Premium large car; Built in England
  • 4-door sedan
  • 4-door sedan
  • longitudinal front-engine/rear- or all-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $26,400 – $83,500*

2012 Jaguar XJ Front

2012 Jaguar XJ Rear

2012 Jaguar XJ Profile

2012 Jaguar XJ Interior

  • Acceleration
  • Handling
  • Interior materials
  • Control layout
  • Fuel economy
  • Interior storage space
  • Visibility

The latest XJ marks a shift in styling from previous generations, yielding a distinctive presence outside and splendid materials inside. Lightweight aluminum construction contributes to a good balance of comfort and handling. The engines are powerful and virtually sing during acceleration. Our biggest reservation with the XJ is its control interface. This setup attempts to blend simple touchscreen mechanics with an “all-in-one” design found in many premium vehicles, and it fails spectacularly. The touchscreen is slow to respond, and what should be simple adjustments are made needlessly complicated. If you can get past this significant drawback, the otherwise-Recommended XJ is a fine luxury ride.


Redesigned for 2011, the Jaguar XJ gained freshened styling, more power, and new features. Jaguar’s long-lived flagship sedan came in standard and extended-wheelbase “L” versions. The latter’s wheelbase was about 5 inches longer than standard versions. That translated to an additional 5 inches of rear-seat legroom. Trim levels included base XJ, mid-level Supercharged, and top-line Supersport. All were available in standard and extended body styles. Each used a 5.0-liter V8 engine that teamed with an adaptive six-speed automatic transmission, but power ratings varied considerably. Base XJ and XJL engines produced 385 horsepower. Engines in the XJ Supercharged and XJL Supercharged models delivered 470 horsepower. The XJ Supersport and XJL Supersport upped that ante to 510 horsepower. Note that Supersport models were offered only through special order; they were not stocked as part of normal dealer inventory.

XJ body structures were primarily aluminum, augmented by magnesium and composite alloys, for lightness and rigidity. The transmission operated via a JaguarDrive Selector that rose up from the center console, then descended again when the engine was stopped. Steering-wheel paddles controlled the Sequential Shift function. Standard XJ safety features included all-disc antilock braking, traction control, an antiskid system, blind-spot alert, curtain side airbags, and front side airbags. Front- and rear-obstacle detection also was standard. All XJs had Jaguar’s Adaptive Dynamics adjustable air suspension, a voice-activated navigation system, and a hard drive for storing digital music files. A dual-screen DVD entertainment system was available. Jaguar XJ sedan competitors included the Audi A8, BMW 7-Series, Hyundai Equus, Lexus LS and Mercedes-Benz S-Class.

Yearly Updates

2012 XJ
Newly available on long-wheelbase models of the 2012 Jaguar XJ was an Executive Pack, including fold-down trays for rear-seat passengers, a power rear sunshade, and unique interior trim. A new Rear Seat Comfort package became standard in the 2012 XJL Supersport, including electric recline, lumbar adjustment, and massage functions.
2013 XJ
Despite having been redesigned for the 2011 model year, the 2013 XJ saw a number of updates. The styling wasn’t much different; all the changes were under the skin and in the interior. The biggest news was that a V6 engine was added, as was available all-wheel drive, and all models received a new transmission and retuned suspension.
2014 XJ
Jaguar’s flagship large sedan lost its normally aspirated V8 engine and gained a high-performance, 550-horsepower XJR model for 2014.


longitudinal front-engine/rear- or all-wheel drive

In all 2001-12 XJ sedans, a 5.0-liter V8 engine mated with a six-speed automatic transmission. In base XJ and XJL models, the V8 was rated at 385 horsepower. XJ and XJL supercharged engines generated 470 horsepower, while Supersport sedans got a 510-horsepower version. A 340-horsepower supercharged V6 was added for 2013. Also in 2013, all engines were mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive became an option on V6 powered cars. Otherwise, all XJs were rear-wheel drive.

Supercharged dohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.0/183
Engine HP 340
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 332
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
8-speed automatic


dohc V8
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 5.0/305
Engine HP 385
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 380
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed automatic



Supercharged dohc V8
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 5.0/305
Engine HP 470-510
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 424-461
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed automatic



Road Test

The naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V8 model accelerates strongly at all speeds, supporting Jaguar’s claim of 5.4 seconds for 0-60 mph. Some testers have cited delayed throttle response in XJs with the supercharged engine. Jaguar’s automatic transmission shifts quickly and seamlessly. Supersports have abundant power, but even modest throttle application results in pronounced rear-wheel slip. Cold weather and high-performance summer-only tires exacerbate this condition. Steering-wheel paddles for manual gear changes have been standard, but they only work with the transmission set to Sport mode.

