2013 Jaguar XJ Performance

$22,181 - $50,877

2013 Jaguar XJ Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2013 Jaguar XJ was new.


Performance: 8.2

The automotive press agrees that the 2013 Jaguar XJ offers agile handling that few cars in the class can match. More than one test driver says that the 2013 XJ drives like a smaller, sportier car, while others note that the XJ’s suspension also delivers a quiet, comfortable ride.

  • "Just like the V-8 XJs, the V-6 model feels nimbler and livelier than many smaller, supposedly sportier cars. That's a credit to both its lightweight aluminum construction and the masterful chassis tuning Jaguar seems to do better than anyone else." -- Automobile Magazine 
  • "The comparatively light weight of the XJ imparts a sense of agility and nimbleness that most rivals can't match, while the driver-selectable settings for engine, transmission and suspension enable a wide range of dynamic choices." -- Edmunds 
  • "This car is sorted, and feels smaller than it is where it counts, from behind the wheel." -- Motor Trend 
  • "Relaxed road manners and a quiet cabin make the 2013 Jaguar XJ an ideal carrier of dignitaries and captains of business, while the suspension's active damping system helps provide a sense of dynamism, making the big car a pleasure to drive." -- Kelley Blue Book 

Acceleration and Power

The 2013 Jaguar XJ is powered by a 340-horsepower, supercharged 3.0-liter V6 engine, which is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is optional. The EPA reports that the base Jaguar XJ gets 18/27 mpg city/highway, which is good for the class. More powerful engine options are available, which include a 385-horsepower 5.0-liter V8 in the XJL Portfolio, as well as a 470-horsepower supercharged 5.0-liter V8 in the Supercharged trim. Supersport and Ultimate trims feature a supercharged 5.0-liter V8 that produces 510 horsepower.

Reviewers say that the XJ’s new supercharged V6 provides plenty of power, and that the transmission operates smoothly in city traffic. However, one critic thinks the transmission could be more responsive on the highway. He notes a slight delay before the transmission downshifts to deliver more power.

  • "… when you floor the accelerator from cruising speeds, there is a perceptible pause as the transmission kicks down four or five gears." -- Automobile Magazine 
  • "With an output of 340 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque, the new V6 has the grunt to sufficiently motivate the comparatively light XJ." -- Edmunds  
  • "Keep the engine in the power band and it's more than capable of handling any traffic situation with ease. When loping around town, simply dial it back to D and the tranny seamlessly runs the gears up and down the ratios." -- Motor Trend 
  • "The new base V6 has a supercharger and counter-rotating balance shafts, and strikes a good balance of power, smoothness and fuel efficiency." -- Kelley Blue Book 

Handling and Braking

Most test drivers say that the 2013 XJ offers athletic handling, which is bolstered by strong brakes and steering that’s light, but precise. However, one reviewer writes that he would like more feedback from the steering system, and that the brake pedal seems too sensitive at times.

  • "The steering is light yet communicative, and the suspension holds tight in sharp corners without exacting a harsh price over bumps. Only when the roads narrow to oh-my-gosh-there's -a-car-coming-from-the-other-direction-and-its-about-to-shear-off-my-right-mirror width does the XJ feel like a large car." -- Automobile Magazine 
  • "… steering feel is direct and communicative, the brakes are strong, it corners well, and otherwise handles its dynamic business." -- Motor Trend 
  • "Light steering may be short on feel but it makes for easy low-speed maneuvering. The brakes, though strong enough, have a light, overly sensitive pedal that can be tricky." -- Kelley Blue Book   

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