What is it?
This generation of Jaguar luxury four-door XJ, codenamed X351, was first launched in 2009. Since then it’s only been lightly revised, receiving minor cosmetic and technical tweaks in 2014, and that has left it languishing behind more modern alternatives.
After all, 2013 marked the launch of the all-new Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Audi revealed its heavily revamped A8 in 2014, and new competition arrived this year in the form of the sixth-gen BMW 7 Series. Then you’ve the likes of the continually evolving and advanced Tesla Model S, providing a desirable electric luxury alternative to the mainstream internal combustion-engined models.
So in order to keep the XJ in contention, Jaguar has carried out a range of upgrades. Externally, the XJ's design has been refreshed with a larger, more upright grille, LED headlights and new daytime running lights.
Inside, key upgrades include a new and reputedly far better ‘InControl Touch Pro’ media system, while the 12.3in driver’s display can now show full-screen navigation, just like Audi’s Virtual Cockpit. A range of new safety features is also fitted, including adaptive cruise control with queue assist and a 360-degree camera system.
One other prominent technical revision is the adoption of electric power steering assistance, in order to improve efficiency and enable more advanced safety systems. It’s only claimed to reduce fuel consumption by up to three percent compared to the hydraulic rack, but every little counts these days.
Jaguar has also boosted the output of its twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 diesel. Previously the V6 produced 271bhp and 443lb ft. Now, thanks to upgraded injectors and more efficient turbochargers, it outputs 296bhp and 516lb ft – hikes of 25bhp and 73lb ft respectively.
The 0-60mph time has dropped from 6.0sec to 5.9sec as a result. Emissions have also fallen, from 159g/km of CO2 to 149g/km, while fuel consumption has decreased from 44.8mpg to 48.0mpg.
This flagship long-wheelbase Autobiography version, a new addition to the XJ range, comes with plenty of kit. Standard equipment includes quad-zone climate, heated and cooled seats all round, a 1300W Meridian sound system, sat-nav, DAB, digital TV and massaging rear seats. It also gets benefits from some smart interior upgrades, including a leather headliner, oak veneer inlays and stainless steel trims.