2016 Jaguar XJ-Series Review

XJ-Series

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2016 Jaguar XJ-Series Overview

Though Jaguar would have us think that the comparatively low sales figures for its flagship XJ Series sedan indicate a certain exclusivity, the fact is that this high-end 4-door is simply not quite up to its Euro-oriented competition. That being said, the 2016 XJ Series does pack a few upgrades, and it retains the subtle interior elegance, potent powerplants, and distinctive looks reminiscent of its legendary XKE precursor.

The XJ is expected to return for the upcoming year in 6 essential trims, and in both the short-wheelbase (SWB) XJ and long-wheelbase (LWB) XJL editions. SWB trims sport a 119.4-inch (10 feet) wheelbase and 201.9 inches (16.8 feet) of overall length. The LWB iterations are built on a 124.3-inch (10.4 foot) wheelbase and measure 206.8 (17.2 feet) from the front bumper to the rear bumper. Rear legroom remains this stretched Jag’s claim to fame.

Trim choices start with the XJ Base, then move to the up-featured Portfolio (XJ and XJL) and the grunt-laden Supercharged (XJ and XJL). The Base and Portfolio editions come with standard rear-wheel drive (RWD) and will again be eligible for an optional full-time all-wheel drive (AWD) configuration that ought to be handy for those living up north. An even sportier XJR edition is covered in a separate preview.

Improvements to the 2016 XJ Series for 2016 include a larger mesh grille, LED headlights and taillights, reworked running lights, and oval exhaust pipes. Also new is Jaguar’s InControl Touch Pro infotainment system, featuring an upgraded 8-inch touchscreen display, smartphone (Android) connectivity, and an available WiFi hotspot. An 825-watt, 17-speaker premium audio system is newly standard in all versions of the XJ Series, while the Supercharged trims are now eligible for an optional 1300-watt audio system that boasts 25 speakers. The LWB editions debut standard quilted seats and can now be outfitted with a new rear-seat DVD entertainment system that uses dual 10.2-inch screens flush-mounted into the front seatbacks. A new R-Sport sub-trim is also offered in order to enhance the XJ Series' sporty character.

The base powertrain for the 2016 XJ Series, in both RWD and AWD configuration, is a base supercharged 3.0-liter Flex-Fuel (FFV) V6 engine mated with a standard 8-speed shiftable automatic transmission. Look for 340 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque from this heady drivetrain, with mileage estimates returning at 18 mpg city/27 highway/21 combined in RWD variants, and 16/24/19 with AWD. The XJ Supercharged is powered by a 5.0-liter supercharged FFV V8 engine, also managed by the 8-speed shiftable automatic for 470 hp and 424 lb-ft of torque and mileage estimates of 15/23/18.

Additional features for the XJ Base trim include 19-inch alloy wheels, a power sunroof, standard leather upholstery, heated power-adjustable front seats, full power accessories, cruise control, and telescoping tilt-wheel steering. Complementing the upgraded infotainment system and the new standard audio setup are returning perks such as a remote garage door opener, a rear-view camera, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, front and rear parking sensors, memory for driver's settings, a heated steering wheel, and dual-zone automatic climate control. Satellite radio, Bluetooth, and GPS navigation round out technology for all 2016 XJ trims.

The 2016 XJ and XJL Portfolio add upgraded cabin accents and 4-zone automatic climate to the Base trim’s features, while the Supercharged edition throws in 20-inch alloy wheels and a 20-speaker Meridian Surround Sound audio system.

Options for the 2016 XJ Series include the Sport and Speed package with an upgraded supercharged V8 good for 174 mph, a rear spoiler, sport front seats, upgraded 20-inch wheels, and aluminum pedals. An Illumination package adds some classy interior lighting, and an available massaging front seat might alleviate some of the stress from a long day at the office.

Safety-wise, look for all 2016 XJ Series trims to carry 4-wheel antilock brakes (ABS), traction and stability control, front side-mounted airbags, and front and rear head-protection airbags. The LED running lights are new for 2016, complemented by standard self-leveling high-intensity-discharge (HID) headlights and a remote antitheft alarm. An advanced driver-assist package is new for the 2016 XJ Series as well, and includes adaptive cruise control, traffic-sign-recognition technology, and a 360-degree camera system.

Reviewers make much of the fact that Jaguar lags behind the competition in safety technology such as lane-departure alerts or blind-spot monitoring. Government crash-test data is unavailable for the XJ Series after the 2011 model year, and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has no crash-test information for any Jaguar manufactured after 2008.

Look for the luxurious 2016 XJ Series to go on sale in November of this year, when it will again challenge the likes of Audi’s well-wrought A8, BMW’s reworked 7 Series, and Mercedes-Benz’s popular, though pricy, S-Class.

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Have Laptop. Will Travel. I'm retired and travelling the country in a 34' motor home. I'm really digging meeting people . . and sometimes their cars . . . getting a sense of what makes this nation tick. The plan is to visit all the national parks in the continental US, then cruise to Alaska to visit Denali, and to Hawaii to check out Haleakala and the Hawaii Volcano's national parks. Anyhow, when I'm not horsing the motor home around the roadways, I'm tooting around in the 2012 Ford Focus that we tow behind, or making runs to Home Depot and various malls with the 2004 F-150 that just won't die.

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