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The XJ is Jaguar's flagship car and also its oldest vehicle in production. Last year, the XJ brand completed 50 years and to celebrate the half-century, Jaguar went ahead and launched a special edition called the XJ50. The XJ50 is mechanically the same as the regular XJL but gets certain cosmetic tweaks to boost the limo's appeal. This big Jag rivals the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7-Series and the Audi A8L. The current generation of the XJ was launched in 2009 and was given a facelift in 2016.
In spite of its age, the Jaguar XJ looks very striking with a very sporty design and a coupe-like roofline which slopes right into the tail-gate. The headlights have the trademark J blade DRLs while the chrome grille and big 19-inch wheels give it a lot of presence. The massive length at 5.2-metres gives a lot of elegance to the XJ while the rear gets beautiful tail-lights which Jaguar likes to call as the cat's claws.
Step inside and you will appreciate the sporty cabin immediately, right from the Riva loop which runs from one door to another at the front to the round AC vents and acres of leather. The dashboard looks attractive and the cabin is full of premium touches. On the equipment front, there is nothing to complain about as every seat gets heated and ventilated function along with massage. The seats are very comfy and the instrument cluster is digital too. The infotainment system might not be the slickest but audio quality through the Meridian sound system is great.
The Jaguar XJ gets a reverse parking camera, reverse parking sensors, front parking sensors, 360-degree camera, automatic headlights, automatic wipers, dual panoramic roofs, passive entry on all doors, remote boot release and the list goes on and on. While the front seats are very comfy with electric adjust, all seats get the memory function. However, the rear isn't very roomy as there isn't much space when compared to rivals. The rear gets twin screens along with a remote and electric blinds for the window as well as the rear windscreen.
Jaguar offers the XJ50 with just a diesel engine which happens to be the 3.0-litre V6 that outputs a class leading 301 HP of power and 689 Nm of torque. After a minor lag, the motor punches hard, enough to push you back into your seat. Power delivery is terrific and the mid-range is really strong. It sounds sporty in the top-end too with redline coming in at 4500 RPM in regular mode and 4800 RPM in Sport mode. 0-100 km/hr takes 6.2 seconds while the top speed is 250 km/hr. The engine is mated to an 8-speed automatic gearbox with steering mounted paddles.
Although the gearbox isn't the fastest with shifts, it's smooth. There are 3 drive modes on offer - Normal, Winter and Sport, the latter most altering various parameters like the engine, AC, gearbox, steering and even the suspension (this car gets an Air Suspension). Even the instrument cluster changes colour to red in Dynamic mode and the tachometer and speedometer also swap positions. The Jaguar XJ returns a fuel economy between 7-9 km/l, depending on driving style.
The Jaguar XJ's ride quality isn't the best as it does feel a bit firm. However, the handling is excellent as even for a car this long, body roll is well contained and the steering offers terrific feel and feedback. The vehicle remains glued to the road at high speeds and the brakes offer superb stopping power too. The Jaguar XJ is a fun to drive car and this sportiness differentiates it from its rivals.
The Jaguar XJ is clearly not in the same league as the latest German limousines in the segment as far as comfort and luxury goes but it does stand out by offering an aggressive design and splendid driving dynamics. It also undercuts its rivals on price as the XJ50 costs. Rs. 1.36 crores (on-road, Mumbai), making it a limo for those who like to arrive in style while also taking to the wheel frequently.
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