Bottom line: Luxury automobiles made up 10.9 percent of the U.S. auto market in 2011, according to available North American auto industry figures. Jaguar’s sales made up a fraction of that amount. But the company’s sales have been growing. The addition of an attractive all-wheel-drive platform should help in that endeavor.
Ride, acceleration and handling: The all-wheel-drive XJL gets very good marks in all three on some very bad roads.
Body style/layout: The Jaguar XJL is a front-engine, full-size, full-luxury all-wheel-drive sedan newly available, for purposes of this column, with all-wheel drive. Jaguar cars traditionally are built on rear-wheel-drive platforms.
Engine/transmission: New for 2013, the Jaguar XF and XJ all-wheel-drive series will be offered with the company’s new, base 3-liter, supercharged (another form of forcing air to improve the air-fuel mixture) V-6. That engine, which can develop a maximum 340 horsepower and 332 foot-pounds of torque, is mated to Jaguar’s new eight-speed automatic transmission, which can also be operated manually. The V-6, which feels like a V-8, is for Jaguar buyers who want power and green prestige. For those who aren’t concerned about environmental credentials, Jaguar’s beefy, supercharged 5-liter gasoline V-8 (510 horsepower, 461 foot-pounds of torque) remains available.
Capacities: In the all-wheel-drive V-6 XJL Portfolio, there is pampered comfort seating for five adults. The rear cabin feels like an executive suite. Estimated cargo capacity is 15.2 cubic feet. Estimated fuel capacity is 22 gallons (premium gasoline is required).
Mileage: Even the rich are beginning to worry about such things. The 2013 XJL Portfolio sedan with all-wheel drive turns in a respectable, all things considered, 25 miles per gallon in real-world highway driving.
Safety: Standard equipment on the 2013 XJL Portfolio includes “Instinctive All-Wheel Drive”; front and rear ventilated brakes; four-wheel anti-lock brake protection; emergency brake-force distribution; electronic stability and traction control; emergency braking assistance; rear height adjustable neck protection; and side and head air bags.
Prices: Firm U.S. prices have not been released at this writing for the 2013 Jaguar XJ series. But prices in Canada start at $89,000 for the 2013 XJ with all-wheel drive. They rise to $96,000 for the XJL Portfolio with all-wheel drive. And there is the XJL Super Sport model, which starts at $128,500.
Epilogue: The rich are different. When it comes to cars, they are also a lot more fun.