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2018 Jaguar XJ-Series Overview

The current Jaguar XJ is a major departure from the model’s traditional design language that was introduced in 2011. Rather than appearing to be a Nixon-era transplant made current, the new XJ is all sleek lines and contemporary, elegant shapes both inside and out. In 2018, its eighth model year on the market, it still looks as fresh as ever.

The XJ is one of the only full-size luxury sedan models to still offer both short and long-wheelbase options across most of its range. Therefore, the XJL and its 124.3-inch wheelbase directly compete against the BMW 7 Series, Audi A8, Genesis G90, and Mercedes-Benz S-Class, whereas the shorter 119.4-inch wheelbase of the regular XJ isn’t much of an improvement from a midsize sedan. That said, both are pleasantly roomy, and the cabin’s wide expanses of wood and leather is delightfully warm and modern.

The XJ offers two engine choices, which depend on the trim. The first trims are the R-Sport (short-wheelbase) and Portfolio (long-wheelbase), which come equipped with a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 capable of 340 horsepower, 332 pound-feet of torque, a top speed of 121p mph, and a zero-to-sixty time of just 5.7 seconds. Rear-wheel drive is standard across the XJ, but on the Portfolio trim, you can select an optional all-wheel drive system, which minorly sacrifices performance for improved traction. For more power, both body styles offer a Supercharged trim that features a supercharged 5.0-liter V8 with 470 hp and 424 lb-ft of torque, which can hit 60 mph in 4.9 seconds and go all the way to 155 mph. For 2018, Jaguar now includes its All-Surface Progress Control (ASPC) technology on all models, which helps drivers pull away smoothly on extremely low-traction surfaces like ice, snow, and wet grass. The V6 engine gets 18 city, 27 highway, and 21 combined mpg while the V8 drops to 15, 23, and 18, respectively.

On the gadgets front, you won’t find the hand-gesture recognition of the 7 Series or the artificial-intelligence driving function of the A8, but the XJ delights with a giant 10.2-inch InControl Pro touchscreen infotainment system that’s modeled after a flagship smartphone, which features familiar swipe, pinch and widget functions. The built-in navigation system can even learn your commute and make suggestions. The instrument cluster features an even larger screen that’s fully-interactive and capable of simultaneously displaying infotainment and driving data. Full LED exterior lighting, a panoramic moonroof, 14-way adjustable heated and cooled front seats, an 825-watt Meridian sound system, and a powered rear sunshade all come standard. From there, XJ buyers can choose options like dual wide-screens for rear passengers with USB and HDMI support, quad-zone climate control, and rear bucket seats with a massage function. In a nod toward safety, Jaguar includes a standard reversing camera, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic detection standard, but automatic emergency braking and lane keep assist cost extra.

Despite eschewing its traditional look, the XJ continues to be the cultured choice of its segment and absolutely makes good on Jaguar’s historical promise of “grace, space, and pace.” That said, with buyers increasingly flocking toward SUVs instead of sedans, the segment is shrinking. Remaining full-size sedan buyers are gravitating toward mainstream favorites: the S-Class, the 7 Series, and the A8, so Jaguar must be contemplating whether it even wants to continue the XJ line when the current model’s time is up, which is bound to be soon. Therefore, if you’ve always had dreams of a big Jaguar, now’s the time to get one.


Kyree is new to the automotive journalism scene, but has voiced snarky public opinions about cars for quite some time. When he's not drooling over the latest European luxury sled, he's designing web experiences or writing backend code.

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