Tata spice for XJ
PERHAPS the English should have taken it easier on their Indian counterparts in this season's Test cricket series whitewash.
The Poms should have a place in their heart for those from the subcontinent, because since being taken over by Indian brand Tata, one of the most famed British marques has enjoyed a resurgence.
With some serious coin behind the big cat, it's purring with near unprecedented satisfaction.
Jaguar has released some wonderfully lavish and lustful cars in the past few years matched with strong and smooth powerplants.
And they don't come much smoother than the XJ.
It's a big, intimidating and expensive saloon.
Looking for a lap of luxury definition? Step inside the XJ.
The cavernous cabin is a welcoming environment for adults of all shapes and sizes.
It's arguably the best layout, fit and feel among the prestige offerings. The Jag has an individualised persona and you feel cocooned into place courtesy of the semi-circle which runs around the dash.
Seats front and back are plush and feature soft grain leather. The front pews feel comfy, but could do with some extra bolsters to hug you more into place.
There's no doubting this cabin was designed with European weather in mind. A hot Australian day saw the leather heat up, while the chrome gear selector had a near hand-burning temperature.
Most of the dials and operations are simple to use, with the pivotal information controlled by a central touchsceen display (that does have a tendency to be left with fingerprints).
When up and running the cabin retains its wonderful ambiance with little, if any, noise intrusion.
On the road
Apart from some minor agricultural sounds at idle, it's difficult to ascertain there is an oil-burner under this beautiful skin. Power delivery is strong and smooth in partnership with the six-speed automatic transmission.
The turbo-diesel V6 can take some effort to muster enough grunt at low speeds when summoned for quick acceleration, but slip it across to Sport mode and you gain a more immediate response.
On the highway the big cat slinks along with consummate ease hardly raising a sweat. Despite its size, the XJ doesn't mind flexing its muscle on the bends and the suspension automatically adjusts to provide support where you need it most.
It also manages to soak up the bumps beautifully while being remarkably simple to drive.
What do you get?
Well, for $200K, there are lofty expectations and it delivers. Among the highlights are a panoramic sunroof, three-spoke leather steering wheel, keyless entry, eight-inch touchscreen with voice control, heated seats front and back, Bluetooth connectivity with audio streaming and sat nav.
There are a bevy of options available too, and you can even individualise the badge in the middle of the dash to your own name.
For around the same money and size, there is always the Mercedes-Benz S-Class 350 Blue TEC ($213,428), BMW 7 Series 730d ($202,600), Porsche Panamera GranTurismo Diesel ($194,900) and the Maserati Quattroporte ($250,000).
Being the diesel this is the most thrifty of the XJs. It averages seven litres for every 100km…impressive give its size and weight.
Insurance and replacement rubber wouldn't be cheap, but if you can afford $200K for the asking price, this won't be an issue.
The funky factor
This is an imposing beast which reeks of money.
From the dominant big sliver grille with a growling jag in the centre through to the coupe-like lines at the back, it's a covet-worthy saloon.
Five adults can find comfort without any problem. There is an expanse of knee and leg room in the rear.
Although we're not convinced we'd like the kids in the back too often to sully the fine leather.
The boot is also large, but it does have a small opening so it might be hard to get some items into the back.
The XJ is an alluring offering that possesses an enviable plush and premium finish.
Powered by a bent six turbo-diesel, this may be the entry-level XJ but it loses little in terms of performance when compared to its petrol V8 siblings.
It's great to have Jag back in the fold.
The British brand adds some extra personality at the top of the premium tree.
- Model: Jaguar XJ 3.0D SWB Premium Luxury.
- Details: Four-door rear-wheel drive luxury large saloon.
- Engine: 3.0-litre V6 turbo diesel generating maximum power of 202kW @ 4000rpm and peak torque of 600Nm @ 2000rpm. .
- Transmission: Six-speed automatic.
- Performance: 0-100kmh in 6.4 seconds; top speed 250kmh.
- Consumption: 7.0 litres/100km (combined average).
- CO2: 184g/km.
- Bottom line: $198,800