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Jaguar XJR

Motoring Review

Despite being Jaguar’s largest offering, the use of aluminum in both the XJ's body and underlying structure keep it relatively lightweight and nimble. Powerful engine options and lighter weight mean a smaller, sportier feel.

For 2016, the XJ's exterior carries over from 2015 mostly unchanged. The bold grille is more upright and even larger than last year and gets a new wire mesh pattern. Full adaptive LED headlights are standard on all XJ models for 2016. The drop-dead gorgeous roofline, sail-away rear pillar, and runway-model sensibilities definitely remain. Inside, the InControl infotainment system governs all the secondary controls. Finally, electric power steering is new, on rear-drive XJs.

Styling changes are minimal. The XJ's polarizing rear-end styling is improved a bit with restyled tail lamps. Base level XJs get a 340-horsepower, supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 with 0-60 mph times of 5.7 seconds. That's within 0.8 second of the supercharged V-8, yet returns much better gas mileage (27 mpg on the highway).

The XJR also benefits from a stiffer suspension, a front aero splitter, a subtle rear spoiler, and various interior upgrades.

Behind the wheel, the XJ feels almost shockingly lean and light, which makes sense since compared to German luxury flagships it weighs several hundred pounds less. The XJ's sporty feel is even more enhanced by its physically close interior. Firm, flat seats are multi-adjustable, ventilated and heated, but head and leg room are less than 2014 models. Back seat passengers make do with an even tighter situation. To the sides of the center console, knee room is cramped, but forward leg room is plentiful. The sloping back window encroaches on headroom enough that it could turn off some potential buyers.

All the standard safety equipment is in place including six airbags, anti-lock brakes, and traction and stability control.

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