2008 Jaguar XJ Review
This review was written when the 2008 Jaguar XJ was new.
The Jaguar XJ is a luxurious cruiser with plenty of power and amenities. Jaguar's flagship sedan, now in its seventh generation, continues to be a top seller for the brand. The long-wheelbase versions are especially well-liked for their spacious and well-equipped rear seats. "Feature for feature, the Jaguar XJ sedan represents one of the best values among full-size luxury cars," says New Car Test Drive. "It offers features and comfort comparable to the top-line luxury sedans from Audi, BMW, Lexus, and Mercedes-Benz for thousands less. Yet it makes a strong statement of luxury when it rolls up to a five-star hotel, stronger than some of those other marques muster." Rumors about Ford's plan to sell Jaguar have kept buyers out of showrooms for several years, helping to drive the price down. Now, Ford has sold Jaguar to India's Tata motors. There is some risk inherent in buying a Jaguar while much about the company's structure is up in the air. The XJ was designed and built before the sale went through, but no one yet knows what kind of support owners can expect over the life of their cars.
For 2008, the XJ gets a very slightly revised exterior and interior. Outside, the grille and bumper are slightly more pronounced, and larger 19-inch wheels (20-inches on higher trims) are now standard. Inside, legroom has been increased, and the seats are now cooled as well as heated. The Jaguar XJ comes in several trims -- the base XJ8, XJ8L, Vanden Plas, Super V8, and performance-minded XJR. The XJ8L, Vanden Plas and Super V8 come as long-wheelbase models. All come with a 4.2-liter V8 engine and six-speed automatic transmission. The supercharged XJR and Super V8 add 100 horsepower.
Though fuel economy is not often a major consideration for buyers of the XJ, we should note that its 16/25 MPG rating is very respectable for a large luxury sedan, besting entries from Mercedes-Benz and Audi.
- "On the road -- well, that's where the car shines. There's plenty of punch in this 400-horsepower supercharged engine, delivered smoothly and with authority through an excellent six-speed transmission. For a car this size, handling is far above average." -- Orlando Sentinel
- "As automobiles tend more toward generic and distinctions get harder to draw, even at the top of the market, the XJ sedan seems unique. It remains a true statement of luxury. Roll up in one of these and you'll be treated like royalty." -- New Car Test Drive
- "The XJR -- the whole XJ line, really -- Changes Jag's rank within the prestige ladder. It is easy where the Germans are deliberate, feathery where they are stout. Consider it a Lexus LS430 with style and 100 more horsepower." -- Car and Driver