2011 Jaguar XJ-Series

XJ RWD 4-Dr Sedan V8 auto trans

2011 jaguar xj-series Reviews and News

1005 08+2011 Jaguar XJ+side View
Here's one reason not to judge a book by its cover: the outgoing Jaguar XJ8. You look at it and think, "It's a hundred years old."
1005 08+2011 Jaguar XJ+side View
But a hundred years ago, cars didn't have on-board fiber-optic digital networks or an impossibly light, aircraft-inspired aluminum chassis. Yes, under that antediluvian façade lurks a vehicle that, as recently as yesterday, was thoroughly modern.
Today is a different day. As a new dawn emerges, the sun's angled rays tickle the protracted fastback roofline of tomorrow's hope for the storied brand's survival: the 2011 Jaguar XJ. You've heard it before, but the two dimensions of paper are insufficient to capture the shape, proportion, and visual impact of this car in real life. Yes, the XJ looks a bit awkward on paper. But when you see one on the road for the first time, you'll do exactly as we've just witnessed literally hundreds of awe-struck pedestrians do: Stop, stare, and mutter, Pour l'amour du ciel! Cette voiture est vraiment magnifique!
Your particular exclamation may well be in English. But we're in Paris, and there's probably good reason why Jaguar chose this city to let us drive the XJ. Aside from the breathtaking opportunity to ogle the Eiffel Tower by night through the double glass sunroof, that is. Paris is chic central, and the French love rolling drama. And tell me those draping, dramatic taillights couldn't have just as easily found their home on the rump of a Citroën.
We do have one design-related confession to make: we purposely asked Jaguar for a dark-colored XJ to photograph. As you might remember from pictures of the XJ on the auto show stand, the D-pillars are black, no matter what color the car is painted. Purpose: create the effect of a wraparound rear window to de-emphasize the car's relatively tall, narrow proportions. (The new XJ is about the same overall size as the XJ8 it replaces, except it's a significant 1.9 inches narrower.) The effect works - with the blacked-out limo-tint on the rear windows of the European-specification long-wheelbase XJL. As this issue goes to press, Jaguar wasn't sure whether U.S. regulations allow the dark tint, and we're guessing that they won't. The visual trick will be less effective without the tint, and frankly the black pillars may look downright strange on light-colored cars.
But it is a conversation piece. Like the rest of the car. This XJ is a work of art - its design is the key to its success in a market crowded with relatively lookalike, traditional three-box luxury sedans.
Like its predecessor, the XJ uses all-aluminum construction, riveted and bonded together for exceptional structural rigidity and light weight. The body is about eleven percent stiffer in torsion than the XK8, and even though it weighs nearly 300 pounds, it's still hundreds of pounds lighter than most of its competition - including the aluminum space-frame 2011 Audi A8.
The XJ's underfloor structure is derived from the XJ8, but the new car's mechanicals come from the XF. The front and rear suspension are similar to the XF in design but use active air suspension instead of conventional coil springs. The similarities between Jaguar's two sedans don't end there: if you're familiar with the XF, you'll feel right at home the moment you sit in the XJ. That's because the driving position is exactly the same - the proportions of the imaginary triangle formed between the driver's heels, hips, and hands were lifted straight from the XF, which isn't a bad thing.
1005 02+2011 Jaguar XJ+front View
Thanks to the aluminum, the XJ weighs about the same as the 6.4-inch-shorter XF, so as you can begin to imagine, the cars feel quite similar on the road, too. The ZF steering rack (taken straight from the hot-rod XFR) is unusually quick, and the brakes are so immediately responsive that they verge on grabby - but the combination makes the XJ feel surprisingly agile and light on its feet.
Powertrains, too, are carried over from the XF, so the XJ offers a choice between normally aspirated (385-hp) and supercharged (470-hp) V-8s. You won't find one sitting on the dealer lots, but if you special order your XJ, you can check the Supersport option, which instructs the engine management software to allow 510 hp of thrust. On paper, the difference between the base engine and the Supersport doesn't seem nearly as gargantuan as it feels. Jaguar says the 385-hp car will accelerate to 60 mph in 5.4 seconds; the Supersport in 4.7. That's the biggest 0.7 second you can imagine - the base car is lively, but the Supersport is fast enough to illicit a string of four-letter words from a nun.
