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Jaguar XJL - Unusual Things about Meow, Part 1 of 2

So it has been just under two weeks since I bought a thing Meow wandered through our neighbourhood, lonely and looking for a loving home.

So Meow is a 2014 XJL, an X351 generation (sold in the US since 2011) and the long-wheelbase version of Jaguar’s flagship. Being a 2014, it had gone through some minor updates (the substantial facelift came in 2016). The most obvious is the 3.0 label, denoting the downsized supercharged base engine replacing the 5.0L NA V8.

Of course, being a luxury car and a brand flagship, it has distinctive design, tons of features and a lavishly trimmed interior. That needs no introduction. Being a Jag, however, Meow has some...personality.


Allow this cat noob to present some of its oddities.

The most obvious unusual feature of the XJL is its length. The dramatic fastback proportions are unique in its class.
The car is 207" long and has a 124.4" wheelbase, a significant five-inch stretch over the standard model. 60% of X351 XJ buyers have chosen the L.
Meow barely fits in his den. One time it parked next to a Chevy Spark, whose rear end lines up with the Jag’s rear door handles.
Also seen on his stablemate Neigh, Meow’s wiper spray nozzles are mounted on the actual wiper.
One of my favourite design features of the current XJ is the “cat’s claw” rear taillamps and turn indicators. Full LED amber turn signals are a rare sight in the US, and the XJ has them. In 2014, Jaguar modernised its brand font and added the name to the rear end of the XJ.
Windows appear to be dual-pane all around. The ride is decently quiet, but I’m sure some competitors are quieter.
This particular car has the rare Satin Zebrano wood trim option, brightening the interior vibe substantially. The standard trim is dark burl walnut, but either way, the XJ’s enormous slabs of wood trim really set it apart from competitors. Another clue to the 2014 updates: D-shaped door pulls and electronic door lock buttons replace the old L-handle and mechanical lock tab.
Another unique touch: the XJ’s mood lighting is highlighted by illuminated climate control vents, rather than random character lines. The colour cannot be changed—I’m guessing the 2016 facelift fixed this. As it is, the turquoise is not my cup of Earl Grey tea.
In 2010, a full-LCD instrument panel was class-exclusive but Jaguar’s implementation was oddly inflexible. The format cannot be changed and only the left and right “dials” are overlaid with settings menus and tiny nav maps as needed. The most hilarious thing is the turn indicators: they attempt to imitate old-style light bulbs with a progressive illumination and extinguishing animation. That’s like using deadmau5's studio rigs to synthesise a Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto!

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