2011 Jaguar XJ

2011 Jaguar XJ

Episode 2946
Lucas Oil "Keep That Engine Alive"Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

Even before their divorce from Ford, Jaguar was transforming its cars from a classic grand touring image of the 20th century to a British showcase of sophisticated motoring for the 21st century. Now, the mid-size XF sedan set the stage, but everyone knew the make-or-break star would be the top-tier XJ saloon. Now, our first impressions were very positive. So let’s have a complete critique. 

The all-new 2011 Jaguar XJ follows the XF into a bold new world of styling for this classic brand. Aside from grille texture and badging, Design Director Ian Callum has left nary a hint of the previous XJ, choosing to go back further for inspiration. Instead of the familiar four-orb headlights, two swept-back cats-eye lamps are set in low, sculpted fenders. But XJ heritage is still sensed in the rounded-off grille and long hood that date back to the original 1968 Series I.

With so much sloping glass, there is very little trunklid. Blacked-out C-pillars are definitely an eclectic touch. LED taillights pour down the XJ’s elegantly simple, tapered tail, adorned only with a chrome Leaper.

The mid-size XF’s potent trio of 5.0-liter direct-injected V8s provides plenty of go for the larger XJ as well. Base unit is naturally aspirated with 385 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque. The Supercharged XJ’s belt-driven breathing is good for a stout 470 horses and 424 pound-feet.

The special-order Supersport adds the 510-horsepower eight from the XFR. The only transmission, a six-speed automatic, presses the hockey puck-JaguarDrive Selector into your palm at startup. There are also wheel-mounted paddle shifters, and driver selectable Dynamic mode that holds gears longer while also firming up the suspension and seat belts!

With a mean growl, our 385-horse XJ leaped from 0 to 60 in 5.8 seconds, and raced through the quarter mile in 14.3 seconds at 103 miles per hour. It does bog down momentarily at launch. Without that, times would be even faster. Still, results closely match the XF, thanks to the aluminum chassis that allows the XJ to enter the ring some 300 lbs lighter than its rivals.

That chassis is supported by standard air suspension with continuously variable damping. Driving aids include the expected stability and traction control, plus an active rear differential. The combo makes for a supple ride and sublime handling-once you get used to the quick but dead steering, that is. The lack of feedback reminded us of a video game. But, get the hang of it, and this big Jag easily mastered every corner we threw at it. Yes, it rolls a bit, but overall it is well balanced and unflappable.

But you always know what the brakes are doing. An initial soft pedal is followed by good bite. A 131 foot average coming down from 60 could be shorter, but stability is excellent and the experience is far smoother than most rivals.

And, no rival can match the way Jaguar dresses its interiors. Wood veneer rings a spacious, amazingly well equipped cabin, whose low-slung leather dash is shrink-wrapped around nautical-style vents.

Classic round gauges reside in a virtual world, as a driver-focused 12.3-inch display fades up at startup, highlights critical data, and tints red in ‘Dynamic’ mode.

A center eight-inch Dual View touch screen allows the driver and front passenger to view two different visuals at the same time. It fits right below a classic analog timepiece.

Very modern is the standard panoramic glass roof. There’s ample storage, including Jaguar’s one-touch opening glovebox, and very usable cupholders in the center console. In the rear, leather covers the seats, door panels, and even the headliner is suede cloth. While there is plenty of room, long wheelbase models expand it to limousine proportions. The Jaguar’s 18.4 cubic feet of trunk volume is decent, though less than Mercedes’ S-Class.

Government Fuel Economy for our XJ are 16 city/23 highway on premium fuel.  We hit a respectable 20.0 miles per gallon in real world driving. The new XJ has a base price of $72,500, which makes Jag’s flagship a segment bargain. The supercharger adds $15,000 more, with the SuperSport in six figures. On all, the long wheelbase tacks on a few grand additional. 

The 2011 Jaguar XJ bridges the gap between two eras beautifully. Never once do classic inspirations and eclectic touches mar the totally modern outcome in the slightest. With extroverted style and performance aplenty, Jaguar’s big cat roars into the 21st century with its claws out.

 

Specifications

  • Engine: 5.0-Liter Direct-injected V8
  • Horsepower: 385
  • Torque: 380 Lb Feet
  • 0-60 MPH: 5.8 Seconds
  • 1/4 Mile: 14.3 Seconds @ 103 MPH
  • 60-0 MPH: 131 Feet
  • EPA: 16 MPG City/ 23 MPG Highway
  • Mixed Loop: 20.0 MPG
2024 Mazda CX-90 Front Quarter 1

2024 Mazda CX-90

A Force To Be Reckoned With

Episode 4238
Lucas Oil "Keep That Engine Alive"Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

If you’ve been following Mazda lately, you’ll know they’ve been fielding some serious new designs; you could even say, they’re latest efforts are 10-times better than before. After all, the CX-3 became the CX-30, then CX-5 became the CX-50, and now it’s the CX-9’s turn. So, let’s find out if this all-new CX-90, their largest SUV yet, is a real multiplier or if it’s all just a numbers game.

