2017 Jaguar XJ

2017 Jaguar XJ Review

The 2017 Jaguar XJ is a uniquely sexy alternative to ubiquitous German luxury sedan offerings.
3.5 / 5
Edmunds overall rating
author
by Jonathan Elfalan
Edmunds Editor

Edmunds expert review

The full-size, luxury-packed 2017 Jaguar XJ may be falling behind in the race for the latest advanced technology, but it still manages to offer more sex appeal than any of its competition. The XJ is available in both regular- and long-wheelbase models, the latter offering becoming the standard configuration for the class. All XJs come with heated and cooled seats across the board, but only the longer XJL models can be outfitted with reclining rear seats, rear footrests, fold-down laptop trays and a dual-screen rear entertainment system.

The XJ features a series of strong supercharged engines: a V6 in the base models and two levels of V8s for the mid- and top-tier trims. There's also a choice of rear- or all-wheel drive (base models only). The engines provide more than enough motive force in the XJ even if its sporting intentions don't quite match the levels of rivals.

There is much to enjoy while in the XJ's quiet, comfortable and well-appointed cabin, less any latest nifty gadgets you'd want to show off to the neighbors. And like many Jaguars before it, the design should stand up to the test of time.



What's new for 2017

Following a face-lift in 2016, the 2017 Jaguar XJ remains relatively unchanged with the exception of a few new paint colors and a new 19-inch wheel design.

We recommend

We like the long-wheelbase XJL Portfolio because of the 5 extra inches of space allocated entirely to rear seat legroom. The base supercharged V6 engine has plenty of power for daily use and is much more efficient than either of the optional V8 engines. The XJL comes very nicely equipped, so the only other thing we'd spring for is the Parking Assist pack, which adds 360-degree parking sensors, a surround-view camera, and parallel/perpendicular parking assist.



Trim levels & features

The 2017 Jaguar XJ is a sporty full-size luxury sedan that seats up to five and is available in regular XJ and long-wheelbase XJL models. Standard trims consist of the base R-Sport, mid-level Supercharged and high-end XJR. The XJL comes in Portfolio, Supercharged and XJR trims. All models feature supercharged engines and eight-speed automatic transmissions. The R-Sport and Portfolio share a 3.0-liter V6 (340 hp, 332 lb-ft) with the option of all-wheel drive, the Supercharged trims get a 5.0-liter V8 (470 hp, 424 lb-ft) and the XJR models a higher-output V8 (550 hp, 502 lb-ft).

Though it's the base model, the R-Sport comes very well equipped with standard 19-inch wheels, an adaptive and self-leveling suspension, driver-adjustable steering and throttle settings, shift paddles, front and rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, automatic wipers, automatic adaptive LED headlights with automatic high beams, LED taillights, a panoramic sunroof, power soft-close doors, a power trunklid, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, auto-dimming mirrors, and keyless ignition and entry.

Inside the R-Sport you'll find leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated and cooled seats across the board, eight-way power front seats (with four-way power lumbar adjustment), driver-seat memory settings, and a power-adjustable and heated tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel. An 8-inch touchscreen anchors the infotainment system featuring navigation, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, voice controls, the InControl app suite, a Wi-Fi hot spot and a 14-speaker Meridian audio system with a satellite and HD radio, a CD player, digital music storage and a USB connection.

Options and packages available for the R-Sport include the Comfort package that adds 14-way power front seats with massage functions, front passenger-seat memory settings and four-zone climate control. The Parking Assist package includes a surround-view camera, 360-degree parking sensors and, for rear-drive models only, an automatic parking system. The Illumination package adds LED rear reading lights and blue illumination surrounding the front and rear air vents, on the door tread plates and the trunk finisher. Stand-alone options include adaptive cruise control, an upgraded stereo, a heated windshield and a wood-and-leather steering wheel.

The Portfolio model is the equivalent base trim of the long-wheelbase XJL. In addition to the 5 inches of rear legroom gained, you'll also get upgraded leather upholstery, standard four-zone automatic climate control, 14-way power-adjustable front seats with massage functions, rear LED reading lights, an electric rear window sunscreen and manual rear-side-window sunscreens.

The options list for the Portfolio is similar to the R-Sport, with the addition of a Premium Rear Seat package that includes reclining rear seats with memory function and footrests, extra cushy winged headrests (for the front and rear seats), electric rear side-window sunscreens, fold-down tray tables and a rear-seat entertainment system.

The V8-powered Supercharged trim, again available in both regular- and long-wheelbase, includes the Portfolio model's standard equipment, along with unique exterior trim, an active locking rear differential, tauter suspension tuning, 20-inch wheels with performance tires and larger brakes. All of the XJL Portfolio options are also available on the Supercharged model.

Topping the range is the fire-breathing XJR models with 550 horsepower on tap. If that isn't enough to get excited about, you also receive exclusive 20-inch wheels, premium paint colors (an extra-cost option on lesser XJs), R-specific suspension tuning, an active exhaust system (varying the amount of exhaust noise), sport seats, a heated steering wheel and unique interior trim. Due to the XJR's performance focus, however, you unfortunately lose the massaging seats, and the Premium Rear Seating package and the upgraded Meridian stereo are not available.



Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our first drive of the 2016 Jaguar XJL Portfolio AWD (3.0L supercharged V6; AWD; 8-speed automatic).

