Jaguar send us a Jaguar XJ 3.0 TDV6 SWB Portfolio to play with for a month or four. What’s the new big Jag going to be like as an everyday car?
We moaned about the tease that was the introduction to the new Jaguar XJ, but we dutifully went off to the press launch at the Saatchi Gallery in July 2009 and declared the design a triumph.
We looked forward to the promised press cars by Christmas 2009, but they never happened as Jaguar worked to make the new XJ as bullet-proof as a car can be.
But by the end of May 2010 the first press cars started to arrive and the first customer cars escaped in to the wild. Our old mate Richard did an owners review of his shiny new XJ and in July we finally got our hands on a press car to do the full Jaguar XJ review.
Being the cynics we are we tried to find fault, but the faults we found were minor. The clock was a bit low rent, the back seats a bit snug and the vision out back pretty poor. Much beyond that we were stuck. The 3.0 litre diesel XJ was quiet, nimble, quick, frugal and fun. What more could you ask?
What we did ask is if Jaguar felt confident that the new XJ would be as good to live with as to play with for a week they should send us one for a few months. So they have. So this is now officially ‘Jaguar XJ Long Term Season’. The leaves are now falling and the Jag won’t go back until the leaves are coming back on the trees in the Spring.
That will give us plenty of time to find out the XJ’s real strengths and weaknesses. Will its performance and handling be as special when we use it as the Cars UK workhorse? Will it blat half way across the country for a car launch and then toddle off to the supermarket with equal aplomb?
Will its restricted vision out back prove a pain or will the rear view camera and sensors be up to the job every day? And how will the 2011 software updates work, especially the ‘Voice’ stuff which is usually more trouble than it’s worth?
The answers to these – and many more – questions will play out between now and March when our long term XJ goes back to Jaguar.