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Porsche Panamera diesel vs Jaguar XJ

Porsche has fitted its Panamera with a diesel. Can it see off the Jaguar XJ?

Porsche Panamera diesel vs Jaguar XJ
If you want to make it big in the luxury saloon sector, you need a diesel. This fact hasn’t been lost on Porsche, which has pulled the wraps off its new Panamera Diesel.
The saloon follows in the wheel tracks of the Cayenne Diesel off-roader, which was launched in 2009, and uses the same 3.0-litre V6 TDI engine. This makes it the cleanest Porsche ever, promising 40mpg fuel economy and low 172g/km CO2 emissions. Yet Porsche’s performance DNA remains, with a 150mph top speed and focused driving dynamics.
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Video: watch CarBuyer's video review of the Porsche Panamera
 
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However, the Panamera isn’t the only diesel saloon to combine luxury with racy credentials. Jaguar describes the XJ as a “sports limousine”, and with its lightweight aluminium construction, sharp chassis and punchy V6, it certainly lives up to its billing.
So, can this latest Panamera prove that Porsches don’t need petrol power to succeed, or will it be the big cat that pounces to victory?

Verdict

Both our contenders prove that fast, fun and luxurious saloons needn’t always run on petrol. But which one comes out on top? Based on looks alone, the sleek Jaguar is certainly worth considering. Adding to its appeal are a sumptuous cabin, strong performance and impressively long list of standard equipment. It’s not perfect, though. Disappointing fuel returns and a fidgety ride are particular bugbears, while the lack of eco-friendly technology means high emissions. In contrast, the Porsche employs stop-start and a slick eight-speed automatic gearbox to drive down CO2 and slash fuel use. Better still, these additions don’t come at the expense of straight-line pace. Factor in the excellent driving dynamics and superior long-term running costs, and the Panamera takes a narrow victory ahead of the capable XJ.
1. Porsche Panamera diesel
On this showing, Porsche fans should have nothing to fear from diesel. In fact, this latest Panamera is arguably the best in the saloon line-up. It’s fast, frugal and fun to drive, and will be a hit with keen drivers. Yet it’s also very comfortable, cosseting and spacious. The only issue is the slightly awkward styling.
2. Jaguar XJ 3.0d Premium Luxury
Eye-catching looks, an upmarket cabin, generous kit and an attractive price tag will persuade most buyers to part with their cash. The XJ has lots of character and is a relaxing long-distance express. But it’s held back by high running costs, a less composed chassis and poor low-speed ride.
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