Place the old XJ next to this one and one can easily see how Jaguar has decided to shed its old English tweed for a sharp Hugo Boss. In many ways, it’s the modern interpretation of Jaguar’s stature.
Designed by Ian Callum and his able team, the new XJ signals that Jaguar has broken away from its small Coventry origins. This is the car that Jaguar wants you to believe is the rival to the mighty German marques, and this particular writer believes that the XJ has gone beyond that in certain ways.
The Jaguar XJ is so sleek – it has the profile of an aggressive 4-door coupe – that it makes its S-Class and the 7-Series rivals look like Nimitz-class battleships. The shape, however, could be more than a tad too modern for some Jaguar traditionalists. Those who love the lines of old school Jaguar will fail to relate to the new XJ. “If Lady Penelope of the Thunderbirds wants to have a second car after her six-wheel Rolls Royce, this new XJ is a perfect candidate,” one reader said. He could be right. In any case, it’s subjective.
Such comments quickly die away when the affronted flag-bearer steps inside this XJ. We could use all the superlatives and adjectives imaginable and still fail to do justice to the XJ’s cabin. Perhaps describing the reactions would give you a better idea. Those who took a look gasped at the meticulously tailored premium leather, the finest threads and immaculate wood finishing. “I like the fact that the wood veneer runs around the cabin. It’s like I am in an ultra-luxury yacht,” commented a Tan Sri.
Around town or the highway, the front coil spring suspension worked well with the rear’s air suspension. This is what matters most for a limousine, and not the ability to rack up miles on winding roads. Its job is to ensure the occupants seated at the back have a most comfortable ride. That the XJ does so well. The ride was smooth, quiet. The Jaguar 600W made even the radio station commercials sound good. With 14 speakers and a DSP amplifier, the rear passengers could control the audio functions via a remote control pad housed in the centre armrest (it even charges itself).
We are car nuts and we definitely try to push a car, any car, not to mention baby prams and Ikea trolleys, to the limit. The XJ again surprised us with its cornering abilities. The super-rigid and lightweight aluminium bodyshell worked so well that we are now wondering what’s the fuss about rear wheel steering mechanisms and other high tech gadgets needed to make a car into an ultimate driving machine (actually, the XJ still comes with an active suspension that changes 500 times in a second but Jaguar never really stresses that).
The best test was when we pulled up in front of hotels. Never in our lives has a limousine got so much attention from the valets and the hotel concierge. Now that’s serious street-cred that you can’t purchase just anywhere. - Hezeri Samsuri
2,993cc V6 turbocharged diesel, 271bhp, 600Nm, 6-speed auto
The best limo money can buy now, period.