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2013 Jaguar XJ Overview

Justin Cupler
Automotive Editor - December 1, 2012

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?