Both engines sound magnificent from inside the car. In the base XJ, an induction tube pipes a satisfyingly snorty intake growl into the cabin when the engine is under load. That type of diaphragm-based resonance tube doesn't work with boosted engines, so instead, the supercharged engine uses what basically amounts to a microphone in the intake tract. The signal is then piped to a speaker in the dash, which faithfully recreates the guttural noise you'd hear if you stuck your head into the intake manifold. Minus the permanent hearing loss.
That sounds vaguely like cheating, especially from a company whose engineers use the word "honest" in describing their cars' performance. Fact is, though, that the cabin of the XJ is so quiet that the missing engine note would be obvious. One suspects that the engine compartment is so well isolated because of the XJ's base European engine: a 271-hp, 3.0-liter turbodiesel V-6. That engine - chosen by an astonishing nine out of ten XJ buyers in the U.K. - is almost completely inaudible in the cabin. What you do hear is a pleasant, distant whir absent of almost all vibration, even when the diesel XJ is knocking off a six-second-flat drag-race run to 60 mph. That's a half-second faster than last year's gas-powered 4.2-liter V-8, and the diesel gets 42 mpg on European highway fuel economy tests! That this oil-burner isn't offered in the U.S. is a travesty, an unfortunate consequence of our diesel-unfriendly emissions standards.
1005 01+2011 Jaguar XJ+rear Three Quarter View
Oh well, we'll have to drown our sorrows in horsepower and console our deprived selves with wheel spin. Engage Dynamic mode and the computer sharpens throttle response, reduces steering boost, firms up the suspension and - ooh la la! - pulls the slack out of your seatbelt. Throttle pinned to the plush carpet, the supercharged car lights off the rear tires, making sure it leaves not one but two dark skid marks off the line, courtesy of the computer-controlled mechanical limited slip differential. You bad, bad boy.
Behavior like that will not land you in heaven - which, one imagines, might be lined with some of the materials you'll find in the XJ's cabin. Gorgeous wood, supple leather, rich piano black plastics. Well, there is purgatory-grade cheap plastic shift paddles mounted behind the steering wheel, which has a beautiful, but uncomfortable, seam on the front face. The XJ's touch-screen interface, though, is truly hellish. Its eight-inch screen is generously proportioned, but like the last-generation system, it's slow to react to inputs. And worse, the menus and buttons were clearly designed by someone with fingertips the size of an embroidery needle.
Also from the frustration department: there is no button to permanently disable the parking sensors, which, on our test drive, decided that France is too small a country for this seventeen-foot-long luxury sedan. Each time we were foolish enough to engage reverse, we were blasted with a warning tone loud enough to send running for the hills any Frenchman old enough to remember air-raid sirens from the Second World War.
The XJ also spitefully ignores any normal button press - almost every control requires a long, deliberate actuation, including and especially the act of starting the car. And the front doors require a hefty slam to latch.
2011 Jaguar XJ Emblem
Lastly, the optional active cruise control doesn't have a conventional cruise mode, so if you order it, you're at the mercy of a radar system that insists upon slowing you far too far in advance of other cars. And should the heavens open up and interfere the radar sensor's operation, the entire cruise system is disabled, leaving you at the mercy of your right foot, which means a momentary attention lapse could find you driving 20 mph faster than you meant to.
Your defense? The XJ is so quiet - see, look at those double-pane windows! - and you were enjoying the clear and accurate sound reproduction from the twenty-speaker, 1200-watt Bowers + Wilkins stereo system. And you were admiring the world's first fully gaugeless instrument cluster. In front of your badly behaved self is a 12.3-inch LCD screen similar a laptop's, upon which is displayed a computer-generated set of analog gauges. While at first glance this seems like a gimmick, the technology allows the engineers to best make use of the prime real estate in front of the driver's face. In the case of the XJ, that means the tachometer can be displaced by warning messages or setup menus. The temperature/fuel/odometer combination to the left of the speedometer gives way to navigation instructions, or with a gear selection indicator when the transmission is in manual mode.
What the XJ doesn't do, however, is take full advantage of the unlimited display opportunities afforded by the LCD panel. Jaguar doesn't (yet) offer the ability to customize the display to the driver's wishes. Why not have a display that could be changed, at the press of a button, to look like the simple, elegant gauges of an old X300-series XJ? Or, for farsighted drivers, an extra-large digital speed readout. Or an enormous navigation map with a small speed readout.
