Saturday, September 3, 2011

Jaguar XJL - The nicest ride I have ever driven

The 2011 Jaguar XJL sedan

2011 Jaguar XJL Supercharged

I consider myself a pretty practical person. While quality is very important to me, I’ve never been one of those individuals that had to have material items for the sake of status.


Over the years folks often ask me if I could afford any of the vehicles I test drive, what would I buy. I always provide a “practical” response, based on what type of vehicle they happened to be interested in.

Everyone always seemed shocked that I never named a high-end luxury model that had a list price starting in the six figure range.

Even if I had Bill Gate’s bank account, I’ve don’t think I could justify paying more money for a vehicle than I did for my house.

Of course, living on the salary of a mild mannered reporter has played a key role in keeping those urges in check.

But things change.

Maybe it’s because I’m getting older and I feel the need to start taking care of my own wants and desires.

Maybe it’s just the car.

Whatever the reason, if I had the bucks, I would definitely invest in this week’s test vehicle — the Jaguar XJL Supercharged.

Yes, it is expensive.

But out of the more than 5,000 vehicles I have driven during my tenure as an auto writer, it is one of the nicest rides I have ever driven.

Yes, the XJ is a very aspirational vehicle that draws a lot of attention.

All week long I’ve had people pull into the parking lot at the paper and stop to take photos of the car. A few have even asked if I would unlock the doors so they could sit in it.

While you do feel like the Cat Daddy driving down the road, I’m more impressed with what this car will do, rather than how it looks.

Powered by Jaguar’s new 5.0-liter V-8 engine, the XJ is available in six variants.

The base XJ and XJL features the naturally aspirated version, delivering 385 horsepower and 380 lbs.-ft. torque.

A twin vortex supercharger ups performance for the XJ Supercharged and XJL Supercharged to 470 horsepower (424 lbs.-ft. torque).

If that’s not enough power, performance for the XJ Supersport and XJL Supersport is boosted to 510 horsepower (461 lbs.-ft. torque).

If you’re wondering about the “L” designation, that’s Jaguar’s terminology for its long-wheelbase models that add five additional inches of rear seat legroom, making for one of the most comfortable back seats on the road.

And in terms of luxury, the XJ is at the top of the charts.

The only thing that’s not included is a chauffeur.

But this is where I’m torn, it’s so fun to drive, why would you want one?

As I mentioned earlier, quality is important to me. While elegant, luxurious and loaded with the latest technology, it is very apparent that a lot of attention to detail was put into every aspect of this vehicle. The engineering and craftsmanship is outstanding and the proof is evident once you push the start button, engage the transmission selector and hit the road.

I highly recommend this car.

Neal White has been covering the automotive industry for more than 20 years and is affiliated with the Texas Auto Writers Association.

MODEL:2011 Jaguar XJ
5-seat luxury sedan
Rear-wheel drive

Trim packages:XJ, XJ Supercharged, XJ Supersport
Regular- and long-wheelbase

PRICE RANGE:$75,000-$120,000

ENGINE:5.0-L V-8
(385 hp/380 torque)
(470 hp/424 torque) SC
(510 hp/461 torque) SS

TRANSMISSION:6-speed auto w/paddle shift

EPA: 16/15/15 mpg city, 23/21/21 mpg highway (XJ/SC/SS)

FUEL: Premium unleaded

TRACTION CONTROL:Dynamic stability control, cornering brake control, understeer control, electronic traction control, engine drag torque control


LENGTH: 201.7/206.6 inches*

WHEELBASE: 119.4/124.3 inches *

WIDTH: 83.2 inches

HEIGHT: 57 inches

WEIGHT: 4045-4323 lbs.

TRACK: 64.1/63.1

FUEL TANK: 21.7 gallons

TIRES: 19-, or 20-inch
Regular- and long-wheelbase

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