Jaguar XJ Series V8 Saloon 1992 - 2003

Jaguar XJ Series V8 Saloon 1992 - 2003

Review by it
Monday, May 16, 2016

Pros:

  • Provides a quality alternative to German competitors
  • Very reliable
  • Incredibly comfortable

Cons:

  • Looks old fashioned
  • Expensive to run

Overview

The XJ hasn't really changed its looks over the years despite there being some revisions made to the vehicle. Some might see the XJ as being old fashioned, but others will see it as a classic Jaguar which has stood the test of time. Even if you do feel the design of the car is dated the handling, build quality and mechanics are definitely modern with the ride being extremely smooth and as with most Jaguars are very reliable.

Exterior and Interior

Jaguar has tried to improve the looks and appeals of their cars through the XJ models with their aluminum bodies and luxurious looks. These are complemented by the cabin with its high level of equipment and style. The interior of the car consists of leather, wood and chrome which give it a feel of class and sophistication. Even with its old fashioned looks the XJ earns a deep respect for itself thanks to its levels of equipment and the overall finish and feel of the car. The interior is cramped on some of the older models, but with the introduction of a longer wheelbase version in 2000 the rear passengers were given more legroom. There are almost a dozen trim levels to choose from with the even the standard trim coming with accessories such as a CD multichanger, climate and cruise control, electric front seats, heated mirrors and seats, leather seat trim, parking sensors, traction control, front and back airbags and a telephone.

Performance and Economy

The smallest engine in the XJ range is the V8 3.2-litre engine producing 240bhp propelling you from 0-60mph in just 8.1 seconds and has a top speed of 145 mph. This is followed by the 4.0-litre engine which manages 0-60mph in only 7.2 seconds. The top of the range 4.0-litre turbocharged XJR engine tops out at 370bhp and hurtles from 0-60mpg in just over 5 seconds. None of them are very fuel efficient though with the official mpg coming in at around the mid 20's and the XJR dropping below 20mpg. However you will be extremely lucky to get anywhere near these levels in reality and will really be looking at just about getting into the high teens. The 5 speed automatic gearbox is a dream to use smoothly changing gears to the point where you may not even realize it's happened. The 3.2 is the cheapest to insure falling into category 16 whilst the two 4.0-litres fall into categories 17 and 19.

Like to Drive

Behind the wheel is a gorgeous place to be with a comfortable driving position thanks to the adjustable steering wheel and seat. The handling is good being comparable to smaller sportier cars. The XJ has perfect poise, which is maintained by the air suspension making the ride exceptionally comfortable. The car has a mix of a sports and executive car and mixes the two feeling perfectly. If you want to get around in luxury with the ability to go fast, then this is the car for you.

Faults and Repairs

There have been a number of recalls over the years for problems with the throttle and transmissions malfunctions. Other things to bear in mind is that the front bushes need replacing every 25000 miles as well as making sure that the brakes are sharp, especially in the XJR as with the speed it can produce and weight of it, it takes some stopping. It is very reliable though with very few problems occurring over the years provided it is serviced regularly. These do come at a price though, as do repairs with Jaguar as they are one of the most expensive manufacturers.