By on May 12, 2015

2015 Jaguar XJL AWD

In February of 2013, when speaking to the opening breakfast of the Chicago Auto Show, Andy Goss, the head of Jaguar Land Rover of North America, made a couple of comments about the luxury market in the United States. He said that 90 percent of vehicles with luxury nameplates are sold with V6 engines and  you can’t sell a luxury car north of the Mason-Dixon line if you don’t at least offer all-wheel drive. The 2015 Jaguar XJL AWD Portfolio is the result of Goss’ perception of the lay of the luxury land.


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There are those who believe true luxury starts at eight cylinders but the simple truth is most Jaguars ever made, including most of the cars that have carried the XJ nameplate, were powered by six cylinder engines, specifically the classic DOHC inline six in 3.8 and 4.2 liter versions. I’ve owned one of those XJs so the idea of driving Jaguar’s biggest, most luxurious sedan with ‘only’ a six doesn’t bother me. Besides, Jaguar’s current supercharged V6 is tuned to provide 340 horsepower. While that’s 10-15% less power than Jaguar’s naturally aspirated V8 puts out, by my standards it was quick enough. A friend and customer of mine has been driving leased Jaguar XJs for more than a decade and he told me that he didn’t like the performance of the XJ with the six. Another XJ owner, whose car does have a six, told me she loved it. Jaguar quotes a 0-60 time of 6.1 seconds. Whether that’s quick enough for you, well, that’s up to you.

 

The pewter colored paint looked great when clean, but got pretty dirty in winter driving. Full gallery here.

The pewter colored paint looked great when clean, but got pretty dirty in winter driving.

As I said, it’s quick enough for me. Over the past few years I’ve reviewed a variety of Jaguar XF and XJ models. At the 2015 New York Auto Show, Jaguar had the formal introduction of their new XF, which is now based on Jaguar’s aluminum architecture and hundreds of pounds lighter than the XFs I’ve driven in the past. The reason for that change is the bigger XJ was actually lighter and had better performance and handling than the previous XF when equipped with the same powertrains. Jaguar’s head of design Ian Callum acknowledged that at the NY show. Though the XJ is big, and the longer wheelbase XJL even bigger, it’s relatively light and nimble, and I don’t think many people will find the lack of an eight cylinder engine to be a significant performance detriment.

When the current body style XJ was introduced, Callum’s use of black trim blending in with the rear window to visually isolate the roof panel was criticized by many. It seems as if Callum is being validated by other designers, as the new Nissan Maxima and Lexus RX, introduced earlier this month at the New York Auto Show, both feature somewhat similar black panels.

In one area, handling, the smaller and lighter six may help offset the additional weight of the components needed to drive the front wheels as well as the back. Of course, without driving them back to back I can’t say for sure, but based on memory the AWD XJL feels just as balanced and handles just as well as the V8 powered rear-wheel drive versions I’ve driven. As mentioned, the XJL feels nimble. You don’t get the feeling you’re driving one of the largest cars on the road. It’s the automotive equivalent to a gentleman or lady’s well fitted suit. While the XJ’s flanks are substantial, visibility is outstanding thanks to a third side light of glass at the C pillar.

If the 340 horsepower V6 seems up to the task of powering a full scale luxury sedan, what about all-wheel drive, Andy Goss’ other benchmark for selling luxury cars in this market? Jaguar’s all-wheel drive system is now available in all of their cars – XJ, XE and the new XF introduced earlier this month at the New York show. The AWD unit, developed with the expertise of the Land Rover side of the company, worked very well. I specifically asked Jaguar if they had an AWD car for me to test out this winter and, fortunately for this review, the Detroit area got about two inches of snow the morning the XJL was dropped off. Ideal conditions to see how the all-wheel drive performed in poor traction conditions. Well, almost ideal conditions. The test car came equipped with all-season tires.

As it turned out, though, the lack of true winter tires ended up demonstrating just how well Jaguar’s AWD works. While the XJL has aluminum construction, it’s still a big car and the AWD version tips the scale at over two tons. There’s some mass to contend with and 340 hp is more than enough to spin tires in bad traction conditions. I was deliberately being ham fisted with the car, trying to make it slide and get out of shape on turns. Because of the all-season tires’ lack of grip in the snow, it was indeed sliding, and it would start to get out of shape, but the AWD, traction control and stability control would step in and keep the car traveling in my intended direction. It wasn’t particularly subtle, and there were some odd sounds going on, but the systems did get the car under control. If you do get an AWD Jaguar, you can afford a set of proper winter tires. Throw on some Blizzaks and your Quattro equipped Audi driving neighbors won’t have anything on you.

