We are prepared to accept that the new Jaguar XJ possesses many fine qualities. Also that this one is powered by an engine that is worthy of the illustrious badge. But we have our doubts about whether it is a Jaguar in the traditional sense of the name. Comparisons with the Maserati Quattroporte are the most flattering words that have come its way. Other commentators sum it up drily in one word: "Volvo"
And it's true: the new XJ is reminiscent of many other cars – but not its own predecessors. This is despite the claim from Ian Callum that the design was inspired by the classic Jaguar models of the past. The rear end looking suspiciously like a fastback with its vertical light clusters does not conform to standard XJ expectations. Whereas the interior shows how the virtues of wooden trim and leather upholstery can be reinterpreted for the 21st century, the classic exterior of earlier XJs seems to have had its day. Their success with the XF seems to have emboldened the Jaguar design team. Perhaps overly so?