Bet you haven't seen a Jaguar like this before. The new XJ is packed with comfort-boosting technology, an interior fit for a king, and some nifty safety features. All while retaining the spirit of this revered brand
Few cars can deliver a high level of both performance and luxury, but the newest cat on the block, the new Jaguar XJ, most definitely can. Radically different from any other Jaguar, it is a bit of an aesthetic leap to say the least. It's not every day that you see a car manufacturer - especially one that prides itself on its heritage and tradition - design a marque that is refreshingly new, while remaining committed to the same quality that you have come to expect with the brand.
The XJ comes in both normal and supercharged versions of the company's five-litre V8. The former produces 385 horsepower and powers the XJ with quiet but firm authority. The latter, found in the XJ Supercharged, produces 470 horsepower and doesn't so much accelerate as boost you rocket-like down the tarmac.
The new model offers such ample rear-seat room that you won't want to get out. You can simply recline and watch a movie, or eat lunch on a flip-down wooden tray, all decked out in regal rich wood and leather upholstery. The XJ's interiors are stately, refined and feel masterfully put together. They ride beautifully on the roads, smoothly steady even at high speeds. What's more, the XJ offers fast acceleration and butter-smooth, powerful banking.
The Jaguar boasts enough technology to make the most demanding geek deliriously happy. Arguably the best (and this one got our jaw dropping) is the option where all passengers can see the movie playing on the screen in the front dashboard, while the driver, from his perspective, only sees the navigation screen, thus remaining undistracted. It's arguably one of the cleverest pieces of passive safety technology invented in the past few years.
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The instruments are not traditional dials, rather a TFT touchscreen takes their place and virtual dials are displayed. When you access the display and trip menu, the tachometer disappears and is replaced by the menu, which is controlled by steering wheel-mounted buttons. There was plenty to enthuse about, but the pick of the bunch had to be the leather-wrapped dash, active suspension, blind-spot monitoring and a panoramic moonroof.
Relaxed road manners and a quiet cabin make the XJ an ideal car to be driven in, but also a pleasure to drive. Road enthusiasts might yearn for more steering feel, but the XJ's light steering efforts make this large sedan surprisingly easy to manoeuvre at lower speeds. It uses technology to enhance the driving experience without ever feeling over the top. Its lightweight aluminium body, powerful engine and road-holding adaptive suspension impress, I would imagine, nearly all who drive it. The XJ desires to be different and the driving experience follows up on the promise.
All in all, this is a cat that packs a roar, a feline with oodles of finesse - and it is a dream vehicle in which to roam the UAE's highways.