Fleet News

First Drive: Jaguar XJ 3.0D Portfolio

Jaguar
BIK List Price
£67,035
Jaguar XJ BIK list price
BIK Percentage
25%
Jaguar XJ BIK Percent
CO2
159g/km
Jaguar XJ CO2
Combined MPG
47.0
Jaguar XJ MPG

Review

For a senior director of a business, the CO2 emissions of your vehicle might not be at the front of your mind as you sit cossetted in the finest leather, wafting along in near silence.

But it’s important to car manufacturers, as they strive to meet European targets for average CO2 emissions. And as CO2 emissions are directly related to fuel use, fleets that have to use cars in the luxury sector – perhaps chauffeur fleets and companies with a legacy of less restrictive choices for top-level management – should be concerned too.

BMW and Audi have often been at the forefront of offering low-CO2 models, but in recent years other premium brands have caught up, and Jaguar has pulled off a 14% reduction in CO2 emissions with its 2013 version of the XJ.

While the previous model emitted 184g/km, the latest version achieves sub-160g/km at 159g/km, making it competitive with rival luxury saloons. The Mercedes-Benz S-Class, for example, emits 164g/km while the Volkswagen Phaeton V6 TDI is 224g/km.

There is a still a little way for the XJ to go, though, in terms of rivalling BMW for emissions as the 740d emits 10g/km less at 149g/km.

Jaguar has achieved the reduction mainly by switching from a six-speed gearbox to an eight-speed transmission with stop-start as standard.

The eight-speed gearbox (the same ZF transmission as supplied to BMW) has allowed the engineers to optimise gear shift points, thereby reducing emissions.

Sadly, the reduction is a short-term benefit tax-wise as from April the capital write-down allowance threshold will fall from 160g/km to 130g/km.

But key rivals suffer the same fate.

Fuel consumption improvement is one of the 2013 XJ’s most important gains. Jaguar has managed to boost the official combined figure by almost 7mpg (from 40.1mpg in the previous model to 47mpg). Compare this to the current- generation S-Class’s 45.6mpg and the Phaeton’s 32.2mpg, and those cars that are driven gently should deliver a significant cost advantage.

Fuel consumption, combined with the XJ’s high level of technology, should make it appealing to chauffeur fleets.

Parking sensors with a touch-screen visual indicator, adaptive cruise control and Jaguar’s pedestrian contact sensing system (whereby the bonnet raises slightly if it detects contact with a pedestrian to help prevent their head from connecting with hard points under the bonnet) are standard safety features, while blind spot monitoring is also an option for £580.

There is a high level of entertainment equipment. A new 20-speaker Meridian sound system has been introduced, and was fitted to our Portfolio test car, and DAB now comes as standard.

But the touch-screen system isn’t quite as intuitive as you might like. Plug in an iPod or iPhone for the first time and it isn’t immediately obvious where to find it on the screen. Instead, there are a number of options to press to reach the device.

The XJ’s other gadgets are impressive, though. For instance, the dual screen allows the passenger to watch a DVD at the same time as the driver views the sat-nav.

A rear seat comfort pack can be specified for £2,750 and an electric rear window sunblind for £305.

All seats are electrically adjustable – in 18 ways.

Behind the wheel the XJ is no slouch, reaching 0-62mph in 6.4 seconds. It’s surprisingly light and nimble for a car of this size but that’s down to Jaguar’s tradition of opting for an aluminium construction rather than steel, even though it adds to the manufacturing costs.

The aluminium construction also offsets the XJ’s shortfall of power compared with the 740d. Both have a six-cylinder engine, however.

What really sets the XJ apart is its exterior styling.

Luxury models aren’t known for breaking style boundaries but Jaguar has been more adventurous than others.

While the 7 Series, Audi A8 and Mercedes-Benz S-Class are all fairly conservative, the XJ, with its sloping roofline and almost eye-shaped headlights, will appeal to those looking for something more distinctive.

 

Driver appeal
The luxury sector demands a high level of performance, style, comfort and equipment and the XJ excels in these areas. Rivals in this sector are fairly conservative and the XJ will appeal to those looking for something more distinctive.
CO2 emissions
The XJ hasn’t yet achieved best in class emissions but has made a significant improvement, reducing emissions from 184g/km to 159g/km. Until April 2013 that will mean it meets the 160g/km capital allowance threshold.
Fuel costs
There’s a 7mpg improvement in fuel efficiency compared to the previous model which puts it ahead of some rivals. On a four-year/80,000 miles cycle key rival the BMW 7 Series is just under a penny cheaper to run per mile.
FN Verdict
Although the XJ isn't the top performer in this sector for fuel costs and mpg it has made significant improvements and is ahead of some rivals. And it really stands out in the areas that matter most to this sector.
Top Speed
155mph
Jaguar XJ Top Speed
VED band
N/A
Jaguar XJ Ved
Fuel Type
Diesel
Jaguar XJ Fuel Type
Residual Value
3 Year 60k : £17,100
4 Year 80k : £13,125
Running Cost (ppm)
3 Year 60k : 103.51
4 Year 80k : 88.85

CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.

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