Eye-catching design, an opulent interior and a slew of comfort and convenience features make the 2017 Jaguar XJ worth a test-drive for shoppers in the market for a full-size luxury sedan that stands out from the crowd. Although the current generation XJ eschews the conservative, classic style of its predecessors in exchange for more up-to-date lines, it still exudes an aura of sophistication befitting a vehicle in this class, and its British roots help distinguish it from rivals that hail primarily from Germany.
A mild face-lift last year gave the XJ redesigned front and rear ends and additional standard equipment that includes blind-spot monitoring, heated and cooled seats, an updated interior and new technology. So changes for 2017 are minimal, like some new paint-color options and a new design for the 19-inch wheels.
The XJ’s interior surrounds occupants in soft leather, real wood and chrome trim. The level of opulence might actually put off some buyers, but others will appreciate the attempt to update the club-chair Jaguar cabins of old. Front-seat room is a bit tight compared to many competitors, but those in the back will be treated to an abundance of legroom. And in the long-wheelbase version rear-seat occupants can enjoy an additional 5 inches of space, as well as reclining seats and fold-down tray tables. The XJ's technology might not be as up to date as it could be, but last year's refresh did add an improved touchscreen display and a self-parking system.
The base XJ-R Sport is powered by a 3.0-liter supercharged V6 that generates 340 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque. Optional powerplants include two 5.0-liter supercharged V8s that produce 470 and 550 hp. All engines drive the rear wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission, and all-wheel drive is available on the base model only.
Fuel economy for the 2017 XJ with the base V6 engine is EPA-rated at 21 mpg combined (18 city/27 highway). The V8 models achieved a rating of 18 mpg combined (15 city/23 highway).
Standard electronically controlled active suspension ensures a smooth ride over virtually all road surfaces, while light steering and minimal body roll give the impression of driving a much smaller car. The JaguarDrive selector — which modulates transmission shift points, throttle, steering and ride quality — allows drivers to choose between Normal, Dynamic and Winter settings. And acceleration, even with the standard V6, is impressively smooth, although buyers can up the performance considerably by specifying one of the V8s.
The base R-Sport comes extremely well equipped, as would be expected in this vehicle class. Features like heated and cooled leather seats, adaptive headlights and a power trunk lid come standard. Moving up to the long-wheelbase Portfolio trim adds upgraded leather upholstery and four-zone climate control, while the Supercharged model features a V8 engine and stiffer suspension, and the top-of-the-line XJR includes the high-horsepower V8, as well as additional performance goodies. Whatever your preference, let Edmunds help you find the 2017 Jaguar XJ that best meets your needs.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.