2013 Jaguar XJ-Series

XJ RWD 4-Dr Sedan V6 auto trans

2013 jaguar xj-series Reviews and News

AUTP 140400 WINTER 03
Motoring up ice-slicked Vermont Route 108 outside of Stowe, we were not surprised when we saw that a minivan had slid off the road and was getting shoveled out of a snowbank. It was a sight that brought on a mixture of sympathy and smugness; if we’re being completely honest, it was more of the latter, as we were in the commanding perch of a four-wheel-drive Mercedes-Benz GL450. We were confident that what happened to that guy would not be happening to us. That’s what four-wheel drive does for you.
AUTP 140400 WINTER 21
The extra measure of confidence and ability that four-wheel drive provides has taken it from novelty to necessity in much of America. Although all-wheel drive is increasingly popular at all price points, it is in particular becoming a fixture at the high end. What good is a luxury car that doesn’t impart a feeling of mastery over one’s environment—and even over the weather?
Four-wheel drive came out of the woods and onto America’s highways with the rise of the SUV. Among luxury sedans, the notion of four driven wheels was pioneered by Audi’s Quattro, with Mercedes-Benz’s 4Matic and BMW’s xDrive not far behind. It’s now offered across the board in the luxury-sedan arena.
With AWD a commonality between high-end sedans and SUVs, we wondered: has there been a convergence between the two?
We had only to look at our Four Seasons motor pool to find two of the latest examples of each: the aforementioned Mercedes-Benz GL and the Jaguar XJL. With both carrying as-equipped prices in the vicinity of $80,000, they represent a major choice facing high-end buyers: all-wheel-drive luxury sedan or four-wheel-drive luxury SUV?
Both of these cars are at least partly a response to U.S. demand. Jaguar, which never had an all-wheel-drive model to sell in the United States other than the short-lived X-type, recently added all-wheel drive to both its XF and XJ sedans. “All-wheel drive has been pivotal for us,” says Jaguar’s North American brand VP, Jeff Curry. “It has been the single biggest factor igniting XF and XJ sales over the past year.”
The Alabama-built Mercedes-Benz GL, which has been made bigger and bolder with its second iteration, strikes one as a model that exists wholly to serve the American market. Go to Germany, and you see a lot of Mercedes-Benz automobiles—a lot—but the GL seems not to even exist. Over here, it’s a different story. “This is the American S-class,” quipped executive editor Todd Lassa when our Four Seasons tester arrived in the fleet.
For our meditation on the luxury of all-wheel drive, we set a course for Stowe, a winter destination since the 1930s, one that is both suitably swank—note the absence of chain stores—and predictably picturesque. We also came to Vermont seeking winter weather that would give our all-wheel-drive steeds a suitable test. Sure enough, the state delivered, welcoming us with an extended bout of freezing rain that gave the roads a thick, Krispy Kreme glaze. That was followed by some rain-slicked black ice but, surprisingly, very little good, old-fashioned snow.
Deep snow would have given the GL an edge, owing to its 8.5 inches of ground clearance, which can increase to 11 inches at the touch of a button. On the ultraslick ice, however, neither car had an inherent advantage. Even where it was too slippery to walk, both all-wheel-drive machines proved highly capable of holding the road—with proper winter rubber, of course [see below for our winter-tire choices]. The GL’s optional on-/off-road package includes a winter mode, which alters throttle mapping, shift strategy (to include second-gear starts), and traction/stability control, but it was not on our test car, nor was it needed.
The XJ’s winter mode similarly affects throttle, transmission, and traction/stability control. It also changes the all-wheel-drive system’s default torque split to send 30 percent of the power to the front. Normally, Jaguar’s system defaults to 100 percent rear-wheel drive when cruising.
Of the XJ’s three engine options—a supercharged V-8 in two strengths and a supercharged V-6—only the six-cylinder can be had with all-wheel drive. In the long-wheelbase car, the engine’s 340 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque motivate a relatively svelte 4364 pounds. Jaguar says that all-wheel drive adds 0.4 second to the 0-to- 60-mph time. At 6.1 seconds, it’s not as explosively fast as the eight-cylinder XJs but is certainly up for any reasonable acceleration demands. The ZF eight-speed automatic transmission is, as ever, a paragon of self-shifting decorum.
Four-wheel drive is standard in the GL, so it can come with any of the model’s four engine options. The GL450’s 4.6-liter bi- turbo V-8 is the most modest engine in the GL pantheon after the 3.0-liter turbo- diesel. It makes 362 hp and 406 lb-ft, which proves to be enough for quick moves in the freeway cut-and-thrust, despite the GL’s porky, 5566-pound curb weight. The 4.6-liter and the seven-speed automatic are a Fred-and-Ginger combo, a smooth and polished pair.
