2018 Jaguar XJ Performance

$53,900 - $85,936

2018 Jaguar XJ Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2018 Jaguar XJ was new.


Performance: 8.6

The 2018 Jaguar XJ is more engaging than most of its rivals. Its responsive steering and controlled body movements make the XJ easy to drive. The standard V6 engine is superb, but high-spirited drivers will especially love the supercharged V8 engine options.

  • "In the full-size luxury sedan world, the XJ is one of the most engaging. These cars are often piloted by chauffeurs, but the XJ is a natural choice for moguls who like motoring. However, the short wheelbase makes a perceptible difference from the driver's seat – the long-wheelbase XJL is less agile." -- Autotrader
  • "Powered by a muscular supercharged 340-hp V6, acceleration comes easy, although the supercharged V6 isn't quite as silky-smooth as the V8 it replaced. Athletic handling gives the car agility and grace, yet the XJ also delivers a smooth, supple, and well controlled ride. These traits make the biggest Jaguar feel smaller around the corners than the big luxury liner that it really is." -- Consumer Reports (2017)
  • "It's not top-of-the-class, but the Jaguar XJL Portfolio AWD is thoroughly competent, and it has the driving characteristics of a much smaller car." -- Edmunds (2017)

Acceleration and Power

The base trim levels of the XJ and XJL (the long-wheelbase configuration) come with a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 engine. This 340-horsepower engine – like all others in the lineup – is accompanied by an eight-speed automatic transmission. The Supercharged trim levels have a 470-horsepower supercharged 5.0-liter V8 engine. The XJR575, a new addition for 2018, also has a 5.0-liter V8, but its supercharged engine cranks out 575 horsepower.

Automotive journalists agree that the XJ's V6 engine is robust and substantial, but its V8 options are even better. In its most powerful form, the XJ can sprint to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds, an impressive figure given the size of this car. Fuel economy is on par with the rest of the segment. With the V6 engine, the XJ gets 18 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. Its V8 engines have a gas mileage rating of 15 mpg city/23 mpg highway.

  • "Similarly, while road and wind noise at speed aren't whisper-quiet, few will object, especially considering the sweet sounds from either of the V8 engines. The supercharged V6 is nice enough and gets better fuel economy (with rear-wheel drive), but those V8s are hard to resist. The forces and immediacy of acceleration in the XJ Supercharged and XJR575 are astounding." -- Autotrader
  • "The XJ features a series of strong supercharged engines: a V6 in the base models and two levels of V8s for the mid- and top-tier trims. … The engines provide more than enough motive force in the XJ even if its sporting intentions don't quite match the levels of rivals." -- Edmunds (2017)
  • "Acceleration, even with the V6, is a thoroughly satisfying event, and the ZF 8-speed transmission makes the journey all that much more enjoyable. However, if you want to be immersed in the total Jaguar experience, having one of the V8 engines beneath the bonnet is still the best choice." -- Kelley Blue Book (2014)

Handling and Braking

Handling is also a highlight for the XJ. Its sporty tuning imparts an athletic quality to its steering and body movements, so the XJ feels more agile than most large luxury cars (especially in its short-wheelbase form). Ride quality is decent, though a touch firmer than what other class rivals offer. Standard features include JaguarDrive Control – with Normal, Winter, and Dynamic Modes – and All Surface Progress Control (a low-speed traction control for slippery conditions). Rear-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is available in select models.

  • "Under normal commuting conditions, the XJ has a tauter ride than some in this class, but it does a satisfactory job of filtering out harsh impacts." -- Autotrader
  • "The big Jaguar has a composed ride with minimal ride motions. At low speeds, larger road imperfections might punch through as a firm kick, but mostly the XJ sails over ruts and bumps. The highway ride is smooth. Just a hint of road and wind noise penetrates the cabin, and the engine produces a pleasing background thrum." -- Consumer Reports (2017)
  • "Ample grip, all-wheel-drive traction and modest body roll deliver confident handling on twisty roads that's likely beyond what most will expect from a luxury sedan. That said, competitors in this space continue to push the envelope and offer sharper response characteristics." -- Edmunds (2017)

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