Autocar's Matt Prior rides with Jaguar's Mike Cross
17 September 2009

Autocar's chief road tester Matt Prior recently joined Jaguar's development guru Mike Cross to take a ride in the new Jaguar XJ.

The pair took the flagship Jaguar XJ Supersport LWB on the roads around Welshpool, giving Matt a chance to sample the car from the passenger seats as Cross completed sign-off work for the car's ride and handling traits.

Video exclusive - see the Jaguar XJ development drive

See the high-res Jaguar XJ picture gallery.

"We wanted the agility and the steering to feel the same as the XF, but it's a smoother car," says Cross. "But what I'm most pleased about is that the XJ has a nice, agile feel to it."

Asked about rivals, Cross says Jaguar wants the XJ to tread a middle path: "If you imagine that traditional German cars are at one end of the scale and the Maserati Quattroporte is at the other end, we want to be in the middle," he says.

Prior concludes: "I struggle to think of much to criticise and feel desperately sycophantic when Cross asks what I honestly think about the car.

"Honestly? The ride feels right. Noise levels are right. The looks? Right enough for me. Cabin design? Maybe, just maybe, I was a smidgen underwhelmed when I first got in it, because there isn't the in-your-face sparkle and delight of the XF. But I find that, like the exterior, it's a grower."

Read the full story of the Jaguar XJ drive in this week's Autocar magazine.

Twitter - follow autocar.co.ukSee all the latest Jaguar XJ reviews, news and video

Our Verdict

Jaguar XJ

The Jaguar XJ is a thoroughly modern luxury saloon, and a brilliantly capable one

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Comments
30

17 September 2009

mama mia!

Jaguar XJ Series:

17 September 2009

[quote danny bahr]a picture says a thousand words[/quote]

Indeed it does. And the rear of the XJ is just stunning, in my opinion.

17 September 2009

I always have been a massive XJ fan. Indeed the old shape XJR is top of my 'must have' cars list : comfy, fast, luxurious and you can go on holiday with 2 kids and a boot full of luggage.

... but this new one moves the game on so much ! Well done Jaguar for at last breaking free of the 70's-inspired shapes and making the XJ a truly modern car inside and out.

I might add the new XJ to my list sometime in the future.

17 September 2009

[quote Paul123]

[quote danny bahr]a picture says a thousand words[/quote]

Indeed it does. And the rear of the XJ is just stunning, in my opinion.

[/quote]

Strangely, i read Danny`s line and thought he was referring to signing off ride and handling on what appears to be a well surfaced straight road, not too challenging then.

I admire JLR for moving the looks of the XJ forward but the more i look at that rear end the more uncomfortable i am with its 80`s Japanese generic style.

SDR

17 September 2009

I'd really love to love this car, but I'm afraid the front styling looks awkward to me (huge shut line over its nose and squished down headlights look such as a teenager might acheive with stick-on headlight eyebrows on his Citroen Saxo), and the rear styling is actually very interesting up to the base of the rear screen, but the dark stripes on the rear pillars really don't work for me and combined with what I guess is a part-glass roof the whole stripey mess is nasty.

I'm hoping it's one of those cars that looks a thousand times better resolved in the metal. For me, it needs to be. Sorry Jaguar - valiant effort, but I'd take an XF and the change ta.

17 September 2009

The back end doesn't look too bad in isolation - i.e. without a more balanced, cleaner rear alongside it such as that of the new 7-Series - but the huge and flabby expanse of unbroken boot lip does make it look like half the lamps fell off. When you factor in endless references to the Quattroporte in Jaguar interviews, I believe what we're looking at is a botched attempt to copy the Maser's vertical lamp clusters with a touch of fat-arse from the Flying Spur for Britishness.

Callum said: "I know you're struggling with the rear end of this car, lots of people will. That's the point."

That might be true, Ian dear, if luxury buyers have a history of "struggling" with the looks of their intended purchase, but trust me, they don't. Any hint of "what the hell is that about" and they'll go back to what they know - and what the people they need to impress will know - which is a BMW or Mercedes.

Speaking of such, odd looking clamshell designs made a comeback about a decade ago, the E65 7-Series and W221 S-Class both sporting them, but as the XJ arrives so the Germans are moving on. How very Jaguar!

17 September 2009

Fair play to Jag for changing their age old design, but the back is just horrendous, striking car but horrid from behind. Should have done a lot better considering the front isn't bad at all.

17 September 2009

Read the article, watched the video,it'll sell no question, it's just i see old Jaguar in it's DNA, a MK10 from the 60's grill,the rear a cross between a Bentley and a Laguna, and the rear quarter view is a bit Mondeo-ish, the interior from what we see of it looks like a DIY job fanatics finish, neat but you know he made it!, darker wood would'ave looked better.But, and this is the crucial thing for me, i'd only know it was a Jaguar coming up behind it at distance because i've read about it, it doesn't say Jaguar enough from the rear in my opinion.

Peter Cavellini.

17 September 2009

From the rear, take the badge off, it could be American even French, there's no indentity from the rear, the modern take on the leaping Jaguar just doesn't work, it's too anonymous, marks out of ten....6/10

Peter Cavellini.

17 September 2009

Jeez! And people say J-Lo has a big arse!

OK, so the styling may be a 'move forward' but only for Jaguar - there's just no definition to that back end at all, it's just a great amorphous nothingness... and what's with the daft plastic bits on the pillars? Oh yes, that's it... not enough visible seams.

Sorry, I know we're all supposed to wet ourselves in excitement as we fawn over a new Jag but I'd take an S3 over this any day.

Still, probably drives better than it looks ;)

Take no notice... I'm only here for the biscuits

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