Jaguar XJ story

Jaguar XJ story

I have been reading JaguarWorld for a few years and thought I would offer my Jaguar story:

I have been lucky enough to own three versions of the XJ range since 1999 and give my experiences/thoughts on all three. I first purchased a 1998 X308 (XJ8) LWB 4.0 Sovereign in Madeira with ivory leather when it was six months old, an ex-demo. In my view, this was the last of the great looking Jaguars, inside and out; it was a true limousine and drove smoothly with plenty of power. Unfortunately, it had many mechanical problems including Nikasil lined cylinders, which required a new engine under warranty and new discs were required on several occasions, along with a new alternator and many other faults occurred, the worst being a gearbox failure which required a replacement. Design faults included just one windscreen wiper based centrally, whichmeant tall drivers had a partial clean screen in the rain and a too large bell housing, restricting the left-foot legroom – ridiculous for a car 17 foot long – otherwise a joy to drive.

The second XJ was a 2007 X350 3.0 V6 Sovereign in Arctic Blue with ivory leather which certainly had poise. It was noticeably a Jaguar and was a lovely car to drive but, sadly, the ZF gearbox again was the weak link and, after it clicked into ‘limp’ mode five times in one trip, I decided to sell it before another expensive replacement.

I was apprehensive about buying another car with an ZF gearbox – I thought Germans were good engineers? – but I was offered a two-year-old, 2015 XJL 3.0 supercharged model in Ebony with Jet leather, Portfolio with 4600 miles on the clock by a local Jaguar dealer. This car had been a promotional car and owned by Jaguar. I was not very keen on a black exterior and my wife thought the black plastic and chrome interior was very ‘blingy’ but I took it for a test drive and was delighted by its responsiveness, effortless acceleration and manoeuvrability. For a car just over 17 foot long and a smidgen under two tonnes, it handled very confidently and, I’m told, it does 0-6 in 6.0 seconds, which is quicker than an E-Type! It comes with paddles, which are rather superfluous and it has a long list of extras including digital TV, rear seatback tables, two sunshine roofs and soft-close doors, which are quite a novelty.

From memory, the fuel economy has increased slightly with each new car. I do about 6000 miles a year, mainly short journeys under 12 miles, and the XJ8 gave around 20 mpg; the X350 a couple of mpg more and the current car around 25 mpg but this varies by a huge amount. A couple of years ago, we drove to Scotland with a tank full of 99 octane petrol and achieved an amazing 40.1mpg over 500 miles at an average of 58 mph.

Unfortunately, none of the current Jaguar range excites me, so I will probably keep the Portfolio, which has only covered 37,500 miles, until I am forced to rethink.

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