Would that the Benz’s chassis were anywhere near as graceful. The electrically assisted power steering is so light that it feels loose; perhaps this is designed to create the impression of easy handling. In fact, that’s really not necessary, because this big machine actually scribes a pretty tight turning circle. Furthermore, the combination of the standard backup camera and optional (and much welcomed) overhead-view camera impart a lot of confidence maneuvering in tight spaces.
It’s once you’re underway that the GL chassis disappoints. This big SUV bobs woozily on its suspension, which is almost to be expected since it’s so tall and heavy. But the upside of that soft tuning and the GL450’s 55-series tires should be the ability to smother bumps. Instead, the GL hops over frost heaves and delivers sharp impacts in potholes. The situation might have been improved with the optional active antiroll bars (the Active Curve System), but our car was not so equipped; then again, it likely would have been worse had we been rolling on the 21-inch wheels that you get with the GL550.
For an SUV-versus-car driving-dynamics battle, the GL couldn’t have picked a tougher adversary than the Jaguar XJ. Even among its fellow luxury sedans, the XJ is notable for its winsome combination of athletic handling and buttoned-down ride. The low-profile (45-series front, 40-series rear) tires exact a bit of a ride-quality penalty, but the Jaguar’s standard adaptive dampers help minimize the harshness. At the same time, this big sedan feels like a natural extension of the driver when you bend it into a curve, thanks in no small part to the naturally weighted steering. The Jaguar only gets unwieldy when it’s time to park; the long-wheelbase XJ starts out with a larger turning circle than the GL, and adding all-wheel drive makes it even worse.
As swell as the Jaguar is to drive, if you’re ferrying a crowd the GL is your car—even more so than most SUVs. Its standard third-row seat is adult-habitable, and its second row is a genuine three-person bench rather than the more limiting two captain’s chairs. You lose two passenger spaces if you want to carry long winter sports gear like skis or snowboards inside, power-folding half the third row and one-third of the second row, but even then you can still carry five.
The GL’s interior versatility makes it a family-friendly bus, and it appears to have been designed with that duty in mind. Its industrial-grade (and, ahem, extracost) leather, surprisingly hard surfaces, and rudimentary wood trim create an environment that easily withstands crushed Cheerios and muddy gear but hardly makes one feel as if they’re reveling in luxury. For that, one must step up to the Designo interior. The Benz does get full marks, however, for its Comand interface, which has become quite easy to use—even though on this trip, the in-car technologies we were most appreciative of were the heated seats and steering wheel (in both cars).
The XJ cabin, by contrast, is a feast for the senses. The low dash is topped by a dramatic arc of wood trim and is punctuated by huge bull’s-eye vents you can’t help but touch. The seat leather, with contrasting piping, is smooth and luxurious, and the pillars and ceiling are covered in a rich synthetic suede. The long-wheelbase XJ adds five inches of rear-seat legroom over the standard-wheelbase variant, making for generous space for even the lankiest passengers, although you’ll want to limit their number to two. The only letdown is—yes—the electronics, as Jaguar’s touchscreen interface suffers some flawed logic and the instrument cluster’s digital rendition of gauges, in place of actual gauges, is rather cartoonish.
Pop the trunk, and the XJ’s practical limitations immediately become clear. The car’s rounded rump encloses a cargo hold that is modest at best. And forget about putting any long sports gear inside—the rear seatbacks don’t fold down and there isn’t even an available ski pass-through. You’ll need a rack for your board or your sticks—or you’ll have to rent equipment when you get there.
Rather than converging, the two AWD luxury automobiles paired here strongly evidenced the relative strengths and weaknesses of their ilk. They are each at the far end of their respective classes. The GL is a commodious carrier, a blocky beast of burden for ferrying masses of people and stuff. But its clumsy dynamics are from the SUV old school, and its interior is a style-free zone. The GL is a highly capable workhorse that falls short on luxury.
The XJ, on the other hand, couldn’t be more sedanlike. The low and sleek four-door is a head-turning style maven inside and out. All-wheel drive has done nothing to diminish the Jaguar’s athleticism, which stands arguably at the top of its field. Aside from its ultraroomy back seat, though, the Jag otherwise shrugs its pretty shoulders at the notion of hauling anything. Its cargo hold isn’t just stingy compared with SUVs; it’s stingy compared with most other midsize and larger sedans. And the omission of fold-down backrests or even a pass-through truly limits the big cat’s versatility.
What have we learned, then? The Mercedes GL is a very SUV-ish SUV, and the Jaguar XJ is a most sedanlike sedan, and all-wheel drive is most welcome on each. Oh, and Stowe, Vermont, is a nice place to visit, even in nasty New England winter weather, provided you don’t have to shovel your car out of a snowbank.
AUTP 140400 WINTER 24

