2011 Jaguar XJ

2011 Jaguar XJ

Episode 2946
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.



  • 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 Polestar 2 3/4 Front

2024 Polestar 2

More Range And More Power For The Polestar 2

Episode 4333
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

Volvo is well on their way to making the transition to an all-electric brand, but their sister-brand Polestar is already there. Now, we’ve spent lots of time in their all-wheel drive, five-door Polestar 2, having tested it in 2021, and a year later when a two-wheel drive version arrived. But, EV updates are coming quickly. So, let us be your guide for all that’s new with the Polestar 2.

While we are driving more EVs than ever, we’ve also been spending a lot of time recently circling back to ones we’ve previously tested. As in this new era of electrified vehicles, significant updates are arriving quickly, with R&D investments increasing and retrofitting them easier than ever. This is often done through software updates that can even be accomplished over the air. For 2024, the Polestar 2 has indeed gotten some software updates, but some physical ones as well.

Clearly aimed directly at Tesla’s Model 3 when it arrived; the Polestar 2’s build quality was vastly better, but range definitely came up short. So, addressing that was priority No. 1; and for ’24 the Polestar can travel up to 20% farther than before while consuming 9% less energy, and when it comes time to charge it back up, it can do that 34% faster too.

2024 Polestar 2 Dead Front
2024 Polestar 2 Profile
2024 Polestar 2 3/4 Rear
2024 Polestar 2 Dead Rear
2024 Polestar 2 Charge Port
2024 Polestar 2 Wheel
2024 Polestar 2 Badge
2024 Polestar 2 Badge 2
2024 Polestar 2 Dead Front2024 Polestar 2 Profile2024 Polestar 2 3/4 Rear2024 Polestar 2 Dead Rear2024 Polestar 2 Charge Port2024 Polestar 2 Wheel2024 Polestar 2 Badge2024 Polestar 2 Badge 2

Range in the Single Motor version increases from a max of 270 to 320 miles thanks to a larger 82-kWh battery pack, and that solitary motor now powers the rear wheels, not the front wheels. It’s also bigger, coming in at 220 kW compared to the previous 170 kW front-wheel drive version, going from 231 to 299 horsepower.

Dual Motors keep the same 78-kWh battery, but still sees a boost from 260 to 276 miles and takes advantage of the larger rear motor for a new combined 310-kW output with 421 horsepower. Our test car has the added Performance Pack, which uses an additional 35 kW to deliver 455 horsepower and 546 lb-ft of torque, though max range drops to just 247 miles.

The new battery in rear-drive 2s will also charge faster, now accepting up to 205 kW for an 80% charge in 20 minutes; max for dual-motors stays at 155 kW, which puts an 80% charge at 34 minutes. Using 32 kWh of electricity per 100 miles, the Dual Motor earns a good efficiency rating.

The [Polestar] 2 has always been one of the most enjoyable EVs to drive, even more so now with that additional power coming from the rear motor.

Unfortunately, extremely cold temperatures kept us from seeing that increased range, as we were only on pace for about 194 miles in our test.

The 2 has always been one of the most enjoyable EVs to drive, even more so now with that additional power coming from the rear motor. And especially when equipped with the Performance Pack as it not only includes more power, but adds 20-inch forged wheels, upgraded brakes, and adjustable Ohlins Dual Flow Valve performance dampers. It greatly improves handling prowess without affecting ride quality, and is easily worth the $5,500 charge if you at all enjoy driving.

Even on a 20-degree track day there was plenty of grip through our handling course. No understeer or oversteer, and lots of feedback through the wheel. There was a nice, strong launch off the line that properly planted us firmly in the seat, and rocketed us to 60 in 4.5 seconds. Power delivery stayed pretty intense up until about 80 mph when there was a definite tapering off. Still, it was a 13.4-second quarter-mile at 102 mph; smooth, quiet, and stable the whole way.

2024 Polestar 2 Driver Side Dash
2024 Polestar 2 Passenger Side Dash
2024 Polestar 2 Front Seats
2024 Polestar 2 Steering Wheel
2024 Polestar 2 Instrument Cluster
2024 Polestar 2 Center Display
2024 Polestar 2 Shifter
2024 Polestar 2 Rear Seats
2024 Polestar 2 Front Trunk
2024 Polestar 2 Trunk
2024 Polestar 2 Driver Side Dash2024 Polestar 2 Passenger Side Dash2024 Polestar 2 Front Seats2024 Polestar 2 Steering Wheel2024 Polestar 2 Instrument Cluster2024 Polestar 2 Center Display2024 Polestar 2 Shifter2024 Polestar 2 Rear Seats2024 Polestar 2 Front Trunk2024 Polestar 2 Trunk

When this car debuted, its Google-based infotainment setup was a novelty, but since then, more and more manufacturers are just “Googling it” so it doesn’t seem out of place at all. The wireless phone charger is easy to access, and there’s a great Harmon/Kardon sound system and panoramic sunroof to enhance the in-cabin experience. Exteriors have also been enhanced with a smooth grille insert and new wheel choices.

Hatchback practicality means 14.3 cu-ft of easy to access cargo space with split-folding seatbacks for longer items and expanding the space to 38.7 cu-ft. Plus, there’s even a sizeable storage bin up front under the hood.

Single Motor Polestar 2 pricing now starts at $51,300, with Dual Motors starting at $56,700; topping out at $64,400.

For a car manufacturer that hasn’t even been around for a decade yet, Polestar has kept itself busy, totally transforming their latest model in just a few years, making the 2024 Polestar 2 even more appealing. They are certainly off to a good start, and with a host of Polestars just over the horizon, including some all-important utility vehicles, this star will be shining even brighter.


As Tested

  • Motor Setup: Dual Motor
  • Horsepower: 455
  • 0-60 mph: 4.5 seconds
  • EPA Range: 247 miles
  • Efficiency : 32 kWh / 100 miles
  • Battery Size: 78-kWh
  • Torque: 546 lb-ft
  • 1/4 Mile: 13.4 seconds at 102 mph
  • MW Test Loop: ~ 194 miles
  • Peak Charging Rate: 155 kW