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Executive Luxury Lexus LS v's Jaguar XJ

Luxury saloons have always possessed a certain allure; conveying a sense of prestige, refinement, and success. The lineage of Jaguar’s iconic  XJ saloon  extends right back to the 1960s, refined beautifully in the decades since, while Lexus’ highly-regarded  LS is a much more recent revelation. But in their latest iterations, which one has the ultimate kudos? 

External beauty approached differently

The recently unveiled fifth-generation Lexus LS will be launched in the UK early in 2018 and is unarguably the most visually stimulating LS ever produced. With styling heavily influenced by the stunning LF-FC concept, the new LS will be unmissable to onlookers thanks to its gaping mesh spindle grille and triple-L LED headlights. Daring lines flow along its muscular flanks to the rear, where the taillights have been inspired by jet fighters’ afterburners. Japan’s new luxury flagship saloon is a head-turner, that’s for sure.

British craftsmanship has always been at the forefront of luxury saloon design and the latest XJ, although somewhat less daring than the Lexus LS, epitomises sleek styling. With an aerodynamic teardrop silhouette led by simplistic and elegant curves, it subtly secretes presence and is beautiful to behold. Its rear stands out courtesy of vertically slanted taillights complete with Jaguar’s signature strips and ‘J’ LED running lights, while the floating roofline, bonnet bulge and side vents hint at the power on tap; whether in short or long wheelbase guise.

Conclusion: If classic rather than ultra-modern design is desired, go for the Jaguar XJ

Cosseted pampering guaranteed

A masterpiece in comfort and luxury, the new Lexus LS is uncompromising. Its whisper-quiet Takumi-crafted interior is like nothing else. Traditional touches like hand-pleated door linings meet with modernity, particularly on the dashboard with its large displays and daring swooshes that defy convention yet work beautifully. Offering true opulence for drivers and passengers, 28-way adjustable seats with Shiatsu massage can be specified, and the heated ottoman seats in the rear can even recline.

Typically, Lexus have remained loyal to Mark Levinson to deliver a truly amazing surround sound experience, and have sourced leather, wood and other materials of remarkable quality. Featuring a world-debut pedestrian detection system that can take control of the steering, the latest LS is also a tour de force when it comes to safety, whilst its large boot also makes it extremely practical.

The home-built Jaguar XJ is equally remarkable on the inside, with hand-crafted veneers, super-soft leathers, a pin-sharp 10.2” HD screen throughout the range and an abundance of space on board. Jaguar’s trademark features, such as the circular chrome vents, analogue clock and rising rotary gear selector, help this classy executive saloon stand out further. The XJ experience can be intimately tailored to suit one’s tastes and requirements, from rear screens and tables to the 26-speaker 1300W Meridian Reference sound system and full-length panoramic roof. Drivers and passengers in the XJR performance variant can indulge in quilted sports seats with beautiful stitching detail, veneer in carbon fibre or piano black, and various other visual cabin enhancements.

Conclusion: The new Lexus LS’ interior raises the game

Smooth operators

The all-new Lexus LS will appeal to business executive drivers, chauffeurs and private motorists as it will initially be available only as a hybrid, which is an area Lexus is renowned for having long been at the forefront of.

The LS 500h boasts Lexus’ multi-stage hybrid system, delivering keen throttle response, remarkably low revs at high speed and intelligent engine shut-off, along with the highest fuel efficiency and lowest emissions yet, plus the hushed and smooth driving experience hybrids are synonymous with.

The 3.5-litre V6 Dual VVT-i petrol engine and two electric motors are mated to a 10-speed transmission. This 354bhp luxury car can reach 60mph in just 5.2 seconds and achieve up to 33mpg.

Jaguar’s sleekest model has a wider range of engines, with petrol choices spanning from a 3-litre V6 delivering 340PS to the mighty 5-litre V8 with peak power outputs of 510PS in the standard model. This jumps to 575PS in the monstrous XJR575, which can race to 60mph in an eye-watering 4.2 seconds.

The XJ is also offered with a punchy and frugal 3-litre V6 diesel engine, its 300PS more than enough for making swift progress. Despite having a 0-60mph time of just under 6 seconds, the diesel XJ can still average up to 49.6mpg on the combined cycle.

Conclusion: The quiet, smooth, powerful yet fuel-efficient XJ 3-litre diesel is wondrous

In numbers…

 

Lexus LS

Jaguar XJ

 

 

Min

Max

Power(HP)

354

300

575

Fuel(comb MPG)

32.8

25.5

49.6

Emissions(CO2, g/km)

199

149

264

Top Speed(mph)

155

155

186

0 – 60mph in….(seconds)

6.1

4.2

5.9

Price

£TBC

£59,995

£101,370

The  new Lexus LS  showcases the latest in Japanese opulence and modernity, from its advanced safety systems and futuristic styling to its engaging gadgetry. Alternatively, the sleek and somewhat more classic  XJ  oozes British class and offers more in the way of engines. Sampling the delights of each at Inchcape Jaguar and Inchcape Lexus is a good place to start when deciding between these two goliaths.