Trip Notes

Nestled in the middle of the Green Mountain State, Stowe is the Vermont ski town of your imagination, with a Main Street full of century-old buildings anchored by a church with a white steeple. Stowe has been a winter destination since the 1930s; the first ski trail was cut into Mount Mansfield by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1933. Although there’s plenty of fabulousness here (most obviously at the Stowe Mountain Lodge), you’ll also find young snowboarders brown-bagging it at the rustic Mount Mansfield base lodge.

Stay

The Green Mountain Inn
www.greenmountaininn.com
Located right on Main Street, the Green Mountain Inn is classic old New England. It dates from 1850 (the original building is from 1833). The attached Whip Bar & Grill received the town’s first liquor license when Stowe at last went “wet”—in 1950.
Trapp Family Lodge
www.trappfamily.com
Yes, this Stowe institution really was started by the Austrian expat von Trapp family, of The Sound of Music fame—and the family still owns and runs it. The original building was replaced by a new one in 1981, and although it’s large (ninety-six rooms), it was designed to feel intimate in scale.

Eat


Crop Bistro & Brewery
www.cropvt.com
Fries up a mean burger and brews some decent beers to wash it down.
Harrison's Restaurant & Bar
www.HarrisonsStowe.com
Reservations are essential at this small, and packed, restaurant on Main Street with a casual atmosphere but seriously good food.

Shop

Shaw's General Store

For cool T-shirts and warm bomber hats.
Vermont Ski and Snowboard Museum

www.vtssm.com
For vintage-style ski posters and trail signs.
Stowe Mercantile
www.stowemercantile.com
For Vermont-made local foodstuffs. Maple syrup, sure, but also maple-flavored walnuts, jelly beans, taffy, lollipops, popcorn, pretzels . . .

Play

Stowe Mountain Resort
www.stowe.com
Stowe’s eponymous ski resort offers 116 trails over two mountains, Mount Mansfield (Vermont’s tallest peak, at 4395 feet) and Spruce Peak. Spruce Peak has the fancy base lodge and soaring, craftsman-style hotel you’d expect from a high-end ski resort. Mount Mansfield retains a modestly scaled lodge that dates from skiing’s early days.
Trapp Family Lodge
www.trappfamily.com
The lodge’s on-site cross-country ski center was the first in America when it opened in 1968. Today, it has thirty-seven miles of groomed trails, a warming hut that serves hot food and drinks, and, naturally, equipment sales/rentals, lessons, and tours.

Winter Footwear

AUTP 140400 WINTER 02
2013 Jaguar XJL Portfolio AWD
Our all-wheel-drive Jaguar is wearing the Bridgestone Blizzak LM-32. The Tire Rack’s Woody Rogers suggested these Blizzaks, a relatively sporty winter tire ideal for high-performance sedans—and which work well in the XJL’s staggered tire sizes.
AUTP 140400 WINTER 01
2013 Mercedes-Benz GL450
For our GL, Tire Rack recommended the Pirelli Scorpion Ice & Snow, a performance winter tire well suited to SUVs and crossovers. It’s engineered to preserve dry-road handling (not that the GL handles all that well to begin with).







2013 Jaguar XJL Portfolio AWD

Price:$84,595/ $86,470 (base/as tested)
Powertrain
Engine:3.0L supercharged V-6, 340 hp, 332 lb-ft
Transmission:8-speed automatic
Drive:4-wheel
Chassis
Steering:Hydraulically assisted
Front suspension:Control arms, coil springs
Rear suspension:Multilink, air springs
Brakes:Vented discs
Tires:Bridgestone Blizzak LM-32
Tire sizes f, r:245/45R-19 102V, 275/40R-19 101V
Measurements
L x W x H:206.8 x 74.8 x 57.3 in
Wheelbase:124.3 in
Passenger volume:109.0 cu ft
Cargo capacity:15.2 cu ft
Weight:4364 lb
EPA Mileage:16/24 mpg

