Any luxury saloon isn't going to come cheap, but considering how different the new XJ is from the outgoing model, or in fact the whole XJ bloodline, I fully expected a hefty premium. Thankfully my expectations were unfounded, and Jaguar has pitched the XJ pricing slap bang in the middle of its competitors. With a starting price of £52,500, you're getting an awful lot of car for your money, although that price can jump significantly depending on engine choice and specification level.
When it comes to engines you can go mad and spec the 510bhp 5lt supercharged V8 if you're really looking for a luxury saloon that can keep up with a Porsche 911 in a straight line. However, the sensible choice, and the one that Jaguar believes the majority of its customers will go for, is the 3lt V6 Turbo Diesel. This is a superb engine choice for a number of reasons.
First, it puts out 275bhp and pushes the XJ to 60mph in six seconds flat. Second, it's the cheapest engine option in the XJ range. Third, it will turn in over 40mpg, which is no mean feat for a car this size. And fourth, it has a CO2 rating of only 184g/km, which is lower than a Renault Clio 197!
For all you environmental types out there, as if the fuel economy and CO2 rating wasn't enough, 50 per cent of the XJ's aluminium structure is made from recycled materials, and Jaguar is aiming to increase that number to 75 per cent over time.
So, is the new XJ a sure winner in the luxury saloon sector? I wouldn't bet against it. That said, the usual suspects are still pretty strong in this market, and with the recent launch of the Porsche Panamera, competition is going to be tougher than ever. But from what I've seen so far, the new XJ has a good chance of rekindling that aspirational magic that used to be synonymous with the Jaguar name.