The rest of the car was as expected from Jaguar. Space, pace and grace. The cabin was first rate; the seats very comfortable and everything within easy reach. With the L designation in the model name comes substantial rear seat room. Six footers should easily be able to sit behind people just as tall.

While it isn’t world class, the infotainment system is a huge improvement over the clunky Jaguar interface most reviewers dinged a few years ago. I’d say it was competitive with other systems if not at the head of the class. My Samsung Android phone worked seamlessly via Bluetooth. While the light brown leather interior at first looked a bit visually jarring, that was only because I’ve gotten so used to black and grey interiors. Over the week the aesthetics of the brown leather grew on me.

What is world class, I think, is the Meridian branded audio system – a truly audiophile quality set of components. Car sound systems are getting very, very good. One mark of a good sound system is resolution and transparency, allowing you to hear individual instruments instead of a blurry mess. You gain a new appreciation for what you thought were familiar recordings. With this system, you can count just how many acoustic guitars Jimmy Page multi-tracked on Over The Hills And Far Away.

I’m cynical about the business of car audio system branding. The Panasonic-made audio systems in Volkswagen cars carry the Fender brand because those three companies believe American consumers are likely to associate the name Fender more generally with music and rock ‘n’ roll than as a company noted for the distinctive distortion of its guitar pickups and amplifiers. The audio system in the XJL was so good I’d have a hard time believing the audio experts at Meridian, an elite UK audio brand, were not involved in its application.

Also first rate is the way Jaguar engineers have calibrated the 8-speed ZF automatic transmission. Upshifts are so smooth as to be almost imperceptible, and the way the transmission and ECU work together to slow the car when coasting down to a stop was very impressive. I don’t think I could use engine braking and downshifting as effectively myself with a clutch and manual gearbox.

Besides yielding more than adequate performance, one result of the 8-speed transmission and six cylinder engine is rather impressive fuel economy. The XJL is about as big a car as you’ll find on the American road and in about 600 miles of mixed driving, half urban/suburban and the other half on interstate highways, I saw 24.7 mpg. If I recall correctly, my old mid 1980s Jaguar XJ with the 4.2 liter inline six got 14 mpg.

Speaking of fuel, why do cars that require premium fuel typically call for 91 octane, whereas the vast majority of gasoline stations only offer 87, 89, and 93 octane? There’s no point in paying for more octane than you need so I typically blend 89 and 93 half and half to save money.

Rear passengers in the long wheelbase XJL get their own climate controls. Full gallery here

Rear passengers in the long wheelbase XJL get their own climate controls, with heated and cooled seats, which I’m sure will be appreciated when Shanghai gets hot and humid.

 

Not liking to be a cheerleader, I wish I could find things to criticize about the XJL AWD Portfolio, but everything worked flawlessly, even down to the automatically adjusting windshield wipers. While it’s cliche to say there aren’t any bad cars sold today, it’s not cliche to say there are a lot of great cars you can buy at just about every price point. I don’t have a problem saying the XJL AWD is a great car. When I’m reduced to complaining the automatic climate control seemed to be calibrated a couple of degrees off from what I’m used to, how could I say otherwise?


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Jaguar Land Rover of North America provided the car, insurance and a tank of premium gasoline.

Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth, a realistic perspective on cars & car culture and the original 3D car site. If you found this post worthwhile, you can get a parallax view at Cars In Depth. If the 3D thing freaks you out, don’t worry, all the photo and video players in use at the site have mono options. Thanks for reading – RJS

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93 Comments on “2015 Jaguar XJL AWD Portfolio Review...”


  • avatar
    RideHeight

    Return of Hippo On Ice Skates.

  • avatar
    Waterview

    The XJ’s exterior is beautiful, but the interior, particularly the quality of the leather, just doesn’t seem to make the grade. I don’t think I’ve seen one yet that doesn’t have an extraordinary amount of wear on the seat bolsters after just a short time.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    I love Jaguar – but with much respect – that is, from a distance.

    While I have an innate desire to own one, I’m afraid the upkeep would practically bankrupt me, assuming I could afford to buy one in the first place – NEW, not used. A used Jag is a major money pit, like every other Euro-car.

    Oh, well, I’ll settle for the upcoming Malibu, after all, the 2016 resembles the Jaguar up above, but so do a lot of cars.

    I’ll continue to admire the Jag – any Jag – from a distance.

