By Cars.com EditorsSeptember 10, 2010
About the video
Cars.com's Joe Wiesenfelder takes a look at the 2011 Jaguar XJL. It competes with the BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class.
<v Announcer>Cars.com auto review. Hi, I'm Joe Wisenfelder with cars.com and this is a completely redesigned Jaguar XJ, it's Jaguar's full-size flagship sedan.
It competes with the likes of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, the seven series from BMW and some others. The XJ has the new styling direction from Jaguar, we've seen it first in the XF. I like it a lot. Overall, still for years, been complaining about the chrome grills. They look a little bit too shiny and too plastic. Now, one more thing here, you'll notice it's an XJ L, L is for long wheel base means the car's about five inches longer and is five inches more on the inside which I'll show you in a minute. Now, the car comes standard with keyless access, is actually a really nicely done transmitter. It's as nice as it is, enormous. Look at this thing, is there like a diesel battery in there? You're supposed to keep this in your pocket. They should have Jaguar suspenders to hold up your pants. On the upside though, they've done a nice job of integrating the lock and unlock buttons. None of these little black buttons anymore, weird ridges. And it's nice that they're on the back door too, not just on the front. Now in the XJL, this is where the extra five inches really pay off. In the backseat, all of that length goes to leg room. Pretty good. Now, it's not like the regular version is particularly crowded. It's a respectable amount of backseat locker room, but not as much as in the S-Class Mercedes. Strictly by the numbers, the leg room is a little bit lesser in this car than in the previous generation, but overall I'm still comfortable and it feels like a bigger car. Strange thing about the XJ was big on the outside. Always felt a little snug to me. The design is, is also really nice. It's kind of classically inspired, but it's at the same time, it's kind of contemporary. The wood is kind of a matte finish, not too shiny, really nice leather quality throughout. I also like this use of piano black here. I have mixed emotions about the gauges, which are actually an LCD screen in this car. The resolution could be higher, they could look more real. There's some interesting tricks, like you can turn on, what's called a flashlight effect which makes the numbers nearest to the needles glow and not the rest of it. It's a neat idea. I understand what Jaguar's trying to do. It would be pointless to just have LCDs and then make it look exactly like an analog gauge. But at the same time, I'm not sure it's working yet. Now, one thing worth noting. In large cars, you don't always have a large trunk. In this case, it's actually kind of modest in size. Another issue, the backseat doesn't fold forward, so you don't get much expansion. Unfortunately, that's pretty common in cars this big. Now, as always, I'll direct you to the full review on cars.com for all the details on driving, but in short, the engine nice and powerful. One of the best conventional automatic transmissions you can get is in this car. And the ride quality a little bit firmer than some, but I think more of a driver's car than the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Overall, I think some big improvements over the previous generation. <v Announcer>For more correlated news, go to cars.com or our blog KickingTires.net.