There's nothing small about the Jaguar's rear quarters. The short-wheelbase XJ has about the same legroom as the old XJ8 did, and that means it's enough for full-sized adults. The long-wheelbase version adds 4.9 inches in length but gives 5.2 more inches in which to stretch out. The XJL's back seat is enormous, with as much legroom as its largest competitors.
In terms of size and price, the XJ competes with the BMW 7-series, the Mercedes-Benz S-class, and the Lexus LS. And even though the XJ is priced near the bottom of that group, it looks and feels as though it should be at the expensive end. That's an incredible accomplishment, especially considering the expense of aluminum construction. Moreover, from behind the wheel, the Jaguar XJ is reminiscent of the significantly more expensive Maserati Quattroporte.
2011 Jaguar XJ Side View Passenger
Jaguar has always been a luxury brand in the United States, but talk to the engineers, and you'll hear a crystal-clear emphasis on speed and handling. Jaguar realized some time ago that most drivers actually mean "steering" when they talk about a car's "handling," and the resulting obsession with steering precision makes for an interesting phenomenon: The XJ's luxury had better come from beautiful materials and exquisite styling, because traditional luxury cues - excess cushiness and isolation - are unacceptable.
What makes the XJ so positively brilliant to drive is that it doesn't try to be sporty - that word implies a contrived connection between man and machine; that the sport was somehow added back in after it was isolated out. Engine intake noise aside, the XJ doesn't partake of that particular sin. This Jaguar is better described as lean, lithe, and athletic - the connection is baked-in, partially due to the lightweight, stiff structure, but mostly because of its creators' fanatical obsession with suspension tuning and steering calibration.
The XJ is luxury without the excess plush. It's performance without being abrasive. Elegant without being derivative. Modern without being ostentatious. Sinful without being illegal. And now, finally, it's wrapped in a cover that tells exactly the story of what's inside.
XJ Yearbook
Series I, 1968-73
The last completely new-looking XJ was in fact the first. Penned by Sir William Lyons, the 1968 XJ6 featured all the basic traits that would define the big sedan over the ensuing decades, including its sleek yet proper sheetmetal, silky road manners, and spotty reliability. The only element missing was effortless performance, which Jaguar addressed in 1972 with the 241-hp XJ12.
Engines: 4.2L I-6; 5.3L V-12
1005 12+1968 73 Jaguar Series I+front Three Quarter View
Series II, 1973-79
Minor surface changes-a smaller grille and raised bumpers-obscured more substantial mechanical changes including more efficient but less powerful engines and, for the first time, a long-wheelbase version.
Engines: 4.2L I-6; 5.3L V-12
1005 13+1973 79 Jaguar Series II+front View
Series III, 1979-86 (1979-92, V12)
A Pininfarina redesign incorporated U.S. bumper requirements, flattened the roofline, and generally modernized the XJ without changing its character. Jaguar introduced fuel injection on the more potent I-6.
Engines: 4.2L I-6; 5.3L V-12
1005 14+1979 86 Jaguar Series III+side View
XJ40 1986-94
Squared-off headlight surrounds (debased even further on U.S. models with single-unit lamps) seemed to signal cheaper execution, but build quality improved on this XJ, and it received thoroughly updated engines and electronics.
Engines: 4.0L I-6; 6.0L V-12
1005 15+1986 94 Jaguar XJ40+front View
X300, 1994-97
The first XJ designed under Ford ownership returned to the more classic front end. The V-12 went away in 1997, replaced atop the Jaguar heap by the supercharged, 322-hp XJR.
Engines: 4.0L supercharged I-6; 4.0L I-6; 6.0L V-12
1005 16+1994 97 Jaguar X300+top View
X308, 1997-2003
New V-8 engines replaced the traditional straight sixes, but in many respects, the "X308" was the last of the idiosyncratic, old-world XJs.
Engines: 4.0L V-8; 4.0L supercharged V-8
1005 17+1997 2003 Jaguar X308+rear Three Quarter View
X350/X358, 2003-09
All the creases and curves may have looked familiar, but they were stamped on an aluminum unibody, which rode on air springs at all four corners (the new XJ has rear-only air suspension).