    • 0 avatar
      ellomdian

      I think the XJ still looks good, but it is a 6-year-old design now, and it is parked next to the F-Type at the dealer making some of the dated cues stand out even more.

      The 2016 is getting a refresh, and will also be the demo for the updated styling of the rest of the line (XE, XF.)

      It remains to be seen if it’s even slightly compelling next to the new 7 and the S-class – Jaguar showrooms have been a ghost town outside of people picking up their F-types…

    • 0 avatar

      Why not consider a certified pre-owned (CPO) model, where you still get the equivalent of a new car warranty?

      I don’t know how Jaguar’s is, but with the Mercedes S500 I owned it took care of everything that went wrong during the warranty period, which included some quite expensive seeming repairs.

      (I now have a CPO CLS550, but haven’t had to use the warranty yet so have no updated report.)

      D

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    Zackman,

    From your past comments I’m guessing we’re about the same age. Do you *like* these modern sedans with the roof that barely comes up to your ribcage and only slits to see out of?

    You must have kept yourself in phenomenal shape to be willing to daily fold yourself into a 2016 Malibu.

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      Well, I don’t know how great of shape I’m in, but I’m 64, and don’t have any problem getting into a current Malibu. Haven’t seen a 2016 in the metal, yet.

      I suppose I’m in pretty good shape considering my age – I can still move – my wife and I do moderately work out, and our health is fine.

      Do I like the fastback styling and gunslit glass? No, but a gen-u-ine 3-box sedan is hard to find. A Chrysler 300 is about the only one I know of, but I doubt I would buy a Chrysler product, plus sitting in a 300 is like a pillbox, minus machine guns – probably on the option list somewhere. I’d like to drive one just the same to see what they’re like.

      • 0 avatar
        RideHeight

        Well, I know I’ve got arthritis and I’m beginning to think I’m claustrophobic, too, when I have to ride in a modern sedan. My CRV is jim dandy and my wife’s Fit is just barely accessible without cracking my head. Best of all is my pickup but I seldom drive it anymore as my younger brother has it. He’s still all into DIY-ing his property.

        Glad to hear about your good health!

  • avatar
    wmba

    Does this Jag have a center diff in the AWD? I think not, it’s like BMW XDrive (I checked and yes it is), a semi-cheapy alternative to quattro (A4 and above). Hence all the funny noises as the brakes did their stability control thing with the ABS.

    AWD has become just another box to check on the order form, with no regard as to whether you get a decent version. So, we’re left with most Audis except A3, some Mercedes, some Chryslers, and the Subie WRX CVT, STI and 3.6 Legacy/Outback. The rest are hobbled one way or another.

    • 0 avatar
      S2k Chris

      “So, we’re left with most Audis except A3, some Mercedes, some Chryslers, and the Subie WRX CVT, STI and 3.6 Legacy/Outback. The rest are hobbled one way or another.”

      Honda/Acura’s SH-AWD is pretty good too, no?

  • avatar
    bigev007

    It asks for 91 because that’s the highest you can get in a very large number of places. California, for example, is 91 only. I don’t remember the last time I saw a 93 pump (I’m in Canada).

    Does it come with a very nice portfolio? Like for the owner’s manual, or just for important business person type documents? If not, lost opportunity, Jag.

  • avatar
    NN

    Jaguar needs to embrace their Britishness a bit more. This car seems way too Germanic and “cold” in design and execution. Look at that interior, it needs moar wood, a whole lot of it, and connolly leather. With this car, it just seems that Jaguar is doing what Cadillac is doing–chasing the Germans, which doesn’t honor the history & dignity of the brand.

  • avatar
    duffman13

    Well to answer your octane question – it depends on the part of the country you live in. California in particular only offers up to 91 at most stations, and being that it is the largest car market in the country, it behooves carmakers to build cars tuned to take California gas, rather than a California version and a rest of the US version.

    • 0 avatar

      93-octane is fairly rare here in Oklahoma, too. I know of only a couple of places in the OKC metro that sell it.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      Also the reason most premium gas in Southern Maine is 91 octane – Irving Canada owns the local gas distribution terminal, and it is all the same gas no matter what station with only one exception in greater Portland. One station gets 93 trucked in from NH/MA.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    This looks like a stretched Volvo from the side.

    That said, the brown leather really works from an aesthetic standpoint especially as contrasting with the dash & door top color, and the switchgear looks decidedly logical, well made and modern (especially for Jaguar).

    Also, this thing, even for a “mere 340 horsepower” 6 cylinder (there’s really no need for anymore, IMO) gets amazing real world fuel economy for such a large AWD sedan.

