2011 Jaguar XJL Review & Test Drive

With the introduction of the all-new 2011 Jaguar XJ L (long wheelbase), the all-new Jaguar lineup of exceptional luxury performance vehicles is now complete.  I am very impressed with the longer, sleeker and sexy styling, the incredible luxurious features inside and the smooth, refined ride of the performance-driven powertrain and suspension.  Jaguar has attained the zenith of luxury performance vehicles with the all-new XJ L.

With five extra inches of wheelbase and total length, the all-new XJ L is more versatile than the regular XJ. By more versatile I mean that the XJ L seats three in the rear more comfortably, it can be driven by your personal chauffer when you have a busy schedule and can’t spend time looking for a parking space, you can also take care of your business in the rear using the fold-down wooden table for your laptop, phone or other electronic devises. The XJ L is also an excellent vehicle that can be used by companies ferrying visiting clients between the airport, the headquarters office, or to and from restaurants after long meetings.  Lastly, because of the longer wheelbase the ride is even smoother than the regular wheelbase XJ.

The new XJ L brings new standards of sustainability to the luxury vehicle segment.  Its lightweight aluminum structure makes it at least 300 lbs. lighter over steel body construction, and is made of 50% recycled material allowing the XJ L to minimize its carbon footprint and create a potential savings of three tons of CO2 per vehicle, compared to a body made entirely of new aluminum.  These aerospace-inspired aluminum body technologies also provide benefits to performance, handling and fuel economy, while delivering increased strength, refinement and safety.

The new 2011 XJ L is stunning, sleek, low and sexy from any angle that you view it.  With a total height of 57 inches, the XJ L is 1.3 inches lower than the new BMW 750 L.

The first impression you get is its visual assertiveness.  The XJ L’s sleek lines are complemented by a taut waistline, which further accentuates the impressive of its extra length and elegance, and creates a natural tension as it fades from the front into the middle section of the car before reappearing as a strong haunch towards the rear.

The new XJ L offers a modern interpretation of a number of key XJ design cues while maintaining the highest standard of personal luxury.  This is evident in how the strong, muscular lower half of the car contrasts with the slim and graceful quality of the roofline-a nod to the original 1968 XJ sedan.

A standard panoramic glass sunroof is an integral part of the all new XJ L’s design, enabling the car to have a lower, more streamlined roofline, while dramatically enhancing the feeling of light and space when inside.  The LED light clusters wrap stylishly over the rear fenders, and feature three dramatic red vertical strips while the elongated teardrop shape of the side windows and the wide, full perimeter, chrome strip establishes the car’s sexy and luxurious silhouette.

The rear is notable for its pure, sculpted shape with a conscience absence of ornamentation, as it only features a single leaping Jaguar, the XJ L badge and a tasteful chrome strip in the center of the bumper.  You will also notice a lip spoiler on top of the trunk lid to enhance downforce plus drivers following you will be impressed with the dual, six inch wide rectangular chrome exhaust pipes nicely cut down below.

The face of the all-new 2011 XJ L is confident, with a wide front track, low stance and short overhang contributing to the finely judged proportions.  The nose of the car follows Jaguar’s new design language with a bold and assertive treatment-the powerful upper and lower mesh grilles with the Jaguar face including slim Xenon headlights with lower LED horizontal running lights, create a strong road presence while the wrap-around rear screen reduces the visual weight of the pillars and gives the impression of an exotic ‘floating roof.

The sleek design and refined luxury is continued inside the all-new XJ L by mixing newly advanced technologies and contemporary design to create an environment more akin to a state-of-the-art living space than a car cabin.  The overriding impression from the interior is a sense of personal space that is enhanced by the clean, simple form of the leather-wrapped instrument panel sitting low across the vehicle.  At the center of the instrument panel is an analog clock with individual chrome caplets, a spun metal face and iridescent blue background; a look inspired by luxury other vehicles.

The all-new XJ L’s cabin is a marvel in its own right, blending elegant, contemporary design with the comfort, luxury and unmistakable sporting style of a Jaguar.  Chrome and piano black detailing provide an eye-catching contrast to the beautifully crafted leather and satin elm veneer surfaces.  To further complement the cabin design is a level of choice of color, veneers, and leathers not seen before in a Jaguar.  My XJ L test model came with a leather headliner, semi-aniline leather seats and veneers with laser inlays.

A stunning, 12.3 inch high-definition Virtual InstrumentsTM complement an innovative 8 inch Touch-Screen that displays vehicle functions ranging from audio and video to navigation and climate control.  Premium surround sound options include the top-of-the-range 1200-watt Bowers & Wilkins audio system that my test model came with and it is superb in all respects.  Advanced infotainment features also include a hard-drive based audio and navigation systems, and a comprehensive connectivity for portable audio and video devices via the power Media Hub.

The all-new Jaguar XJ L’s beauty is much more than skin deep.  You have a choice of three engines-a 5.0 liter 385hp naturally aspirated V8, that I tested, a 5.0 liter 470hp supercharged V8 and a 5.0 liter 510hp supercharged V8.  In naturally aspirated form, the XJ L’s engine develops 380lb.ft. or torque, enough torque to rocket the car to 60mph from 0mph in just 5.4 sec., both supercharged V8’s develop 424lb.ft. of torque that launches each to 60mph from 0mph in just 4.7 sec.  All three engines combine deft performance, unparalleled character, peerless pedigree and have a classic Jaguar blend of strength and precision.