Engines: 4.2L V-8; 4.2L supercharged V-8
1005 18+2003 09 Jaguar X350 X358+front View
2011 Jaguar XJ
2011 Jaguar XJ
The Jaguar company has been completely redesigning their fleet to make all of their models look more modern and more aggressive. This radical redesign has caused some very impressive looking Jaguars to hit the road and the XJ is no different. The 2011 XJ brings a much needed body redesign that makes this car a breathtaking vehicle and brings a totally new vigor the full sized sedan model. The re-launch of the Jaguar design has pushed the public's perception of this luxury sedan maker into the stratosphere.

This model has been almost completely redone; the only thing that remains similar to past XJ models is the frame itself. This iconic vehicle has been the flagship full sized luxury sedan from Jaguar and with the new design it will be sure to hold its spot at the top. There are some design changes that may not offer the most attractive in some people eyes, like the blacked out c-pillars but overall package is very impressive and brings a new day to the concept and look of the classic XJ model. The high powered engines in the XJ will bring 5 passengers from 0-60 in a little over 5 seconds.
2011 Jaguar XJ Left Side View Toomas Hendrik Ilves
"All politics is local." So Congressman Thomas P. "Tip" O'Neill, the late Democratic power broker, once famously observed. Although the legendary New England buttonholer's succinct aphorism originally concerned an election he'd lost in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in the 1930s, his words continue to resonate. As they did recently when I set off by Jaguar XJ from a rock-music festival in Latvia to catch up with Toomas Hendrik Ilves, president of Estonia, the smallest, most northern, and most thriving of the three former Soviet republics on the Baltic Sea. Ilves and I once had a political connection, and while it had been some time ago, it was very local. How's that?
The roads in all three countries we'd visit are lightly trafficked, and although they are humble in scale -- nary a multilane to spoil the scenery -- they are modern and well-maintained, with sweeping curves that perfectly suit the sharp-handling XJ, its lively V-8 engine, and its six-speed automatic transmission. To be sure, there are more dirt roads than we're used to; fortunately, the XJ's cosseting suspension -- perhaps its strongest point, along with its supremely comfortable interior--proves up to the task.
While milking what it can from the Soviet era, Latvian tourism does a brisk business in palaces from the much more enduring feudal period. The palace at Mezotne, completed in 1802, is believed to have served as the prototype for Buckingham Palace, while the Rundale Palace, a huge and magnificent edifice with baroque and rococo elements, as well as a vast French garden, shared its architects with those of the State Hermitage in Saint Petersburg. It surely must be at the top of anyone's list of great castles.
2011 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible Front Three Quarter
Industry research groups IntelliChoice and AutoPacific have released the results of the 2011 Motorist Choice Awards. Based on survey data from 72,000 vehicle owners, the awards are given to vehicles with high consumer satisfaction ratings and lower-than-average ownerships costs. Awards are split across 15 vehicle categories and are subdivided into “Popular” and “Premium” vehicle choices.
2011 Jaguar XJ Rear Three Quarters Static
This beautiful sedan is our reward for the billions of dollars that the Ford Motor Company poured into Coventry's moribund Jaguar before off-loading the brand in 2008. Ford made a lot of mistakes with Jaguar, starting with buying it in the first place, although most of them related to applying Detroit's rigid mind-set to a company that was its antithesis. But in one respect Ford's ingrained attitudes brought a major improvement: Jaguar manufacturing quality is better, even if the cars aren't always up to the standard that their superb appearance implies. With increased reliability and an advanced aluminum structure, Jaguar's XJ ought to have been our 2004 Design of the Year --- except that it hewed so closely to revered 1968 shapes that few perceived the difference between the 2003 steel and 2004 aluminum cars.
2011 Jaguar XJ Rear Three Quarters Static
What Ian Callum and Julian Thomson have done with the XJ is exactly what Lyons did. They kept the double-bump headlamp fairings, for instance, but they dropped the rounded rear roof, used for too long and cribbed by Chrysler for the LHS, and innovated new forms. Their new upper design is good, but for the U.S. its execution is weak because our laws don't allow extremely dark backlight and rear-door glass, as is permitted in Europe. This explains why XJ D-pillars are black -- and why some U.S. buyers are choosing to have their D-pillars painted body color instead. Either way, the car's profile, whether in short- or long-wheelbase form, is wonderfully sleek with its long roof.
