Fall shifted into full swing as the miles piled up on our 2013 Jaguar XJL, and despite it imposing size, striking style, and powerful V-6 engine, we remain fixated on one feature -- the back seat.
There’s good reason for that. The XJ has one of the most luxuriant second rows of any sedan on the market, arguably eclipsed only by the Mercedes-Benz S-class. And by selecting the longer wheelbase Jaguar, we served up our rear passengers an extra 5.2 inches of legroom. Nice of us, eh?
“This car looks a lot more expensive than it is [impressive considering the as-tested price is $86,470], and the interior is incredibly inviting,” said copy editor Rusty Blackwell, summing up the staff’s sentiments.
The Jaguar proved useful for Blackwell, who has a young family. After a busy weekend that fittingly included a British car show, his brood proclaimed the XJL’s interior a winner.
“The big glass roof is a hit with my kids,” he said. “Ventilated seats are great on hot days. Huge door pockets are just the right width for an iPhone and long enough to stow many other items, freeing up cupholders for actual drinks. The designers got it right in so many ways.”
Blackwell also had the line of the month, quipping: “No rear tray tables?? Send it back!”
As obsessed as we are with the back seat, the rest of the 2013 Jaguar XJL has so far earned mixed reviews. The supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 with 340 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque has been solid, but some staffers are pining for the V-8 (the two engines share use the same aluminum architecture). The driving character has also been underwhelming in the eyes of some.
“Once again, I drove other people around in this car but did not ride in the back seat myself. What a mistake. There's nothing particularly special about driving the 2013 Jaguar XJL, but it is a real treat for anyone lucky enough to luxuriate in the NBA-player levels of rear legroom,” associate web editor Jake Holmes said.
The electronics have also been a source of discontent.
Blackwell said: “Here’s a specific critique: displaying the song title of what’s playing on satellite radio requires an extra push (a key labeled “i”), which forces you to the “Add Song” screen, which you then have to cancel out of. Stupid.”
Holmes, meanwhile, had issues with the glove box.
“My passenger was enamored by the tiny touchless button that opens the glovebox,” he said. “However, after she used it repeatedly, the glovebox would no longer open. We exited, locked the car, and then unlocked it. After that, the glovebox release was again functional.”
Happily, it was a relatively quiet first month in the service department for our big cat, which required a sensor replacement after the unit up front mysteriously vanished. We think a car wash was the likely culprit, and Jaguar replaced it for free. We also had our SRS “black box” software updated, but otherwise our fancy sedan has remained in proper working order.
The 2013 Jaguar XJL is a proper open-road cruiser, and the long-range commuters on our staff have so far enjoyed its comfort and power. While we’re only one month in, the decadent Jag has been surprisingly controversial. It will be interesting to see how the rest of autumn unfolds. But there’s one thing we can say for sure: We love the back seat.