All engines transmit their power and torque through an enhanced version of Jaguar’s acclaimed electronically controlled, six-speed automatic transmission which has a fully-adaptive shift system that delivers extremely smooth gear changes and works to balance performance and fuel economy.  When the time and place is right you can turn the chrome shift dial to S (sport) to increase the reaction time to your inputs, increase rpm’s, and increase the tension of the dynamic adaptive shocks and to make gear changes yourself by using the steering-wheel mounted paddle shifters and instantly change gears up or down as needed to quicken your pulse.  This is the same large chrome rotary dial first introduced and featured in the acclaimed all-new Jaguar XF.  When you push the start button on the dashboard the rotary knurled knob floats up and you turn the chrome switch to your selected gear, when you push the button to stop the engine it floats down and disappears giving the center console a cleaner appearance.  The electronic brake is used by pulling back a chrome bar also located on the center console to enable the brake or pushing forward to disengage when you are ready to drive off.

With the XJ L, Jaguar has built upon its leading quality performance using the latest virtual product technologies.  These proven Jaguar dynamic technologies are taken to new higher levels in the all-new XJ L.  Features such as air suspension Adaptive Dynamics (continuously variable shock absorbers), and quick-ratio power steering deliver the blend of responsive, sporting, dynamic handling and a refined, supple ride expected of Jaguar.

To elaborate, the all-new, fully independent suspension system features double-wishbones, coil springs, dynamic adaptive real-time shock absorbers and a stabilizer bar up front.  The rear independent multi-link setup features self-leveling air springs, dynamic adaptive real-time shock absorbers and a stabilizer bar. Front and rear suspension isolated cradles increase handling performance and lessen noise, vibration and harshness.  The ride and handling is incredible for a long wheelbase sedan, I loved every minute I spent behind the wheel.

Braking is also superb with large vented steel disc brakes at each corner.  Up front are 14.2in. discs clamped with four-piston calipers, while the rear setup features 13.2in. rotors clamped with single-piston calipers.  Braking control and power are enhanced with standard ABS, EBD, BA, Electronic Stability Control and Traction Control.

The all-new XJ L rides on 19X8.5in. front and 19X9.5in. rear, double-five spoke alloy wheels wrapped with Pirelli 245/45R19 front, and 275.40R19in. rear low-profile, high performance P Zero Nero tires for added traction and a more compliant ride.

Standard equipment in the XJ L not mentioned above include a heated windshield, heated leather wrapped/power tilt/telescoping steering wheel, infinitely variable front bucket seats with heating/cooling, lumbar/massage/side bolster/headrest height controls, heated/cooled rear outboard seats, SMARTKEY keyless entry/start/stop, navigation with 30GB hard drive, Bluetooth/iPod/USB connection, power windows all-express up/down with fold door locks, three-zone climate control, pull-down rear armrest with dual cupholders/storage, power folding/self-dimming sideview mirrors, self-dimming rearview mirrors, four lighted vanity mirrors, map lamps, a front center console with dual cupholders, storage slot and deep/wide storage bin with padded top, rain sensing wipers, radar sensing cruise-control, front and rear cameras, four Harrier Jump Jet   design inspired swiveling chrome air ducts, power rear sunshade with two manual operated rear side window sunshades, chrome interior door handles, grab handles above each rear door, rear reading lamps, map pockets behind the front seats, front/rear lower ambient lighting for easy entry/exit at night, thick aluminum door kick panels at each door bottom, storage slots in the front/rear doors, thick cut-pile carpeting and Jaguar embroidered floor mats with full-perimeter piping.

The all-new 2011 Jaguar XJ L also comes standard with a CD/DVD player, HD radio, and SIRIUS satellite radio receiver.  In addition, the Media Hub provides flexible connectivity through two (one front/one rear) USB ports, Bluetooth audio streaming and an auxiliary input (rear) which allows the user to connect with iPods, iPhones, laptops and Blackberrys.

Standard safety features include front/rear crumple zones, steel beam in each door, 5-3-point safety belts with pretensioners/load limiters up front, driver and front passenger front and side airbags, side curtain airbags, active head restraints, Blind Sport Monitor on each sideview mirror, alarm and engine immobilizer, tire pressure monitoring system and LATCH child seat anchors.

The all-new 2011 Jaguar XJ L is one of the finest luxury performance long wheelbase sedans on the market today.  It is sleek, elegant, very comfortable, luxurious, powerful, high performing and safe.  This week marks a very special seven days behind the wheel of this magnificent all-new Jaguar and accolades came from all of the people who stopped to congratulate me on owning such a beautiful sedan.  If they only knew.




  • Price: Base Jaguar XJL $79,700
  • Engine: 5.0-liter 385hp @ 6500 rpm/380 ft-lbs torque @ 3500 rpm
  • Drive: RWD
  • Wheelbase: 124.3in.
  • Total length: 206.6n.
  • Total width: 74.6in.
  • Total height: 57.0in.
  • Track: f/r-64.0/63.1in.
  • Turning circle: 41.7ft.
  • Headroom: f/r-38.4/38.6in.
  • Legroom: f/r-41.5/44.1in.
  • MPG est.: 15mpg city/22mpg highway
  • Fuel tank: 21.7 gallons
  • 0-60mph: 5.4 seconds
  • EPA cargo volume: 15.2cu.ft.
  • Curb weight: 4,131lbs.