“Oh look, it’s a Jag!” “You drive a Jag ?” “Sir, yeh kitne ka hai?” “Dude! It’s a **** jag! “ These are some of the questions that were thrown at me during my recent stint with the long-wheelbase Jaguar XJ. Jaguar has rightly instilled itself amongst the Indian audience as a luxury brand which is as British and as niche as it gets. Owing to that, it has made its way in many pop songs and you might have heard them purposely or by fluke in the recent times (Kudi kehndi baby pehle Jaguar lelo). No you just didn’t read that. Anyway, on a serious note, the competition amongst the full-size luxury sedans is on the boil, especially after the launch of the new BMW 7 Series at this year’s Auto Expo. Jaguar mildly updated the XJ L earlier this year and we get our hands on it to find out what’s new.
What is it?
It is the 2016 update of the Jaguar’s flagship sedan, it gets certain aesthetic changes and a slight more oomph of tech. Not a lot has changed aesthetically. The most distinctive change at the front of the car is the new “Dual J-shaped blade” LED headlamps which come with Jaguar’s adaptive LED technology and the slightly more sharper chrome inserts on the front bumper. The overall silhouette also remains the same . Another noticeable change on the outside are the new higher profile tyres. Jaguar has decided to ditch the 19 inchers that the earlier XJ had and they have been replaced with new 18 inch rims. The downsizing has aided in the ride comfort and taking on the barbaric potholes is slightly less jerky than before. However, it does affect the aesthetic appeal of the car but still, it’s not a dealbreaker. Just like the exterior, a lot hasn’t changed on the inside as well. Amongst the noticeable changes is the updated touchscreen infotainment system which Jaguar calls the “InControl touch Pro”. Accessing the touchscreen unit from the driver seat can be a bit tough especially when you have to type long addresses on the navigation display. However, the touch input is very accurate, similar to any modern age tablet. A plethora of functions can be controlled from the touchscreen unit itself like cooling/heating all 4 seats, massagers and the position of any seat using the driver’s seat controls. It doubles up as a display for the all-around cameras and the PDC sensors which is a boon for driving such a long vehicle in crowded city streets.
What’s under the hood?
It’s a 3.0-litre V6 diesel. Now wait, before you petrol heads start turning over the page, there’s a catch. This engine churns our 300PS of power and a hefty 700Nm of torque. There is a strong surge of torque throughout the rev range and for a car that weighs almost 2.5 tonnes, there’s enough grunt for those quick highway overtakes . Slot the gear dial into S(Sport mode) and the revs climb up all the way up to the red line. Trust me, it’s all the power you’ll ever need in a full-size luxury saloon.The Jaguar XJ L also comes with a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol motor as well which churns out 240PS of power and 340Nm of torque. Even though the engine capacity and power figures are less than the diesel engine, it returns almost 5 kmpl less than the diesel motor. It does the 0-100kmph sprint in just 6.4 seconds(and you can also get a nice massage simultaneously) which is commendable for a car of this size.So the diesel is faster, more efficient and sounds nice as well. This is the engine you should stick with if you intend to buy the XJ L. Jaguar has also ditched the hydraulic steering for an electrically assisted setup with this update and fortunately, this change is hardly noticeable. For everyday usability, the steering is pretty precise and offers good drivability. However, it could’ve been a bit on the lighter side. Also, the car has a sense of urgency very early in rev range which takes some time getting used to and one needs to be cautious with the throttle inputs in city traffic. Having said that, the XJ L still drives pretty well for a car of it’s size.
Is it a Demigod’s chariot?
In one word, Yes. It might not have as much legroom and space as the Mercedes-Benz S Class or the new 7 series but that’s not something that you’ll complain about. The seats are still very comfortable like the previous model are wrapped in the finest leather and have the right cushioning at the right spots. The 825W Meridian Digital Surround Sound system sounds heavenly and the seats are cooled/heated and offer different types of massage with a touch of a button.
If you like been driven around to work during the weekdays and get behind the wheel yourself over the weekends, the Jaguar XJ L blends in both of these occasions perfectly. At 98 Lakh(ex-showroom Mumbai), it has a considerably lesser price tag than its chief rivals – the BMW 7 Series and the Mercedes-Benz S Class which further makes it a more promising proposition. And dude, ‘It’s a Jaaaaag’ !Reviewed by- Konark Tyagi