In Consumer Guide testing, a short-wheelbase XJ averaged 18.1 mpg, while an XJL averaged 18.5. An XJL Supersport averaged 16.1 mpg in cold-weather city driving. All models require premium-grade gas.

All XJLs ride firmly–perhaps more so than some luxury buyers would prefer. Pavement cracks are felt more than one might expect, but larger bumps are absorbed exceptionally well.

Weight-saving aluminum-intensive body construction and a stiff chassis help these big sedans feel athletic. On the road, the XJ feels a bit smaller than its size. Steering is well weighted with good road feel. Brakes are strong, but a bit on the “grabby” side.

Road noise is louder than expected versus some luxury cars, but it’s never intrusive. Jaguar’s V8 engine has a refined growl during acceleration, but is quiet while cruising.

Conventional gauges are replaced by “virtual instruments” on a high-definition screen. These are easy to read, although some testers have noted that the sun glares on the instrument panel glass. Most audio, climate, and navigation controls are manipulated through a central screen and are, quite frankly, a mess. Performing simple tasks often requires multiple steps, and the screen is frequently unresponsive to touch inputs. The navigation system itself has vague, confusing graphics. Much of its programming is unintuitive. The display can be programmed with custom map and point-of-interest/exit views, but the system stubbornly refuses to retain the settings the driver chooses, returning to its default view each time the car is restarted. Extensive use of Jaguar’s traditional wood and leather makes for a handsome interior. Chrome accents also help produce an opulent cabin.

Front seats are comfortable and supportive. A power tilt/telescopic steering wheel and a multitude of seat controls help drivers find an agreeable position. Visibility to the rear is hampered by a tall trunklid and small rear window. Standard blind-spot alert and rearview camera help.

Overall rear-seat room is just adequate in standard-wheelbase XJs, at least as far as large sedans go. Legroom gets cramped when the front seats are set far back. Extended-length models don’t have this problem. Space there is generous even with front seats positioned well back. The rear seat is well-shaped and padded for the two outboard passengers. A center passenger will not be as comfortably supported, and will also have to straddle a prominent driveline hump.

The XJ has one of the larger trunks in its class; however, the rear seatbacks do not fold to increase capacity. Interior storage is meager, consisting of a tiny glovebox and center console, along with small door pockets.


Model Tested: 2011 Jaguar XJ

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.


Acceleration - 8
Fuel Economy - 4
Ride Quality - 7
Steering/Handling - 7
Quietness - 7


Controls/Materials - 5
Room/Comfort Front - 8
Room/Comfort Rear - 6
Cargo Room - 4


Value - 6

Total: 62


4-door sedan
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
119.4 201.7 74.6 57
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
18.4 21.7 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.5 37.2 42 39
4-door sedan
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
124.3 206.6 74.6 57
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
18.4 21.7 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.5 37.2 42 44
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: N/A


(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
Front Passenger Injury - N/A

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A


(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Automatic transmission
Description: The D on the gear selector may flash and the transmission may go into neutral at low speeds requiring reprogramming the transmission control module. (2011-12)
Coolant leak
Description: Coolant may leak into the 5.0L engine oil due to a failure in the oil cooler. (2011)
Coolant leak
Description: The water pump seal on the 5.0L engine may leak causing a low coolant message and possible overheating. (2011)
Dashboard lights
Description: The tire pressure monitoring system may give a false alarm due to radio frequency interference from the charging system and new sensors need to be installed. (2010-11)
Engine misfire
Description: Fuel injection problems could result in rough running, hard starting , rough idle, and poor fuel economy. (2011-12)
Transmission leak
Description: The all-wheel drive transfer case may leak at the front flange. (2013-14)
Water leak
Description: Water may leak into the trunk and harm the amplifier due to seam gaps near the bottom(s) of the rear window (backlight). (2011-12)
Transmission problems
Description: The transmission control switch may fail to move out of Park or change gears. (2009-13)

Recall History

2011 Jaguar XJ
Description: On certain vehicles made from July 28, 2009 through Nov. 3, 2010, front wiper arms to spindle fixings were not torqued to specification; securing nuts could fail to perform as intended, resulting in loss of wiper arm synchronization and clash of the arms, allowing wiper arms to detach from vehicle.
2013 Jaguar XJ
Description: The software controlling the vehicles’ Restraints Control Module may not meet Federal standards and put occupants at increased risk of injury in a crash.
2013 Jaguar XJ
Description: Some vehicles are missing the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GAWR) and Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR) certification labels and do not conform to Federal regulations.
2013-14 Jaguar XJ
Description: The rear-suspension toe links could separate from the rear sub-frame causing a loss of vehicle stability and control.
2014 Jaguar XJ
Description: The brake-line junctions may leak brake fluid and increase stopping distances.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.


Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.

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