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2019 Jaguar XJ

$75,700 - $99,600
Price Range (MSRP)
Jaguar XJ

2019 Jaguar XJ Review: Old-School Brit Among German Millenials

by Roger Biermann

In a market dominated by German full-size luxury sedans, the Jaguar XJ has to do a lot to stand out. But, despite the stiff competition, the British sedan manages to hold its own. With a choice of two engines, including a 470-horsepower supercharged V8, and two drivetrains, the Jag performs well, even if it can't quite beat rivals' 60 mph benchmark times. However, in a class that glamorizes frivolous spending, the XJ is remarkably good value, with a starting price of $76,000, competitive fuel economy, a long list of standard features, and surprisingly good utility. Still, the Audi A8 is better-rounded, and the Mercedes-Benz S-Class is more refined. But with striking styling that lends itself to more old-world charm, a well-appointed interior, athletic handling that is rare for the segment, the Jaguar XJ still has a lot of appeal, and 50 years on from the original XJ, the big cat provides buyers with a left-field alternative to the mainstream luxo-barges.

2019 Jaguar XJ Changes: What’s the difference vs 2018 XJ?

For the new year, the XJ gets automatic emergency braking as standard on its rear-wheel-drive models. The infotainment suite also sees an update in the form of improved graphics, and available Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as part of a Smartphone package, while the InControl Touch Pro's voice command system also has improved compatibility with the navigation. Additionally, the display itself has refreshed graphics. Jaguar has introduced the XJ50 Special Edition as a limited-time model to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the XJ moniker.

Pros and Cons

  • Three powerful engine options
  • Multiple body configurations
  • Sporty handling for such a large sedan
  • More trunk space than many rivals
  • Long list of standard features
  • Subtly stylish interior
  • The rear seat is cramped with the regular wheelbase
  • Front seats can feel constricting with large center console
  • Tech is a bit dated compared to modern rivals

XJ Exterior

Despite pushing almost a decade in age, the current XJ remains a striking sedan, with sleek lines that lean toward old-school understated style as opposed to the bold angles and grilles on more modern luxury vehicles. The broad Jag grille sports the manufacturer's logo and model badging depending on trim level, with full LED headlights incorporating the 'Double J' LED daytime running lights. Standard on the lower trims are 19-inch alloy wheels, with even more imposing 20-inch alloys available on the upper trims. Around back, the traditional vertical taillights are unique in a sea of cookie-cutter sedans, but the twin tailpipes are standard fare. A trunk lid spoiler shared with the XJR575 is standard on R-Sport and Supercharged derivatives, while the limited-edition XJ50 gets a trim-specific rear valance and model-specific badging.

2019 Jaguar XJ Front View Driving
See All 2019 Jaguar XJ Exterior Photos

Dimensions

Keeping in-line with its semi-limousine reputation, the XJ stands at 202 inches long on the 119.4-inch standard wheelbase, while the 124.3-inch long wheelbase increases the overall length to 206.9 inches. Without mirrors, the sedan is a wide 74.8 inches, but it maintains its athletic stance with a relatively short height of 57.5 inches and just 4.1 inches of ground clearance. Unsurprisingly, the luxury vehicle is on the heavier side, with the regular-wheelbase models weighing between 3,891 lbs and 4,134 lbs. The extra few inches on the long-wheelbase models increase this to 3,913 lbs in lightest RWD form and 4,156 lbs in its heaviest guise.

Exterior Colors

The color palette matches what you'd expect from a flagship luxury sedan, with Fuji White and Narvik Blue making up the solid colors. Metallics include Yulong White, Indus Silver, Corris Grey, Loire Blue, Rosello Red, Firenze Red, British Racing Green, and Santorini Black. For an additional $1,530, you get access to Carpathian Grey and Farallon Black. While the neutrals suit the XJ's stately nature, it's hard not to opt for the flashy Rosello Red, or subtly throwback to Jaguar's racing heritage with the age-old classic, British Racing Green.

