A flagship sedan for the British cat. Regardless of the ongoing popularity of utility vehicles, luxury car manufacturers aren't taken seriously without a full-size sedan to lead the fleet. The 2019 Jaguar XJ is all that and much more. Ultimately, it's also a capable competitor to the Audi A8, BMW 7-Series, Lexus LS, and the Mercedes-Benz S-Class.
Jaguar offers the XJ in standard- and long-wheelbase versions. We recommend the latter as it supplies ample leg room and aligns with what competing models offer. One demerit that cannot be overlooked is its cramped rear-seat head room, which is due to the sloping roofline.
Superchargers all the way. Lexus relies on a twin-turbocharged V6 engine to move its beautiful LS. Jaguar supplies superchargers, which supply superior step-off power and robust acceleration.
The standard 3.0-liter supercharged V6 engine generates 340 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque. For customers wanting optimum power, an available 5.0-liter supercharged V8 engine delivers 470 hp and 424 lb-ft of torque. There’s even a 575-hp version of that V8 for the XJR575.
Handsome exterior, exquisite interior. The XJ wears the brand’s styling convention in a more subtle way than other Jaguar models. Its sheet metal is smooth and elegant, tapering rearward from the signature grille to its sloping roofline. In long-wheelbase form, this big sedan is all the more impressive with its limousine-like layout. We think it looks best when dressed in deep colors, although silver and black do nothing to diminish its elegance.
Inside, the cabin is nothing less than cavernous. Ample amounts of high-end woods, bright chrome, soft leather, and glossy piano black trim supply it with the touches we expect in this segment. The available rear-seat comfort package adds heating, cooling, and massaging seats along with an entertainment system, clearly making this compartment the most desirable of all.
Technology finally caught up. We love the 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster and the 10-inch infotainment screen. These are features we expect in a model of the XJ’s competence. What’s been lacking is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone compatibility. This year, they’re both options as Jaguar releases a measure of control with its InControl interface.
On the audio front, the XJ shines with its standard 18-speaker and two subwoofer audio system from Meridian. If that’s not enough, upgrade to the 1300-watt Meridian Reference system with an additional six speakers to spread concert-hall quality sound throughout the cabin.
Final thoughts. The shrinking market for sedans comes as buyers place a priority on utility vehicles. Jaguar doesn’t have an SUV that matches the XJ in size and comfort, although its sister Land Rover brand does. If you desire a sedan that would impress a statesman, the 2019 Jaguar XJ simply doesn't disappoint.
However, the XJ isn't cheap. Its appeal is to a narrow segment of shoppers, including executives who prefer the timeless comfort of a land yacht. Base models start at $76,725 including destination and increase from there depending on wheelbase, engine, and drivetrain.