2014 Jaguar XJL

"He was thoroughly impressed with the current offering (as am I) and his parting words were “come round with an F-Type soon, lad.”"

This beautiful cat is long, lean and luxurious

As mentioned in my Range Rover Sport review, there’s a lot to be thankful for when it comes to the Brits. A new addition to that list is the 2014 Jaguar XJL. Why? Because it’s an incredible piece of engineering. It’s trimmed 25 percent of its cylinders to six and dropped from five litres of displacement to three. And it’s bloody luxurious all around.

My tester, which came in Ultimate Black, was loaded up with available options. Here are two standouts:

Premium Rear Executive Package ($7,750). Tons of luxury, fold-down trays, heated/cooled massaging seats, DVD screens mounted on front seat headrests, and winged headrests because, well, all head sizes vary. Heck, I’d hop straight to the backseat of this car over the front passenger seat. Oh, and rear passengers have their own climate control, which means there could be four different “climates” in the car at one point. Very cool. Or hot.
825 W Meridian Surround Sound System ($3,500). There are speakers everywhere. There’s sound everywhere. There’s no rumbling. Just clear, crisp and beautiful music. The car has a perfect sonic balance.
The option sheet had the Visibility Package, 20-inch Kasuga wheels, heated front windscreen and electric rear window blind checked off.

A good friend of mine is a lifelong Jag enthusiast who owns the 2011 XJL, so my first order of business was to pop by and do a comparison. His, of course, has the big 5.0 V8 engine, and when I took him for a spin around Glen Williams, he commented on how the new V6, while clearly not as growl-esque as his, was still very powerful and smooth. We did a thorough inspection of both and found that the vehicles (which are similarly optioned out) were nearly identical. He was thoroughly impressed with the current offering (as am I) and his parting words were “come round with an F-Type soon, lad.”

Running around town for a week was heavenly. The supercharged engine gave me power when I needed it, and nighttime driving was remarkable, thanks in part to the Adaptive Front Lighting system (think the Cyclops light from the Tucker). The cabin was luxurious: it was very quiet and made me feel like royalty every time I got into it, and I could barely release my hands from that soft and comfortable steering wheel.

Finding my optimal seating position took a bit of time, but that’s only because there are so many options/configurations, including the aforementioned winged headrest. The folks at Jaguar have clearly put a lot of thought into creating the perfect seating position for the driver and everyone else in the car. No compromising here—they want you to be perfectly comfortable as you ride in the height of luxury.

I’m a big fan of natural light, so the panoramic glass roof is a great feature. It’s the best non-convertible option to flood the interior with light, but with the push of a button, it can also give passengers privacy.

The multimedia aspect is aligned with the rest of the car: it’s incredible. Dubbed the Media Hub, the well-laid-out, eight-inch touchscreen is easy to navigate. Did I mention how amazing the sound system is?

The navigation/GPS is also easy to use, featuring alternate routes, congestion alerts and hotspots (gas stations, restaurants, etc). Also, it responds to voice commands to help keep both hands on the wheel.

The dashboard, in all of its digital beauty, is comprised of a three-gauge layout that gives you all the intel needed while driving. Sport mode, when activated, provides red highlights and of course, tightens up everything for that unique European sporty feel.

The Intelligent Stop/Start feature, once I got used to it, is quite handy and it surely saved me some premium fuel in the stop-stop-stop-and-go traffic of Hurontario from Eglinton to Lakeshore.

While it couldn’t fit in my townhouse garage and barely fit on my driveway, the XJL’s graceful and powerful stance again brought a lot of neighbours over to admire the car; it was hard to keep conversations short. When the local kids raced by on their bikes, they screeched to a halt and asked to jump in. Between their “oohs and ahhs” of sitting in a Jag at age 10-ish came a “Hey Mr. Jay, keep this car!” and “Mr. Jay’s car is way cooler than your dad’s car!”

Kids these days.

The XJL packs luxury, technology, top-of-the-line quality and mixes in the “damn fun to drive” factor with a hearty helping of power. With the MSRP starting at $96,490 and the price as tested at $113,440, it’s worth every penny, it’s worth every pound.

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