    How many Cadillac ATSs, CTSs or CT6s could fit in the rear seat of this vehicle? By the photos, it would appear “many.” This shames any Cadillac in terms of distinctiveness, comfort, interior room & the things that matter in luxury sedans. Call Cadillac Pontillac and be done with it (the CT6 can be the Bonneville replacement).

  • avatar
    bball40dtw

    Ronnie is a fan of Albert Kahn designed buildings.

    The Pewabic tile is a nice touch.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    Regular fuel in Europe is 95 RON, which is about 90-91 AKI (US).

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      That was the case back in the leaded fuel days. Now 95 is mid-grade at most gas stations, at least across the wide swath of Europe (France to Sweden/Finland) I covered with my BMW in 2011. All I put in it, since all it would ever see at home was 91 anyway.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        Gasoline in Europe usually comes in two grades: 95 and 98+. (Subtract about 4 or 5 for the US equivalent octane rating.)

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          Funny, I drove over 3000 miles in Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, The Netherlands, Belgium, and France on that trip and I cannot recall a single gas station with less than three grades of gas available, and some had as many as five (not including diesel). MAYBE there was a gas station in rural Sweden or Finland that only had two, but I doubt it. Admittedly, I was only in major urban areas south of the Baltic, but 95 octane gas was without exception, the mid-grade choice in 2011. There was a lower octane choice that was a little cheaper, and at least one higher octane choice that was a little more expensive. Just like here.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Here’s a report on fuel prices. Notice two grades of gasoline, with 95 as the lower of the two.

            “Gasoil” isn’t gasoline — it’s diesel.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            And here’s a website from the French government that reports fuel prices. It includes these categories:

            -Diesel
            -95 Unleaded
            -95 Unleaded (E10 ethanol)
            -E85
            -Natural gas
            -98 Unleaded

            http://www.prix-carburants.gouv.fr/

            Only two octane levels, not three.

  • avatar

    My understanding was that the latest 5.0-liter AJ-series V8 (note: the Jaguar/Land Rover 5.0-liter bears no relationship to the Ford Coyote V8!) had been developed prior to Jaguar’s inclusion of AWD on the XJ and XF and so couldn’t be fitted with Jaguar’s AWD system this time around. The 3.0-liter supercharged V6, on the other hand, had been developed with AWD in mind, and so could. Funny enough, though, the V6 uses the same exact block as the V8, with slightly smaller cylinders and some added balancing mojo to make up for the fact that it’s a 90-degree V6 (which isn’t as ideal as the usual 60-degree shape for a V6).

    Either way, Jaguar was smart to include AWD however it could, because it was definitely losing customers up north to 4Matic, Quattro and xDrive. And the V6 seems like plenty of heart for this big cat.

    • 0 avatar
      bunkie

      Does this V6 use a balance shaft or an offset crank to quell the shakey nature of the 90 degree bank angle?

      While modern V6 engines are marvels of power and efficiency, they will never be as smooth as a V8 or a straight six without active countermeasures. My biggest disappointment when going from a V8 in my previous car to the V6 in my current car is that the V8 was so smooth at idle, you needed to check the tach to make sure it was shut off. Not so in my current car.

  • avatar
    JMII

    “Callum’s use of black trim blending in with the rear window to visually isolate the roof panel was criticized by many”

    That because it is a crime against all design sense. Its horrible. If the chrome trim wasn’t there and a black glass insert had been used that aligned with the side profile it could be lovely. Instead it looks like electrical tape “sticker”.

    Also agree with others, the interior looks very boring for executive saloon in the traditional Jag sense. It’s too clean, minimalist and the chrome is tacky. Almost like something Dodge would have done in a show car. It should be rich and warm on the inside. I’m just not getting that feeling here.

  • avatar

    The Jaguar XJ-L is what the MKS should have been. There are similar design problems in both cars such as the raised transmission tunnel, bunkerized interior, slow infotainment, etc, but the materials quality and worksmanship should have been targeted by Lincoln. If the MKS had the XJ’s interior quality, it would probably sell a lot better and be more desirable.

    When we leased an XJ-L v8 2012, it was one of the sharpest cars on the road. It still is. But if you have a bunch of tall people going for a ride, you’d rather be in an S550. Both the W221 and W222 are STILL better cars than the XJ-L even though their luxury qualities are understated.

    The Lincoln Continental Concept seems to be taking cues from the XJ-L in it’s interior, but Lincoln really needs to eliminate “dark” colored interiors altogether -unless they are special ordered.

