Is the ride of the Jaguar XJ good enough? That’s the question we kept coming back to in our time with the car. Initial impressions were that it felt a little too jittery. The complaint was not with big bump absorption, but that small ridges occasionally cause a cross-cabin vibration. However, with time this initial complaint seemed to fade. 

That is not to forgive the XJ a fault, because the fact is that over some surfaces it simply isn’t as isolated as a Mercedes S-Class. Moreover, despite a slight reappraisal of the chassis’ spring and damper rate as part of the model’s first facelift, the secondary ride still isn't what it should be for a large saloon.

Matt Prior

Matt Prior

Road test editor
The XJ can hold its head up against the Maserati Quattroporte as much as the Audi A8

But – and it’s a big but – in other areas the XJ has the S-Class licked. This is especially so in terms of body control, where the XJ impresses not only with its ability to handle direction changes, but also over choppy roads and with its composure at motorways speeds. At the end of a long journey the XJ delivers its passengers refreshed and relaxed.

But it is what the XJ does for its driver that we are most interested in, because for driving enjoyment the Jag eclipses conventional large saloons from Mercedes, BMW and Audi. It is instead worthy of comparison with the likes of the Maserati Quattroporte and Porsche Panamera, and good enough to come away with its pride intact.

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Bentley Continental GT Convertible 2019 UK first drive review - hero front
    24 May 2019
    First Drive
    New Conti Convertible has all the many advantages of a new platform, seen...
  • Audi S7 TDI 2019 first drive review - hero front
    22 May 2019
    First Drive
    Latest warmed five-door fastback ditches petrol for Audi’s surprisingly...
  • Audi SQ5 2019 first drive review - hero front
    22 May 2019
    First Drive
    High-performance soft-roader adopts new sporty V6 diesel mild-hybrid power,...

The XJ is a car of nearly two tonnes, but from the driver’s seat it never feels so portly. The steering is light and quick but accurate, and for such a long car the balance is impressively neutral. And even in the long-wheelbase model there’s the very real sense that the car is being pushed through a corner by its rear wheels.

But it’s the fact that the XJ combines the involvement of this ‘old-fashioned’ approach to dynamics with all the control you’d expect of a modern saloon and the serenity of a luxury product that makes it so compelling.

Save money on your car insurance

Compare quotesCompare insurance quotes

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Bentley Continental GT Convertible 2019 UK first drive review - hero front
    24 May 2019
    First Drive
    New Conti Convertible has all the many advantages of a new platform, seen...
  • Audi S7 TDI 2019 first drive review - hero front
    22 May 2019
    First Drive
    Latest warmed five-door fastback ditches petrol for Audi’s surprisingly...
  • Audi SQ5 2019 first drive review - hero front
    22 May 2019
    First Drive
    High-performance soft-roader adopts new sporty V6 diesel mild-hybrid power,...