Looks are subjective, but I’m going say it - Jaguars large XJ L is the best-looking car in its class. Sculptural, sleek and sophisticated. Its beautiful lines defy the traditions within its class. Like a leaping cat, the XJ is about to pounce on its unsuspecting prey.

 

The XJ has been face-lifted. Its now more aggressive front bumper houses the XJ’s advanced LED head and tail lamps which bring it back to the future. 

 

Open its large doors to reveal its leather ensconced interior; you’ll find a digital binnacle and upgraded touchscreen infotainment system. The same 20 speaker (825 W) Meridian sound system stays - an acoustic masterpiece Lady Gaga would be proud of. 

 

Moving along to the rear cabin, and being the L - long-wheelbase version, you’ll find Jaguar’s version of the business class. There’s room for three, but the ultimate luxury lies in the seating of two. Pull down the centre armrest, adjust your seating position - via the fully electric seats - put on your wireless earphones and watch whatever your heart desires - on the car’s rear TV screens. If the magnificent quilted leather seats are making you warm, hit the air-conditioned seat cooling button, and voila! Up to all four seats in the car will get a breath of fresh air up and around your derrière. Want more? How about a bespoke massage? All four seats can do that too. Almost as well as a chiropractor trained in Swedish massage. What if two people want their seats warmed while the other two occupants want them cooled? No problem - the XJ L can do it all. 

The XJ L is a long-wheeled version of the already generously sized XJ means you’re driving a limo. So, being chauffeured is a wise choice - there’s over a meter of legroom in the rear.  But, if you want to drive, which you will, the XJ is the drivers’ car when compared to its competitors. 

 

Form has conquered function - the sleek lines mean less headroom in the rear. This also means reduced visibility when looking out of its sloping rear window. The boot is big, but the competitors are bigger, so therefore better. 

 

Does that bother me? Not at all. The XJ L is exquisite and a joy to drive. It features razor-sharp steering like you’ll find on the F-Type sports car. You’ll also have the incredibly powerful 5.0-L V8 supercharged motor that’s paired with what is arguably the best 8-speed gearbox money can buy from the company ZF. There are 375 kW and 625 Nm of torque - these lofty numbers mean that this big XJ L can dart to 100Km/h in an eye-popping 4.9 seconds. Therefore, I must say, despite being large, it’s most certainly in charge. 

Being the L version, it also features a revised air-suspension as standard. The system soaks up bumps while maintaining dynamic agility. Some of its competitors are a little more comfortable but as a result, non-are dynamic. 

 

Plus +

Beautiful.

Rare.

Dynamic.

Ride and handling.

Performance.

 

Minus -

Expensive.

Lacks standard safety equipment like Forward Collision Prevention, Pedestrian Alert, Active Cruise Control and Steering Assist – these are optional.

I’m not a fan of the “Piano Black” shiny plastics on the centre consol – it looks kitch.

 

The competition 

Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7 Series, Audi A8, Porsche Panamera and Maserati Quattroporte

 

The pricing

XJ 3.0 V6 Td 220 R1,507,00

XJ 3.0 V6 S/C 250 R1,876,600

XJ 5.0 V8 423 R2,546,600

 

 

XJ L 3.0 V6 Td 220 R1,755,900

XJ L 3.0 V6 S/C 250 R1,947,500

XJ L 5.0 V8 375 Autobiography R2,806,600

 

Service and warranty 

The XJ range is sold with a 5 year/100 000 km maintenance plan.

 

My choice

XJ 3.0 V6 Td 220 R1,507,00

 

My Score

8.5/10

www.jaguar.co.za

 

 

 

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