2013 Mercedes-Benz GL450 4Matic

Price:$64,805/$78,290 (base/as tested)
Powertrain
Engine:4.7L twin-turbo V-8, 362 hp, 406 lb-ft
Transmission:7-speed automatic
Drive:4-wheel
Chassis
Steering:Electrically assisted
Front suspension:Control arms, air springs
Rear suspension:Multilink, air springs
Brakes:Vented discs
Tires:Pirelli Scorpion Ice and Snow
Tire sizes:265/55R-19 109V
Measurements
L x W x H:201.6 x 84.3 x 72.8 in
Wheelbase:121.1 in
Passenger volume:143.6 cu ft
Cargo capacity:16.0/ 49.4/ 93.8 cu ft (behind third/middle/front rows)
Weight:5566 lb
EPA Mileage:14/19 mpg
2013 Jaguar XJ 3 0 AWD Front Left View
We think of the luxury-sedan class as being rear-wheel drive, but it’s increasingly becoming all-wheel drive. According to Jaguar, cars with four driven wheels currently account for 40 percent of large-luxury-sedan sales. Already, the Audi A8, the BMW 7-series, the Lexus LS, and the Mercedes-Benz S-class offer AWD. Now, the Jaguar XJ does, too.
New supercharged six
For the XJ, all-wheel drive is paired exclusively with Jaguar’s supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 engine. Also a new offering, the new engine follows the trend away from eight-cylinder powerplants and toward boosted sixes. The V-6 is your only choice with all-wheel-drive in the XJ, but it also can be had with rear-wheel drive. In all cases, a ZF eight-speed automatic does the shifting.
Making 340 hp and 323 lb-ft of torque, the supercharged V-6 is on par with the turbo sixes from Audi and BMW. Factory measurements put the 0-to-60-mph time for the V-6 AWD car at 6.1 seconds, against 5.4 seconds for the 385-hp V-8 with rear-wheel drive. (Supercharged 470-hp and 510-hp V-8s shrink that number even further.) So this big cat doesn’t leap with the same verve as its eight-cylinder counterparts -- particularly the supercharged models -- but it’s far from slow. Nor does it have the melodious exhaust note of the V-8, but that’s typical of boosted V-6 engines. As expected, it’s more abstemious with fuel, as the AWD V-6 models get better gas mileage than the rear-wheel-drive V-8. EPA figures for the AWD XJ are 16 mpg city, 24 mpg highway. Aiding the cause in the city is an automatic stop/start system; it’s fairly -- but not perfectly -- unobtrusive. Those who find it annoying can switch it off. As ever, the XJ exhibits the skillful chassis tuning that has become a Jaguar hallmark. The ride is at once sporty yet plush -- despite the test car’s high-fashion (and high-dollar) 20-inch wheels and ultra-low-profile rubber.
It’s a stretch
The polished wheels together with the crystal blue metallic paint made for a striking visual statement on this long-wheelbase XJL Portfolio. The long-wheelbase model’s 5-inch-greater span between the axles nets you an additional 5-plus inches of rear-seat legroom. Despite the stretch, head clearance -- particularly when getting in and out -- is just adequate. The optional rear-seat entertainment system ($2200) and rear-seat comfort pack ($5000) maximize the chauffeur-driven experience. The latter includes reclining seatbacks with power lumbar and massage function, footrests, a power rear sunshade, and foldout seatback tables, among other items. Those options helped push the bottom-line sticker to $101,875; of that total, all-wheel drive accounts for $2500. (In the standard-wheelbase XJ, all-wheel drive adds $2400.)
Screen time
Jaguar’s much-maligned touch-screen navigation and infotainment system has been replaced with the one from the latest Range Rovers. It’s much better than the maddeningly slow unit that preceded it but could be improved with more functions outside of the screen, such as radio tuning and navigation zoom. More unusual is the all-electronic instrument cluster. Rather than a physical speedometer and tachometer, the XJ has a TFT screen with representations of gauges. Although this allows the space to also work for other purposes -- the fuel gauge can disappear briefly and be replaced by a turn direction from the navigation system, or the tachometer can give way to the trip computer menu -- it still somehow seems wrong. It might be one thing if the electronic gauges looked modern and high-tech, but they don’t, or if you could choose among several different styles, but you can’t. What you get is a representation of classic-style gauges instead of the real thing, which seems like the wrong answer at a time when people are looking for authenticity, particularly in luxury products.
That gauge cluster, however, is the only off note in the XJL Portfolio’s interior, which is otherwise a very high-style environment. (The best detail may be the big metal bulls-eye air vents, which look and feel great.) Delivering high style, inside and out, is a Jaguar must. Together with superior driving dynamics, it is one of the twin pillars of the brand. Jaguar needs to continue to work so that buyers needn’t make sacrifices to own a Jaguar. Removing the no-AWD obstacle was an important one.

2013 Jaguar XJL Portfolio AWD

MSRP (with destination): $84,575
PRICE AS TESTED: $101,875
ENGINE:
3.0-liter supercharged V-6
Horsepower: 340 hp @ 6500 rpm
Torque: 332 lb-ft @ 3500-5000 rpm
TRANSMISSION:
8-speed automatic
DRIVE:
All-wheel
WHEELS AND TIRES:
20-inch aluminum wheels
245/40R20, 275/35R20 tires (front, rear)
FUEL ECONOMY (city/highway):
16/24 mpg
CAPACITIES:
Doors/Passengers: 4/5
Cargo: 15.2 cu ft
Legroom (front/rear): 41.5/44.1 in
Headroom (front/rear): 39.5/37.2 in
Towing: N/A
STANDARD FEATURES:
3.0-liter supercharged V-6 engine
8-speed automatic transmission
All-wheel drive
Stability and traction control
Auto stop/start
19-inch wheels
Xenon headlights
LED taillights
Panoramic glass sunroof
Keyless entry and ignition
Blind-spot monitoring system
Rear-view camera
Bluetooth
Navigation w/8-in color touch-screen
Leather interior
Heated and cooled front and rear seats
Power windows and locks
Power driver’s and passenger’s seats
Dual-zone automatic climate control
Tilt-and-telescopic steering column
Leather-wrapped steering wheel w/audio controls
Cruise control
OPTIONS ON THIS VEHICLE:
20-inch Orona polished wheels- $5000
Rear seat comfort pack- $5000

- 40/20/40 split rear seatback w/recline
- rear-seat message and 4-way lumbar
- winged front and rear headrests
- front passenger seat away switch
- rear seat footrests
- rear seat business trays
- power rear sunshade
- chrome mirror covers
Meridian 825-watt surround sound- $2300
Rear seat entertainment system- $2200
Visibility package- $850

