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2019 Jaguar XJ-Series Overview
Jaguar’s current XJ executive sedan is nearly 10 years old, but it still turns heads as a status symbol on par with the big sedans from BMW, Mercedes, and Audi. To celebrate the XJ’s 50th birthday, Jaguar is offering the 2019 model with an XJ50 special edition package. The long-wheelbase model gets restyled front and rear bumpers, a gloss black grille, special badges, special 20-inch aluminum wheels, diamond-stitched leather upholstery, and special interior emblems. The standard Jaguar XJ is more than luxurious enough for most; the long-wheelbase (LWB) model comes with an additional 4.8 inches of legroom, giving even more comfort to important rear-seat passengers.
In addition to two different vehicle lengths, the XJ offers two different engines. There is a 3.0-liter supercharged V6 with 340 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque or a 5.0-liter supercharged V8 with 470 hp and 424 lb-feet of torque. Both pair to an 8-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel drive (RWD) comes standard, while all-wheel drive (AWD) is a popular option on V6 models.
No version of the XJ is frugal when it comes to fuel economy. The rear-drive V6 model gets 18 mpg city, 27 highway, and 21 combined. Adding AWD to the V6 drops each figure by a single mpg, and the massive supercharged V8 is thirsty at 15, 23, and 18.
With an aluminum body and adaptive dampers, the XJ is lighter on its feet than its dimensions suggest. V8 models feature an electronically managed rear differential. In most situations, the XJ’s AWD system sends about 90% of the engine’s power to the rear wheels, only shuffling more to the front when necessary. The XJ also features what Jaguar calls All-Surface Progress Control. It's a low-speed cruise control system that aids in launching the car smoothly from a standstill when traction is less than ideal.
Any XJ interior is a premium space, and fully loaded models are downright opulent. Luxury features include heated front and rear seats, ventilated and massaging front seats, ventilated rear seats, and chrome, leather, and wood trim. The steering wheel is a heated, leather-wrapped affair. Other standard goodies include dual-zone automatic climate control, a panoramic sunroof, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, a 10-inch infotainment display screen, in-car WiFi compatibility with 4G data connection, a 20-speaker stereo, and a USB port. The trunk lid is power operated, opening to an impressive 18.4 cubic feet of space. V8 models add navigation with 60 GB of storage, softer leather, and four-zone automatic climate control. Other options include a 26-speaker stereo and better interior lighting.
Rear seat headroom isn’t the best thanks to the XJ’s sloping roofline, but the extra length afforded by long-wheelbase models helps with that. Long-wheelbase models also offer the chauffeur-oriented Premium Rear Seat package. It adds heating, cooling, and massaging functions to the rear seats, along with two 10.2-inch screens that fold into the seats and feature USB and HDMI inputs.
Big, expensive luxury cars like the XJ don’t go through the usual crash tests, but standard safety features include front and rear parking sensors, forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitors with rear cross-traffic alerts, lane-departure warning with active lane control, and a driver-drowsiness monitor. A surround-view camera and adaptive cruise control are optional extras.
Buyers who want the latest and greatest might want to wait for the next generation XJ. But for those that don't want to wait, the current model is packed to the gills with sumptuous luxury features, and it’s arguably as stylish as ever. That said, the BMW 7-Series, Mercedes S-Class, and Audi A8 are all fresher designs and hard to ignore.
Since 2012, Andrew Newton has been writing about cars both old and new. Andrew has been an associate editor at Sport Car Digest as well as a contributor to sites like BoldRide and JamesEdition. He was also the Education Manager at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Brookline, MA before becoming the Auction Editor at Hagerty Classic Car Insurance. He currently splits his time behind the wheel between his NA Miata, 1994 Corvette, and Triumph TR6.
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