Ask anyone what they think about the Jaguar brand and you're most likely to get one of two answers: The first will resound with prestige, power, presence, and opulence. The other may be more along the lines of “beater, breakdown, bullocks, and unreliable.”
The second response is the result of the sad state of affairs that plagued the storied brand in the '80s, '90s and the early parts of the 21st Century. I hate to bring this up, but the fact is that the past still shapes the company's present much like what Volkswagen and the Korean manufacturers Hyundai and Kia still deal with.
The introduction to my review is as such because my delectably sensual Jaguar XJ Supercharged was literally plagued with an annoyance of catastrophic proportions; it had the most pestiferous sunroof rattle. All XJs get a roof-sized panoramic glass roof... I pray this be the only one with this issue.
I can best describe the “noise” as two panes of glass rubbing and knocking against each other. They would deeply perturb the occupants every time the car would roll over anything bigger than a pebble.
This was very unfortunate as this Jaguar otherwise proved the most rounded and best sorted I've ever driven. Previously, I'd taken an XF, XJL, XK and XKR for a spin. None of these cats ever delivered the poise and driving passion the way this XJ Supercharged did. This big car covered ground at an impressive pace, and despite its considerable weight, it never felt weighed down or cumbersomely handicapped by its size. Truly impressive.
The rattle-ridden ride was surprisingly supple, yet controlled. Steering was responsive, but not without some on-centre play akin to any luxo-cruiser that is the XJ. Braking was not an issue, nor should it ever in a car that can reach 100 km/h in as little as 5.2 seconds.
It's a Jaguar, so it should be fast. It is. The Supercharged 5.0L V8 dishes out 470 hp and 424 lb-ft of torque. Through the use of a 6-speed automatic gearbox, this XJ will never leave you wanting more. However, should you want more you may always select the Supersport which features the same lump, however, with an extra 40 hp and 37 torques. Want less? Get the base, non-super-blown 5.0L good for 385 hp.
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Editor's Review Highlights
2011 Jaguar XJ Series Specifications
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