Jaguar’s big sedan has been brought back up to speed, writes PETER BARN­WELL

Geelong Advertiser - Motoring - - FRONT PAGE -

JAGUAR has taken too long to make its midlife re­vamp the XJ large sedan — about six years — but it has been busy build­ing a raft of com­pletely new cars.

The stylish dropped off radar for many buy­ers update should bring it front and cen­tre.

De­signed about eight years ago, the XJ missed much of the wave of tech­nol­ogy in in­ter­ven­ing years. To its flagship al­most up with com­pe­ti­tion, Jag was able to fit radar cruise con­trol with queue as­sist — which can bring car a com­plete stop traf­fic and take off when the car in front moves but au­to­matic emer­gency brak­ing head-up dis­play are not avail­able.

The XJ range has short long­wheel­base vari­ants with three en­gines and a hand­ful of equip­ment lev­els. There is am­ple street cred, no mat­ter which model you choose.

Styling guru Ian Cal­lum pro­duced some­thing out the box. The XJ has huge pres­ence on road and projects an ul­tra classy im­age, al­most up there with a Bent­ley.

low arc­ing roofline and ag­gres­sive frontal treat­ment give the

sleek ready-to-pounce

look. There is an in­nocu­ous styling tweak for the rear, which with its odd­shaped LED light­ing might be some­what po­lar­is­ing.

In cabin, so-called Riva (boat) style curved dash runs from the front door caps along bot­tom of wind­screen. Con­trols and in­stru­ments are set low out of way.

The new con­trols are sim­ple to op­er­ate, es­pe­cially the touch­screen, and the lay­out is easy on eye.

We spent (qual­ity) time in the rear of the su­per­charged V6 and XJ-R V8. This is where you want to be — some time. Your right hand twitches, ready ex­e­cute royal wave as lux­u­ri­ate sup­ple leather oak in­lays sur­rounded by 1300W of Merid­ian au­dio.

This is a big pussy­cat, though, and would be prob­lem­atic to park in the city, even with the aid of semi­au­to­mated as­sist 360-de­gree cam­era. The boot is good and ac­cess is rea­son­able de­spite the low roofline of the big four-door.

Mul­ti­ple ad­just­ments to most con­trols make XJ easy cus­tomise to your re­quire­ments we re­ally ap­pre­ci­ated fast Blue­tooth synch and voice qual­ity.

Fuel econ­omy takes a hit around town but that is not likely to be an is­sue for own­ers. The su­per punchy diesel could be the rem­edy if thirst is is­sue.

It is quiet and re­fined at all times as you waft along in a lux­ury bub­ble.

Hav­ing sam­pled the petrol V6 and V8, we were sur­prised by how handy the V6 all ap­pli­ca­tions. We cruised, com­muted, traf­fic jammed, coun­try roaded and gen­er­ally swanned about in “base” model

re­ally, it is you need an XJ. You can scarcely hear it un­der full ac­cel­er­a­tion the eight-speed auto is smooth as silk.

Tidy dy­nam­ics make car all the bet­ter and in terms of fit­tings and op­tions, well, how much is too much?

That brings us to XJ-R — as­pi­ra­tional beast new XJ range.

Jag’s alu­minium chas­sis body save some weight but you are still look­ing at 1800kg-1900kg. With 404kW on tap, know it is go­ing to have serious mumbo.

Jag has al­lowed V8 rum­ble pen­e­trate the oth­er­wise muted, full lux­ury cabin, which adds the XJ-R’s al­lure.

They are im­pres­sive cars in just about all re­spects, a touch dated but still with plenty of cut-through on street.

Shop an XJ against any pres­tige can­di­dates.

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