  • Carpathian Grey Premium Metallic
  • Farallon Black Premium Metallic
  • Yulong White
  • British Racing Green
  • Santorini Black
  • Fuji White
  • Narvik Black
  • Corris Grey Metallic
  • Indus Silver Metallic
  • Firenze Red Metallic
  • British Racing Green Metallic
  • Yulong White Metallic
  • Santorini Black Metallic
  • Loire Blue Metallic
  • Rossello Red Metallic

XJ Performance

With two engines on offer for the standard XJ range, performance can vary quite a bit, but it never disappoints. The base 340-hp V6 is standard on the R-Sport, Portfolio, and XJ50 trims, and is the only engine that can be paired with an all-wheel drivetrain. In its standard guise, this powertrain can perform the 0 to 60 mph sprint in a modest 5.7 seconds, which is only marginally slower than rivals like the Merc S-Class and Audi A8. Opting for all-wheel-drive surprisingly adds half a second to this time, at 6.1 seconds.

The stronger V8 that comes with the Supercharged trims and is available on the XJ50, uses its 470 hp and 424 lb-ft to launch the hefty sedan past the 60 mph benchmark in just 4.9 seconds, which is almost a full second slower than the V8-powered S-Class. The engine's top speed of 155 mph is also a bit shy of rivals' limits, with the Audi A8 capable of reaching 166 mph in its strongest guise. However, there's also a 575-hp V8 reserved for the range-topping Jaguar XJR575, reviewed separately.

2019 Jaguar XJ Side View Driving
2019 Jaguar XJ Front View
2019 Jaguar XJ Side View

Engine and Transmission

Equipped as standard on the entry-level R-Sport, as well as the Portfolio and standard XJ50, a 3.0-liter supercharged V6 directs 340 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels, although all-wheel-drive is available. While nowhere near as strong as the other engines available, the V6 still provides plenty of power, accelerating the bulky two-ton sedan with ease. Merging and passing present no challenges here.

But, if 340 hp isn't enough for you, the Supercharged trims present drivers with a 5.0-liter V8 that develops 470 hp and 424 lb-ft solely for the rear wheels to deal with. With this much power on hand, the Jag accelerates like a car half its size, making merging and passing on the highway as easy as can be. This engine is also available on the XJ50, providing an aptly sized motor to match the half-century celebration model.

Regardless of engine and drivetrain configuration, an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission rows the gears on every Jaguar XJ model, shifting seamlessly and managing the hefty dose of torque incredibly well.

  • Engines
    3.0-liter Supercharged V6 Gas, 5.0-liter Supercharged V8 Gas
  • Transmission
    8-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrains
    AWD, RWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

While not as refined as the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, the Jaguar XJ is a more than capable large sedan. How much pleasure you take from driving it can depend largely on the power of the engine you choose to equip, but even the starter V6 is an adequate performer, delivering ample acceleration to make cruising around town a breeze. The lightness of the steering adds to this sense of ease, not engaging the driver much or providing any real degree of feedback, but it allows the large vehicle to maneuver with ease in relatively cramped spaces, and is a godsend when trying to park the behemoth. Similarly, the brakes perform well, stopping the sedan is around 110 ft from 60 mph, but they are a bit too stiff and uncommunicative.

The steering complements the Jag's surprisingly light handling dynamics. The broad wheels grip the road well as it takes turns, while the body rolls just enough to deliver a thrill without hindering driver confidence. Despite the luxury nature of the sedan, the XJ is athletic and offers a great deal of drivability. The active differential and re-tuned suspension that come with the Supercharged trims ensure that none of this enjoyment is lost despite the more aggressive acceleration and higher speeds.

The plush interior of the large luxury sedan complements the perfectly balanced suspension to deliver a ride that borders on excellence, with only the largest of road imperfections causing any real discomfort.