2011 Jaguar XJ Interior View
2011 Jaguar XJ Front Three Quarters Driver
The styling of the 2011 Jaguar XJ doesn't excite me, but I also don't find it offensive. Get behind the wheel, though, and the XJ elicits strong emotions. The 470-hp supercharged V-8 is so smooth and so authoritative. As usual, though, Jaguar's expertise in chassis tuning is what really shines. Steering and handling are confident while the ride is comfortable. Surrounded by a band of lovely dark wood, the cabin combines old-school luxury with modern style. Even with the dark cloud of Jaguar reliability hanging around, it's easy to understand why someone would own this dynamic hero.
2011 Jaguar XJ Front Three Quarters Driver
I'm so conflicted. The XJ looks very modern and luxurious both inside and out, with a clear connection to the XF's design language that goes far beyond making a bigger XF and calling it an XJ. I especially appreciate the lack of motorized vents (like the XF has) and the standard premium stereo. It would be great if Jaguar's infotainment department could make a touch-screen system that has the response of, say, a first-gen iPhone or admit defeat and switch to an iDrive- or MMI-style controller. I find changing radio stations to be so incredibly slow in any new Jag that I'd just as soon go out and buy a physical CD to listen to.
2011 Jaguar XJ Side View Driver
I like Phil's line: "about as good as it gets," because that's how I feel about the new XJ as well. It's big but not enormous. It's sleek but substantial. It's powerful but it's subdued. It's plush but not soft. It's elegant but masculine. It's modern but not silly. Our tester's silver paint over black leather seats with white French stitching and white piping makes for a very stylish combination. Anyone seeking a full-size, full-boat premium luxury sedan ought to give the XJ a look before they pop for one of the predictable German competitors.
2011 Jaguar XJ Front Three Quarters Static Driver
Visually, this car could hardly be more different than its predecessor. It looks contemporary and has a presence that the old XJ lacked. Inside, the cabin is beautifully trimmed and, although I wouldn't describe it as distinctly British, it definitely feels richer and looks more styled than its German competitors. There are a few miscues -- the most obvious is the tacky "Jaguar" logo centered just under the windshield -- but overall it exudes originality and modernity while retaining its "Jaguarness." The leather is fabulous.
2011 Jaguar XJ Rear Three Quarters Passenger
One look at the new XJ tells you that Jaguar has finally shaken off the old-world styling of the previous generation and has embraced a more modern design aesthetic. At first glance, the XJ isn't particularly eye-catching, but on closer examination you can appreciate the clean lines of the new Jaguar design language, which was first seen on the XK coupe and the XF sedan.
2011 Jaguar XJ Side View
What a lovely automobile! I will gladly add to my colleagues' shower of praise for the new Jag XJ. The car looks fantastic, rides great, and drives even better, in the manner that is typical of Jaguar products. The V-8 has plenty of power, sounds great, and does not have too much supercharger whine. The transmission responded well to every input I threw at it.
2011 Jaguar XJ Front View
2011 Jaguar XJ
2011 Jaguar XJ Side View Passenger

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2011 Jaguar XJ-Series
2011 Jaguar XJ-Series
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16 MPG City | 23 MPG Hwy
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2011 Jaguar XJ-Series
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XJ RWD 4-Dr Sedan V8
16 MPG City | 23 MPG Hwy
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2011 Jaguar XJ-Series Specifications

Quick Glance:
5.0L V8Engine
Fuel economy City:
16 MPG
Fuel economy Highway:
23 MPG
385 hp @ 6500rpm
380 ft lb of torque @ 3500rpm
  • Air Conditioning
  • Power Windows
  • Power Locks
  • Power Seats
  • Steering Wheel Tilt
  • Cruise Control
  • Sunroof
  • ABS
  • Stabilizer Front
  • Stabilizer RearABS
  • Electronic Traction Control
  • Electronic Stability Control
  • Locking Differential (optional)
  • Limited Slip Differential (optional)
  • Airbag Driver
  • Airbag Passenger
  • Airbag Side Front
  • Airbag Side Rear (optional)
  • Radio
  • CD Player
  • CD Changer (optional)
  • DVD
  • Navigation
50,000 miles / 60 months
50,000 miles / 60 months
Unlimited miles / 72 months
50,000 miles / 60 months
Recall Date
Potential Units Affected

NHTSA Rating Overall
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Front Driver
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Front Passenger
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Front Side
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Rear Side
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Rollover
Not Rated
IIHS Front Moderate Overlap
IIHS Overall Side Crash
IIHS Best Pick
IIHS Rear Crash
IIHS Roof Strength

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