This updated XJ looks the part: the design has been sharpened at both ends of the car with narrower headlights, tightly creased aluminium bodywork (only Audi still follows the same, expensive process in this class, with the A8) and a sloping, coupe-style roofline: the blacked out C-pillars mean that the roof, in the same paint colour as the body, seems to float above the car at the back. The saloon maintains its aggressive, low-slung, dynamic stance that has tempted buyers fed up with staid German executive offerings.
Inside, the cabin is a noticeable departure from BMWs and Audis, with more fussy detailing than the austere German pair. The Jaguar design team has taste, however, and the materials and finish are both exactly what one would wish for from a British manufacturer: not overtly flamboyant, but with pleasing, stylish detail, such as the boat-style glossy plastic lip that runs above the leather-clad fascia, enveloping the cabin. The air vents remain smart chromed binnacles, the automatic gear knob is still the rotating one used throughout both Jaguar and Land Rover models and you feel like you’re sitting in something about special.
Given this car’s £70,000 price, the technology is a step above that of the F-Pace: the new satnav system can be zoomed in and out of simply by pinching the touchscreen, and the right-hand circle in the digital dashboard transforms to show data for whichever application you’re using at the time – phone, satnav or multimedia.