The tongue-in cheek-piece ended in a draw: the Jag winning on comfort and Britishness, the Prius coming out on top for environmental credentials and cost of running.
In reality, for most MPs, and most Car readers, the XJ would win hands-down. It’s easy to see why it has reached such a level of popularity for dealers to sell 14,617 units last year.
The XJ has one of the best chassis set ups on the market – executive class pliancy over bumps but stiff enough to enjoy winding B roads. It’s the perfect handling/ride combination.
The 2.7-litre V6 twin-turbo diesel was launched in September and will take 55% of XJ sales this year, rising to 60% in 2007 after the launch of the LWB version this autumn.
The diesel impresses. Delivering 204bhp and 321lb ft torque, and allied to the lightweight alloy body, the performance is scintillating in every gear. Combined with official fuel consumption of 35mpg, the diesel engine is the top choice.
The looks might be a little conservative – Jaguar is pandering to its existing customer base – but in the face of me-too products from BMW and Mercedes, it still manages to stand out from the pack. XJ embodies Jaguar’s best qualities.
Engine: 2.7-litre 204bhp V6 diesel
Performance: 0-62mph: 7.8sec; top speed: 141mph
Transmission: Six-speed auto
Efficiency: 35mpg; 214g/km CO2
CAP RV 3yr/30k: £20,250 (46%)
Rivals: S-class, A8, 7-series
Strength: Chassis, diesel engine, ride and handling performance
Weakness: Conservative looks
Opportunity: Raise sales to business users in a growing sector
Threat: Too traditional for some?
USP: Flying the flag for British execs