XJ Gas Mileage

Burning premium gasoline, as most luxury vehicles do, the XJ doesn't achieve particularly impressive mileage figures. The base supercharged V6 engine gets an EPA-estimated 18/27/21 mpg over the city/highway/combined cycles in RWD form, with the all-wheel drivetrain losing some efficiency and managing 17/26/20 mpg. Further losses are seen in LWB guise, with an extra point deducted from the highway estimate. The thirstier V8 engine sees these figures drop significantly to 15/23/18 mpg. Other premium rivals like the Mercedes-Benz S-Class get slightly better figures at 19/28/22 mpg while the Audi A8 manages 19/27/22 in its V6 guise. In its optimum configuration, and with its 21.1-gallon tank, the XJ can cover up to 443 miles between gas station stops.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    21.1 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 18/27 mpg
* 2019 Jaguar XJ R-Sport RWD

XJ Interior

No full-size luxury sedan is ever found lacking in terms of opulence and quality, and at first glance, the Jaguar XJ seems like its truly up there with the best. Aviation-inspired air vents, wood inlays, knurled aluminum controls, and plush leather upholstery all look the part. But dig around, tap a few panels, and it all begins to feel a little cheap. There's a sense of shallowness to the quality, not aided by cheap-feeling buttons and controls taken from the Jaguar parts bin. The leather seats are supple with a fair amount of space on offer, especially on the long-wheelbase models. However, the infotainment system is unintuitive and detracts from the overall appeal, which is compounded by unrefined ergonomics. Still, the list of standard features is extensive, with available options like the Premium Rear Seat Package adding exorbitant levels of luxury.

See All 2019 Jaguar XJ Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

The interior is quite spacious, with seating for up to five and enough space to accommodate most passengers. The front seats supply enough headroom for average-sized adults thanks to the sunroof stealing a few inches, while legroom is more generous. The large center console can give the front of the cabin a cockpit-like feel. The rear seats are a bit cramped with the regular wheelbase, but the long wheelbase adds a few inches of much-needed legroom, which means you can stretch out in comfort on the available reclining rear seats. The front seats are highly adjustable, especially on the upper trims, making it easy to find a good driving position. Forward visibility is good, but the large pillars and sloped windscreen in the rear create large blind spots. Luckily, blind-spot monitoring comes standard.

  • Seating capacity
    5-seater

Interior Colors and Materials

Soft grain perforated leather comes standard on the regular-wheelbase models, while quilted soft grain perforated leather is the norm on the longer sedan. The upholstery can be had in Ivory, Cashew, London Tan, Ebony Jet, with contrast stitching and piping. The veneer trim is available in Piano Black, Gloss Burl Walnut, Gloss Rich Oak, Gloss Figured Ebony, Gloss Shadow Walnut, or Carbon Fiber. Soft-touch surfaces abound within the cabin, with the dashboard, door panels, armrest, and center console all sporting soft-feel stitched leather. The standard headlining is Morzine, with suede cloth headlining available on the upper trims. A range of additional colors can be had for various bits and pieces within the cabin, including the carpets and upper and lower dash fascias - which can either create a truly luxurious image, or one that simply looks kitsch and over-designed.

XJ Trunk and Cargo Space

Trunk space is relatively generous for the segment, with 16.9 cubic feet of space available when the spare wheel is in place, compared to the 12.5 cubic feet of space available in the Audi A8. This is enough room for daily errand running around town and grocery shopping, but the shallowness of the space and the awkward aperture make it difficult to get larger items in. Folding rear seats would help with this, but they are not available in the luxury sedan, and nor should they be with the focus of such a car being solely on those occupying the rear seats.

Small-item storage is generous thanks to the large glove compartment and storage bins for both front and rear passengers. The cupholders are well-designed with space for cup handles, unlike the door pockets, which are shallow and cannot even hold water bottles.

2019 Jaguar XJ Rear Passenger Seats
  • Trunk Volume
    16.9 ft³

XJ Infotainment and Features

Features

The list of standard features is surprisingly long, even on the base model, and includes dual-zone climate control, a panoramic sunroof, keyless entry and ignition, 12-way climate-controlled power front seats with four-way lumbar adjustment and massage functionality, front-seat memory, and a heated leather steering wheel with a power tilt-and-telescoping steering column. The driver assistance suite consists of a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, front and rear parking sensors, and a rearview camera. Only a few extra features are added on the upper trims, including quad-zone climate control, 14-way power front seats with massage functions, additional front seat memory features, electric rear window sunblinds, a surround-view camera, and a 160-degree parking aid, and a 360-degree camera system and park sensors. Adding extra luxury, soft-close doors are made standard on all models, as are power rear sunshades on most models.