    • 0 avatar
      S2k Chris

      “When we leased an XJ-L v8 2012,”

      Nothing makes someone sound dumber than when they put the year at the end of the model name. It’s a modifier, it goes FIRST. You don’t drive a Jaguar blue, you drive a blue Jaguar. You don’t drive a Jaguar 2012, it’s a 2012 Jaguar. Sounds absolutely idiotic.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      I want black leather in my Lincoln.

      Actually, I tried to find an MkT with the hazelnut leather. Next too impossible…

    • 0 avatar

      Actually, I really don’t have an issue with the MKS’ interior quality after the 2013 refresh. It’s quite good. The problem is that the car fails to stand out from a style or hardware standpoint, and that it’s quite cramped for what is supposed to be a full-sized luxury sedan. Oh, and it’s very tall and impossible to see around.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        And it is just a Taurus in drag, which is the real problem.

        • 0 avatar
          TrailerTrash

          This drive me nuts!
          It is kind of important that IF you are going to say this, I just gotta step in.
          Know the correct model introduction timetable.
          The MKS came out well ahead of the redesigned Taurus.
          Suddenly Ford Bossman decided the Fivehundred was a mistake and promised Ford would in the future introduce a new Taurus and one that should have been build in the first place.
          Then eventually the Taurus came out.

          And like krhodes1 says below…you can buy 2 MKS for the price of one of these.
          It even has the MKS rear lamps of the ’10 and ’11 models.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      You can buy two MKS for the price of this car. So the fact that the MKS has a lesser interior is hardly surprising. Let’s compare apples to apples, shall we?

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    I have so many thoughts about these, even with their relative rarity around here (I do believe a Jag exec said a few years ago that he really didn’t understand how Midwest sales were always so poor). I suspect they’re rare because A)reliability concerns from practical Midwestern people and B) no AWD until just very recently like we see here.

    So now I will say: I think the last proper XJ was available in 2009 – when you could purchase a modern large Jaguar with aluminum underneath, and yet see the heritage back to the MKII. It was very British looking, and very dignified. This one, not so much. There’s no heritage, and the sloped rear puts me more in mind of a Seville than a Sovereign. And yes I get they need to “move forward” and “be modern,” but there’s a way to do that without losing all heritage. Even the hood ornament is gone, with the flat cat face at the front and the horizontal leaping cat at the back (which doesn’t match, and thus bothers me.) The whole exterior is a sloping mess, and it doesn’t work for me. The only part I like is the sheer size of the thing – which is as a large Jaguar should be.

    (Gratuitous 09 XJ photo to highlight my opinion: http://images.thecarconnection.com/lrg/jaguar_100180368_l.jpg)

    The interior looks alright, though would increase in appeal to me with some contrasting piping like you’d get on a VDP (though maybe that’s solely reserved to VDP at current time, I cannot recall). The wood is too dark, to the point where it looks like piano black trim in all the photos except for the one of the centre dash.

    I like the AWD, and 340 HP is certainly plenty, as someone who drives a similar weighted AWD car with 305 HP. But in many other ways, they’ve lost the plot. They aren’t providing me anything I can’t get in a -much- better, more reliable (and tons more resale value), and really more impressive technical package – in an LS460L.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      I like the old face better too. I think the ’09 XJ has a timeless look.

      • 0 avatar
        VenomV12

        My neighbor shares the same sentiments, he has a gorgeous previous gen Navy blue XJ and he refuses to get the new one because he hates how it looks. He also has a nice green convertible XJ12. I think the new XJ looks good, but people that really love Jags really love the old style and that is a huge problem for Jaguar.

    • 0 avatar

      The “Leaper” hood ornament is still available as a dealer-installed accessory.

      Also, I don’t know that there is a Vanden Plas variant of the current generation XJ, but I’ve certainly seen contrast piping on them before.

    • 0 avatar

      The problem with the traditional looking XJ is that it didn’t sell in its last iteration. As classic as the design was (I’ve owned and loved a Series III XJ6), the market said it looked dated. They brought out a completely new, all aluminum XJ and I, an XJ fan, had a hard time telling it from the previous model. Sometimes you just have to move on and I think that Ian Callum and his team have done a good job at giving Jaguar a new look. The new design theme looks good from the XJ down to the XE without being too much of a BMW-like same sausage different length showroom. One of the problems with the X-Type was that the mini-XJ look just didn’t work. The classic XJ lines worked with a big car, not a small one.

      I’m interested to see how the XE does. It’s really the first time that Jaguar has seriously built a BMW 3 competitor.

