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Jaguar XJ 3.0 TDV6 Long Term Test (2010): December update & 2011 Software review

Sat, 11 Dec 2010

Jaguar XJ Long Term review & 2011 Software

It’s hard to believe it, but our long-term Jaguar XJ has been with us more than a month. And in that month we’ve used it mainly for running around locally. Not by design, it’s just been that sort of month.

That said, we haven’t been able to resist taking the XJ the long way round, wherever we’ve gone. The novelty of a big, luxury car giving you the feedback you’d expect from a well sorted, mid-sized sports saloon hasn’t worn off yet. Despite being an oil-burner, our XJ still allows us to revel in a bit of point and squirt driving as well as soothing our fevered brows in the inevitable melee on our overcrowded roads.

That combination of country road blats and in-town driving has meant the fuel consumption has taken a bit of a hammering. We’re averaging almost 33mpg which – although impressive for a big, swift luxury barge – is somewhat short of the 40mpg headline figure. But we’re pretty sure that with more mixed motoring that figure will edge up to near the headline consumption.

We’ve had one jaunt – up to North Essex on a photo shoot – where traffic on the often irritating A12 was slow – averaging only 65-70mph – but moving consistently. We were amaze when we got back to see the XJ had averaged 48.6mpg. That’s the sort of figure you’e expect from a city runaround, so we’re pretty sure the 33mpg figure will jump as soon as we start blatting up and down the country instead of just the local stuff.

This month has also given us the chance to play with the updated software on the XJ. As we reported in October, Jaguar has updated the XJ software for 2011, and all XJ owners will get the update – and all future updates – free of charge when they book in for a service.

The software update has solved a few hiccups that turned up in a small number of cars, but has also added some new functionality. You can now add Waypoints on SatNav routes (contain your excitement) and stream video from a USB stick (how you put up with your XJ without that facility we’ll never know). And you can now use a variety of Voice Commands. Which we admit is a pet hate. They never work properly. But actually, they do in the XJ.

Maybe we’ve finally got the hang of voice commands, or maybe the XJ’s are a model of function and clarity. But the voice commands that come with the 2011 software update work a treat. From changing the radio to inputting a route on the SatNav, we found it almost flawless. Almost.

For some daft reason the voice command lets you input a complete SatNav destination and then declares you haven’t agreed to the usual ‘Its’ your fault if you crash whilst using the SatNav’ warning and promptly dumps everything you’ve input. Very frustrating. You can get round it by agreeing it’s all your fault on the touch-screen before you input a destination by voice, but it’s a distinct irritation as it is.

Still, one minor gripe and not a foot wrong in the first month is a pretty convincing start to our time with the new XJ.

By Cars UK