Infotainment

The infotainment suite has been touched up for the new year, with enhanced graphics and newly available features. Standard fare comprises a 10-inch touchscreen display with built-in navigation, Bluetooth, USB ports, SiriusXM, HD Radio, a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, and an 825-Watt 20-speaker Meridian sound system. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are available but do not come standard. Available features include an upgraded 1,300-Watt Meridian 7.1 sound system and a rear entertainment system with dual 10.2-inch LCD monitors. Despite the updates to the infotainment suite, it is still not as streamlined as some competitors' and glare from the glossy screen and controls hamper usability in bright sunlight.

XJ Problems and Reliability

As a low-volume luxury sedan, the Jaguar XJ has not been evaluated for dependability by J.D. Power. The vehicle was recalled for 2019 with a small number of units suffering from fractured crankshaft pulley bolts. An extensive warranty plan is offered, with the basic and drivetrain warranties, as well as roadside assist and free maintenance all covered for 60,000 miles or 60 months.

XJ Safety

Neither the NHTSA nor the IIHS has crash-tested the luxury sedan, though even the standard models come with an extensive list of safety features, including traffic sign recognition, blind-spot monitoring, front and rear parking sensors, and lane departure mitigation.

Key Safety Features

Standard on all XJ models is four-wheel ABS, stability control, traction control, emergency brake assist, and six airbags: dual front, front side, and side curtain. The advanced driver assistance features comprise a rearview camera, front and rear parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, driver condition monitoring, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, and traffic sign recognition. Available advanced features include park assist, a 360-degree parking aid, and a surround-view camera.

Verdict: Is the 2019 Jaguar XJ a good car?

There is no doubt in our minds that the Jaguar XJ is a good car, an excellent one even. But, it competes in a segment where excellence is the norm, and only truly peerless cars stand out.

The Jag handles extremely well for a car its size, often feeling smaller than it is, which is further enhanced by the way the cabin wraps around the driver to deliver an experience akin to a much sportier vehicle. However, the powertrain isn't as refined as in some top competitors that get better performance figures without sacrificing on handling. The interior sports a toned-down style that is reminiscent of simpler times, but sadly the infotainment seems to have followed the same trend, despite recent updates. While the graphics are good, the touchscreen can be clunky to navigate and the voice controls are unrefined. The seats can't be faulted, however, delivering the opulent comfort we expect from a sedan in this price bracket.

Nevertheless, the Jaguar XJ fails to deliver the all-round experience that we expect from a true luxury sedan. If you're looking at a car in this segment, you're probably not hunting for a bargain. While they can be considerably more expensive, you'd be better off considering an S-Class Mercedes or a Porsche Panamera.

What's the Price of the 2019 Jaguar XJ?

The base-model XJ R-Sport is surprisingly well-priced for the amount of value it brings to the table, with a starting MSRP of $75,400. Utilizing the same base engine, the XJL Portfolio (LWB) will cost you $84,500, while the XJ50 will set you back $87,500. Adding all-wheel-drive to any of the V6 trims adds a further $2,900. Stepping up to the more powerful V8, the XJ Supercharged starts at $93,000, with the long-wheelbase model upping the price to $96,300. Topping the non-R range is the V8-powered XJ50, sporting an asking price of $99,300. These prices exclude tax, registration, licensing, and Jaguar's $995 handling fee.

2019 Jaguar XJ Models

The Jaguar XJ range comprises five trim levels, R-Sport, XJL Portfolio, XJ50, XJ Supercharged, and XJL Supercharged. Two supercharged engines power the various trims, with a 3.0-liter V6 directing 340 hp and 332 lb-ft to the rear wheels, being standard on the R-Sport, Portfolio, and XJ50. Standard on both Supercharged models, and available to the XJ50, is a 5.0-liter V8 that develops 470 hp and 424 lb-ft. An eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox is standard across the range, while all-wheel-drive is optional on the V6-equipped models.

Even the entry-level R-Sport is well-equipped with dual-zone climate control, eight-way power climate-controlled seats with lumbar, and cruise control coming standard. The infotainment suite comprises a 10-inch touchscreen, navigation, Bluetooth, and a 20-speaker sound system.

