The XJ of a few years earlier had benefitted from Ford trying to whip the company into shape and was much improved. Unfortunately, the 2011 XJ was a completely new car and Jag backslid into their old habits under their new owners. It’s a gorgeous car, especially in darker colors where the odd blacked-out C-pillar doesn’t stand out, and the interior has more chrome than even a Rolls Royce. Pictures don’t do the interior justice as they don’t show the sparkle of the chrome. Or all the fingerprints it picks up. Most years since it has been introduced this has been one of the two least reliable cars Consumer Reports rates, with the Jag XF being the other. There aren’t just a little worse than your typical luxury car, either, they’re far, far worse.
So you have here one of the worst cars of recent decades, and 2011 was its first year, almost always the worst year for any body style. So what are the good points? Distinctive, elegant styling with excellent proportions. A swanky, comfortable interior. It’s quick and overall drives well for a big luxury car. The negatives? It breaks. Again and again. The touchscreen nav system is glacially slow and ugly. The ergonomics are iffy. All of this makes it typically British. Their cars usually have loads of personality, but as reliable transportation are useless. Such a shame. Buying such an opulent car for so little looks like a steal. And it is, but you’re the victim.
For even less you can buy a Volkswagen Phaeton. Paste Jag logos over the VW badges and away you go. It’s less distinctive, but still huge and swanky, and the ergonomics and electronics are more modern. Reliability will be on a par with the Audi A8, which means less than superb, but still far, far better than the Jag. Of course, you might have trouble finding a Phaeton to buy, as it has supercar rarity. Despite that, VW is coming out with a new Phaeton. The first one was an ego thing, but it was such a laughable failure it’s hard to imagine they got much ego gratification from it, and I don’t see a new one doing better unless it’s some kind of tech showcase instead of a restyled A8 without the expensive aluminum body (what the first was.)