2012 Jaguar XJL Supercharged Sport & Speed Review

By on August 23, 2012
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A powerful combination of style and authority.

Good: Beautiful design that exudes power and luxury; incredible performance from the engine and myriad of driver assists; pleasant ambient lighting and quality materials; pleasurable experience for driver and passengers.
Bad: All digital speedometer seems out of place; gas guzzler.
Price: AED 479,000 (starting)
* The price is the Suggested Retail Price at the time of review. Please call a retailer to confirm the latest price for this product.

Open the doors and you’ll be greeted with a pleasant interior that’s designed for comfort and a dash of sensible luxuries.

I’ll start from the rear, where passengers will find ample legroom to stretch out, and a retractable laptop tray attached to the back of the front seats. There’s an electrical sunblind for the rear window that’s controllable from front and back.

The passenger seats not only have memory settings, but also have built-in massagers. The suede cloth roof lining and carbon fiber veneer completes the cozy, yet sophisticated feel. Of course, what adds another layer of satisfaction to the ambience is the phosphorus blue illumination for the interior mood lighting.

Coming to the front we see the completely stitched out black leather dash with the chrome lined a/c vents. I especially like the center a/c vents with their round shapes and chrome tips and the analog clock in between, which seems inspired by the aviations industry.

The center console houses the main 7-inch navigation system similar to what we have seen in the Jaguar XFR and XK. We also have the dual-screen mode from the Range Rover Evoque, which basically allows the front passenger to view video from the Analog TV or DVD player.

There’s a 10GB built-in HDD to help you copy some of your favorite tracks, and the best part is that the entire system is powered by a 1200W Bowers & Wilkins 20-speaker surround sound system. And given the exceptional sound isolation inside the cabin, anything you play inside the Jaguar XJ ranges from serene to amazing.

The rest of the knobs and buttons are all illuminated from the same blue halo glow as the rest of the ambient lighting found in the doors and a/c vents. If you see anything in shiny chrome, then it’s all metal. Pleasant to touch in the night, but come back in after the XJL has been sitting in the baking Dubai sunshine and you’ll barely be able to touch anything!

The chunky steering wheel has all the menu and audio controls you’d expect, but what makes things interesting is the completely digital speedometer area. I understand that Jaguar wanted a leap in the future with their new cars, but a completely digital dash is a bit off-putting, especially when the rest of the interior is full of high quality materials including chrome dials and carbon fiber veneer. It works as intended, however, and once I got used to it I didn’t mind the completely digital feel of the speedometer at all. The needles move precisely and instantaneously; there’s no feeling of lag as the dials are animated.

The interior of the Jaguar XJL may not be as high-tech as Audi A8 or BMW & series, but I appreciate the fact that it doesn’t feel as clinically precise as those German cars either. The interior focuses more on a calm and pleasurable experience rather than trying to keep you entertained with unnecessary gadgets.

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From auditing to editing, I now test and analyze the latest gadgets and games instead of the latest financial statements. Both jobs are equally intense and rewarding. When I'm not burning up hardware in the name of science, you'll find me nuking in DOTA 2 or engineering in TF2.

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