A guide to Jaguar cars

Premium, luxurious and quintessentially British, Jaguar has been a mainstay of the luxury market for 75 years.

The brand has retained its reputation for style, comfort and performance over the years, and the latest range has done much to propel the ‘Big Cat’ into the global spotlight once again.

For example, new Prime Minister David Cameron chose the new XF for his first ever vehicle in office, and the brand has been further strengthened with links to other British institutions such as the England Cricket Team and through its Jaguar Academy of Sport, helping young people become world class athletes.

But what of the cars?

A new XF was quickly followed by a stunning new XJ and although the Jaguar range is small, the exclusive, head-turning models are beautifully crafted with powertrains capable of both cruising and causing a few thrills.

Jaguar XJ

The newest model in the Jaguar XJ range manages to combine the old and new successfully. The luxury saloon has the evolved from previous models, but retains the sleek lines and luxurious interior.

Rivalling the likes of BMW, Audi and Mercedes, but with a larger rear-end to hint at the sport tourer section of the market, the XJ is more aggressive than the previous version – a move which has paid off in the form of superb residual values.

Inside the luxury is the watchword. Chief executives and private buyers alike will enjoy the leather upholstery, chrome trim and plethora of equipment on even the most basic trim levels.

A 3.0-litre V6 diesel and a 5.0-litre petrol V8 make up the impressive powerplants available, and despite the high performance, CO" emissions are just 184g/km and fuel economy is 40.1mpg.

It only arrived in May and costs from £52,500. According to Managing Director Mike O’Driscoll, “Jaguar Cars Managing Director, Mike O’Driscoll, commented: “These are truly exciting times for us at Jaguar. The new XJ is truly beautiful, exhilarating to drive, and with its bold, enlightened approach to design, it meets the challenges of our fast-changing world. It re-imagines the ultimate sporting luxury car.”

We wholeheartedly agree.

Jaguar XF

The car that revitalised a brand. The Jaguar XF executive car rolled out last year to unanimous praise.

The sleek, coupe-styled saloon was a new, evolved Jaguar with a sporty feel while retaining the classic Jaguar class.

The model boosted Jaguar’s sales by as much as 50 per cent in its first few months on sale and the XF has won numerous top awards within the industry. Most notably, the XF won Best Executive Car 2010 at the What Car? awards.

In its 2010 awards edition of the magazine, What Car? comments: “The XF has always been streets ahead when it comes to handling and refinement, but it now has a more powerful, yet more efficient, 3-litre diesel engine, prompting us, without hesitation, to make it the best executive model for the third straight year.”

In the UK, the XF range starts at £32,900 for the 3.0-litre petrol. The 3.0-litre diesel model is available from £33,900 while the 3.0-litre Diesel S starts at £36,900.

Jaguar XK

The first of the re-launched Jaguar models, the Jaguar XK coupe is superb to drive. It has plenty of power and handles well due to the all-aluminium chassis.

It also boasts drop-dead gorgeous looks. The curved roofline and E-Type styled grille give the XK a distinctive Jaguar feel and ensures it is one of the most desirable coupes on the market.

Inside, there is plenty of space in the front and the typical Jaguar luxury is abundant. It’s comfortable and luxurious and matches even the most premium of rivals.

Once again, it is generously equipped and the high level of gadgets mean it is good value compared to some of its competitors.

R Series

Jaguar’s R badged models, the XFR and XKR, are part of the Big Cat’s racing-inspired range. The new XFR is the fastest Jaguar ever built, reaching 225mph from the 510HP supercharged 5.0-litre engine.

The XKR is no slouch either, and can match the XFR’s 0-60mph sprint time of 4.7 seconds. Both models are sporty, powerful and the height of performance and luxury in one stunning package.