The 2012 Jaguar XJ continues to carry on the sweeping changes made by lead designer Ian Callum after the sale of the British automaker to India's Tata Motors Ltd. The XJ mimics the styling of its sibling the XF in an effort to bring Jaguar back to its position as an elite British sedan.
The only feature that has carried over from the previous XJ is the extensive use of aluminum in the frame, as Jaguar continues its search for a swagger all its own. It's not often you see a complete overhaul of a flagship model, but that was the case for Jaguar when it redesigned the sedan back in 2009. While the new styling cues have left fans of the brand's traditional styling confused, it still is a Jaguar, as the engine lineup proves.
New higher-quality materials line the interior however a fastidious touch screen controls all media in the XJ. The base 5.0-liter V-8 engine makes up for any complaints with its 385 horsepower, and can go up to 510 horses with the supercharged model.
Body style: Sedan
Engines: 5.0-liter V-8, 5.0-liter supercharged V-8
Transmission: six-speed automatic
Models: Base, Supercharged, Base/Supercharged Long Wheelbase Supersport
Jaguar's flagship receives minor tweaks for the 2012 model year such as a rear-seat entertainment system for the XJ Supersport and the long-wheelbase XJL gets rear seats that recline and have a massaging feature.
After going through a facelift in 2010 the 2012 version carries on the new look with minor tweaks to the front and rear end. The base XJ rolls on 19-inch wheels and maneuvers over bumps with a self-leveling suspension and drive settings that adjust to road and driving conditions. Automatic wipers, panoramic sunroof, and keyless ignition/entry are also standard features. An Executive Package adds features such as chrome mirror covers. The XJ Supercharged version gets a differently tuned suspension and rolls on 20-inch wheels.
The XJ has an array of interior features including leather and chrome accents along with wood trim. Ice-blue lighting backs the instrument cluster and accents other buttons. A touch screen is the entry point for controlling the XJ's infotainment system but it occasionally lags. Seats wrapped in leather are both heated and cooled and the rear seats are also heated and the trunk checks in with an average 15.2 cubic feet.
Performance & Handling
The standard 5.0-liter V-8 is responsible for motivating the rear-wheel drive XJ along with the rest of Jaguar's fleet. The V-8 engine is rated at 385 horsepower and is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. EPA estimates the XJ's fuel economy at 16 mpg city/23 mpg highway with the XJL getting slightly less. The supercharged model gets a 5.0-liter V-8 which churns out 470 horsepower and the Supersport tops that with an even beefier V-8 that produces 510 horsepower. Jaguar claims the Supersport will get up and go from 0-60 mph in 4.7 seconds.
Safety features for the 2012 XJ include front and side airbags and side curtain airbags for both front and rear seats. Traction and stability control are also standard safety features along with anti-lock brakes, a blind spot warning system, and active head restraints. Optional safety features include an emergency brake assist and a forward collision alert system which is included with the adaptive cruise control.
EPA Fuel Economy
Base: 16 mpg city/23 mpg highway
Base/Supercharged LWB: 15mpg city/23 mpg highway
Supersport: 15 mpg city/21 mpg highway
- Flashy styling
You Won't Like
- Lack of rear headroom
- Older styling features
The flagship vehicle steps in to save Jaguar, again
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