Jaguar XJ

When I found out I would be test driving the new Jaguar XJ for a week, I couldn’t have been more excited and, at the same time, just a wee bit disappointed. I couldn’t help but think, “If only I had a high school class reunion to go to! What a hit I’d be showing up in a brand new Jag!”

Since no class reunions were scheduled right then, I got busy planning other great places I could go and show off (I mean, be seen).

Top of my list were all the best boutiques in Houston, The Woodlands, Clear Lake, Sugar Land, etc. Needless to say, salespeople tend to pay more attention when they see me drive up in a great car — especially, one they wish they owned! 

Dining out for lunch and dinner while I was driving the Jaguar would also be a must. Valets at all the best restaurants in town would take good care of the car and me. They would park the Jaguar right in front of the door (to provide great curb appeal for the restaurant) and, expecting a big tip from me, “the Jaguar owner,” welcome me with a big and genuine smile! Admittedly, I wanted that! 

I was especially pleased when my drive-for-a-week Jaguar XJ was delivered to my driveway. It was Indigo blue and gosh-darn gorgeous! The original XJ was the last car designed by Jaguar founder Sir William Lyons, and the latest car to wear the nameplate is as innovative, beautiful and desirable as its famous forebear.

The interior (cabin) is elegant and contemporary. Clearly, it was designed for comfort and luxury, but the unmistakable sporty style of the Jaguar is here, including a six-speed automatic transmission with paddle shift. The chrome and black detailing is a great contrast to the rich leather and burl walnut veneer surfaces. And, good to know, the Jaguar XJ comes in both standard and long-wheelbase models. 

Some nice enhancements have been made to the 2012 models. For example, on the long-wheelbase Portfolio derivative a new “Executive Pack” transforms the rear of the XJ into a high-speed mobile office space, with the provision of fold-down laptop trays and an electric rear sunblind for increased privacy. The package also includes upgraded carpeting, combination wood and leather steering wheel, gloss wood veneer choices and chrome mirror housings.

The Jag I drove came equipped with the 385HP, V8 engine. But, a V6 engine is also available.The Jaguar XJ  gets an average 15 MPG in town and an average 22 MPG on the highway. 

Fully loaded, like "my" Jaguar XJ, it is priced at $82,950.

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