- adaptive front lighting
- intelligent high beam
- cornering lights
Front-seat message- $800
Jet headliner- $775
Heated windshield- $375
KEY OPTIONS NOT ON THIS VEHICLE:
Adaptive cruise control- $2300
Illumination package- $1700
COMPARE TO:
Audi A8L 3.0T
BMW 740Li xDrive
Lexus LS4600 L AWD
Mercedes-Benz S550 4Matic
2013 Jaguar XF AWD Front View Lead
Would you try climbing a tall hill of soft, moist sand in your brand-new Jaguar XJ luxury sedan? Of course you wouldn't. But now that Jaguar finally offers all-wheel drive, you actually have a chance of making it to the top without damaging the car and/or getting it seriously stuck.
For decades, buyers who live in places where the roads are slippery for much of the year have loved premium all-wheel-drive large sedans from Mercedes-Benz (4Matic) and Audi (Quattro). Acura, Cadillac, Infiniti, Lexus, Lincoln, Porsche, Volvo, and even BMW for years have been building executive cars that power all four wheels. That left Jaguar as the lone nonexotic luxury carmaker to offer only two-wheel-drive vehicles (with the exception of the chagrined, smaller X-type, which has been gone since 2008).
All of those other automakers offer big luxury sedans with fewer than eight cylinders, too. Since the 2009 model year, though, Jaguar -- long ago a purveyor of world-beating straight sixes -- has sold cars in the U.S. exclusively with thirsty V-8s. Jaguar is filling that Abominable Snowman-sized void in its lineup in 2013, as well, with the addition of six-cylinder XF and XJ models.

Enabling all-weather ability

The new 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 is actually the lynchpin to the newly available all-wheel-drive (AWD) system. Engineers took advantage of the fresh powerplant and integrated a hollowed-out section of the oil pan to create space for the front axles to pass through without having to raise the engine. A Magna-sourced transfer case was bolted to the tail of the also-new eight-speed ZF automatic transmission, and power is delivered to the Dana-supplied front differential and axles by a prop shaft that runs alongside the transmission case. The application requires a different front subframe and knuckles as well as a modified steering rack and retuned bushings and front and rear dampers. Because the XF and the XJ share much of the same architecture, modifications to both cars are essentially identical.
No other Jaguar engines -- including diesels, V-8s, and the new-for-2013 turbocharged four-cylinder -- can currently accommodate the AWD components. In fact, engineers didn't even bother making the system work with right-hand drive, since very few customers in the British Isles opt for it in their luxury cars. According to Simon Barnes, Jaguar vehicle engineering manager, however, all powertrains and cars developed in the future will be AWD compatible.
Jaguar and Land Rover have been corporately married since 2001, but Jaguar Instinctive All-Wheel Drive, as it's known, doesn't just pick Land Rover parts off the shelf. "It was designed exclusively for the Jaguar brand," says James Towle, Jaguar's global brand manager, but the SUV maker's engineering expertise was freely utilized in creating these AWD Jaguars.
The company claims to have focused a great deal of energy "to ensure that steering integrity and suspension refinement are unaffected" and that the cars "remain every bit as agile and communicative as their rear-wheel-drive counterparts."

No longer declawed

Based on our time behind the wheel of AWD XJs and XFs, those claims seem to be on the mark. We didn't have a chance to drive back-to-back with rear-wheel-drive examples, but the four-wheel-drive cars felt just as composed, connected, and sporty as their siblings. On cold, paved Quebec roads (largely covered in gritty slickness-fighting sand) it was virtually impossible to tell the difference unless Pirelli Sottozero-spinning was attempted, in which case the AWD cars generally refused to comply. Torque steer was absent, too.
On snow-slickened surfaces, ice, and even the aforementioned sandy hill (which is sometimes part of a bona fide racecourse for off-road trucks at the Mecaglisse motorsports facility near Notre-Dame-de-la-Merci, Quebec), the XJ was extremely sure-footed and anxious to claw its way to the next obstacle prepared by Jaguar personnel. With stability control fully deactivated on a closed course, the big Jag felt livelier and more tossable, but it wasn't as entertainingly tail-happy as other winter-tired AWD luxury cars we've driven in similar conditions, particularly Acuras, Audis, and BMWs.

Wonderful six

The downsized six-cylinder engine surely contributes to the cars' unwillingness to do anything your mom would disapprove of, but it's far from a disappointment. It's basically Jaguar's 5.0-liter supercharged V-8 with two cylinders sliced off. That's a good thing. A rear-wheel-drive V-6 XJ made an appearance at Automobile Magazine's headquarters in October, and our editors had great things to say about it. Executive editor Joe DeMatio: "I never felt the slightest lack of power from the supercharged V-6, which offers significantly more horsepower and torque than Jaguar's long-running AJ-V8 engine did until not long ago." Associate web editor Donny Nordlicht: "Still intact from the powertrain's downsizing is the deep well of power at any speed. However, unlike the V-8, the V-6 doesn't feel quite like it has the power of a freight train barreling at full speed."
Those impressions jibe well with our experience in Quebec, although the AWD versions of the XF and the XJ are each 0.4 second slower than their rear-wheel-drive V-6 twins in the sprint to 60 mph. Big deal. Both AWD cars still turn the trick in an adequate 6.1 seconds. (Even though the XJ is larger than the XF, the cars weigh almost the same because of the former's primarily aluminum construction. Speaking of curb weight, AWD adds about 250 pounds.)