      When the

  • avatar
    blueflame6

    Reading all these comments, and those for other cars, reminds me of music listening habits. Essentially, studies show that most people, as they get older, listen to less and less new music and just keep hitting the oldies. The similarity I see here is the steady flow of comments that boil down to “The old ones looked better” and “Why are the new ones so ugly?” Of course one difference is that most people don’t want to drive 30 year old cars even if they listen to 30 year old music, so the new stuff keeps selling.

    I suspect that continuing to build unchanging cars to appeal to an aging and shrinking demographic is probably not in the long term best interest of a business hoping to stay profitable.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      No one wants an “unchanging” XJ straight out of 1971. What most people have in mind is something like what is done with the Wrangler or 911.

    • 0 avatar
      Waftable Torque aka Daniel Ho

      The last time I took the effort to search for new music, I hit the jackpot downloading a ton of J-pop and HK-pop from the Windpower, Reichan, and Mike-Mike sites between 1998 and 2002, before they got shut down for being the pirate sites that they were. Since then, I’ve had to go to shopping malls to even catch what’s current, because I won’t seek it out.

      With Pandora and Spotify now available, it’s a music lover’s dream come true. But not for me. l’ll stick with my Jacky Cheung, Oda Kazumasa, and Le Couple for now.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    This design has grown on me. I was at first saddened by the discontinuation of the “classic shape” of Jaguar late in the last decade but I have grown to like this latest iteration.

    I’m also like the “British Villain” advertising.

  • avatar
    tjh8402

    For this worried about reliability, you can always join Doug Demuro in tanking Carmax’s stock price. There are 10 Jag XJ’s with less than 30k miles on them starting at $41k (going up to $60k) nationwide which means 6 years and around 100k miles worth of getting Carmax to pay for you getting to know your Jag dealer a lot better. I think of the honey of the bunch is this:

    http://www.carmax.com/enus/view-car/default.html?id=11617125&AVi=4&No=0&Rp=R&D=90&zip=32822&N=4294962885+4294961865&sM=NA-30000&Us=14&Q=4836f03d-e30f-41f6-ba2e-36ca0bf34f0a&Ep=search:results:results%20page

    2011 SWB Supercharged 9k miles for $49k

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    I’ve discovered a huge problem with this XJL AWD.

    XJL AWD from $84,700
    LS460L AWD from $83,230

    Guess which one has MUCH more standard equipment? And the larger engine? And the better reliability?

    • 0 avatar
      S2k Chris

      I’m guessing Lexus people are not Jag people and Jag people are not Lexus people. Jag people are not troubled by the availability of more electronic gadgets in a Lexus for less, because a Lexus is a bit boring and sort of ugly. A Jag is beautiful and sensuous and who cares if the Nav is slow, have you seen how pretty the car is?

      Personally, give me a SWB with whatever engine and RWD. I’ll vinyl wrap the stupid C pillars body color and then my car will be absolutely gorgeous.

      Watch Skyfall with the Jag hauling around M and ask if there’s any other car that could have been?

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        Just get the car in black or dark blue. Solves the C-pillar problem and they look best in dark colors anyway.

        Completely agree that Jaguar customers are a breed unto themselves. Which is part of Jaguars problem, of course.

      • 0 avatar
        Toad

        Compared to the Lexus LS the Jag has fewer features, worse reliability, a smaller engine, and costs more.

        But a Jag looked cool in a James Bond movie so it’s kind of a wash?

        • 0 avatar
          S2k Chris

          Basically, yeah. How many people ever use all the gizmos in their luxury cars? Some do, but most don’t. So if you don’t care, that’s not as much of a selling point. Look, most of these cars are going to be used to drive from a big house to the office/hospital and back 20 minutes at a time. Looks, style, prestige, etc, matters more than anything else. Do you want a Jag, or do you want a Lexus? Either is a perfectly valid answer, but do you understand why some might want one and not the other?

        • 0 avatar
          hubcap

          “But a Jag looked cool in a James Bond movie so it’s kind of a wash?”

          No. People like what they like. I don’t have the stats committed to memory but I’d wager that Lexus is the most reliable luxury brand according to CR (and the rest of the black dot mafia).

          With all that reliability goodness baked into the Lexus pie people still choose cars by other luxury makes.

          And, reliability is less of an issue if you don’t plan to keep the car much over four to five years.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        M should have been driven in an armored Range Rover in Skyfall.

        And she should’ve downloaded Avast or Avira along with Comodo+.

