Jaguar XJ V6 Supercharged Review

You’ll not miss a V8 at the traffic lights that’s for sure

By Shahzad Sheikh

Jaguar XJ V6

V6-powered large luxury cars – OI! Don’t click away. Stay with me a moment. Take a look at the pictures here – this is one of the best looking big execs out there and what’s more it will do a limited 250kph and accelerate from rest to 100kph in 5.9 seconds. Yes, that’s the V6 version – albeit a supercharged 3.0-litre producing 340bhp.

To put that into context, in the late 1980s the top dog Mercedes 560 SEL (5.6-litre V8) took seven seconds to do the same acceleration run. Yes there’s been progress, yes supercharging helps and yes, that’s a lot of horsepower. But the XJ has another ace up its sleeve. It’s ridiculously light. With an all-aluminium body it weighs only 1755kg only 20kg more than a Ferrari California!

So you might get into a Jaguar XJ V6 a little grumpy that you missed out on the full-fat 510bhp Supercharged V8 – but in fact you have the same (limited top speed) and only lose one second in the 0-100kph dash, and in fact you’re only down three-tenths compared to the normally aspirated V8.

Jaguar XJ V6

That’s extraordinary. What’s more impressive is how it feels. You might still persist in thinking it must be a little sluggish, and the engine probably winds itself up into a frenzy to motor this thing along at a brisk whack. But it’s startlingly quick, and incredibly eager from the off. Unlike its brethren in the luxury car sector that always take a moment or two to gather themselves up, this thing is a sprightly sprinter.

Missing the rumble of the V8 is compensated for by a sweet and sophisticated engine note that isn’t overwrought or emitting an annoying blower whine. It’s sublime if a little subdued. The new eight-speed ZF transmission is brilliant and intelligent enough to do both sport and touring with a very tall eighth gear that means you can cruises distances at barely tickover – great for fuel economy too.

Stick it into sport though – or even better, employ the paddleshifts – and hit the Dynamic modes and you’ve got quite an energetic bruiser here that will run a BMW 7 Series close if not have it when it comes to the twisties.

Jaguar XJ V6

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a sports car, but it’s remarkable for what it is – and proves highly satisfying and entertaining. Some reviewers in the past have said the ride suffers due to its more sporty set-up. Jaguar has tweaked the suspension to improve things, the roads here are smooth so levels of comfort are not an issue. Admittedly it’s not the magic carpet sensation of old Jags though.

The rest of the car remains as brilliant as it was before, with only a couple of minor tweaks to the equipment etc. It’s an extremely inviting cabin, beautifully crafted and presented. On the outside the blacked-out C-pillar remains – a bugbear to some, but it disappears with a dark colour like this stunning aubergine-black.

Prices start at AED289k ($78,800) for the Luxury and AED329k ($89,700) for the Premium Luxury. Base a Luxury and that’s a saving of AED130,000 over the base model 5.0 V8 version! You could buy a top spec Toyota 86 and some options for the change.

Okay we like the V6. It’s very good. Well done Jaguar. Now give us a proper XJ with a V12 in it!

Read our review of the 510bhp XJ Sport & Speed

Specs
Jaguar XJ 3.0 V6 SC
How much?
Luxury – AED289,000 ($78,800)
Premium Luxury – AED329,000 ($89,700)
Engine: 3.0-litre V6, 340bhp @ 6500rpm, 332lb ft @ 1800-4000rpm
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
Fuel Economy: 9.4L/100km
Performance: 0-100kph 5.9 seconds, Top speed 250kph
Weight: 1755kg

Let us know what you think of the Jaguar XJ below

 

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