Getting down to business

If faced with the prospect of choosing between two- or four-wheel-drive V-6-powered Jaguars, we'd be more concerned about the fuel-economy sacrifice than the performance reduction. Having AWD on your XJ will cost you 2 mpg in the city and 3 mpg on the highway, according to the EPA's ratings (16/24 mpg versus 18/27 mpg). The Snowbelt XF doesn't suffer quite as much, losing 1 mpg in the city and 2 mpg on the highway (16/26 mpg versus 17/28 mpg).
To equip these cars with all-wheel drive, Jaguar charges $3000 extra for the XF (for a minimum cost of $53,875), $3500 for the XJ ($77,575), and $2500 for the long-wheelbase XJL ($84,575). The addition of the six-cylinder model has cut the base price of the XJ by only $500. The V-6 XF starts at $3000 less than last year's base V-8, but the new four-cylinder model (which we've yet to drive) chops the minimum XF price from $53,875 to $47,850. The XJ AWD goes on sale in mid-December, and the XF AWD will hit dealerships in February.
Jaguar says that the V-6 engine and AWD will make its cars appeal to 30 percent more buyers in the XF's segment and 20 percent more folks shopping for gratifying luxosedans like the XJ. Officials expect that a substantial 40 to 50 percent of XJs purchased in the U.S. will be equipped with AWD and about 40 percent of XFs will end up with the feature.
We believe that most Snowbelt drivers would fare just fine with two-wheel drive and a good set of winter tires, but there's no arguing that adding all-wheel drive to that equation is the safest solution. Imagine how many more Jags Northerners would've seen in bad weather if the company hadn't waited so long to offer the products that so many buyers prefer.
Jaguar XJ AWD
On sale:
Mid-December
Price: $77,575/$84,575 (XJ AWD/XJL Portfolio AWD)
Engine: 3.0L supercharged V-6, 340 hp, 332 lb-ft
Drive: 4-wheel
EPA mileage: 16/24 mpg
Jaguar XF AWD
On sale:
February 2013
Price: $53,875
Engine: 3.0L supercharged V-6, 340 hp, 332 lb-ft
Drive: 4-wheel
EPA mileage: 16/26 mpg
2013 Jaguar XJ Front Right Side View
Jaguar representatives insist it was dumb luck that landed the brand a starring role on the latest season of Mad Men, the hit cable television drama that's re-popularized everything from narrow ties to Lucky Strike cigarettes. Even if it is mere coincidence, we credit the latest Jaguar products for creating a lot of their own luck. Don Draper, Mad Men's central character, would never want a cheap X-Type or a fusty S-Type, but one can certainly picture him working through some deep inner turmoil from behind the wheel of a new XJ or a 510-hp XF-R.
The only problem is that while there's no shortage of people who aspire to be Don Draper -- spontaneous, rich, handsome, creative -- very few actually are. Most can't smoke and drink at work; most don't have beautiful wives whom they cheat on; most don't even have an inexhaustible supply of perfectly pressed white dress shirts to turn to after a night of debauchery. And most -- as in more than ninety percent of luxury car buyers -- don't drive rear-wheel-drive, V-8-powered luxury sedans, which is bad news for Jaguar since that's the only kind it currently sells.
That changes for 2013 with a slew of new variants for both the mid-size XF and the flagship XJ. Both models will now be available with a 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 that can be had with all-wheel drive. The XF goes one step further with a new base model powered by the same 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder found in the Range Rover Evoque. We packed our narrow-lapel suit and flew to Henley-on-Thames, England to determine if these new variants can broaden Jaguar's reach without spoiling what has made these cars so appealing in the first place.

Not so much sound, plenty of fury

More than perhaps any other brand, Jaguar has created a unique and comprehensive sensory experience for its cars. That experience remains. Climbing into a V-6, rear-wheel-drive XJ, we're immediately struck by the strong smell of its opulent leather and the warmth of its wood trim, which together offset the modernity of the digital gauges and center touch screen. With a deliberate press of the starter button -- you need to hold it for a heartbeat -- the rotary shifter rises dramatically from its resting position. This would normally be accompanied by the first blip of Jaguar's soulful, 5.0-liter V-8. Alas, muscular-sounding 90-degree V-8 engines can bequeath course and unrefined V-6s, so Jaguar fitted this engine with harmonic balancers at both the front and rear of the block. The result is an engine that's almost too refined. At full throttle one can just about make out a muted growl and the whine of the supercharger.
What the new engine lacks in character, it more than makes up for in pure power. Jaguar says the V-6 model can hit 60 mph in 5.7 seconds, an impressive number that nevertheless fails to relate how good the actual experience is. The 340 hp comes on quickly and stays strong all the way to its redline, at which point the new ZF eight-speed automatic -- now standard across all XFs and XJs -- ticks off a lighting quick and smooth shift. Some automakers have struggled to properly tune this transmission, but Jaguar seems to have found the right combination of smoothness, sportiness, and economy. The payoff is an estimated 28-mpg highway for rear-wheel-drive variants of the V-6 XJ and XF. That said, when you floor the accelerator from cruising speeds, there is a perceptible pause as the transmission kicks down four or five gears.
Just like the V-8 XJs, the V-6 model feels nimbler and livelier than many smaller, supposedly sportier cars. That's a credit to both its lightweight aluminum construction and the masterful chassis tuning Jaguar seems to do better than anyone else. The steering is light yet communicative, and the suspension holds tight in sharp corners without exacting a harsh price over bumps. Only when the roads narrow to oh-my-gosh-there's -a-car-coming-from-the-other-direction-and-its-about-to-shear-off-my-right-mirror width does the XJ feel like a large car.

If six works why not four?

