Jaguar, Road Test Reviews, Vehicles

2017 Jaguar XJL Portfolio AWD – Road Test

2017 Jaguar XJL Portfolio AWD,, Iain Shankland

A couple of years ago I tested the 2015 version of this vehicle. I actually wanted to try out the regular wheelbase version but there weren’t any available. For the 2016 model year Jaguar upgraded and refreshed the XJ – not wanting to miss the opportunity to drive one of my favourite cars for a week, why not drive the new refreshed version. Note: the 2016 and 2017 models are virtually identical other than a $1,000 msrp price increase.

What Is It?
• Premium large luxury sedan – Jaguar’s flagship model
• The “L” stands for Long, and this baby is really long – that’s the first thing people said when they see it for the first time
• LWB models feature over a metre of legroom and a unique limousine ride with revised air suspension settings for even greater comfort.
• Long wheelbase models include the XJL Portfolio AWD (tested), and XJR RWD (5-litre supercharged V8, 550hp from $125,000)

2017 Jaguar XJL Portfolio AWD,, Iain ShanklandHow Does It Look?
• Beautiful – the update makes it even nicer with the double “J-Blade” LED daytime running lamps
• Elegant, understated, but still outstandingly Jaguar
• Last time out I had plenty of people doing a double-take when they saw it, this time… none
New updates over last years’ model:
• An updated front fascia that includes a larger, more upright grille with a new mesh pattern (personally I preferred last years’ grill)
• Subtly redesigned front bumper and newly sculpted chrome blades in the lower air intakes
• Full adaptive LED headlamps with auto high beam function

2017 Jaguar XJL Portfolio AWD,, Iain ShanklandWhat’s It Like Inside?
• Driver’s position is absolutely perfect.
• The steering wheel can be electronically adjusted to the perfect position for the driver and combined with the excellent multi-way seats all of it can be stored in the 3-person memory
• 825-watt Meridian Surround Sound audio system complete with 17-speakers is simply stunning
• 14×14-way power seats with 4-way lumbar adjustment – height as well as inflation, plus the bonus of massage back as well
• Heated and cooled seats for front AND rear passengers
• The Long wheelbase model adds more than 5 inches of extra legroom in the rear
• The rear passengers are treated to their own individual temperature controls (left and right)
• For extra rear-seat comfort and privacy, power side-window sunblind’s can be raised
• Driver-operated rear sunshade was on the test vehicle
• New Portfolio edition gets quilted seating surfaces – very nice touch
• Redesigned instrument cluster with enhanced customization now offers full-screen line-of-sight navigation display2017 Jaguar XJL Portfolio AWD,, Iain Shankland
• The XJ is equipped with InControl® Touch Pro™, an all-new infotainment system designed to be simple and intuitive. Conceived in-house and built around a quad-core Intel processor, solid-state drive and a next-generation Ethernet network
• The optional ($1,300) InControl® Touch Pro™ touchscreen infotainment system offers door-to-door navigation, seamless iOS and Android connectivity
• Dead-reckoning functionality accurately determines the vehicle’s position even when GPS signals cannot be received
• A companion app allows drivers to plan their route offline and load it into the system at the start of the journey. Once the driver exits the car and the phone is disconnected from the vehicle, the app will continue to provide navigational directions, if need be, on the driver’s phone
• A new Commute Mode has also been developed which learns the driver’s daily commute to and from the home or office and can automatically offer alternative routes to avoid congestion using historical and real-time traffic information
• The home screen can be customized by importing images for use as wallpaper, widgets offer shortcuts to favourite features and functions, and additional home pages can be added, if desired
• The touchscreen responds to common ‘pinch to zoom’ and ‘swipe’ gestures allowing drivers to scroll between home screens. The system also responds to voice commands using natural speech recognition.
• Suite of advanced driver assistance systems including adaptive cruise control with queue-assist, reverse traffic detection, 360° surround camera system
• Using the vehicle’s antenna, the new XJ can also function as a Wi-Fi hotspot, providing a 3G connection for up to eight connected devices
• The new queue assist function for the adaptive cruise control system has been designed to reduce the effort and monotony of driving in heavy traffic. Using a long-range radar sensor, the system can now maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front, modulating throttle and braking duties, all the way down to a standstill – this works exceptionally well, much better than systems from other manufacturers’

2017 Jaguar XJL Portfolio AWD,, Iain ShanklandSo How Quick Is It & How Does It Handle?
• Very quick, in fact scary quick when you stomp on the go pedal
• I overtook a dump truck on a two-lane road. Pulling out from behind the truck at 60 kph, I’d reached 140 kph before I’d even gotten past him!!!
• The 3.0-litre supercharged V6 is mated to an 8-speed ZF automatic transmission with Intelligent Stop/Start
• offering linear power delivery, forced induction and intelligent stop-start systems
• Available with all-wheel drive only in Canada
• Steering input is perfect – perfectly weighted and instantly responsive

Horsepower: 340
Torque (lb-ft): 332 @ 3,500-5,000
Top Speed: 195 kph [Limited] / 121 mph
0 – 60 mph: 5.7 seconds // 0-100 km 6.4 seconds

What Does It Cost? For up-to-date pricing and options in your region visit:
To Buy…
Base Price Canada: $100,000 // As Tested: $109, 375 *Note: I did a quick “build” on the website and the as-tested price came in at $107,950

2017 Jaguar XJL Portfolio AWD,, Iain ShanklandTo Operate…
• Fuel economy was better than expected. I averaged 10.8L/100 km with a fairly heavy right foot
• (L/100 km) is rated at: City -14.7/ Highway – 6.6 / combined -12.5
• U.S. (MPG) is rated at: City – 16 / Highway – 24 / combined – 19

Noteworthy Optional Equipment on the test vehicle:
InControl Protect + CONNECT PRO Pack – $1,300 – OUCH! Thought that was standard, HOWEVER, I priced it on the website and it was only $850
Comfort and Convenience Pack – $2,000 – Have no idea what this is, not available on-line
Illumination Pack – $1,700 (Phosphor blue illumination in front and rear air vents, LED rear reading lights, illuminated tread-plates and trunk finisher)
Parking Assist Pack – $1,000 (360º Park Distance Control and Surround Camera) – Very handy to have
Adaptive Cruise Control – $1,600 – works very well, but not sure if I’d pay extra for it, you don’t get to use cruise control in Ontario very often
Electric Rear Side Window Blind – $700
19″ Toba Wheels – $525 ($0 on internet)
Heated Front Windscreen – $350 – a must-have in Canada
Navigation System (SD card) – $600 – GULP! Seems a bit OTT, but $0 on internet
Metallic Paint (Ultimate Black) – $600 ($0 on internet)

2017 Jaguar XJL Portfolio AWD,, Iain ShanklandThe Competition
Audi A7, BMW 7 Series, Mercedes-Benz S Series, Lexus LS460

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
• The Good: Everything – from the perfectly comfortable seat, the phenomenal audio system, superb cornering, braking and speed makes the 2016 Jaguar XJ THE car you would never be bored driving
• The Bad: Nothing
• The Ugly: Unfortunately, I’ll never be able to afford one and trust me, I really would want to own one

What’s The Verdict?
One word: AWESOME. The 2015 was superb, but the 2016/2017 has just nudged perfection up a notch!
As long as it is – it feels light, nimble and agile… just like a Jaguar should.2017 Jaguar XJL Portfolio AWD,, Iain Shankland 2017 Jaguar XJL Portfolio AWD,, Iain Shankland

Copyright © 2017 by Iain Shankland. All rights reserved.
Text: Iain Shankland / Images: Iain Shankland