Jaguar XJ50 Test Drive Review – Old School Charm
Back in 1968, Jaguar launched the XJ6, the very first XJ luxury sedan and British carmaker’s most opulent and luxurious offering at the time. To pay homage to the original XJ6 on its 50th anniversary, Jaguar introduced a special edition of the XJ sedan – the Jaguar XJ50. The XJ50 promises to offer the old world charm with Jaguar’s brilliant driving dynamics. But can it match the sheer technology and luxury of the new-age German luxury offerings? We find in our road test review of the Jaguar XJ50.
The Jaguar XJ50 feels like an update over the regular XJ sedan, which is mammoth in size and weighs around 1.8 tonnes. With over 5.2 metre length, the Jaguar XJ50 has an eye-catching personality and looks similar to the XJ, but with reworked bumpers both at the front and the back, black grille, 19-inch alloy wheels and the XJ50 badging on the side vents and at the back. The XJ design in itself, is very pleasing thanks to a sloping roofline that merges seamlessly with the boot, low-slung stance and the extended tail lights. All in all, the proportionate looking Jaguar XJ50 (or XJ for that matter), is one of the best looking luxury limousines in India.
Step inside the cabin and you feel like entering a luxury yacht. If you look closely, you can see a wooden strip running atop the dashboard merging with the doors, giving us an idea that Jaguar indeed had a luxury yacht in mind while designing the cabin of the XJ50. The diamond- pattern stitched light-coloured leather seats adds to the contrast in the otherwise dark coloured cabin.
While the cabin can't match the modern German rivals in terms of equipment, it takes you back in the time when design and luxury played a major role than the gadgets itself. That being said, the Jaguar XJ50 gets a fully digital instrument cluster, 10-inch touchscreen system, electrically adjustable seats, rear passenger entertainment screen, individual headphones, sunroof and much more as part of the convenience features list. The overall layout is pleasing.
There’s plenty of space inside the cabin and the seats are no less than a British high-end sofas in terms of comfort. In fact the massage option adds to the charm. The material quality is top notch too. In terms of practicality, the XJ50 gets enough space both inside the cabin and in the boot too, which is deep and wide and can accommodate a small house.
The biggest USP of the Jaguar XJ50 is not the way it looks or the cabin, but the way it drives and behaves. The XJ50 is powered by a 3-litre straight-six diesel engine producing 300bhp and 690Nm of torque. Every time you hit the throttle you get that underlying air spool noise and while the power build-up is gradual and it’s not quick (thanks to near 2-tonne weight), once the limo gets rolling, there’s no stopping it (figuratively, not literally, as the brakes are pretty good). The only powertrain mated to an 8-speed automatic gearbox does its work with perfection and you can do 0-100 kmph in just 7.18 seconds.
There’s negligible turbo-lag and there’s enough torque to get past the three-digit speed with ease. The gearbox complements the engine well and you don’t feel like using the paddle shifters most of the time. However, for the extra punch, switch it to the sports mode and use the paddles as per your rpm liking.
Being low-slung and heavy mean the XJ50 is incredibly stable and the body-control is magnificent even at high speed manoeuvring. One may fear if the 5+ metre length affects the steering response, but thankfully Jaguar XJ50’s steering is aptly tuned to have a balanced drive, be it city or highway. That being said, the long length means the turning radius is no less than a small bus.
The ride quality is plush and the XJ50 soaks up most of the bumps easily thanks to the self-levelling air suspension. However, the NVH levels are not at par with German rivals and for a chauffeur driven vehicle, it can turn a bit noisy sometimes, especially at high speeds. But if you’re behind the wheel, it can give you an aural fun, and packed with the brilliant driving dynamics, the Jaguar XJ50 feels like a rocket ship of its own.
There’s something special about the Jaguar XJ50, something that is intangible. Apart from the historical quotient and the good looks, the machine is an incredible performer as far as driving dynamics go. You feel thrilled every time you go behind the wheel of the XJ50 and push the throttle. Having said that, the Jaguar XJ50 does feel outdated in a day and age when German rivals are offering some of the most technology-laden limousines that not only look good, but also drive good, a reason why you should give a hard-thought before signing that Rs 1.35 Crore (on-road) cheque for the Jaguar XJ50.