QOTD: Could You See Yourself in a Jag?

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
qotd could you see yourself in a jag

Yesterday we delivered news of a plan to transform the range-topping Jaguar XJ sedan into an electric five-door model — which, in Jaguar Land Rover’s mind, is a way of preserving the model and its historic lineage in an era of falling passenger car sales.

The jury’s out on whether a hypothetical group of EV buyers with bulging coin purses will actually materialize once Jaguar (pronounced “ jah-gyou-ahhh“) and other brands bring their latest electrical creations to market, but the writing’s on the wall for traditional sedans. Maybe going EV will earn these vehicles a stay of execution. Who knows?

As for the Jaguar brand itself, the company’s sales have never been stronger in the U.S., with new models of the utility bent positioned to take on premium rivals from Germany and Japan. Could you see one of these burly Brits taking up space in your driveway? Or has Jaguar left too much of its charm in the past?

If you pose that first question to an Anglophile friend of mine, you’ll be met with a “Hell, no.” Owner of seven Jags, some of them parts cars, this friend regularly laments the brand’s styling direction since the middle of the Ford era.

“They don’t look like Jags,” he said, as I flipped through images of the current XJ, XF, and XE on my phone the other day. Don’t get him started on the F-Pace or smaller E-Pace SUV. No, his 1997 XJ6 Vanden Plas is his prized possession, as the model hadn’t yet been bastardized by modern sensibilities. Under the hood lies a 4.0-liter inline-six. The body? British Steel. The hoodline? Low enough to ensure knee destruction for any unlucky pedestrian.

His 2003 (or ’04) XJ, the last of the old-school line, is proportionally less pleasing with its blunt face and taller hood. And never mind the non-traditional V8 engine — the rear seat doesn’t include folding breakfast trays. How are passengers supposed to enjoy their morning bangers? (Hmm… maybe that’s the point. I blame the European Union.)

While my friend’s collection also includes a brace of S-Types, as the throwback Mark 2 styling cues tickle his Westminster fancy, there’s no X-Type to be found anywhere in that barn. He knew full well, as did everyone else at the time, that the X-Type was an imposter plunked into the nest by a dastardly Ford Motor Company.

Yet despite some car lovers’ aversion to modern Jags, it’s models like the XE and F-Pace that currently make up the bulk of the brand’s sales. By all accounts, the F-Pace makes the two-row utility vehicle life quite a bit more stimulating than, say, sitting behind the wheel of a Dodge Journey or Hyundai Santa Fe Sport. Also, Jag ownership is still seen as a badge of individuality — a roguish Brit among a sea of Audis, Bimmers, Lexuses and Infinitis.

Where does your attraction to the brand, if indeed you have one, lie? Is it the products themselves? Does the styling tempt you, or is it the continued quirkiness of a British motorcar that would make you consider one? (Who amongst us wouldn’t shell out a few bucks for an XF Sportbrake after winning the lottery?)

Or, like my friend, are you done with the brand — at least until it comes out with a model so sexy, so quintessentially Jaguar, that resistance proves futile?

[Images: Jaguar Land Rover, Steph Willems/TTAC]

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  • SSJeep SSJeep on Jan 26, 2018

    I could definitely see myself in an old school XJ12. Jaguars used to have distinctive character that was noticeable from a mile away. They had bespoke interiors made of premium materials and real wood inlays. Exterior design was smooth and flowing with distinctive, tasteful elements. Nowadays, the F Sport looks like every other crossover at a distance, and one really doesn't know it is a Shaguar until they are up close. The interiors have been cheapened a bit while competitors are enhancing interior aesthetics. I just dont see a real fit for the modern iteration of Jaguar with the exception of those who specifically demand the least expensive British luxury marque.

  • Gearhead77 Gearhead77 on Feb 22, 2018

    I could and still can see myself in a Jag. Was considering leasing an XE or XF this time. But then I drove an Alfa Guilia, a base model but with lots of options and RWD. If I'm going to go wacky and buy/lease something "outside the box" it will probably be that. I was going to consider a 3 series lease, but after driving the Guilia, the BMW would have been boring. Not that my '17 Golf is anything special, but it is a stick and it was bought, not leased. If I wasn't pursuing the degree I should have finished a long time ago, I'd be in the Alfa right now. The only issue I had with the Guilia on the test drive is that the transmission was clunky at low speeds. But it was also the demo with 600 "who knows who's driven it" miles. The interior was OK, not as nice as the Jag, but I could live with it. Everything else was fine and the drive is amazing. I really liked that car! I could see myself in an older Jaguar for fun. There's just something about the "British Gentlemens Club" interiors that are so inviting ( goes for Land Rovers too).

  • 28-Cars-Later I'm actually surprised at this and not sure what to make of it. In recent memory Senator Biden has completely ignored an ecological disaster in Ohio, and then ignored a tragic fire in Hawaii until his handlers were goaded in sending him and his visit turned into it's own disaster, but we skipped nap time for this sh!t show? Seriously? We really are through the looking glass now, "votes" no longer matter (Hillary almost won being the worst presidential candidate since 1984 before he claimed the crown) and outside of Corvette nostalgia Joe doesn't care let alone know what day it happens to be. Could they really be afraid of Trump, who AFAIK has planned no appearance or run his mouth on this issue? Just doesn't make sense, granted this is Clown World so maybe its my fault for trying to find sense in a senseless act.
  • Tassos If you only changed your series to the CORRECT "Possibly Collectible, NOT Daily Driver, NOT Used car of the day", it would sound much more accurate AND TRUTHFUL.Now who would collect THIS heap of trash for whatever misguided reason, nostalgia for a much worse automotive era or whatever, is another question.
  • ToolGuy Price dropped $500 overnight. (Wait 10 more days and you might get it for free?)
  • Slavuta Must be all planned. Increase price of cars, urbanize, 15 minutes cities. Be poor, eat bugs
  • Sid SB Not seen a Core without the performance pack yet. Prefer the more understated look of the Core vs the Circuit, but both are great fun to drive.