Having given us the morning to be convinced that a V-6 provides more than enough motivation, Jaguar took away two more cylinders after lunch. The particular model we drove, an XJ with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder, will not be coming to the United States -- it exists to skirt Chinese-market taxes on engine displacement. However, it does provide us a reasonable approximation of what we can expect from the XF, which, due to its steel chassis and body, weighs about the same as its larger sibling.
Like sister brand Land Rover, Jaguar has turned to Ford for its four-cylinder needs. The 2.0-liter turbo is essentially a longitudinally mounted version of the 240-hp Ecoboost engine that powers everything from the Range Rover Evoque to the Ford Escape. We mention the origins only to make sure that Ford gets its fair share of credit for its engineering work here. We'll admit it's difficult to wrap our American senses around a luxury barge that howls like a Volkswagen GTI, but it is a pleasant howl. Jaguar estimates the 0-to-60 for the four-cylinder XJ and XFs at 7.0 seconds and 7.5 seconds, respectively. That's pretty slow in the modern enthusiast's parlance and, more important, falls short of the claimed performance of the four-cylinder BMW 5-series. Once you accept that you're no longer in an English muscle car, however, it all feels just fine. The eight-speed automatic again is quick and silky, and makes the most of the turbo's power band. Jaguar expects the four-cylinder XF to achieve 29 mpg on the highway, which is actually a bit disappointing, since the aforementioned BMW 528i is rated at 34 mpg.

Conclusion: Powertrains for the rational-minded Mad Man.

The challenge for Jaguar -- and any luxury brand, for that matter -- is to look like it builds cars for cool, devil-may-care types like Don Draper even as it appeals to the pragmatism that drives most car buyers. The new XJ and XF variants achieve that end. Make no mistake: the Don Drapers of the world will still prefer the authority of a V-8 Jaguar, fuel economy be damned. And they'll still be able to get one. (The normally aspirated 5.0-liter V-8 disappears from the 2013 XF, leaving only the supercharged version, but both engines remain available in the XJ).
Just about everyone else, including many Lexus, Audi, and BMW drivers, will appreciate the V-6's reasonable fuel economy. We'll reserve final judgment on the four-cylinder until we test it in the XF, but we will note that its $47,850 base price -- $6000 cheaper than last year's entry-level V-8 -- should be plenty tempting to a whole new group of mid-size luxury car buyers. Most important, the cars we sampled still felt, drove, and smelled like Jaguars.
2013 Jaguar XJ V-6
Base price: $74,075
On sale: Now
Engine: 3.0L supercharged V-6; 335 hp, 332 lb-ft
Transmission: 8-speed automatic
Drive: Rear-wheel
EPA fuel economy: 21 mpg combined
2013 Jaguar XJ-Series
2013 Jaguar XJ-Series

New For 2013

A new supercharged V-6 and all-wheel drive join the lineup, as does an eight-speed automatic. All engines incorporate auto stop/start to save fuel in traffic. A limited-build Ultimate trim level, available only on long-wheelbase models, takes the XJ’s already premium cabin to a level of luxury that’s almost sinful.

Overview

The XJ portfolio has been expanded this year. A supercharged 340-hp V-6, the same engine found in the XF and the F-type, joins the lineup and can be paired with all-wheel drive. That engine might sound a bit diminutive for a big English saloon, but it’s more than up to the task. It helps that the aluminum-intensive XJ is one of the lighter vehicles in its class and that the eight-speed automatic transmission—new for all XJs—shifts smoothly and quickly. The changes should enable the XJ to compete more directly against the likes of the Audi A8 and the BMW 7-series, which are both available with multiple engine choices and all-wheel drive. That said, the XJ still largely follows its own path. Its avant-garde styling, sure to turn off some customers, is a welcome breath of fresh air in a conservative segment. Inside, warm leather and generous wood trim coexist harmoniously with futuristic bits such as a rotary shifter and an LCD gauge cluster. The navigation/infotainment system includes HD Radio and satellite radio and has two USB ports. A new model, the XJL Ultimate, lives up to its name, with massaging rear seats trimmed in semi-aniline leather, glass tables, and a chilled compartment for beverages. We’d still prefer to be the chauffeur so as to enjoy the precise steering, the balanced handling, and the lust-worthy 510-hp V-8.

Safety

Front, side, and side curtain air bags; ABS; traction and stability control; and tire-pressure monitoring are standard.

You'll like:

  • Attention-grabbing design
  • Lightweight aluminum structure
  • Excellent performance

You won't like:

  • Attention-grabbing design
  • Slow touch-screen interface

Key Competitors For The 2013 Jaguar XJ

  • Audi A8
  • BMW 7-series
  • Lexus LS
  • Mercedes-Benz S-class
2013 Jaguar XJL 30 Portfolio AWD Front Three Quarter View
The Jaguar XJ first came to us on a night in Paris in 2011, and we still remember driving across the River Seine on the Pont Alexandre III with the city lit with spotlights as if it were an art gallery. Every time we walk up to the XJ sedan, we think about driving to Paris. Of course, it snowed about a hundred times in Detroit last winter, so maybe it’s a good thing that this Jaguar has all-wheel drive for those days when Paris isn’t in our plans.

