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3/4 Front Glamour 2013 Jaguar XJ

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Expert's Rating


MPG 16 City / 24 Highway
  • Well-styled exterior
  • Powerful engine options
  • Spacious cabin
  • Luxurious and refined interior
  • Limited head room in rear seats
  • Less trunk space than competitors
Automotive Editor -
The Jaguar XJ Series has a long and storied history that dates back to 1968, but the modern-day XJ has little to share with its predecessor, short of its name. The 2013 model year is one that will bring the XJ Series some mild changes, but the stylish body will carry over from the 2012 model.


For the 2013 model year, the most obvious change is the addition of an all-new base engine. This new engine is a 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 engine, which Jaguar chose to help bump up its base model’s mpg from 16 mpg city and 23 mpg highway to 18 mpg city and 27 mpg highway while only giving up 45 horsepower and 0.2 seconds in a 0-to-60 mph sprint. The other big change is the addition of the eight-speed automatic transmission as the base transmission for all models, thus eliminating the six-speed auto from 2012. Also introduced for the first time is 2013, is the XJL Ultimate trim level, which puts the XJ Series on par with some of the best luxury sedans on the market.

Beyond the range-topping XJL Ultimate trim level, the XJ Series has six additional trim levels, and they are: Base, XJL Portfolio, Supercharged, XJL Supercharged, Supersport and XJL Supersport. the first thing to notice is the “XJL” designation, which means it sits on an extended wheelbase to add some extra rear-seat legroom. The base model is about as loaded as you can get in a base model, as it features things like a 14-speaker sound system, 19-inch wheels and panoramic glass roof. The XJL Portfolio trim level adds in the extra rear legroom, upgraded wheels and more luxurious seating. The Supercharged trim levels, XJL included, add in a super-powerful V-8 engine, upgraded audio, 20-inch wheels and the XJL model tosses in rear trays for the back-seat passengers. The Supersport trim levels – XJ and XJL – add a little more power to the supercharged V-8 engine, plus they add in massaging front seats, a rear entertainment system, upgraded leather and other premium features. Moving into the Ultimate trim level, you get unusually luxurious features, like power folding front seat, blue accent lighting and leather-wrapped center console.

Luxury automakers constantly jostle for position in the performance sedan realm, so the Jag has plenty of competition. First up is the BMW 7-Series, which comes standard with a 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine with 315 horsepower, an eight-speed automatic transmission and a 16-speaker, 600-watt audio system. Next up is the 2013 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Sedan, which comes standard with a 3.5-liter V-6 hybrid drivetrain with 295 horsepower, a seven-speed automatic transmission and a 15-speaker, 500-watt Harman Kardon stereo with Ban and Olufsen speakers. Next up on the list of competitors is the 2013 Audi A8 Sedan, which comes in with a 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 that produces 333 horsepower, an eight-speed transmission, standard quattro all-wheel drive and a 630-watt, 14-speaker Bose premium stereo system. Next on the list is the 2012 Maserati Quattroporte, which features a 425-horsepower, 4.7-liter V-8 engine, a six-speed automatic transmission and an 11-speaker, Bose premium audio system.

The Jaguar definitely has its work cut out for it with these competitors, but the XJ has a pedigree that is unmatched by nearly any other luxury sedan. Is this pedigree enough to draw in buyers?

Which Style To Buy?

2013 Jaguar XJ
Starting price

2013 Jaguar XJ Base

Recommended for: Buyers seeking a premium sedan that performs well, is loaded in luxury and still gets good mpg

The base trim level for the Jaguar XJ starts off with a 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 engine that cranks out 340 horsepower and mates to an eight-speed automatic transmission. The base format sends all of the power to the rear wheels, but you can opt for all-wheel drive. On the outside, includes LED taillights and xenon headlights for improved visibility, front and rear parking aids to help you park with ease, a rearview camera to help see objects behind you and heated side-view mirrors. A little style is added to the exterior with its 19-inch, 10-spoke alloy wheels wrapped in all-season tires. Inside the cabin, you ride on luxurious soft-grain leather 12-way power seats with heat, dual-zone climate control keeps you comfortable, a panoramic glass roof gives you a skyward view and a 14-speaker, 340-watt AM/FM/CD/DVD audio system with Bluetooth, 8-inch screen and SiriusXM keeps you entertained. The luxurious interior is capped off with burled-walnut trimming and 12.3-inch virtual gauges.

