2014 Jaguar XJR LWB Road Test

The 2014 Jaguar XJR offers a level of luxury and performance rivaled by few.

What It Is
A full-size luxury sedan with the engine of a sports car.
Best Thing
Engine performance and comfortable ride
Worst Thing
Interior has some cheap features, plastic squeaks when pressed.
Snap Judgment
The 2014 Jaguar XJR LWB offers an assortment of luxurious features and great performance, but may not be worth the $121,595 price tag.


When we got the 2014 Jaguar XJR LWB delivered to our office, we were asked, "Who wants it for the weekend?" My hand went up quickly. I'd never driven a car of its class for more than ten minutes at a time, and I was jonesing for some wheel-time. I lucked out and was able to steal it for the weekend, and I was not disappointed. As a car that starts at just under $120,000, the Jaguar XJR offers an abundance of luxury and performance.

The Jaguar XJR competes against the likes of the Audi S8, the BMW 7 Series, and Mercedes-Benz S-Class. The full-size luxury sedan segment is filled with powerhouses, and the slightest squeak or hard plastic will instantly be looked down upon. While there were definitely some things we'd like to change in the 2014 Jaguar XJR LWB, there was certainly much to admire. But was it enough to push this beast to the top of the segment or even to justify its six-digit price tag?

What We Drove

The 2014 Jaguar XJR starts at $116,000, but with the extended wheelbase, you'll have to tack on another $3,000. Our 2014 Jaguar XJR LWB felt right at home on the streets of Los Angeles, where luxury is the name of the game, and it came loaded with standard and available features. Our test models was equipped with the illumination package ($1,700), which included lighted door and trunk sills and illuminated air vents. Our model came standard with a panoramic roof, 18-way power front seats, heated and cooled front and rear seats, an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment display, 825W Meridian Audio, Bluetooth, rearview camera, navigation, and keyless entry and ignition.

Standard safety and security features included a blind spot monitor, xenon headlights, LED taillights, driver and passenger front and side airbags, side curtain airbags, active front head restraints, alarm and engine immobilizer, tire pressure monitoring system, and LATCH anchor points. Our XJR was powered by a 550 horsepower, 5.0-liter supercharged V-8 engine mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters for a more dynamic driving experience. Our model was also equipped with an Adaptive Dynamic Suspension, Active Differential Control, intelligent stop/start technology, and sat on 20-inch wheels.

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The Commute

The long and heavy looking Jaguar XJR is one of those vehicles that looks like it wouldn't be exciting to drive, but with a 550 horsepower V-8 engine under the hood, that thought is blown out the window. When you have an opportunity to really step on the gas, you can feel the raw power this car possesses. You'll be up to speeds before you know it. The XJR had no issues merging onto the highway, and road noise was all but non-existent.

Although the XJR isn't the most fuel-efficient full-size sedan, it provides decent mileage comparable to its weight. While driving it over the weekend, we averaged 18.2 mpg, which is right around the combined fuel economy. It's really hard to drive efficiently when you have a 550 horsepower engine at your beck and call. This car wants you to drive it fast, and when you're on the freeway, you can't help but have a smile on your face.

The level of comfort in this vehicle is wonderful. The seats conform to your body thanks to the 18-way power controls, letting you find that perfect driving position with ease. Even though the car itself it rather long, visibility doesn't suffer in the slightest. Setting up Bluetooth and switching radio stations was easy with the infotainment controls on the steering wheel and touchscreen display, although there was a noticeable squeak from the plastic whenever a button near the infotainment system was pressed.

The Grocery Run

It's easy to get lost in the massive amount of room that the 2014 Jaguar XJR has to offer, and with the extended wheelbase, that cargo room just grows. The trunk could be easily loaded up with a full week's worth of groceries without trouble, and have room to spare. Although it has a long body, the XJR was easy to maneuver in and out of parking lots, and had little trouble fitting into tight spaces. However, without the backup camera, it's a little hard to judge just how close you are to the vehicles behind you when you're backing up.

The backseat is cavernous, and accommodates all passengers with ease. Both front and rear passengers have access to climate controls, as well as the ability to turn on seat heaters and coolers. Look up at the roofline and you'll see a dual-paned moonroof, with controls for both above the dash and rear seats and vanity mirrors. Privacy screens are mounted on the rear windows, which are easy to put up and take down. Thanks to the abundance of room, LATCH points are easily reached, but we doubt many children that young will be riding in this car.

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The Weekend Fun

As I've never driven anything comparable to the 2014 Jaguar XJR, I was excited to grab it for the weekend, but when I was behind the wheel, I felt like I was supposed to be chauffeuring important and famous people around the city, not driving myself down to the beach. The extended wheelbase makes it seem like the driver and front passenger are cut off from the back seat. I drove my family to dinner, and they opted for the back seat. They were able to control everything from the seat heaters and coolers, to the climate, the moonroof, and privacy shades on the windows.

Taking the time to really get a feel for the interior of the vehicle, some features immediately struck me as not standing up to the $120K price tag. For instance, while the headliner and leather seating and trim is great, the plastics pose a problem. Whenever you press the plastic--anywhere in the interior--it squeaks. Trying to press buttons on the infotainment system is always accompanied by a squeaking noise, especially if you press anywhere around it.

Added to that are the driver controls, both on the steering wheel and door handle. They feel cheap and out of place on the Jaguar XJR. They would be more at home on a Ford Fusion or other midstream model. It's possible that these features are just left over from when Ford actually owned Jaguar, but for $120,000+, we would have thought that the luxury automaker would have stepped up to the plate and removed all aspects that would make this full-size luxury sedan seem unworthy of its price tag. When compared to its competitors like Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW, you'd be hard-pressed to find these issues.

A Few Photos of this Vehicle

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Summary

Drive through the streets of Los Angeles in the 2014 Jaguar XJR LWB and you'll feel right at home, especially if you have a personal driver. This $121,595 luxury performance sedan may not be worth its hefty price tag, but you can take comfort that the majority of the issues we had with it come in the form of cheap plastics and easy-to-fix ergonomic issues. We expect that the next-generation XJR will be rid of the final Ford touches, but until then, the current model gives you much to gush over. The engine and performance are fantastic, as you'd expect from Jaguar. The interior encompasses you in luxurious leather and ample legroom. However, if the little issues are going to bother you that much, you might as well get a Mercedes-Benz or BMW.

Spec Box

Price-as-tested: $121,595
Fuel Economy
EPA City: 15
EPA Highway: 23
EPA Combined: 18
Cargo Space: 14 "grocery bags" Child Seat Fitment, Second Row: Excellent
Estimated Combined Range: 499
Intellichoice Cost of Ownership: N/A

Notebook Quotes "I love the way this car looks, inside and out. At night, the dash lights up with cool blue highlights everywhere, even around the vents. The leather everywhere is great, and it's fun enough to drive, but the chintzy feeling plastics break the illusion. like seeing a boom-mic drop into the frame during a dramatic movie's climax." -Keith Buglewicz, News Director

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