2014 Jaguar XJL 3.0L V6 S/C AWD Portfolio
3.0L V6 S/C
340 @ 6,500
332 @ 3,500-5,000
The flagship Jaguar XJL has dropped the aristocratic charm it used to have in favor of a more business executive transportation role. In other words, it seems to have moved from the gardens of Buckingham to the fashion lanes of Beverly Hills.
Interestingly enough, Jaguar’s approach in marketing this vehicle emphasizes on how good it feels to drive. In reality though, the owner this long wheelbase XJ is after is the one that will spend Monday to Friday in the back seat and only sit in the driver’s seat on the weekend or odd occasion.
The base price for a long wheelbase (L) 2014 XJL 3.0 V6 S/C AWD Portfolio is $96,490 while our test vehicle, equipped with the optional Premium Rear Executive Package ($7,750), Visibility Package ($850), 825W Meridian sound system ($2,500), 20” Kasuga alloy wheels ($3500), heated front windscreen ($300) and electric rear window blind ($700) came with an as tested MSRP or $113,440. Not cheap but still less than a similarly equipped S-Class Mercedes or 7-Series BMW.
The list of features is colossal. For starters, the materials used inside the cabin are the finest blend of real leather, wood, suede and aluminum. All four seats are power adjustable with memory, are both heated and ventilated and have the massage function built-in. The leather heated steering wheel has power tilt and reach, controls for audio, cruise and phone. The 8-speed ZF transmission comes with a pop-up dial selector and paddle shifters. Driving aids include stability control, blind spot monitors, rear view camera, speed limiter, winter mode and antilock brakes. The twin moonroof comes with individually controlled power shades and the rear windows come with power privacy curtains. The rear passengers also get entertainment screens with remote control, stow-away trays and footrests. The climate control is four-zone, the satellite navigation comes with lane assist and the Meridian Surround Sound system is capable of blowing our mind. Last but not least, the soft close doors will ensure you never half-ass shut them.
The interior design is similar to the one of a posh yacht. The bow shaped dash feels like it belongs to such a vessel. The round air-vents and modern technology compose an interior mood ready to please even the most peculiar divas. Needless to say, fit and finish are top-notch. The driving position, once you get all 20 controls right, is simply awesome. The seat support and comfort are truly amazing, the headrest is the plushest thing my head has ever leaned against and the massage just made me feel like there was someone taking care of me the whole time. Last time I was this comfortable was probably when I was still in my mother’s womb.
And it gets better. The back seat is the place to be. From the privacy curtains to the massage built into the fully adjustable seat, everything has been designed to provide ultimate comfort. Legroom is generous thanks to the extra five-inches, courtesy of the long wheelbase and headroom is plenty despite the low roof line.
The cargo area at 520L sounds impressive but the tight opening and odd shape make it hard to load to full capacity. And keep in mind that people that buy cars like these usually travel with a whole army of Luis Vuitton luggage.
The 3.0L Supercharged V6 engine sounds great and pulls even better. Despite the large body, the all aluminum construction has kept the weight relatively low helping the spirited motor achieve good performance figures. The 340 ponies and 332lb-ft of torque are more than you will ever need in this luxurious machine. 0-100km/h comes easily in 7.1” and at the same time fuel consumption figures remain extremely reasonable; 11.7lt/100km was our combined average.
The ride is of course plush, quiet and refined. On the highway, kilometers feel shorter and long journeys are over before you know it. The standard Adaptive Dynamics system analyses the speed, steering and body movements up to 500 times per second and then continuously modifies the damping for the optimal driving experience. The result is as premium as it sounds and you can even switch on demand between normal and dynamic mode.
In normal mode, the steering is light, direct but a little lifeless. In dynamic mode it is heavier, equally direct but feels much more involving. Handling is also pretty good for the size, the long wheelbase brings greater stability and progressive body reactions. Also, the instinctive all-wheel-drive system is seamless in operation and keeps sending power to the right wheels. Entering a corner too fast will lead to slight undesteer than can turn into slight oversteer by lifting off but the chassis retains its composure, remains predictive and plays safe at all times. The brake pedal is very linear, crisp and easy to master ultra smooth braking. From 100km/h it can come to a complete stop in as little as 40m if needed.
Despite going after red carpet appearances the XJL manages to pull it off and it really is a great car for expensive taste. It looks very high-class and what you see is what you get.