2018 Jaguar XJ Review

Type:

Pros & Cons

  • Strong lineup of supercharged V6 and V8 engines
  • Lively handling and responsive steering
  • Available with AWD and in short- and long-wheelbase configurations
  • Body lines are more seductive than many in the segment
  • Front-seat room is a bit tighter than the competition's
  • Touchscreen infotainment interface lags many in the segment
  • Trunk is somewhat shallow and small for the class
  • Rear seats do not fold down to accommodate long cargo
List Price Estimate
$31,665 - $36,432

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Which XJ does Edmunds recommend?

As much as we like Jaguar's supercharged V8 engines, they're a bit thirsty and more powerful than we'd need for daily purposes. We like the XJL Portfolio model that comes equipped with a more efficient but still punchy supercharged V6 engine, quilted leather upholstery, four-zone climate control, massaging front seats, and heated and ventilated seats for all four passengers. Long-wheelbase XJs such as this benefit from 5 extra inches of rear legroom with little, if any, penalty to driving enjoyment.

Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

7.3 / 10

The 2018 Jaguar XJ isn't likely to be the first model that comes to mind when people think of flagship luxury sedans, but that's part of the appeal. Quiet, comfortable and quick in any form, there's much to love about this quintessentially British sedan.

All XJs, including the base R-Sport trim, come nicely equipped. Features such as an adaptive suspension and heated and cooled seats are standard across the board, as are a number of active driver's aids. Planning to spend most of your time in the back seat? The long-wheelbase XJL models offer 5 more inches of legroom and can be outfitted with massaging and reclining rear seats, rear footrests, and a dual-screen rear entertainment system. As far as powertrains go, the XJ offers up a base supercharged V6 that provides more than adequate thrust for daily use, with two levels of supercharged V8s if sports car acceleration is also a requirement.

There are a few downsides to the 2018 XJ, though. Its infotainment interface, though updated for this year, isn't the easiest to use. The XJ also lacks some of the latest technology and ultra-luxury features found in more recently updated rivals such as the Audi A8, BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class. But even if the XJ isn't a class leader, there's palpable liveliness from behind the wheel, and Jaguar's designs always seem to age slower than most. It's worth checking out.

2018 Jaguar XJ models

The 2018 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. Trims consist of the R-Sport and the Supercharged for XJ cars and the Portfolio, Supercharged and the new XJR575 for XJL. All models have supercharged engines and eight-speed automatic transmissions and come standard with rear-wheel drive. The R-Sport and Portfolio share a 3.0-liter V6 (340 horsepower, 332 pound-feet) and can be equipped with all-wheel drive. The Supercharged trim gets a 5.0-liter V8 (470 hp, 424 lb-ft) and the XJR575 a higher-output V8 (575 hp, 517 lb-ft).

It may be the base model, but the R-Sport comes very well equipped with standard 19-inch wheels, an adaptive and self-leveling suspension, adjustable drive modes, front and rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, automatic wipers, adaptive LED headlights with automatic high beams, a panoramic sunroof, power soft-close doors, a power trunklid, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning with lane keeping assist, driver condition monitoring (RWD models only), auto-dimming mirrors, and keyless ignition and entry.

Inside the R-Sport you'll find leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated and ventilated seats, driver-seat memory settings, and a power-adjustable and heated steering wheel. A new larger 10-inch touchscreen anchors the infotainment system featuring navigation, Bluetooth, voice controls, Jaguar's InControl app suite, a 4G Wi-Fi hotspot, 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 upgraded front seats with massage functions, front passenger-seat memory settings, four-zone climate control and power rear sunshade. Other notable options include a surround-view camera, 360-degree parking sensors, an automatic parking system (RWD models only), adaptive cruise control, an upgraded Meridian sound system, and a heated 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 get the features from the Comfort package as standard. 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 footrests as well as massage and memory functions, extra-cushy winged headrests for all seats, power rear side-window sunscreens, fold-down tray tables and a rear-seat entertainment system.

The V8-powered Supercharged trim, again available in both the 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 R-Sport and Portfolio options are also available on the Supercharged model.

Topping the range is the fire-breathing XJR575 models with 25 more horsepower on tap compared to last year's XJR model. If that isn't enough to get excited, you also receive exclusive 20-inch wheels, XJR575-specific exterior and interior body details, a carbon-fiber engine cover, 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, aluminum paddle shifters, a heated steering wheel, a suede headliner and unique carbon-fiber interior trim. But due to the XJR's performance focus, 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 (supercharged 3.0L V6 | 8-speed automatic | AWD).

NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the current XJ has received some revisions, including an updated infotainment system and more standard active safety features for rear-drive models. Our findings remain broadly applicable to this year's XJ.

Driving

7.5
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 the top-dog XJR provides much more power in similar packages.

Acceleration

8.0
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.

Braking

6.5
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 shorter than average for the segment.

Steering

7.0
The steering weight is surprisingly light for such a large luxury sedan. Those looking for firmer, European-style steering may find it too feathery.

Handling

7.5
Ample grip, all-wheel-drive traction and modest body roll deliver confident handling on twisty roads that's likely beyond what most expect from a luxury sedan. That said, competitors in this space continue to push the envelope and offer sharper response.

Drivability

8.0
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.

Comfort

8.0
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 comfort

8.0
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 comfort

7.0
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 will exacerbate the busy ride quality.

Noise & vibration

8.5
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 control

The four-zone climate control means all the people on board 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.

Interior

7.0
Rated from the back seat 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 use

5.5
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 out

9.0
The large soft-close doors require only a light touch, 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 push-button ignition is also standard.

Roominess

7.5
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.

Visibility

7.0
The forward view is especially good thanks to the 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 issue.

Quality

7.0
The paint and leather are excellent, 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.

Utility

6.0
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 storage

A large glovebox and medium-size 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 space

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 common in this class of car.

Technology

Jaguar's technological strengths rest on its generous and well-sorted active safety aids, but it falls short of the competition with an average nav system and smartphone integration that can't match Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The response and graphics of the InControl Touch system are improved.

EdmundsScorecard

Overall7.3 / 10
Driving7.5
Comfort8.0
Interior7.0
Utility6.0

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2018 Jaguar XJ.

Most helpful consumer reviews

Bentley luxury, Jaguar price
Robert Bruce,10/01/2018
XJL Supercharged 4dr Sedan (5.0L 8cyl S/C 8A)
Most impressive is the London Tan Interior, the finest interior I've ever owned. Its their top option and worth it. Suede headliner matters a lot to me, and Jag has it. Powerplant is robust and quick, but rides like true luxury car. This is bang for the buck. We looked at everything. There are great cars out there, some maybe better or not as good looking at all the things there are to review; overall, this one is home run. Worth a test drive before your next purchase, which is what we did over several weekends. Have one at the house, and a 2014 used model with all the options at the coast house. That 2014 was a real bargain. If you're shopping to save money, definitely check out the low mileage inventory two or three model years old. Not too many differences, but as you know, from showroom new to a couple of years old one takes a hit. So you could buy and get the same quality just a couple of model years old and save a bunch. Recommend the sports options and interior max'd out. It is a Bentley quality interior, the factory intends it that way, and I'm glad to see the new money behind Jag taking the high road. There just aren't that many luxury sedans left to choose from, but this XJL really does the job for us.

Features & Specs

MPG
15 city / 23 hwy
Seats 5
8-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
575 hp @ 6250 rpm
MPG
15 city / 23 hwy
Seats 5
8-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
470 hp @ 6000 rpm
MPG
18 city / 27 hwy
Seats 5
8-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
340 hp @ 6500 rpm
MPG
18 city / 27 hwy
Seats 5
8-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
340 hp @ 6500 rpm
See all Used 2018 Jaguar XJ features & specs

Safety

Our experts like the XJ models:

Driver Condition Monitor
Monitors driving inputs to detect driver fatigue and uses audible and visual alerts to tell the driver to take a break from the road.
Forward Traffic Detection
Uses cameras to detects and warn of approaching front cross traffic when your view is obstructed.
Surround Camera System
Displays images on the central touchscreen from four cameras positioned around the car, creating a 360-degree view.

More about the 2018 Jaguar XJ

Used 2018 Jaguar XJ Overview

The Used 2018 Jaguar XJ is offered in the following submodels: XJ XJR575, XJ Sedan. Available styles include XJR575 4dr Sedan (5.0L 8cyl S/C 8A), XJL Supercharged 4dr Sedan (5.0L 8cyl S/C 8A), R-Sport 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl S/C 8A), XJL Portfolio 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl S/C 8A), Supercharged 4dr Sedan (5.0L 8cyl S/C 8A), R-Sport 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl S/C 8A), and XJL Portfolio 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl S/C 8A).

What's a good price on a Used 2018 Jaguar XJ?

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Which used 2018 Jaguar XJS are available in my area?

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Should I lease or buy a 2018 Jaguar XJ?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Jaguar lease specials
Check out Jaguar XJ lease specials