than the fuel consumption difference though.

      • 0 avatar
        Sam P

        Nay, with all wheel drive I’ve found I can run four good all-season tires. In my Subaru days in the Pacific Northwest I always ran Goodyear TripleTreads on my Outback year round. Never had any traction problems except during freezing rain, where only studded tires would have helped much.

      • 0 avatar


        You buy cheap used wheels for winter wheels. Figure about $300 for a set of -1 size wheels. The tires are an expensive initial cost, but they obviously last longer as you only use them a portion of the year. I have no idea what you mean by maintaining wheels and tires. You leave them in storage when not in use. Some tire shops may do this for you if you buy tires from them.

        I’m not sure how fast the extra fuel cost adds up, but AWD is an extra repair liability. One repair unique to the AWD system easily offsets the cost of the wheels.

        AWD can also change the dynamics of the car by adding weight and probably raising the ride height. Depending on the car, this may or may not be noticeable.

        Finally, you seem to assume that two driven wheels starts at the same price point as AWD. AWD is typically optional equipment costing north of $1,000. AWD already has a significant cost disadvantage before you even think about buying extra wheels and fuel costs and whatever else.

      • 0 avatar

        I always argue in favor of winter tires, but just to play devil’s advocate: AWD + snow tires > RWD + snow tires.

        Everyone likes to compare RWD with snows to AWD with all-seasons (because that would be the most common configuration on AWD), ignoring that you can also put snow tires on AWD.

        The comment about chain requirements is a good point too. We can go on and on about the benefits of snow tires, but someone has to convince agencies like Caltrans.

  • avatar

    For me, the AWD math just doesn’t work. Despite having a weekend house in a ski community, I’ve never felt the need for AWD. Four dedicated snow tires and wheels are cheaper and, as an added bonus, the summer tires last about 20-25% longer as they get an extended vacation. Plus, since I’ve owned very similar cars, the snows have transferred to each new car.

    Yet the AWD mania continues here in NYC. I was looking at leasing a 328 last year and the dealer told me that they didn’t bother stocking RWD models.

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