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.
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.