Don’t think of this 2024 Mazda CX-90 so much as an updated version of the CX-9, as it’s more of a complete rethink of their 3-row crossover, the first built on an all-new, large vehicle platform for the brand. And this platform carries a host of surprises. Not only does it make the CX-90 bigger by every dimension, but it’s a rear-drive architecture, and features all-new powertrains, including the brand’s first plug-in hybrid, and even an inline-6 engine.

Why an inline-6 to replace the CX-9’s turbo-4? Well, in general terms, I6s are better balanced, run smoother, and can deliver more torque at lower RPM. Just ask the BMW faithful, or any of the truckers you see going down the road hauling more than 20-tons of cargo with their inline-6s.

There are 2-versions of the longitudinally mounted 6, both assisted by turbocharging and a 48-volt mild hybrid system. Output for the base Turbo is 280-horsepower and 332 lb-ft. of torque; this Turbo S cranks it up to 340-horsepower and 369 lb-ft. The PHEV, on the other hand, is based on a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter I4, working with a 100-kW electric motor to deliver 323-horsepower and 369 lb-ft. of torque. A 17.8-kWh battery delivers 26-miles of EV driving.

2024 Mazda CX-90 3
2024 Mazda CX-90 Side Profile
2024 Mazda CX-90 Quarter Rear
2024 Mazda CX-90 Twin-Turbo I-6 Engine Cover
2024 Mazda CX-90 Twin-Turbo I-6 Engine
2024 Mazda CX-90 32024 Mazda CX-90 Side Profile2024 Mazda CX-90 Quarter Rear2024 Mazda CX-90 Twin-Turbo I-6 Engine Cover2024 Mazda CX-90 Twin-Turbo I-6 Engine

It’s not the prettiest SUV, but it does have very smooth body work; plus, the longer hood and 7½-inches of wheelbase stretch over the CX-9, give it more stately proportions. All CX-90s come with i-Activ all-wheel drive and the brand’s first 8-speed automatic transmission; the longer wheelbase allows tow ratings to step up from 3,500-lbs. to 5,000.

At the test track, our Turbo S launched effortlessly with good grip on the way to a 6.4-second 0-60. The smooth vibes continued throughout the ¼-mile, with refined power delivery, seamless shifts, and a noticeably more solid and stable feel at speed than the CX-9. Our best time was 14.7-seconds at 98 miles-per-hour.

Through the cones, it still behaves like a Mazda, with very good steering feel and a solid presence in corners at low to moderate speeds. Some understeer and body roll will show up when pushed hard, but Mazda’s Kinematic Posture Control uses subtle selective braking to help the vehicle rotate, and safety systems will step in well-before it gets out of sorts.

There’s a nice firm feel to the brake pedal, delivering good stopping results of 118-feet from 60 miles-per-hour. You can feel a lot of weight transfer, but nosedive was well contained.

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Another unique element the CX-90 brings is seating arrangements for 6,7, or 8. It’s the 8-seater that’s standard with 3-across bench seating for 2nd and 3rd rows. 7-seaters get either captain’s chairs in the 2nd row, or more contoured seats for the 3rd; 6-seaters sport 2nd row captains and the contoured 3rd row. Cargo capacity varies with seating, but is at best 15.9 cubic-ft. behind the 3rd row, 40.1 behind the 2nd, and 75.2 with all seats folded.

As far as what it’s like to actually live with, the CX-90’s cabin is a clear step up, including on some trims suede-like materials, intricate stitching, and real wood, all consistent with what we’ve seen from the brand lately. A 10-inch dashtop touchscreen is standard for infotainment, with upper trims getting a larger 12.3-incher. We applaud Mazda’s inclusion of plenty of old-school manual controls for radio and climate, which keeps menu diving limited to secondary functions. PHEVs get a few unique controls and readouts to monitor drive modes and battery level.

Overall, the CX-90 is highly functional, entertainingly sporty to drive, and will be more competitive in the ever growing 3-row family crossover segment; and its posh interior may even attract luxury buyers on a budget.

Government Fuel Economy Ratings for the Turbo S are 23-City, 28-Highway, and 25-Combined. We averaged a good 26.5 miles-per-gallon of Regular.

Pricing begins with the base Turbo at Select trim for $40,970, PHEVs are available in Preferred trim and above starting at $48,820, and the Turbo S starts at $53,125.

Force multiplier is a military term for when strategic elements come together to produce results greater than would have been possible without them. Well, no high-level math skills are necessary here to see that the 2024 Mazda CX-90 is clearly more than just a much better CX-9; it’s now a force to be reckoned with in the 3-row family crossover segment.

Specifications

  • Engine: 3.3-liter I-6
  • Horsepower: 340
  • 0-60 mph: 6.4 seconds
  • 60-0 Braking: 118 feet (avg)
  • MW Fuel Economy: 26.5 MPG (Regular)
  • Transmission: 8-speed automatic
  • Torque: 369 lb-ft.
  • 1/4 Mile: 14.7-seconds at 98 mph
  • EPA: 23 City / 28 Highway / 25 Combined
  • Starting Price: $40,970