Here's why you should sell everything you own and buy a Jaguar XJ
I remember the first time I saw a newer shape XJ in the flesh, the rear lights weirded me out but yet I still loved it - the size of it was much much bigger than the promotional photos implied but somehow it still worked entirely. It was the size of the house, cost a house, but I really really wanted one - now years on... I still want one.
It stands for now what it stood for then...
The XJ has been at the top of the Jaguar range for more years than I can count (since 1968), generally reserved for the rich and famous - the beautiful styling meant it actually fit in wherever it went and didn't generate hate like some luxury competitor vehicles in the segment. The interior would waft you into pure bliss with technological advancements ahead of many consumer vehicles whilst the driving characteristics would make you feel like you weren't drive a nearly 2 tonne land yacht. The XJ was simply game changing for Jaguar.
However, like most expensive cars, the depreciation hits the XJ like a tonne of bricks - so hard that a 3 year old example can be bought for 50% less than the original list price. When new, the XJ stands for prestige elegance and the upper upper class - but what about the used ones? Well, they stand as an utter mind meltingly bargain motor which you need to buy right now.
The exterior is understated but effortlessly luxurious
Traditional Jaguar styling is what I remember in my early years, a mid-90's XJ covered with chrome looking totally prestige and effortlessly beautiful. The current XJ has a bit less chrome, but is all the effortlessly prestige and beautiful they've ever been. The front now has their new design language which is bold without being too much of a statement. The side is smooth with minimal shouty lines - and the back still has the same 'XJ' look as 2009, claw like lights letting everyone know you're driving a Jaaaaaag.
The beauty with the current XJ is that whilst it looks premium and stunning, it also doesn't shout too much 'look at me and all of my money' whilst you drive it around. It's understated and blends in when it needs to - but can shout at the right time too. The benefit is that you don't generate hate from people who see you driving it, rather admiring looks and appreciation. The XJ is a classy car, not a flashy one.
Inside is like stepping into a 5 star hotel on wheels
There's no question that when you spend upwards of £70,000 on a car you expect the interior to be comfortable, so it's no surprise the XJ is totally brilliant at being just that. The front seats are like arm chairs, however you don't roll around in corners - rather you're held into place by the equally comfy bolsters. The finish is immaculate, not a thing out of place - and total silence when driving along. Sorry, waft along.
The XJ's party piece is the back seats though, even without rear entertainment you can see just why the XJ is the choice of car for the British prime minster. Access is easy, the seats are like clouds - the comfort is unparalleled and it's simply one of the best places you could ever ask to be. Audio is supplied as standard (in the Portfolio) by a Meridian Surround system which is 825 watts through 20 speakers - honestly it's in my top 3 standard in-car audio systems . Totally crisp, bundles of dynamic range and it can be adjusted exactly as you want it.
I guess the only options to consider inside are rear entertainment (TV function in the back), the Meridian Signature Surround (1300 watts and 26 speakers)... and that's about it. The XJ comes with so much as standard you don't need to add anything on really.
Performance goes against the laws of physics
When a vehicle weighs almost 2 tonnes, it's got to have some serious power and technology to keep it on the straight and narrow. However, you'd still expect roll in the corners and a lethargic attempt at acceleration - somehow the XJ actually defies the laws of physics though.
My test vehicle was powered by a 3.0 V6 diesel which produced 300PS/700Nm, propelling itself to 62mph in 5.9 seconds and topping out at a limited 155mph. Straight line acceleration was quite rapid, however it's the corners which really surprised me. Simply, it didn't feel its size at all. In the corners it felt like a vehicle half the size, nimble and precise with great response, minimal body roll and a seriously good hoot on B-roads. Not what you expect for almost 2 tonnes.
Economy was also a strong point, not something you'd ever think to put in an article about an XJ - but I will! On a motorway run at 65mph I saw over 50mpg, combined I saw 45mpg and around town (heavy traffic) almost 37mpg. All of that MPG from a vehicle which has a giant V6 diesel up front and is basically a house - the car literally is constantly defying the laws of physics.
The used prices are insanely good
For those buying new, the XJ offers extreme luxury and refinements like no other - however it's not a cheap car so your pockets need to be deep to buy one new (prices range from £60,000-100,000+). Buying used though, you get all of that at a slightly later date - at an unquestionably bargain price.
3 year old examples with 20-40,000 miles are regularly being sold (in retail) for over 50% less than the new price, with some slightly higher millage examples knocking 70% off. Much like the Mercedes S-Class and BMW 7-Series, the initial depreciation is heavy - for a new buyer it won't affect you too much, for a used buyer it means your best bet is 2-3 years old, then the depreciation slows down. Speaking to owners from new, they simply don't care - they love the practicality and capability of their land yacht, and I can see why.
"Why should I sell everything and buy one then?"
The Jaguar XJ is the first car I've ever reviewed which can do... well... everything. It's able to do the school run with ease, spend a day on the motorway, turn into a home on wheels, do the weekly shop, sort of go into some "muddy stuff", allow a string quartet to perform inside (I'm serious, more on this soon) and so much more.
On top of the practicality and capability, it looks second to none. Simply beautiful, traditionally Jaguar and epic in every single way. Whilst it is a slightly older design and I predict production on the current XJ will finish soon - it makes me even more excited for the revised version. It's likely to have hybrid powertrains, continued epic styling and interior comfort like you can only dream of. Jaguar make beautiful and capable cars, this is just as in keeping as ever.
You should sell everything and buy one because you can live in it, enjoy driving it every day, always look back when you park up - and smile every time the massaging drivers seat comes on after a long day at work. It's an every day for every person kind of car - without any question.