The Supercharged adds 14-way power front seats with four-way lumbar and quad-zone climate control. It also replaces the standard 19-inch wheels with 20-inch alloys and sees the body enhanced with an active differential control and re-tuned suspension to really get the most out of the more powerful engine.

The Portfolio is the standard long-wheelbase model and comes with 19-inch alloy wheels, soft grain leather upholstery, 14-way power climate controlled front seats, quad-zone climate control, blind-spot monitoring, and front and rear parking sensors.

The top-tier XJ50 gets unique 'style 5045' 20-inch alloys, as well as XJ50 badging inside and out and unique front and rear fascias. If the optional V8 is installed, then the XJ50 gets the same performance enhancements as the Supercharged trim. The XJ50 is the only trim to come standard with a surround-view camera.

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
XJ R-Sport
3.0-liter Supercharged V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$75,700
XJL Portfolio
3.0-liter Supercharged V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$84,800
XJ50
3.0-liter Supercharged V6 Gas
5.0-liter Supercharged V8 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$87,800
XJ Supercharged
5.0-liter Supercharged V8 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
$93,300
XJL Supercharged
5.0-liter Supercharged V8 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
$96,600
See All 2019 Jaguar XJ Trims and Specs

Additional Packages

Considering how well-appointed the XJ is, only a few additional packages are available. Exclusive to the base XJ R-Sport is the Comfort Package ($2,040), which adds 14-way power front seats with massage functions, front seat memory, quad-zone climate control, and electric rear sunblinds. The Illumination Package ($510) is available to all but the XJ50, adding LED reading lights, illuminated air vents, and illuminated stainless steel tread plates. The XJL Portfolio, XJL Supercharged, and XJ50 can be equipped with the Premium Rear Seat Package ($4,080), which replaces the rear seats with two individual seats with memory and massage functions while adding rear business tables, and dual 10.2-inch LCD monitors with remote controls and headphones.

What Jaguar XJ Model Should I Buy?

If you are going to be transporting more than two passengers on the regular, then we strongly advise you to opt for a long-wheelbase model for the extra rear legroom. The Portfolio is the cheapest option within this category and comes extremely well-appointed with leather seats, as well as almost all the comfort and safety features available even top the top-most trims, such as 14-way power front seats, quad-zone climate control, and front and rear parking assist. It is also eligible for the Premium Rear Seat Package if you want really spoil your back-seat passengers.

Check out other Jaguar XJ Styles?

2019 Jaguar XJ Comparisons

2019 Jaguar XJ
2019 Jaguar XJ

2019 Jaguar XJ vs Audi A8

There are certainly areas where the Jaguar XJ is superior to the Audi A8, namely trunk space and the availability of more than one engine, thanks to the big, characterful supercharged V8. Nevertheless, the A8's powertrain is exceptionally refined, although the Jaguar's chassis offers brilliant driving dynamics that make it one of the best driver's cars in an often-forgotten segment. The tech features available in the Audi are top-notch, though, with some of the most advanced self-driving technology available and loads of standard safety. With almost identical price tags and fuel economy, it really comes down to which is the better all-around luxury sedan. And in this regard, the Audi A8 pulls slightly ahead of the Jaguar XJ - a better quality interior, more tech, and more luxury being the final nails in the coffin of the aging Jag.

See Audi A8 Review

2019 Jaguar XJ vs Jaguar XF Sedan

The XF is a more affordable sibling to the premium-level XJ, with a starting price tag of $51,100. But at that price, it also occupies a smaller mid-sized segment and makes certain sacrifices as a result. It continues to add value by delivering significantly better fuel economy with the supercharged V6 getting 20/29/23 mpg while the standard turbocharged 247-hp four-cylinder gets 25/34/28 mpg. The smaller sedan also manages to provide more trunk space as it doesn't put as much focus on luxury and rear-seat space. Being smaller and more maneuverable, the XF makes more sense as a town car with higher levels of utility. But if you want luxury, then there really is no comparison here, as the XJ is leagues ahead in terms of opulence and overall comfort.

See Jaguar XF Sedan Review

Jaguar XJ Popular Comparisons