      • 0 avatar
        VenomV12

        My neighbor from my previous comment above currently has 2 Lexus RXs (maybe 3), 1 Lexus GX, 1 Lexus GS300, 1 Jaguar XJ and 1 Jaguar XJ12 convertible so it would seem that Lexus people can also be Jag people:)

  • avatar
    genuineleather

    The people who can afford these cars (older, traditional, Type A personalities) want a V8: just ask your local dealers how many V6-equipped 7 series and A8s they sell. These buyers are also very intolerant of issues: Germans might be more generic, but more often than not they get through the lease period with a minimum of fuss. Can you count on a modern Jag to not have annoying glitches or imprecise build quality? The sales numbers indicate that buyers think they can’t.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Look, why you would have a problem with spending $85,000+ on a gigantic car with a 6-cylinder is beyond me.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      I stated earlier that I’m okay with the V6 in this given the 340 HP and its mission, and that I liked the dash.

      Upon further reflection, at 85k, and being a full bore luxury sedan coming with length, this should have a V8 – at least in the U.S., period – and although I still think that the interior is done modernity and nicely, I agree that it could and should be done more warmly (warmer colors, more real wood), given Jaguar’s better attributes, history and cache.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        And I always recall Top Gear trumpeting the “Space, grace, pace, and value” for Jaguar through all of history. They always had a value proposition over their rivals. That is certainly not the case now, where everything you get on this thing is -lesser- than the Lexus option, except the price tag.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          I’m weird; the supercharged 2004 XJ8 my then boss had (in 2004), which was bada$$ looking (in black, with the larger wheels), that had a mean exhaust note at WOT, and that was actually reliable from a mechanical standpoint (motor, transmission, cooling system), and even pretty much reliable electrically speaking thanks to Ford, will always be my favorite Jaguar.

          The new ones have nothing on that XJ8 (or earlier classics) in terms of uniqueness, and manage to look like a collage of different cars from different manufacturers, depending on what side/end of the vehicle one is staring at.

          • 0 avatar

            The X350 (2004-2007) and X358 (2008-2009) Jaguar XJ shirks its British reputation to actually be the most preservable and overall most reliable flagship of that era. And that makes perfect sense when you consider that its early rivals were the W220 S-Class, D3 A8 and the *infamous* E65 7-Series. Plus, it’s just aged better than all of those…

          • 0 avatar
            Mandalorian

            Not having the V8 available with AWD is a bit of a let down. I have nothing against a good Turbo-6, but for nearly $85k most potential buyers (myself included) expect a V8.

            The big problem is for any car in this segment the same. The Mercedes S-Class. The S-Class is probably the best automobile under $250k. It’s also Mercedes bread and butter. BMW and Audi make good products but their focus is on the 3/5 and A4/A6 sized vehicles.

            I like Jagaur and I want to see it succeed, but it needs to embrace it’s Englishness more instead of being too similar to the germans.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      And you can simply spend $9K more and get a supercharged V8 if 340hp is somehow inadequate. Rounding error at these prices.

    • 0 avatar
      hubcap

      “The big problem is for any car in this segment the same. The Mercedes S-Class.”

      Agreed. The S Class is the epitome of “speak softly and carry a big stick.”Nothing about the car is shouty but its quiet competence invades one’s thoughts when thinking about signing on the dotted line for a 7 Series, A8, or Quattroporte.

      It’s a tough act to follow.

  • avatar
    Waftable Torque aka Daniel Ho

    I feel a bit cynical about high end car audio systems, because I get the feeling that a $6,000 stereo is really buying you $200 in upgraded speaker components, $500 for a Class D amp, $300 to pay for the R&D, and $5,000 for markup.

    I auditioned a pair of Meridian DSP 5000’s about 18 years ago. I was very impressed, but not enough to spend the $40,000 or so they wanted for those loudspeakers. Since then, I’ve come across many loudspeakers, usually Canadian made and a hundredth the cost, that are similarly good.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      $40,000 is full retard money for loudspeakers.

      Jack Baruth needs to do a rip-it-apart, rage fueled expose’ of the great audio component scam.

      • 0 avatar

        Agreed. My new car has “Fender” audio. Not that I really cared about it in the first place, but I seriously can’t tell the difference between this car’s audio system and that of the previous one, which wasn’t premium.

