Nestled in the middle of the Jaguar lineup is the XJ, the flagship, full sized sedan that’s their flashing beacon in the water. In existence since a year after the Toronto Maple Leaf’s last Stanley Cup (1968 for those who have no idea how much suffering Toronto’s hockey team has caused their fans), our British pals William, Kate et all use it as one of their “toting around town” vehicles.
For me, a much lesser known celebrity (I’m a celebrity to the neighbourhood kids at best but only when I have something flashy) I didn’t have a gaggle of photographers following my every move. If they did, they may have seen me bobbing my head to a variety of music but that’s really it. Oh, and they may have seen me have a couple of good hair days in a week. Yup, boring ol’ Jay.
Remembering my week in the 2014 XJL in, well, the summer of 2014, I felt the same luxury in the 2015 XJ, well, minus the long wheel base. Even with the short wheel base, it still wouldn’t fit in my modest garage.
But the drive quality had Jaguar tattooed all over it. Smooth, elegant, precise and powerful.
Of course, there’s the 340 Horsepower 3.0 Litre V6 supercharged engine that propels you to the office, the golf course, date night with your partner or for a long and relaxing drive by the lake.
I should pick up one of these in the winter months to really see how the “instinctive all-wheel drive” handles in other than perfect road conditions.
High on the “cool” factor is Jaguar’s “Soft Door Close” technology which will ensure there’s never a door left ajar again. As soon as the door is a ¼ inch away from the body, a motor does the rest of the work for you. Closing car doors for over 20 years myself, it’s a great feature that eliminates the classic “hip bump” to close car doors that didn’t quite make it all the way.
The “Intelligent Stop/Start Technology” has its share of fans and foes. For those who aren’t familiar with it, when the car comes to a complete stop, the engine is cut to save fuel and reduce emissions while you eliminate “idling the motor”. To restart the vehicle, either tug on the steering wheel or lift your foot off the brake slightly and you’ll feel the engine roar back to life. Personally, I’m in favour of it as it saves the planet (slowly…but if every car had it…) and it’s designed to increase fuel economy and decrease fuel consumption, which, my friends, equals stretching your almighty gas dollar further.
For anyone who has this technology in their car(s), I’d like to hear your thoughts.
Another nice touch on the XJ is the digital dashboard. I wouldn’t expect any less from the good people at Jaguar, especially on their flagship sedan. In the same breath, the eight-inch touch screen centre console screen makes it easy to glance at for information opposed to scrutinizing and scrunching your eyes.
The leather heated and cooled seats work quickly and concisely, Meridian has outfitted the XJ with a 380 watt sound system distributed through fourteen speakers so you can hear any mistakes made on any “live” albums in your collection. Unless you’re John Mayer’s hands. No mistakes there.
I hear there’s a few changes in store for the 2016 model. There’s plenty of great qualities the XJ has but you can’t stand still in such a competitive industry. There’s nothing earth shattering about next model year’s changes from what I’ve seen and read, but there’s enough put in to give it a slight refresh. And that’s always a good thing, to be ever growing and evolving.
Kinda like me.
Except I’m ever growing in the mid-section (which is trying to be curbed daily).