Edmunds Scorecard

Overall3.5 / 5

Driving

3.5 / 5

Acceleration4.0 / 5
Braking3.0 / 5
Steering3.0 / 5
Handling3.5 / 5
Drivability4.0 / 5

Comfort

4.0 / 5

Seat comfort4.0 / 5
Ride comfort3.0 / 5
Noise & vibration4.5 / 5
Climate control4.5 / 5

Interior

3.0 / 5

Ease of use2.0 / 5
Getting in/getting out5.0 / 5
Roominess3.5 / 5
Visibility3.0 / 5
Quality3.0 / 5

Utility

3.0 / 5

Small-item storage3.5 / 5
Cargo space2.5 / 5

Driving3.5

It's not top-of-the-class, but the Jaguar XJL Portfolio AWD is thoroughly competent, and it has the driving characteristics of a much smaller car. If the 3.0-liter V6 doesn't light your fire, the XJL Supercharged V8 or top-dog XJR provides much more power in similar packages.

Acceleration4.0

The base engine, a 340-horsepower supercharged 3.0-liter V6, never feels sluggish, even with 4,400 pounds of Jaguar to lug around. It allows the XJ to execute passing maneuvers with ease and sprint from zero to 60 mph in only 5.4 seconds, a solid showing for any sedan.

Braking3.0

The XJL's brake pedal doesn't provide the feel or feedback we'd expect of a dynamic luxury sedan. Despite this numbness, it delivered surprisingly good results in our simulated panic-stop test from 60 mph, with a distance of 111 feet. This is a shorter than average for the segment.

Steering3.0

Steering weight is surprisingly light for such a large luxury sedan. Those looking for firmer, European-style steering may find it too feathery.

Handling3.5

Ample grip, all-wheel-drive traction and modest body roll deliver confident handling on twisty roads that's likely beyond what most will expect from a luxury sedan. That said, competitors in this space continue to push the envelope and offer sharper response characteristics.

Drivability4.0

Acceleration is always smooth and confident thanks to the tractable engine and the quiet decisiveness of the eight-speed transmission. The engine's auto stop-start transition isn't where it needs to be in terms of smoothness, but it can be disabled.

Comfort4.0

Although others have surpassed it in this area, the XJL is still extremely comfortable. It comes with standard dual-pane side glass, four-zone climate control, soft-close doors, heated and ventilated front and rear seats, and one of the quietest cabins around.

Seat comfort4.0

The front seats offer good adjustability with four-way power lumbar and a massaging function, but they may be narrow for some frames. The rear seats gain 5 inches in legroom over the standard-wheelbase XJ; optional premium rear seating adds niceties such as power reclining and electric sunshades.

Ride comfort3.0

The standard adaptive, self-leveling suspension on the XJL is comfortable for the most part, but on poorly maintained roads it can feel busier than you'd expect. The Supercharged and XJR variants get a specially tuned, stiffer suspension, which would exacerbate this condition.

Noise & vibration4.5

The XJL is exceptionally quiet at any speed with wind and road noise distant and dispersed. It in fact isolates you from the outside world so well that the sounds of the seat cooler fans are much more noticeable.

Climate control4.5

Four-zone climate control means all the people onboard can have it their way. All controls have physical buttons for easy, straightforward temperature and fan-speed adjustment, and all seats come with heating and cooling functions.

Interior3.0

Rated from the backseat alone, the XJL's interior would be excellent, but ergonomic woes affect its score. The premium rear seat package, which includes power seats, dual 10-inch screens, laptop tables, electric shades and winged headrests, adds considerable luxury points.

Ease of use2.0

Despite recent updates, the infotainment touchscreen interface still falls behind some newer systems. The graphics are attractive, but functionality is average. Also, the many mirror-finish surfaces throw off glare when it's sunny out and can be distracting.

Getting in/getting out5.0

Large soft-close doors require only a light tough, and access to all seats is excellent. The sloping roofline, often a problem with such highly styled sedans, may only be an issue for tall occupants. Keyless entry with pushbutton ignition is also standard.

Roominess3.5

The XJ is large enough inside to qualify as a short limousine. There's ample room for rear passengers, but front occupants may feel a little cozy due to the high center console and the way the dash wraps around like a cockpit. There's plenty of headroom both front and rear for average-height adults.

Visibility3.0

The forward view is especially good thanks to slender front windshield pillars and a long sloping roof. There is a sizable rear three-quarter blind spot, but blind-spot monitoring, a rearview camera, and front and rear parking sonar are standard and alleviate this foible.

Quality3.0

Excellent paint and leather, but other aspects come up a little short. The interior appears impressive at first glance, but a closer inspection reveals seat cross-stitching that doesn't look as clean as it should, and the use of plastic parts is a little too liberal for a vehicle of this ilk.

Utility3.0

There's good small item storage front and rear, thanks to the center armrest bins and a large glovebox, but the XJ's shallow trunk is slightly smaller than those of most competitors.

Small-item storage3.5

A large glovebox and medium-sized center console bins front and rear provide decent storage options, though the door pockets are narrow and not made for water bottles. Both front and rear cupholders have an anti-tip design and a pass-through to accommodate cups with handles.

Cargo space2.5

The XJ's long-but-shallow trunk has a total carrying capacity of 15.2 cubic feet, which puts it on the lower side of average for the class. The rear seats are fixed in place and don't fold to expand the trunk, which is a common in this class of car.

Edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.