    • 0 avatar
      VenomV12

      As someone who spent way too much time and money on car audio and building systems and competing in IASCA events when I was a teenager, I think I may have spent near to $10,000 on a system one time, I can tell you for a fact I don’t think most of these ultra-expensive systems are worth it, just a scam to pad the bottom line. One of my colleagues has an insane audio system in his house, all Macintosh everything and these ludicrously expensive tower ribbon speakers, must have almost $50K into it and it just doesn’t sound like $50K worth of sound. Another guy did a whole theater system in his house, seating, projector etc etc for about $40K and that was a whole better use of money to me. 90% of the time I drive with my radio off now and the other 10% of the time I listen to news stations on Sirius so I could have Kraco speakers for all I care.

    • 0 avatar
      rpn453

      I know nothing about this particular one, but branded car audio systems in general tend to be disappointing. They’re typically just selling the name and nothing else. You pull the speakers out wondering if they might at least resemble a decent $100 pair of aftermarket speakers from the same manufacturer, despite the intolerable sound that lead you to operate in the first place. But no, they always look like something that would be $4.99 a pair in the Princess Auto surplus section. At least they put some harsh mid-range drivers on top of the dash now and bounce the sound off the windshield to warn anyone with functional hearing that the whole system needs replacing.

      Possibly the nicest OE speakers I’ve removed from a vehicle were the Panasonics in a 2003 X-Terra. Still plenty of room for an upgrade, but at least they appeared to be manufactured to a quality level that would be suitable for retail sale beyond the aforementioned surplus section. $25 a pair would be a reasonable MSRP.

      • 0 avatar
        rpn453

        I should add that it’s just the lower-end branded stuff that I’ve been disappointed by: Alpine, Bose (especially), Infiniti, and even B&O. Meridian and Mark Levinson might be fantastic for all I know.

        I was in my buddy’s new base model CX-5 the other day and it was refreshing to see a simple four speaker system plus tweeters. I told him it came across as honest. It’s there to simply play radio and music at a reasonable volume for people who don’t want to listen to loud music. The branded systems seem deceptive because they seem to suggest that they’re capable of more than that. Sure, they probably have greater volume capability, but it’s harsh and the “subwoofers” don’t dig low enough to make the boomy mid-range bass worthwhile, so why bother?

        • 0 avatar

          The Mark Levinson system in our family friend’s 2004 Lexus GX 470 is certainly exquisite, though I’ve never sampled the base system in that car, so I don’t know if it’s a worthwhile upgrade.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I had a ML in my GS that I liked.

            Lexus (at least through the 2000s era) required you to get the ML upgrade if you wanted navigation, always packaged together.

      • 0 avatar
        Waftable Torque aka Daniel Ho

        Quality loudspeaker drivers are critical for home audio, but not for the reason most suspect. High dispersion is a desirable performance trait, and cheap midrange drivers do the opposite by beaming their sound. The way to fix it is to send more midrange frequencies into the tweeter, which requires higher power handling (read: heat dissipation) and thus better construction.

        I don’t know enough about car audio to know if beaming is an issue. I do know that car audio engineers use active equalization to overcome limitations of the loudspeakers and the acoustic environment. An acoustic engineer turned photographer had something to say about it:

        http://kenrockwell.com/audio/dirac/hd-player.htm

    • 0 avatar
      pheanix

      Jack Baruth ripping apart pretender loudspeakers FTW.

      In general (and it seems enough commenters here agree), brand sound systems – automotive or living room – are way overpriced for what they deliver. Find an independent speaker builder in or near your area (small business), for less money you’ll probably get a better system and with any luck the guy rebuilds speakers too (mine does) which means you can rip your car speakers out and take to him for cap and driver upgrades. The caps is where we’re especially getting beancountered, auto and home (because you can’t see them). It’s pretty ridiculous when a beautiful cabinet houses some cheapo junk for caps, but too often the case. Great audiophile caps can be had under $100.

      My speaker guy? Van L (Chicago).

      Just played Over the Hills and Far Away (original CD from the 80s, Barry Diament mastered) in my car, it’s fairly easy to tell the different acoustic guitars (and probably easier yet on any of the remastered files all of which are bright as hell). Anyway I don’t think that’s a very good test track, how about the MFSL Wall, Another Brick Pt 1? Now there’s audiophile goodness. Or, as far as Zep goes, No Quarter the full version from The Song Remains the Same (original CD).

  • avatar
    akatsuki

    Is this a review or a press release?

    V6 may be fast enough. Infotainment system is competent. Meridien audio is great. 8 speed transmission manages to actually shift. AWD seems to work well even without snow tires.

    Is that really all there is? How does it compare to other sporting large luxury sedans (e.g., the Panamera)? Where are the criticisms? How about a bit more detail on the interior construction and quality? Does it match a German? I doubt it matches Lexus in panel fit.

    And by the way, those air vents are hideous.

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