Jaguar XJ Series Saloon 2003 - 2007

Jaguar XJ Series Saloon 2003 - 2007

Review by it
Monday, May 16, 2016

Pros:

  • Decent amount of space in the back
  • Supremely comfortable
  • Class leading diesel engine

Cons:

  • Traditional styling unappealing to younger drivers
  • Rivals beat it for quality

Overview

The Jaguar XJ hasn't changed much over the years and as a consequence has never been popular with the younger generations. A facelift in 2007 did try to remedy this though by reshaping the nose to look more imposing but you would be hard pressed to notice any real difference unless they were side by side. It's inside where most of the changes have come with redesigned seats and improved space. A diesel engine has also finally been added to the list of engines available after years of BMW and Mercedes monopolizing this market.

Exterior and Interior

With the facelift in 2007 the nose is slightly more imposing which seems to make it more appealing to younger drivers. In essence the XJ is still almost identical to the previous models though. The interior is more spacious with the more room in the back, but it still isn't big enough to rival their German counterparts, although the long wheelbase model does go some way to improving things. The backs of the front seats were modified in 2007 to help improve the legroom space for back seat passengers. The boot also isn't very big coming in at only 470 litres with all of their rivals topping 500. The storage space inside isn't much better with the cubby holes being small and it has a shallow middle console. There is an abundance of wood and leather trim inside with most of the trim being high quality although some of it isn't quite up to scratch. There are various trim levels to choose from with the best being the Executive Trim which comes with everything you are every likely to need.

Performance and Economy

The introduction of the 2.7-litre diesel was long overdue and it hasn't disappointed. It is the same engine that is used in the Jaguar XF and S-Type and produces 204bhp getting you from 0-60mph in only 7.8 seconds. The 3.0-litre petrol fairs pretty much the same getting from 0-60mph in the same time but produces 240bhp. The two V8 engines are very quick with the smaller 3.5-litre producing 260bhp and manages 0-60 in just over 7 seconds. The largest 4.2-litre produces an impressive 300bhp and does 0-60 in 6.3 seconds. When it comes to fuel efficiency the diesel engine impresses again with its 35mpg compared to the most frugal petrol which manages 27mpg. The 6 speed automatic gearbox is a great piece of engineering that smoothly changes gears. The insurance isn't as steep as one would expect on these cars ranging between group 15 and 19 depending on the engine size.

Like to Drive

The XJ is great to drive with lots of technology helping you to drive the car hard, but safely. Jaguar have installed their Computer Active technology Suspension (CATS) which automatically adjusts the suspension and dampers according to the condition of the road you are traveling along. The results is a remarkably smooth journey and it provides the sort of ride quality you would expect from a vehicle like this. The steering makes the ride engaging and feels sporty despite the size of the car. The XJ handles corners well, feeling nimble probably due to the aluminium body helping to keep weight to a minimum. The interior is blissfully quiet apart from the lovely sound of the engine burbling away in the background and this is due to the introduction of acoustic laminated glass and improved sound insulation in 2005.

Faults and Repairs

There have been a few recalls over the years which have included faults with the automatic gearbox where the car has slipped into reverse whilst travelling forwards as well as for airbags that punctures on deployment. Other than that there have been no serious problems with the XJ apart from the occasional diesel staling now and again fro no reason and a few electrical faults. Repairs and services are costly though especially if taken to Jaguar garage as they the most expensive of all manufacturers.