Want a Fine Family Car? Treat Yourself… Jaguar XJ Review

The drivers of Cheltenham were inspired to look but not touch.

Evan Burgess knows nothing about cars but has driven for years, whilst James Weighill loves cars but has no licence. Together they make a compromise car review team, with Evan reviewing the drive and James reviewing the passenger seat.

James and I made our way to our allotted test drive at H.A. Fox with a sense of anticipation. Based in Cheltenham’s Kingsditch Industrial Estate, the showroom is right next to Bentley and Aston Martin. The cordial and polite staff offered us refreshment and we perused the nick nacks for sale in the waiting area. “Should I?” remarked James, thinking of getting a £40 Jaguar teddy for his soon to be born son. It certainly is tempting to be affiliated with Jaguar, a brand with such quality design and heritage, even I wanted to take home a mug.

This man has no understanding of cars.
The XJ is a saloon car with five seats and doors. That was normal to me, but it lacked one thing I had grown accustomed to. The ignition. Fortunately, the friendly salesman explained to me the keys just needed to sit in the cup holder and then I needed to turn the car on with the click of a button. Once that rookie mistake was overcome it was just a matter of having my electronic seat adjusted for me like a baby in a booster by the same salesman. I did try, but to the uninitiated the seat controls appeared like Tetris blocks stuck to the side of the seat. With our dignity in tatters we hit the back streets of Swindon Village to try out some country lanes.

We noticed quickly there was hardly a bump to be felt despite the fact that some of the roads hadn’t had any love for years. The sleek automatic commanded respect on the road as buses and lesser vehicles quivered in fear at the thought of insurance claims lest they collide. In some respects keeping their distance probably allowed them to get a good look at the long and sturdy XJ frame.

James: No license, but multiple copies of  Auto Trader.
We were incredulous as drivers rewrote the highway code to wave us on and stared at the vehicle from head to toe. It was in a way that if you saw them doing it to your girlfriend, you’d get angry, even though you’d understand.

The seats were more than comfortable and the driving experience was easy going with the accelerator and brake very intuitive. The engine always shut off when the car stopped and jumped straight back to life when the accelerator was pressed. Without doubt this is a car fit for family outings with small children or single professionals commuting to work. Due to the smoothness of the ride James was certain he could really work up a snooze in the passenger seat. He in fact wondered if it might be better to buy an XJ than a house.

H.A Fox were more than helpful to us and if you would like to find out more about their range or talk to an adviser, you can contact them with the following details.

Telephone: 01242 851 612 

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