2012 Jaguar XJL Portfolio review: Easy being green

2012 Jaguar XJL Portfolio

2012 Jaguar XJL Portfolio

Contrary to what Kermit the Frog says, it is easy being green, at least if the green is 2012 Jaguar XJ luxury, and particularly more so, if it is the 2012 Jaguar XJL Portfolio with the Executive Package that recently passed through our test fleet.

It’s not every day that someone calls a Jag XJL an economy car. Our tester cost $87,775 and achieved no more than 17.4 mpg in our hands (It’s EPA rated at 15/22 city/highway mpg on premium fuel). It’s not the car to drive down and pick up your food stamps.

However, he notes, 50 percent of its aluminum structure is made from recycled materials, and the overall weight savings from using aluminum comes to more than three hundred pounds over its average rival. Or so claims Jaguar.

And if that won’t justify the purchase of a Jaguar XJL, well, we’ll just have to resort to plain old decadence. We’re not prepared to say that the XJ series is the most luxurious automobile ever made, but we will say that what the XJL Portfolio with the Executive Package doesn’t have, you probably don’t need.

As one might expect, the “L” in XJL indicates long wheelbase, increasing the span between front and rear wheels from 119.4 inches to 124.3 inches. That extra length increased rear legroom by more than five inches. That’s acreage in a measurement that’s usually differs by tenth of inches.

The long wheelbase is available with the 385-horsepower naturally-aspirated V-8 in the U.S. only in Portfolio trim level, which adds luxury stuff over the standard-wheelbase sans-suffix Jaguar XJ. On the other hand, both standard and long wheelbase Jaguar XJ Supercharged and XJL Supercharged versions of the XJ powered by the 470 horsepower supercharged V-8 , the 510-horse Supersport is available as an XJ or XJL as well.

The hand-stitched interior of the 2012 Jaguar XJL Portfolio is finished in truffle and cashew.

The had-stitched interior of the 2012 Jaguar XJL Portfolio is finished in truffle and cashew.

But ecological? Consider the renewable resources that go into the Jaguar XJ, including the standard leather. They’ll make more cows. Depending on model, leather is available in a variety of eleven colors and three different grades.

And wood. The interior of our test 2012 Jaguar XJL Portfolio didn’t just have little strips of tree pieces. Rather, wide planks of wood sweep across the dash and onto the door panel. The XJ range includes ten veneers, our test XJL clad in satin elm.

Altogether there are twenty interior color themes available. Our test XJL was in truffle/cashew…both organic in name at least. And so too the exterior, clad in “Caviar”, which is fish eggs and therefore renewable, if only expensively so.

We’re not particularly sure how green or organic it is, but the instrument panel on the Jaguar XJ series is “virtual”. Push the start button and, along with the shifter rising from the center console, a Thin Film Transistor screen where the gauges should go lights up first with a picture of Leaper, Jaguar’s feline mascot, and then transforms into a representation of a traditional instrument panel, complete with virtual shadows on the dials’ needles. One advantage to the virtual gauges is that they can convert to, for example, details of the navigation system replacing the engine temperature/fuel level gauge with details of the next turn.