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Certified Pre-Owned 2013 Jaguar XJ-Series Pricing

Certified Pre Owned Price
$47,450

Used 2013 Jaguar XJ-Series Values / Pricing

Suggested Retail Price
$73,200

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rank
5
2013 Jaguar XJ-Series
2013 Jaguar XJ-Series
XJ RWD 4-Dr Sedan V6
18 MPG City | 27 MPG Hwy
Top Ranking Vehicles - MPG
rank
1
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2
2013 Audi A8
L AWD 4-Dr Sedan V6
18 MPG City | 28 MPG Hwy
rank
3
rank
4
2013 Audi S6
Prestige AWD 4-Dr Sedan V8
17 MPG City | 27 MPG Hwy
rank
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2013 Jaguar XJ-Series
2013 Jaguar XJ-Series
XJ RWD 4-Dr Sedan V6
18 MPG City | 27 MPG Hwy
rank
38
2013 Jaguar XJ-Series
2013 Jaguar XJ-Series
XJ RWD 4-Dr Sedan V6
$73,200
Top Ranking Vehicles - Price
rank
5
2013 Jaguar XJ-Series
2013 Jaguar XJ-Series
XJ RWD 4-Dr Sedan V6
340hp
Top Ranking Vehicles - Horsepower
rank
5
2013 Jaguar XJ-Series
2013 Jaguar XJ-Series
XJ RWD 4-Dr Sedan V6
340hp

2013 Jaguar XJ-Series Specifications

Quick Glance:
Engine
3.0L V6Engine
Fuel economy City:
18 MPG
Fuel economy Highway:
27 MPG
Horsepower:
340 hp @ 6500rpm
Torque:
332 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
Vehicle
50,000 miles / 48 months
Powertrain
50,000 miles / 48 months
Corrosion
Unlimited miles / 72 months
Roadside
50,000 miles / 48 months
Maintenance
16,000 miles / 12 months
Recall Date
12-31-1969:21:35:40
Component
EQUIPMENT:OTHER:LABELS
Summary
Jaguar Land Rover North America, LLC (Jaguar) is recalling certain model year 2013 XF and XJ vehicles manufactured March 26, 2013, through April 10, 2013. In these vehicles, the certification label that is intended to specify the required Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR), Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR) front, Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR) rear, the manufacture date and country of manufacture is absent. Thus, the vehicles do not conform to Part 567, "Certification."
Consequences
If the certification label does not specify all the necessary information or the vehicle weight range could result in the vehicle being overloaded and increase the risk of a crash.
Remedy
Jaguar will notify owners and dealers will re-acquire and will provide a replacement vehicle or a full refund of the purchase, free of charge. Owners may contact Jaguar at 1-855-524-8278. Jaguar's number associated with this recall is J039.
Potential Units Affected
3
Notes
Jaguar Land Rover North America, LLC


Recall Date
12-31-1969:21:35:40
Component
SUSPENSION:REAR
Summary
Jaguar Land Rover North America, LLC (Jaguar) is recalling certain model year 2013-2014 XJ, XF and XK vehicles. In the affected vehicles, the toe links, components used to control the alignment of the rear wheels, can separate from the rear sub-frame.
Consequences
If a toe link separates from the rear sub-frame, a loss of vehicle stability and directional control may result, increasing the risk of a crash.
Remedy
Jaguar notified owners on May 8, 2014, and dealers will replace the nut and washer assembly on the rear toe links, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin around May 27, 2014. Owners may contact Jaguar at 1-855-524-8278. Jaguar's number for this recall is J037.
Potential Units Affected
297
Notes
Jaguar Land Rover North America, LLC


Recall Date
12-31-1969:21:35:40
Component
ELECTRICAL SYSTEM: SOFTWARE
Summary
Jaguar Land Rover North America, LLC (Jaguar) is recalling certain model year 2013 Jaguar XJ vehicles manufactured May 21, 2012, through July 10, 2012. The generic software calibration installed on the vehicles' Restraints Control Module (RCM) may not meet the specification for proper operation of the Supplemental Restraint System (SRS). As such, these vehicles do not conform to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 208, "Occupant Crash Protection."
Consequences
Vehicles that have the generic software may put the occupants at an increased risk of injury in the event of a crash.
Remedy
Jaguar will notify owners, and dealers will upload new software for the Restraints Control Module, free of charge. The recall began on July 8, 2014. Owners may contact Jaguar customer service at 1-855-524-8278. Jaguar's number for this recall is J040.
Potential Units Affected
70
Notes
Jaguar Land Rover North America, LLC


IIHS Front Small Overlap
N/R
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 Overall
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Rollover
Not Rated
IIHS Front Moderate Overlap
N/R
IIHS Overall Side Crash
N/R
IIHS Rear Crash
N/R
IIHS Roof Strength
N/R

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5-Year Total Cost to Own For The 2013 Jaguar XJ-Series

Depreciation
43.6%
Loss in Value + Expenses
= 5 Year Cost to Own
Depreciation
$30,672
43.6%
Insurance
$14,415
20.5%
Fuel Cost
$12,689
18%
Financing
$5,570
7.9%
Maintenance
$3,665
5.2%
Repair Costs
$2,854
4.1%
State Fees
$533
0.8%
Five Year Cost of Ownership: $70,398 What's This?
Value Rating: Below Average