2019 Jaguar XJ Performance

$50,989 - $109,642

2019 Jaguar XJ Performance Review


Performance: 8.2

Engine options in the 2019 Jaguar XJ range from a lively supercharged V6 to robust supercharged V8s. The XJ’s handles like a smaller car, and it’s more agile than many class rivals. Its upgraded suspension system provides a more comfortable ride, though the XJ still doesn't match the silky ride quality of some competitors.

  • "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
  • "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. " -- Edmunds (2017)

Acceleration and Power

There are no complaints from professional test drivers about any of the XJ's three engines, all of which come with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Each of these supercharged beasts can quickly launch this large car up to speed.

Found in the short-wheelbase R-Sport and long-wheelbase Portfolio, the base engine is a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 with a 340-horsepower rating. It gets 18 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. These estimates are some of the lowest in the class, but they’re not too far off the class averages.

The next level up is a supercharged 5.0-liter V8. This 470-horsepower engine comes standard in the XJ Supercharged, and it’s available in the long-wheelbase XJ50. The strongest XJ engine comes in the XJR575. This supercharged 5.0-liter V8 is rated at 575 horsepower. It has a top speed of 174 mph and can launch the XJ to from zero to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds. Fuel economy with both V8 engine is estimated at 15 mpg city/23 mpg highway.

  • "The base engine, a 340-horsepower supercharged 3.0-liter V6, never feels sluggish, even with 4,400 pounds of Jaguar to lug around. It allows the XJ to execute passing maneuvers with ease and make a 0-60 mph sprint in only 5.4 seconds, a solid showing for any sedan." -- Edmunds
  • "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." -- Consumer Reports (2018)
  • "Every version has an 8-speed automatic transmission with manual-shifting control, and the standard 340-horsepower XJ R-Sport is sufficiently lively. The V8-powered models are quicker, of course. The new-for-2018 XJR575 is particularly formidable. It sprints from a standstill to 60 mph in just 4.2 seconds and hits a top speed of 186 mph, which is phenomenal for a long-wheelbase luxury car." -- Kelley Blue Book (2018)

Handling and Braking

Every XJ model comes standard with JaguarDrive Control drive modes (Normal, Winter, and Dynamic) and rear-wheel drive. You can upgrade to all-wheel drive in the R-Sport, Portfolio, and XJ50 trims.

While many large cars have the handling of a cruise ship, the XJ conducts itself much like a smaller car. It preserves a sense of composure, agility, and grip, and it’s generally fun to toss around out on the road. The ride quality isn't as creamy as some, though the long-wheelbase model's air suspension system is respectably comfortable.

  • "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
  • "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 (2018)
  • "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 (2018)

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