2013 Jaguar XJ
Starting price

2013 Jaguar XJ Supercharged

Recommended for: Buyers looking for a top-notch performance sedan under $90K

The 2013 XJ’s Supercharged trim level adds a little extra oomph to the luxurious sedan with its 470-horsepower, supercharged 5.0-liter V-8 engine. On the outside, the XJ Supercharged takes on the XJ’s base features but gives it a sportier look and feel with its standard 20-inch Kasuga 10-double-spoke wheels, active differential control, adaptive front headlights with Jag’s Intelligent High Beam system, and “Supercharged” script on the signature Jaguar power vents. Inside the cabin, the Supercharged trim level gives the car a boost with its Meridan 20-speaker, 825-watt surround-sound system, oak veneer trimming and power rear-window sunscreen.

2013 Jaguar XJ
Starting price

2013 Jaguar XJ XJL Portfolio

Recommended for: Business people that spend more time in the rear seats than the front

The 2013 XJ’s XJL Portfolio trim level begins by adding in a 385-horsepower, 5.0-liter V-8 engine mated to the same driveline as the base model. On the outside, the XJL Portfolio adds extra luxury to the base model with the addition of 19-inch Toba five-spoke wheels, and an extended wheelbase. On the inside, the extended wheelbase nets the XJL Portfolio 5 extra inches of rear legroom. The interior also adds in a little more luxury with its 18-way power seats wrapped in ventilated soft-grain leather, contrasting stitching and piping, suedecloth headliner ebony wood veneer trimming and four-zone climate control.

2013 Jaguar XJ
Starting price

2013 Jaguar XJ XJL Supercharged

Recommended for: Business people that want extra rear-seat room with excellent performance

The 2013 XJ’s XJL Supercharged trim level carries the same driveline as the XJ Supercharged trim level. On the outside, there is only one change and that is that the wheelbase is longer than the XJ Supercharged trim’s wheel base. The stretched wheelbase’s benefits are felt inside the cabin, as the rear-seat passengers enjoy an extra 5 inches of leg room. This stretched wheelbase also adds the room needed to include standard rear-seat trays for the rear passengers. Short of those differences, the XJL Supercharged and XJ Supercharged trim levels are identical.

2013 Jaguar XJ
Starting price

2013 Jaguar XJ XJL Supersport

Recommended for: Business people that spend more time in the rear than in the driver's seat, but still appreciate good performance

The 2013 XJ’s XJL Supersport is the long wheelbase version of the XJ Supersport trim level, so the first difference is that the wheelbase is slightly longer than the standard Supersport model. This longer wheelbase equals out to an extra 5 inches of rear-seat legroom, which allows Jaguar to include reclining rear seats with adjustable lumbar, winged headrests and a massage feature. Other than the wheelbase and the upgraded rear seats, the XJL Supersport and the Supersport are virtually identical.

2013 Jaguar XJ
Starting price

2013 Jaguar XJ XJL Ultimate

Recommended for: Buyers that want the best of the best in terms of luxury meeting performance

The 2013 XJ’s XJL Ultimate trim level effectively takes the entire Jaguar option bin and empties it into the XJL Supersport trim level. On the outside, the XJL Ultimate builds onto the Supersport’s sporty, yet luxurious, feel with 20-inch Maroa forged alloy wheels and adds in an “Ultimate” script on the power vents. Inside the cabin is where the extra luxury is realized, as the XJL Ultimate adds in separate rear seats trimmed in semi-aniline leather with heating, cooling and massage, leather-trimmed center console with blue accent lighting, illuminated center chiller box for drinks, rear-console-mounted power passenger table, and power-folding front passenger seat.

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